Town Crier

 Well Done Sam

One of our two District Councillors walked out of the Rother Cabinet rates debate when Council Leader Graham Gubby refused to answer his question (see page five).

Well done Sam Souster, the whole Rother District set-up is more than unfair to Rye it is very Bexhill orientated. Bexhill has no council of its own, it doesn’t need one, representatives from that town on the Rother District Council outnumber the rest put together so it is inevitable that Bexhill interests come first, no matter how hard they pretend they don’t.

The case of the recent threatened rate capping by the Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford is a good example. Part of the proposed ‘savings’ would be an increase in parking charges. This would affect Rye far more than Bexhill as Rye have, by far, the busiest car parks. Most of the other proposals will just put off the problem till next year. There is one item of expenditure that could have wiped off the excess in one go – cancel the £500,000 a year that Rother spends on subsidising the De La Warr Pavilion. Let the building stand or fall on its own assets not on the backs of Rye ratepayers!

The time has come for Rye to stand on its own again. Let our elected town councillors decide what is best for this town. It worked well enough in the past.

One wonders how many people are employed by Rother District Council? I do know that the old Rye Corporation had only 13 permanent staff. Five in the office responsible for collecting the rates and all the other paperwork that goes with running a town the size of Rye (they had no computers!) and eight looking after rubbish collection, road sweeping, water, parks and gardens, road repairs within the town (the roads outside the Town Wall were the responsibility of Sussex County Council) and maintenance of the council houses around the town. Were these super human people? No they were just honest Ryers looking after their own town with great pride. No doubt there are still people of the calibre of Doris Carey around who would be pleased to join the small staff already employed by Rye Town Council. Town Clerk Richard Farhall and Judy look after Rye’s Councillors with amazing ability and dedication and there are sure to be other Charlie Batcholors and George Gibbs to look after water, gardens and general maintenance.

Let there be a referendum of all Rye ratepayers – Who would they like to run Rye – Rye Town Council or Rother District? A 90% vote in favour of Rye would be a powerful document to drop on Mr. Blair’s doorstep.

                             More Police Criticism

A letter publish in this month’s “Pen & Ink” once again highlights the lack of response from the police to the mounting problem of gangs of youths running amuck through the streets of Rye.

I was also alarmed when a serious road accident in South Undercliffe saw that road closed for four hours causing traffic chaos in Rye and the surrounding area. The reason for the long delay in clearing the road? The police “Photographic Unit” had to come from Brighton to record the crash before the evidence was removed! This information did not come directly from the police so I hope I am not doing them an injustice by repeating it here but it does seem that the force is now made up of ‘specialist units’ and each is based many miles away from Rye. In the past every policeman was trained to deal with almost any eventuality. The local Bobby would have soon had the accident ‘measured up’ and it would have been cleared off the carriageway as soon as any victims had been freed and sent off to hospital. I cannot recall of one local road being completely closed because of a car crash during the period 1965 – 1973. Now it is a regular occurrence. When a bus load of children went off the road at Kent Ditch in 1966 and a fleet of emergency vehicles were rushed to the scene the road remained open with two officers directing the traffic.

There is a gradual and continual breakdown of morale in the Police Force due to the ridiculous system of centralisation. Ask almost any policeman, he will tell you that the right way is the old way!

Good Customer Relations

When it comes to good customer relations, in very large shops, you would have to travel a long way to beat the personal touch that Jempsons of Peasmarsh offer their patrons.

The whole of the Restaurant section was filled to capacity, not just once but twice, on Friday 13 February to watch a cookery demonstration by television celebrity cook James Martin.

James Martin signs copies of his books.
James Martin signs copies of his books.

James Martin has made a great impact since his first appearance on television in 1996 and has rarely been off the small screen since. He is a regular chef on Ready Steady Cook ( UKTV ) and on the popular Saturday Kitchen Show.

Jempsons ran similar evening events throughout 2003, they were held every few months at the Peasmarsh Superstore and attracted over 2,000 people through the year.

Suppliers are invited to make an informal presentation on food and drink. There are opportunities to taste, try new products and put questions to the presenters.

Full House at Jempsons to see James Martin
Full House at Jempsons to see James Martin

It is amazing that Jempsons have grown to such a size and yet are still able to communicate with their customers on such a personal level. After all, where else can be found a retail unit as large as this where the buyer is often greeted by the top man on first name terms?

                              Packing Them In

Talking of full houses, Ryesingers certainly ‘packed them in’ at their two performances of “HMS Pinafore” on Friday and Saturday 20 & 21 February at the Community Centre. Both shows were to sell out audiences and reflected the ongoing popularity of a group of Rye amateurs whose performance was up to professional standards.

The Cast of H.M.S. Pinafore
The Cast of H.M.S. Pinafore

                                 The Players

The Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter – Anthony Thomson, Hebe – Anne Whiteman, Captain Corcoran – David Peart, Josephine – Lesley Moore, Mrs. Cripps – Pamela Peters, Ralph Rackstraw – Andrew j. Daniels, Dick Deadeye – Richard Moore, Bill Bobstay – Andrew Hewitt, Bob Beckett – Ian Perry. Richard Eldridge provided the piano accompaniment Lesley Brownbill was musical director.

From “Rye’s Own” March 2004

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