Let’s not play politics like this

Rother Council leader Alan Maynard clearly does not understand that simple English word ‘could’ (‘Calls for Labour apology over Rye leisure centre claims’).

Thanks to the magic of Google, anyone can look up what Sarah Owen, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye actually said about Rye Sports Centre on her website back on January 15 (and it is still there at www.sarahowen.org.uk/ryesportscentre if unlike Cllr Maynard you can be bothered to check):

“Sarah Owen has joined with local activists to save Rye Sports centre, following discussions at Conservative-controlled Rother District Council that could result in £178,000 of subsidy being withdrawn. Without the subsidy the centre would need to cut back on hours, close part of its services (such as the pool) or close altogether.

“Options being examined by the council include encouraging other providers, such as Rye Academy to take-on part of the service, although this could involve the centre’s services being broken up or the pool being closed.”

So Sarah was scrupulous in saying not that the Tories ‘will’ but that they ‘could’ reduce the subsidy.

If the council has bowed to local pressure and managed to find a deal that keeps the leisure centre open rather than close or reduce its services then they certainly deserve credit. But playing politics in this way and absurdly demanding that the Labour Party apologises for stating no more than that the council was at one point examining a range of options which COULD reduce the subsidy is yet another example of the childish and insulting level to which Maynard and Rother Tories seem intent on reducing what passes for local politics here.

Roger McCarthy

Sedgewick Road


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