Council house has its problems

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Rye Town Council Planning and Townscape Committee held on Monday July 17 were advised that there was little to report on the Neighbourhood Plan and that some progress was being made with RDC officers toward a process for Reg 14 Consultation and that this might occur sometime in the Autumn.

The Policy, Resources and General Purposes Committee heard that despite a loss of just over £6000 the Heritage Centre was making slight improvements on the previous year but there were still issues to be targeted. The Heritage Centre Manager, Louisa O’Shaughnessy had identified and addressed problems such as group cancellations, deposits for group bookings, increasing revenue through better management of staff energies throughout high and low seasons and promoting and advertising of the centre as an attraction in its own right. She was cautiously optimistic that the the Heritage Centre would, with a reallocation of staff time and energies plus administrative efficiencies, build upon the progress so far made.
The committee was generally pleased, supportive and congratulatory.

Some continuing disquiet was expressed regarding the Discounted Accommodation property.

A number of councillors were unhappy that while the tenancy eligibility criteria were being checked by lawyers and works were being carried out there and the loan was being repaid, no income was being generated. It was proposed that perhaps a six month or perhaps even a three month tenancy might be considered. The Clerk indicated that such a course would be potentially fraught with difficulty and that members should await the imminent legal opinion requested.

On the issue of the Bexhill Community Governance Review, which seems to be occasioning contention in various quarters, the Committee was presented with an update on the delayed Stage II consultation. The ruling group at Rother has decided that the governance options presented under Stage II should be:

1) No change
2) A Bexhill Town Council
3) An area Committee with no executive power
4) Four parish councils covering North, East, South and West Bexhill.
It was resolved to continue to encourage Rother District Council to adopt option 2, the creation of a Bexhill Town Council.

[Editor’s note: A letter has also been received on this subject]

Photo: Rye News library

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