D4B Read our special election newsletter! (PDF format)
Our newsletter should be on the doormat of every Bexhill household soon, with details of our campaign for better councillors for Rother District Council. Read all about it by clicking above.
9th March 2019. Please note:
For the duration of the Rother District election campaign, D4B will suspend its activity. For information about the campaign to secure a town council for Bexhill – please contact the groups who form D4B:
Association of Independent Councillors – Doug Oliver –firstname.lastname@example.org 07917 845737
Bexhill Labour Party – Christine Bayliss –email@example.com 07904953255
Bexhill Liberal Democrats – Diane Smith – 01424 220994 firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Party – Polly Gray – email@example.com
The story so far
Democracy4Bexhill has been campaigning for years for better governance for the town. We have not won that one yet! But on 2 May 2019, we will have a chance to vote for some better councillors on Rother District Council, as there is an election.
Even though we have not succeeded in getting a town council for Bexhill, we decided we could find some better candidates to stand for Rother, people who are keen and committed and want to give the people of Bexhill more of a say. They have stepped forward. These elections only happen every four years, so this is our chance to support them and speak up.
You may see that some of the people standing as candidates from the Bexhill wards carry a promise on their leaflets, the D4B promise. “I promise that if elected, I will support the creation of a town council. ” What is it all about?
From 1902 to 1974, Bexhill had its own borough council giving pride and status to the town, but it was abolished in 1974, and taken over by Rother District Council covering a wide rural area. The councillors now representing Bexhill do not have a majority on Rother District Council, even over matters closely related to the town. Every other town and parish in Rother has its own council, but the 43,000 residents of Bexhill don’t.
We launched a huge campaign for more governance, and won wide popular support. A town council could do SO MUCH for the town! Rother was obliged by law to hold a consultation. Thousands took part. Most consultations get a few hundred responses: this one was massive.
9,227 people participated in the consultation. 93.5% of them, ie 8, 631 people, wanted a town council!
Then came Rother’s decision. On December 18th, 2017, by 18 to 13 votes, at a full council meeting, Rother said er…….no. No town council.
They voted in favour of no change. An option that had been supported by only 364 people. Compared to over 8,600.
Only one of the Rother councillors from the ruling party representing Bexhill voted for a town council: the others opposed it or were not there.
This extraordinary decision stunned the residents of Bexhill, but the campaign for a town council has not stopped. Democracy4Bexhill is continuing the fight, and its decision to encourage new people to stand in May, was backed up by a public meeting.
Let’s see what Bexhill residents will vote on May 2nd 2019. Are they impressed with Rother and the way they run the town? Or are they ready for change? In these difficult times we need representatives we can trust.
We hope to deliver our election newsletter to every household. Read it and see what you think. If we get better councillors then we stand a better chance of getting a town council eventually too. Whatever happens, we will have told Rother that Bexhill residents have a voice and should not be taken for granted.
D4B is not affiliated to any party. It is a community group whose members support all parties or are independent.