Feeling is running high in Rye over the District Councils derisory grant towards the running of Rye TIC (Tourist Information Office.) The recently improved facility has been a boon over the years to the town’s tourist industry. Rye Town Council produced the following information and arranged a petition, pointing out that Rye is “The Jewel in the Crown” as far as the Rother area is concerned. It produces more in car parking revenue than Bexhill and Battle put together, yet they are being awarded the same £30,000 grant that Rye will receive. This is a £20,000 reduction on last year, despite the fact that Rother will be squeezing as much as 25% business rates out of the town’s already beleaguered traders.
Councillor Jo’ Kirkham, Councillor Sam Souster, Town Clerk Richard Farhall, District Councillor Granville Bantick and TIC Manager Joanna Arkley brave the elements to collect protest signatures in Rye High Street on Saturday 24 January. Several hundred signatures were collected in four hours.
There has been growing discontentment with the way Rother favours Bexhill. The whole system of local government is being brought into disrepute by the unfair preponderance of seats allocated to Bexhill. There are voices calling for a return to the old Borough system. This would bring back the power for Rye to determine its own destiny.
A Fair Deal For Rye TIC!
Rother District Council is intending to cut the Rye Tourist Information Centre grant from £50,000 p.a. to £30, from 2005 – a reduction of 40%. This will spell disaster for the area’s tourism-based economy.
FACT Over 1 million tourists visit Rye every year
FACT It will be impossible to continue to provide a high-quality tourist information service for the Rye area for £30,000 p.a.
FACT The forecast cost of running Rye TIC in 2005-06 is £81,000. Rother expects the TIC operator to fund the £51,000 difference.
FACT Rye Town Council makes up the current shortfall from Rye Heritage Centre profit.
FACT In 2005 there will be insufficient profit to fully subsidise Rye TIC. A grant of £30,000 would see Rye Heritage Centre making a loss of £14,000
FACT Each of Rother’s three TICs is to receive £30,000 p.a. – yet Rye TIC attracts by far the most visitors every year. Bexhill – £50,000 Battle – £75,000 Rye – £200,000
FACT Giving TICs the same grant regardless of their workload and number of staff they have to employ is nonsensical.
FACT Rye Town Council has successfully run Rye TIC on behalf of Rother District Council since April 1990.
The proposed £30,000 grant for Rye TIC is inadequate and inequitable.
Please add your weight to our campaign for a Fair Deal for Rye TIC by making your views known to Councillor Graham Gubby, Leader, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill, TN39 3JXTel:01424 787878 Fax:01424 787879 Email cllr.graham- [email protected]
Rye’s Own February 2004
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