Every four years we have the opportunity of electing, from among our number, 16 to form Rye Town Council and a further 2 to represent Rye on Rother District Council. By May 4 the current four-year term will have been completed and on that day new councils will be elected.
Being a councillor is not a glamorous job. We do, of course, see our town councillors parading in their gowns and hats, with the mayor in all his finery on ceremonial occasions, but for the most part it is about reading endless emails and attending council meetings dealing with the minutiae of town administration. It is not always easy and often boring. A half-hour discussion at a council meeting over the state of the public loos by the station, for example, is important but hardly headline-grabbing stuff. But nevertheless, at least once a month on a Monday evening they tackle an agenda that can consist of anything from the loos mentioned above, to the swimming pool, potholes, planning applications, clean streets, traffic and so much more.
The power of the town council may be limited these days, but this is where our Rother council representatives come in. At least one of them is normally expected to be in attendance at most town council meetings, both to report back on events at the district council and to take to that council the views and requirements of this town.
In considering who to elect, therefore, it is important to reflect not just on which political party, if any, that the candidates may belong to (for their job here is to look after the interests of Rye before national party policy) but to decide who will do the job best. In the case of district councillors, this means who will best represent Rye amongst all the Bexhill councillors (who make up nearly 50% of Rother District Council) and not feel they need to represent and consistently defend Rother when reporting back to Rye, as has been the case with some (but not all) Rother councillors in the past, both from Rye and neighbouring wards.
This year the town council has just 15 candidates, out of a total 16 available seats and for this reason there will be no election and all candidates will be appointed. Their names are given below. Normally, we would publish an address from each candidate, but this time we will not be doing so. Because none of them are to submit themselves to the electorate, all except for two have decided it is not necessary to let the public know who they are, what they stand for and why they should be on the council. Some readers may feel that this is a mistake, but nevertheless it is the decision that the majority have taken.
So far as the Rother council election is concerned, there are six candidates for two seats on the council. We have asked all of them to provide us with an election address to publish in these columns and for those who have you will find them, in alphabetical order, on the following pages in our special election section.
The candidates for both non-elected Rye as well as Rother are as follows:
Rye Town Council:
David Bookless, Michael Boyd, John Breeds, Cheryl Creaser, William Everett, Bernadine Fiddimore, Rebekah Gilbert, Vagn Hansen, Chris Hoggart, Pat Hughes, Jo Kirkham, Sue Learoyd-Smith, Andi Rivett (mayor), Sean Rogers, Andy Stuart (deputy mayor).
Rother District Council:
Cheryl Creaser, Guy Harris, Chris Hoggart, Simon McGurk, Genette Stevens, Jayne Stevens.
Image Credits: John Minter .