Rye Town Council is looking for a new councillor after Sam Souster – defeated in the Rother District election– has stepped down, despite being re-elected to the town council. His personal vote in both the District and Town elections was between 230 and 260 over other Labour candidates, reflecting his long service to Rye.
But last Thursday night’s shocks spilled over into this week as long serving Rye councillor Sam Souster, defeated in the Rother District election, then quit the Rye Town Council seat to which he had just been elected.
Souster, a former Mayor of Rye says in his letter of resignation, “I, like many other experienced and hard working councillors, were swept away by the national trend of events, over which there was no control. I have therefore decided to resign from the Town Council and all my other community activities.”
He went on to say “it has been an honour and privilege to serve the people of Rye to the best of my ability for eight years on the District Council and on the Town Council for 16 years, with similar service in the Midlands previously. I wish the new Council well as the Neighbourhood Plan nears maturity as this will give the town more opportunities to determine its future”.
A casual vacancy was been declared on May 12 and an election will be held if ten electors give notice in writing to the Returning Officer by June 2. If the vacancy is not filled by election, the Town Council can fill it as soon as practicable by co-opting.
At the same time, local Conservative MP Amber Rudd, who held on to her seat and increased her majority, was attending her first Cabinet meeting, after being promoted to Energy and Climate Change Secretary, filling the post formerly held by Liberal Democrat Ed Davey.