In an amazing report to Rye Town Council Rye District Councillor Sam Souster claimed that Rother District Council was an “undemocratic body seemingly incapable of managing its responsibilities in Rye in a satisfactory manner”.
District Councillor Granville Bantick, Rye’s only other representative out of 38 on Rother, concurred and added “that without proper representation in Cabinet, where six of the seven members are from Bexhill, democracy will remain a sham”.
Councillor Souster went on to detail a host of examples of Rother’s failings and deficiencies where this town is concerned.
Rye Cemetery, the Public Conveniences, the fiasco with the Rye Skateboard facility, their bad management of the Trafalgar Day request to close the Strand Car Park which was approved but not transmitted to the section of the council works department who therefore failed to close the site.
The list continues; The unacceptable neglect of the Landgate, a Grade 1 listed building, the disappointment over the TIC Contract (That Rother reneged on)
Councillor Souster went on to say “Can anything be done about it? Rye lost its Borough Status in 1974, and Rother District Council assumed the management of the services in the town previously carried out by the Borough Council.
Rye’s Own frequently makes comparisons with the past and present” he said ” and advocates a return to the previous system of independence – I am not sure that this can be achieved short of another Local Government Act, but I await the promised public meeting of the Democracy Group. Progress can be made when the Quality Town Status is achieved by the Town Council, it may then be possible to seek the return to Rye of the services that currently appear to be mismanaged by Rother District Council”.
Rye Town Councillor Paul Carey reported on a scheme that is being operated in Eastleigh, Hampshire, whereby the District Council has been split into four sections and each run most of their own affairs, including planning. If such a scheme were to be implemented here it might be that an area of Rye & District would come into being. The likelihood of this happening would not be high in the opinion of Councillor Carey because Rother officials as well as the Rother Councillors would have to support the scheme. “If it came about” he said “it would give us most of the things we want”.
From “Rye’s Own “ November 2005
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