LETTER: Parishes are not the only option

Keyboard SUS-160615-124004001
Keyboard SUS-160615-124004001

Rother Council leader Carl Maynard defends the appointment of ex Tory Deputy Council Leader Robin Patten as the independent chairman of the Community Governance Review Steering Group on the grounds that he has experience as a parish councillor and thus a good understanding of parishing.

One wonders why Cllr Maynard only refers to parishing when this is just one of the possible options the review should be consulting on and considering.

Could it be that if a change is to be made in the way Bexhill is governed, he would prefer to adopt a divide and rule approach?

Dividing the town into a number of parishes, each with responsibility for only a small area of the town would make it difficult, if not impossible, to mount a unified challenge against any Rother District Council plans for the town that they were opposed to.

This would mean that decisions on what happens in Bexhill would continue to be taken by Rother District Council, not by locally elected councillors.

Incidentally parish and town councils are one and the same thing; a parish council covers a rural area while a town council covers an urban area.

The Conservatives say that one town council for Bexhill would cost ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’.

If this is so then the cost of creating multiple parish councils within Bexhill would be astronomical. Yes, the Community Governance Review should consider parishes but it is vital that equal weight is given to a single town council or an area committee for Bexhill as a whole.

To justify the appointment of a chairman on the basis of their experience with one particular model of alternate governance does not bode well for the thoroughness of the review.

Brian Cope

Pages Lane


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