Rye Town Council met on Monday, January 25, following a meeting the previous week to discuss the annual budget, as well as its precept (council tax) this year. Following a proposal from Councillor Potter, it was agreed to reduce the total precept for Rye’s costs so that the amount local tax payers have to pay the town council in 2021-22 will be the same as this year.
However it has, of course, been a difficult year for everyone, not least Rother District (RDC) and East Sussex County Councils (ESCC) , and both Councillor Norton (RDC) and Councillor Keith Glazier (ESCC) informed town councillors that their local authorities had no choice but to raise council tax to cover costs.
Rother currently has a £750,000 deficit and sadly has to make economies. Councillor Glazier said that the county council will not be making further cuts to children’s and adult social care budgets but, on a positive note, would be investing around £14m in them.
Councillor Glazier also emphasised the message of ‘stay at home’ and ‘stay safe’ during the Covid pandemic, because there is great pressure on the Conquest Hospital. Councillor Norton reported that there would be a significant review of Rother’s planning department.
Pressure for more local “jabs”
Dr Anthony Kimber gave an update on the Covid vaccination programme and how he had managed to get in touch with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) about access to the Etchingham centre where, on all accounts, the service seems to be excellent. However, he flagged up that it is not the easiest place for many this side of rural Rother to get to.
A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes to demonstrate to the CCG that a hub closer to Rye, and for the villages around it, would be more practical, and save many journeys across the district. Dr Kimber has been in regular contact with our MP and the mayor, Councillor Rebekah Gilbert.
The latter reported that she has participated in several Zoom meetings – including
- with Rother Voluntary Action on the Covid response in rural Rother;
- the East Sussex Visitor Economy team on jobs and apprenticeships;
- the Confederation of Cinque Ports (of which, Rye has the Speakership this year) – and
- the Department for Work and Pensions, by helping mentor younger people looking for work. She is looking forward to a meeting next week about the potential for vehicle e-charging points in Rye.
Rye Town Council awarded grants to the Music Well, Rye & District Chamber of Commerce (for Rye Blooms 2021), and facilitated funding for Rye Cricket Club for a new artificial wicket.
Councillors also discussed Rye Art Gallery and representation on its board of trustees, plus urgent repairs to the cupola (bell tower) at the town hall, shown in top photo, a Grade II* listed building.
Later, the planning and townscape committee received an update from Dr Kimber on housing supply in Rother and the continuing value of the Rye Neighbourhood Plan. Councillors considered also a Stopping Up/Diversion Order of sections of private road and public footpaths in Rock Channel – and were generally satisfied that adequate access for businesses, residents and pedestrians in the area would remain.
Source: Rye Town Council
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Rye Town Council .