Newsletter: Help D4B in a video shoot

Wanted: D4B supporters who would like to help the campaign by appearing in one (or both) of the following video shoots.

D4B has a song: We need supporters to join us in singing the chorus.

You don’t have to read music or be a top-notch singer, just sing with gusto!

We will film from 2pm on Wednesday 20th September at Bexhill United F.C. club room in The Polegrove (entrance opposite the      western end of Egerton Road).

Filming will be in two stages:

a) in the club room, recording groups of supporters singing the chorus.

b) videoing the singing of the chorus (weather permitting) against various nearby recognisable locations (the football clubs    grandstand, Sovereign Light Café, one of the ‘shelters’, and maybe the clock tower, museum or Egerton Park).

Appear on video in support of option 2 – a town council for Bexhill.

Record a videoed interview to be added to a series of supporting a town centre. We need a short, sharp videoed statement on why you want a town council.

How will we use the videos?

We plan to place them on Facebook and other social media channels. No-one taking part in the song will be identified but we will need at least you first name for the  videoed interviews and statements.

Interested?

Contact Brian Cope: becope@hotmail.co.uk or phone 01424 732895.

What’s going on?

If you want to know how the consultation is progressing, Rother is posting weekly updates here. Over a thousand people have responded already, and they are in need of more people from certain groups, as these groups are currently under represented. The most important thing, however, is to get as MANY people as possible, so that Rother is persuaded that the people of Bexhill really do want a town council!

Newsletter 10th September 2017

Stage 2 consultation now open**Leaflets deliverers wanted**Display a poster

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Stage 2 consultation now open

Stage 2 of the consultation on the Community Governance Review (CGR) began on Friday 1st September. Residents are being asked to state which of 4 options they prefer. The consultation closes at 4.30pm, Friday 13th October. Don’t delay – vote for your preferred option now!

After extensive research and discussion D4B recommends:

option 2 – The creation of one parish (styled as a Town Council) for the whole of Bexhill.

The other options are:
* No change
* The creation of an Area Committee for Bexhill
* The creation of four parish councils for North, East, South and West Bexhill

Our leaflet explaining why D4B considers options 2 – a town council – the best options for Bexhill will be delivered to every home in the town over the next 2 weeks. You can see the leaflet on our website.

**STOP PRESS**
Following a successful challenge by a D4B supporter as to the legality of the council only accepting review responses online or on an official response postcard you can now respond in writing – by letter, email or online or by petition.

  • To vote online type “rother community governance” in Google or other search engine and follow the links. Alternatively type bexhilltowncouncil.com in your address box to go directly to the online survey response form.
  • If you wish to vote by post our leaflet, shortly to be delivered to every household, will contain a response postcard you can use.
  • If you wish to vote, or submit comments, by email you can do so at consultations@rother.gov.uk.
  • Letters, petitions etc. can be sent to Rother District Council Town hall, London Road, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 3JX

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Leaflet deliverers wanted

Although we have many volunteers to help with this as the old saying goes “many hands make light work” so if you can spare an hour or two to deliver leaflets along your street or perhaps one or two of your neighbouring streets we’d like to hear from you.

Email info@democracy4bexhill.com or call Cllr Doug Oliver on 07917 845737

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Display a poster

You will hopefully have seen the “see that yellow bit” posters around and about. Can you help more residents aware of the consultation by displaying a poster on your window, fence or gatepost? If so please let us now using one of the contact methods below.

Kind Regards,

Doug Oliver, Chairman D4B

07917 845737: dougoliver1@hotmail.co.uk

text: 07555 162396
web: democracy4bexhill.com
email: info@democracy4bexhill.com 
Tweet: @D4Bexhill (twitter.com/d4bexhill)
Facebook: facebook.com/democracy4bexhill
Fund Us! Donations to: crowdfunder.co.uk/d4b

Democracy4Bexhill – Campaigning to bring greater democracy …

democracy4bexhill.com

Do you want more say in what goes on in Bexhill? The debate has been going on all year about the different ways Bexhill is governed, and now it’s time to decide!

