D4B Mission Statement: to establish a Bexhill Town Council to give the town its own distinctive voice, promoting openness, accountability and engagement in the governance of Bexhill.
Who are D4B?
Democracy4Bexhill is a group who initially came together in 2016 to promote the forthcoming Community Governance Review.
This group comprised:
- Leader of the Association of Independent Councillors
- Chair of Bexhill Alliance
- Chair of Bexhill Liberal Democrats
- Chair of Bexhill and Battle Labour party
During 2015 nearly four thousand Bexhill citizens had signed a petition for a consultation on greater governance in Bexhill, triggering a Community Governance Review. D4B was concerned at the low-key way in which this was launched, and they wanted to make sure that the Review was conducted in a fair, open and transparent way and that Bexhill residents knew about it. This developed into a fast-moving local campaign.
A steering group was established. It brought together a variety of Bexhill residents, some of different political persuasions, some of no affiliation at all. The group included members of nearly all parties, including Conservatives. Some others were fiercely independent, simply supporting the aims of D4B and keen to participate.
All D4B activity has of course been carried out on a voluntary basis, unpaid. D4B has been backed by supporters drawn from an ever-increasing database of 1,200 Bexhill residents, and its make-up was fluid depending on what was being planned and organised – a meeting, a leaflet, an event, a newsletter etc. D4B itself has no political affiliations: no one political party has held sway and members who were existing elected RDC Councillors have declared their interest.
What happened then?
In response to the petition, in 2017 Rother District Council was obliged to hold a Community Governance Review, which is a consultation. During Stage One of the Review, D4B campaigned for people to express their view on the options on which they would be consulted. The submissions received by Rother in Stage One overwhelmingly favoured a Town Council for Bexhill. So for Stage Two, D4B moved to supporting a Town Council for Bexhill and promoted this option with posters, meetings, and social media posts, to ensure maximum participation from Bexhill residents – whatever their views – and to ensure fairness with implementation.
Such consultations normally attract a few hundred responses. For this Review, Bexhill residents’ views were record-breaking in number: 9,227 people submitted their opinion, of whom 93.5% were in favour of setting up a town council. Only 2% wanted no change. Rother however decided there would be no change.
This shocking decision encouraged D4B to launch a campaign for better councillors during the run-up the May 2019 local authority elections, promoting the need for local residents to stand as candidates for Rother District Council itself. Residents would be urged to support candidates who were in touch with local issues and more likely to welcome the idea of a town council.
Where does your money come from?
Funds have been received from public donations & from the D4B Committee itself. All financial records are posted to the website. After the final D4B 2019 Newsletter an updated set of accounts for the 15-month period to 31/3/2019 – will be posted to the website and any donor would if required be provided with a detailed breakdown of all income & expenditure.
The most recent accounts were posted on Feb 27th 2018 and are below.
|DEMOCRACY 4 BEXHILL|
|SUMMARY INCOME & EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT – 24 Oct 16 to 31 Dec 17|
|Cash setup donations by committee members||310.00|
|Launch meeting donations||243.11|
|Donations – committee members – bills & cash||454.09|
|Donations –||Individual donations||2405.70|
|Donations –||at stalls & shop||63.61|
|Donations –||Christine’s box||10.72|
|Donations –||Cash – no names||110.00|
|Danations at party for insurance||240.60|
|Interest to 27 Jan||0.06|
|St John’s Hall||30.00|
|Launch meeting refreshments||15.70|
|Sweets for stall||20.00|
|Leaflets & labels||152.00|
|2000 x Help make Bexhill Great||120.00|
|Bexhill Market stall||20.00|
|Shop use licence||100.00|
|SBS – envelopes & labels re petitioner letters||38.00|
|Fastprint – petitioner letters||300.00|
|APW – leaflet printing||30.00|
|Trevor Leggo meeting -room hire||36.00|
|Trevor Leggo meeting -refreshments||60.20|
|4 Domain names||39.59|
|Vodaphone sim card||15.00|
|Bexhill Town Council.com domain||14.39|
|Postage – letters to councillors||24.70|
|Final Letters to cllrs – print & post||51.28|
|Vinyl posters for rally||84.00|
|Insurance for Town Hall Square rally||223.00|