The Fight for Rye
The recent public meeting at the Thomas Peacocke illustrated, with vivid clarity, the way Rye is being manipulated by power politics and big business.
In all the arguments about the rights and wrongs over whether Tesco’s should be allowed to build a massive store on the Ferry Road School site the real issue was completely overlooked. Rye Town Council has absolutely no powers to make decisions over events that are planned to happen in this town. No power over planning, no power over roads, no power even over our own playing fields, gardens and cemetery.
Representation on East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council is so minimal that our County and District Councillors have no influence whatsoever.
We protested against the Surgery being re-sited out of town; waste of time: We protested when Rother vandalised our cemetery; they stuck their fingers up at us and did it again; We argued with Rother when they withdrew the promised grant for the Heritage Centre; no joy. Hotcats had to come to the rescue: We screamed and protested when Rother threatened to close all our public conveniences; they still had their way with the Rope Walk toilets, they remain closed until this day.
Many more plans are being drawn up by “experts” for a Marina that would almost certainly end with a flooding disaster at Tilling Green; for a single track road from Ferry Road via Station Road and Station Approach; for houses down the back of Udimore Road on a green field site; for knocking down two more schools and building their replacement on the Thomas Peacocke sports field and for loping off several allotments for the school project; the list is endless. Each plan requires a ‘feasibility study’ which takes thousands (£20,000 and £40,000 are two figures that usually appear) out of District and County rates – Our money, often wasted on a whim!
The mad legislation being foisted on us means the Rye Chamber of Commerce are forced to employ “Euro Certificated Electricians” to put up the Christmas lighting around the town. As a result a £30,000 price is being asked by these ‘highly trained’ individuals to knock a few nails in and for insurance. Needless to say, there will be no lights in Rye this Christmas!
Rye is being ridden over in such a rough shod fashion that the time surely has come for Ryers to say no. Now is the moment for our council, supported by every single man, woman and child who is proud enough to call themselves a Ryer, to demand our Borough status back.
If any Rye Councillor is not up to the job the time has come for those members to stand down and let new blood with fire in their hearts come forward to defend Rye from the calamity that will soon overtake us and turn this unique town into just another urban jungle with a museum at it’s centre.
The Fight Back Begins
The Democratic Rye group, who are at present studying ways of restoring Rye back it’s old Borough status and giving power back to our Town Hall are holding a Public Meeting in November to report progress and to explain how the people of Rye, young and old alike, can help re-ignite the flame of democracy and fair play that was stolen from the Ancient Town in the reorganisation of local government in 1974.
From “Rye’s Own “ November 2005
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