 

D4B Newsletter – August 2017

Dear D4B Supporter,

As you will know the primary purpose of D4B has been to encourage participation in the Community Governance Review. The core group of residents who launched D4B are of all political persuasions and also held differing views opinions as to the best governance option for the town. Some were firmly of the view that a town council was best, others that an area committee would be better; some had yet to make up their minds.

In order to be able to present to residents the pros and cons of these two options core group members have gathered a substantial amount of information from both town councils and area committees. As the core group has digested and discussed this information the consensus of opinion within the group has swung heavily towards a town council as the best option for Bexhill.

At the meeting of the core group on Tuesday 22nd August a motion that D4B now formally declare its support for a town council over all other options received overwhelming support. Accordingly, we will now campaign specifically for that option.

We remain committed to encouraging the widest possible participation in stage 2 of the consultation process which runs from 1st September to 4.30pm 13th October. Our leaflet will give details of all four options as well as setting out why we believe a town council to be superior to the other options.

It has always been our view that the decision on how Bexhill is governed should be determined by the residents. This remains our core value whatever the decision Rother District Council should make.

Kind Regards,

Doug Oliver, Chairman D4B

07917 845737: dougoliver1@hotmail.co.uk

text: 07555 162396
web: democracy4bexhill.com
email: info@democracy4bexhill.com 
Tweet: @D4Bexhill (twitter.com/d4bexhill)
Facebook: facebook.com/democracy4bexhill
Fund Us! Donations to: crowdfunder.co.uk/d4b

Rother refuses offer by Democracy group

Press release

At the recent meeting of Rother’s Community Governance Review Steering Group on 10th August, councillors insisted that if Bexhillians want to express their views on a town council or other form of local governance as part of the second phase of the consultation, they can ONLY do it online, or on individual Rother postcards which have to be collected from the town hall or local councillors. They even refused an offer from the non-party-political campaign group Democracy4Bexhill (D4B) to print and distribute Rother’s own information and returnable postcards for them, at no cost.

“We just want to reach every resident of Bexhill, to make sure that everyone has a say on this important issue”, said an exasperated Doug Oliver, Chair of D4B, “Many people want to see a town council or other form of local democracy but Rother are clearly not keen on hearing their voices. We will now distribute information ourselves.”
The Deputy Leader, Councillor Martin Kenward has made it clear that an “overwhelming response” will be needed to persuade councillors to consider backing any change, but as councillors refuse to leaflet residents to ask their views, even at no cost to the Council, D4B is valiantly filling the breach by producing, printing and delivering explanatory literature to every household in Bexhill. The project is being entirely funded by donations from Bexhill residents.
Rother will run a six-week consultation period from Friday, 1 September 2017 – Friday, 13 October 2017 at 4:30 pm. People who live or work in Bexhill are being asked to tick a box, and provide their names and addresses. They will be provided with four choices: no change, a Bexhill Town Council, a Rother Area Committee of Bexhill councillors with no executive decision-making ability, or four parish councils splitting Bexhill into North, South, East and West.
Councillor Gillian Johnson argued that if D4B’s offer was accepted, there would be a risk of fraud. (It is unclear how the online response itself can be policed for fraud or how the town hall would cope with thousands of older residents from the 16% of households in Bexhill without access to computers, coming to ask for their individual postcards).
D4B is also concerned about the bias and misrepresentation of costs in the information that Rother has supplied in public documents. “We will not be put off by half-truths or exaggerations,” said Doug Oliver, “We urge everyone who can, to go to Rother website in September and make their views known. We think better local democracy offers exciting possibilities for Bexhill. Perhaps they think that Bexhill people don’t care. They may get a surprise.”

If you want to know more or you want to get involved with the Democracy4Bexhill campaign, you can visit their Facebook page “Democracy4Bexhill” or emailinfo@democracy4bexhill.com or phone Doug Oliver on 07917 845 737.

D4B Newsletter July 2017

D4B newsletter – July 2017

Please share this newsletter with family and friends.

Thanks for your support.

Thank you to all those who responded to our appeal for funds to produce a leaflet setting out the governance options for the town. The appeal raised over £1400! This is a great start towards the £2,500 we estimate we need to mount an effective campaign.

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Council in a shambles over review.

