Complaints fly at Town Hall

Union Jack has seen better times

August is called “the silly season” in the media because politics mainly shuts down as Parliament goes into recess, councils do not meet and the law also seems to take a break, with few courts in session. So crime and punishment is off the agenda as well as politics and politicians therefore have less to do and may pay more attention to the visitors flocking round – like the seagulls.

And seagulls are why one complaint to the Town Hall is not receiving immediate attention. It is, however, attracting the attention of tourists, as Councillor Andy Stuart heard two in Market Street comment on the Union Jack flying over the Town Hall (pictured above): “It is tatty and a complete disgrace”. Andy agrees. “We need to take it down and burn it [the correct treatment for a disfigured flag] and buy a new one as a matter of urgency as it really doesn’t make the town look good”.

He added: “Better not to fly it since it looks like a pair of Buster Bloodvessel’s drawers that have been left on the washline since his 1980s heyday”. Newly co-opted councillor Justin Erswell also said he had a couple of comments about the Union Jack and asked if it could be replaced easily.

The short answer is “No” and this is where the gulls come in, as Town Clerk Richard Farhall replied to say: “We’ve got a replacement – and we’re waiting for the baby gull to depart. It’s not a quick job because the fittings are different – hence the need to fight off gulls at the same time. We’ll do it next week”.

"Scrappy" plants round war memorial's base
“Scrappy” plants round war memorial’s base

Another nearby complaint  is also being dealt with, featuring the plants around the bottom of Rye’s War Memorial in Church Square, behind the Town Hall and St Mary’s church. Former Mayor Jo Kirkham has said she has had several complaints about the plants being “uninspiring and scrappy”. A Rother District Council officer came, saw and agreed. It is “extremely poor… most of the foliage is weed rather than bedding plants. We will be raising this with our contractor as soon as possible”.

Jo agreed the “bedding plants are certainly not up to usual standards” and thanked the Town Clerk for taking action. The Union Jack may take a little longer to sort as ”gulls rule OK”.

Photos: Ray Prewer and Kenneth Bird