News in brief 20 October


Here’s a roundup of the other stories making the news in Rye this week, and a look ahead to some of this weekend’s events.

Cost-cutting closures for some of Rye’s public toilets

Public toilets Gun Gardens Rye

The toilets on The Strand and in the Gun Garden in Rye will be closed over the winter to save money. Rother District Council says it is bringing in the trial closures on Monday, November 13 as part of an attempt to balance the books ahead of an expected £3.8 million shortfall in the 2024/25 budget. The toilets on Station Approach and Lucknow Place are unaffected, as are the disabled toilets in Winchelsea and the toilets at Camber Central. Several other council run toilets across the district will also shut, including the ones at Pett Level.

Council leader Doug Oliver says he knows the closures will be unpopular: “We don’t want to close our toilets, but this is the first of many tough decisions we will have to make over the coming months in order to protect our statutory services such as waste collection and support for the homeless and vulnerable. Many of the toilet facilities are aging, some buildings are no longer fit for purpose, and some have been the target of vandals, which are often costly to repair.”

Jempson’s in Rye to shut for a week from Saturday

Jemspson’s in Rye

The Jempson’s store in Rye town centre closes for a week from this Saturday, October 21 at 10pm. It’s part of the supermarket’s new partnership with Morrisons, and follows on from a rebranding of the Peasmarsh superstore earlier in the year. The Rye branch reopens at 6am on Thursday, October 26.

Camber affordable housing plan decision postponed

Lydd Road Camber housing development

Rother planners have deferred discussion of an affordable housing scheme in Camber, allowing a consultation period to reach its conclusion. On Thursday, October 12 Rother District Council’s planning committee had been set to consider once again plans to build 10 houses at a pay and display car park, known as the former putting green site, on Old Lydd Road.

As discussion of the item began, councillors were advised that officers had amended their recommendation from approval to deferral. This was because there was one day left to run on a public consultation about the proposals. A previous version of the plans, which come from the council itself, were approved by the committee in March. While mostly the same as before, the updated plans are due for fresh discussion as the council now hopes to make the scheme 100 percent affordable.

Objectors had also raised concerns about the houses becoming holiday lets rather than full time homes. While this was not a planning matter, councillors noted the council should be able to take steps to prevent the houses being used as second homes.

(Huw Oxburgh Local Democracy reporter)

Dates for your dairy

On Friday, October 20, Rye Theatre hosts a silent film night, with the music score being played live on the Wurlitzer organ by Michael Wooldridge. The list of movies on show includes a Buster Keaton double bill from 1920 and 1924. It starts at 7:15pm. Tickets £10. More details here

Rye Monastery

On Saturday, October 21, there’s a rare chance to see inside Rye Monastery with a guided tour from owner Alex Macarthur. You’ll hear all about the amazing restoration of the Augustinian friary during the tour which starts at 11am. Tickets are £25 from Rye Heritage Centre.

And also on Saturday, Rye Old Scholars Association are celebrating with a 1970s reunion. Events including lunch, a school tour and music from The Rockitmen, take place in the afternoon and evening. More information here.

Image Credits: Rye News library , Simon Carey , James Stewart , Rother District Council .

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