The steering group’s eminently sensible recommendation to send details of the various governance options to all households in Bexhill was rejected by the full council. The council are using what they regard as a low level of response to the stage 1 consultation as the justification for this decision – despite the fact that officers told them that compared to other consultations the council conducts there had been an exceptionally high response. An account of the meeting is given later in this newsletter.

The council’s decision to refer the whole stage 2 issue back to the steering group will delay the whole process and we won’t know if the steering group’s options (town council, area committee or no change) will be the ones that return to council for their approval nor what the consultation process will be. Once we do we will be finalising our own leaflet for printing and distribution.

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Stand and Deliver!

We already have a good number of D4B supporters who do doorstep deliveries of leaflets and newsletters to those without email but many hands make light work – and we will certainly need as many hands as possible if we need to hand deliver our leaflet to every household in the town. If you can help with this task, even if only for your street, please let us know. Contact details at the end of this newsletter.

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Raise a cup for D4B.

You could help spread the message about the Community Governance Review (CGR) by organising a coffee morning or afternoon tea for neighbours and friends. We find that the opportunity to chat informally to people about the process, the various options and what could be achieved is the best way to get people interested and involved. If you would like to help in this way set your date, send out your invites and let us know if you would like one of the D4B team to attend. Contact details at the end of this newsletter.

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Next CGR Steering Group meeting.

Following the debacle that characterised the meeting of the full council on Monday 10th July (a full account follows) the next meeting of the steering group will be on Thursday 10th August at 9.30am. The council have clearly been taken by surprise at the level of interest and support for some form of local governance and it is important that we keep up the pressure. Do please come along to the town hall public gallery so that we can show them this issue won’t go away and that we are watching their every move.

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Chaos and confusion at full council, 10th July 2017.

There was a packed public gallery for this meeting. Thank you for your support.

The Community Governance Review steering group had recommended three options: a town council for Bexhill, a Bexhill area committee of Rother and a ‘no change’ option. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had added a fourth by a majority of one vote: to split Bexhill into three parishes. This was altered unanimously by the Cabinet to four parishes based on the County Council divisions. Yet the idea of splitting up Bexhill only received 0.1% support amongst almost 1,000 respondents to the stage 1 consultation last winter. Councillor Sue Prochak (Lib Dem, Salehurst) moved that the four parish option be removed from the stage 2 Consultation as the proposed parish boundaries did not reflect natural communities. Her amendment was overwhelmingly defeated with every Conservative present voting against.

However, Councillor Martin Kenward (Con, Bexhill Kewhurst) took everyone by surprise when he proposed an amendment to send the whole issue back to the steering group for them to agree the communication and consultation plan for the second stage consultation and that the consultation be carried out “at no additional cost to the council”. Councillor Prochak (Liberal Democrat – Salehurst) asked for clarification on the question of cost and Councillor Kenward confirmed that “the consultation should be at no additional cost to this council”.

Councillor Doug Oliver (Independent, Bexhill Collington) moved a further amendment that a communication be sent to every household in Bexhill, charged to Bexhill Special Expenses. In support, Councillor Kathryn Field (Lib Dem, Battle) argued that Rother needed to “make sure it is easy to respond.” The amendment was aimed at placating Councillor Paul Osborne (Con, Eastern Rother) and other Conservative Councillors who did not want the countryside to pay for a leaflet drop in Bexhill. However, every Conservative Councillor present voted against Councillor Oliver’s amendment and it was defeated.

Cllr Carl Maynard (Con, Brede Valley), the Leader of the Council summed up the debate by saying that: “Now is not the right time for change” He went on to say the money spent on the review could be spent on council services for the whole of Rother.

To add further confusion, the final motion read out by the Chairman of Rother District Council and voted on by the Full Council included the four options and a reference back to the Steering Group to address communication plan, but did not include the words “at no additional cost to the Council.”

As mentioned earlier the the steering group will meet on Thursday 10th August to try and make sense of this self-inflicted confusion.

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Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please feel free to circulate it to anyone you know who you think may be interested in its contents and encourage them to register with D4B to receive a copy of our next newsletter direct to their mailbox.

