What a result for consultation

Bexhill Observer letters
Bexhill Observer letters

From: Mr.I.M.Griffiths, Fontwell Avenue, Bexhill

Well readers, the ‘consultation’ on Bexhill’s local governance is now complete and what a result!

Of the nearly 9,500 votes, 94 per cent asked for a Bexhill Town Council.

That is a greater proportion than those who voted in the recent local elections – RDC councillors please note. This result was achieved despite every effort by Rother’s Cabinet to minimise publicity and the ability to actually vote.

It was only after RDC was legally challenged that residents became fully aware that their views were being requested and could vote by any means – rather than the minimal methods offered by the RDC Cabinet.

Worst was to follow, RDC then decided that no funds would be expended on the all-important phase 2 consultation, and finally voluntary groups had to fund RDC’s own ‘consultation’.

Despite the huge response and request by the electorate, when these results were presented to the November 9 Steering Group/committee set up to consider the result of Rother’s consultation – funded not by them but by the public – it was decided to ignore their terms of reference and all four options once on offer are being referred up the ‘food chain’.

Rother’s attempts to de-democratise Bexhill, its residents and their views continue, but are now so desperate and transparent that it would seem that a formal Judicial Review, an external legal audit and the Ombudsman are now inevitable.

It goes without saying that while many of these all important committee stages will be held in public (though their views ignored), the usual confidential chairman’s and group meetings will continue to instruct those committees on what their decisions will be – despite the written evidence.

Both our local MP, Mr Merriman, and the Secretary of State who is nationally proposing ‘localised democracy as a Government Policy, have been kept informed of this travesty of Rother’s public consultations.

It will be interesting to see how many Rother councillors stand by the group leader, Mr Maynard, when the results of these investigations land at his feet.

Many believe he is invincible, many are beginning to realise he is far from it.