Why we are campaigning for a town council

Why we are campaigning for a town council

Bexhill is the only place in Rother whose residents do not have a parish or town council that gives them a voice. We need a Bexhill Town Council – your voice in your town.

At the moment Bexhill doesn’t have a voice. Currently, decisions which affect Bexhill are taken by Rother, which covers a wide and mostly rural area, and East Sussex County Council which is even larger. There are 18 Rother councillors representing Bexhill but they are outnumbered by the rest of the District, so they don’t have a majority even when it comes to decisions about their own town.  A Bexhill Town Council would represent only the people who live and work in Bexhill and would work to make their town even better. Every penny raised by Bexhill council will be spent in Bexhill.

Bexhill is famous for its town spirit and friendliness. But of recent years it has become clear to people who live or work in the town that Bexhill needs some TLC, some new life and investment. A town council can address the day to day important issues that Bexhill residents value – and it can respond quickly to local needs. It can focus on what locals really care about, the big and small issues that make a difference.

A town or parish council is the most local level tier of government, a much smaller organisation than the district and county authorities. A Bexhill town council would not do the job of Rother District Council or East Sussex County Council, but would focus exclusively on Bexhill, including Sidley, Pebsham, Collington and Little Common.

Rother District Council changed hands in May 2019, and the new Rother Alliance of councillors who have taken control, are right behind the idea of a Bexhill Town Council, partly because a town council can help protect residents against cuts. This really matters here because national government’s grant to Rother will be zero by next year, so without a Town Council we could lose some of the Rother services we currently value– from public toilets to grants for sport’s clubs or transport for the elderly.

Another factor is that central government appears to be moving towards creating more unitary authorities, abolishing district councils and making even larger councils across the country. However, parish and town councils would not be affected. Thus we would be in an ideal position of keeping our local voice and local councillors in our town, through Bexhill Town Council.