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END

web: democracy4bexhill.com
email: info@democracy4bexhill.com
Tweet: @D4Bexhill (twitter.com/d4bexhill)
Facebook: facebook.com/democracy4bexhill
Fund Us!
at: crowdfunder.co.uk/d4b
by bank transfer: Barclays –
20-45-45 80737356 Please give your name as reference.
by cheque (payable to Democracy4Bexhill) sent to D4B 11 Brockley Road, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 3HA
Phone: 07917 845737

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Democracy4Bexhill(D4B)

Democracy4Bexhill (D4B) is a rainbow alliance of Bexhill residents of all political persuasions to encouraging participation in the public consultation on how Bexhill should be governed. It is entirely self-funded from donations by D4B supporters.

Although individual members of D4B may hold strongly held views as to the form of governance the town should have they are united in the belief that the decision must be based on the views of the community gathered by a involving all residents in the consultation process.

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Rother delays stage 2 of Community Governance Review for Bexhill

Review to be conducted “at no additional cost to this Council.”

Supporters of the D4B (Democracy for Bexhill) campaign group and other members of the public crowded into the Council Chamber on Monday 10 July to listen to the Rother District Council debate on the Community Governance Review.

The debate centred around a recommendation from Rother’s cabinet that a fourth option: to split Bexhill into four parishes based on the County Council divisions be included in the next stage of the public consultation. This was in addition to the three options put forward by the Community Governance Review steering group of: a town council for Bexhill, a Bexhill area committee of Rother and a ‘no change’ option.

Councillor Sue Prochak (Lib Dem, Salehurst) moved that the four parish option be removed from the stage 2 Consultation as the proposed parish boundaries did not reflect natural communities.  Her amendment was overwhelmingly defeated with every Conservative present voting against.

However, Councillor Martin Kenward (Con, Bexhill Kewhurst) took everyone by surprise when he proposed an amendment to send the whole issue back to the steering group for them to agree the exact nature of the second stage and that the consultation be carried out “at no additional cost to the council”. Councillor Prochak (Liberal Democrat – Salehurst) asked for clarification on the question of cost and Councillor Kenward confirmed that “the consultation should be at no additional cost to this council”.

Councillor Doug Oliver (Independent, Bexhill Collington) moved a further amendment that a communication be sent to every household in Bexhill, charged to Bexhill Special Expenses.  In support, Councillor Kathryn Field (Lib Dem, Battle) argued that Rother needed to “make sure it is easy to respond.”  The amendment was aimed at placating Councillor Paul Osborne (Con, Eastern Rother) and other Conservative Councillors who did not want the countryside to pay for a leaflet drop in Bexhill.  However, every Conservative Councillor present voted against Councillor Oliver’s amendment that was overwhelmingly defeated.

Cllr Carl Maynard (Con, Brede Valley), the Leader of the Council summed up the debate by saying that: “Now was not the right time for change”  He went on to say the money spent on the review could be spent on council services for the whole of Rother.

To add further confusion, the final motion read out by the Chairman of Rother District Council and voted on by the Full Council included the four options and a reference back to the Steering Group to address communication plan, but did not include the words “at no additional cost to the Council.”

The Vice Chair of D4B Christine Bayliss – [who recently fought the General Election campaign on a pledge to support the introduction of the Town Council for Bexhill] said “This whole process has turned into a shambles. This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the review, keep it under wraps and suppress the number of responses to stage 2”.

Julia Penfold and Steve Samuelson added: “We were on the public seats and feel that Rother is not giving the Bexhill people the full support they deserve in the consultation process”.

Paul Courtel, an active member of D4B, commented: ”I think the real motive of the Rother Conservative Group in voting against sending an explanatory leaflet and a response card to every household, as sensibly recommended by the Steering Group, is to minimise the response from Bexhill residents.  This would help the ruling group to conclude, at the end of the review, that there’s no appetite for change.”

Commenting on the meeting, Councillor Doug Oliver stated: “The decision seems bizarre, is likely to cause confusion and lead to delay.”

Dr Barry Snape, who was on the visitors’ seats, added a quote attributed to the eighteenth century statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

If you want to know more or you want to get involved with the Democracy4Bexhill campaign, you can visit their Facebook page “Democracy4Bexhill” or email info@democracy4bexhill.com or phone 07917 845 737.

ENDS

Further information: Brian Cope  01424 732 895