Time to stand up

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The Town Council in their finery

On Thursday, May 2 between 7am and 10pm there will be an election for Rother District Council (RDC), Rye Town Council (RTC), and local parish councils.

In the case of Rye town there are 16 seats, two polling stations, and an electorate of around 3,500, give or take some postal votes.

If there are no more than 16 candidates the election will be uncontested, the cost to Rye (excluding VAT) will be £258, if it is contested the cost will be £4,125.

RDC has published an election timetable, and the town hall expects to have put together nomination packs for interested parties by early March – anyone interested in standing can contact the town clerk at the town hall in Market Street.

After a couple of bouts of pneumonia, and becoming 78 this year, I have decided not to stand again.

Notice of the election will be published by Tuesday, March 26 and nominations must be delivered, or withdrawn, by 4pm on Wednesday, April 3.

In the past 12 months RTC was due to meet 10 times and the only committee (planning) was due to meet 24 times.

But in practice there have been more council meetings due to pressing business but, on the other hand, quite a few planning meetings are immediately after the full council meeting. Also some meetings are not needed because of lack of planning applications, or can be dealt with by email because they are relatively simple.

As the town councillors are not elected by specific area, but by the whole town, they do not often have to deal with individual cases – as an MP or borough councillor might.

I was married to an Inner London borough councillor for eight years and the workload of a town councillor is minute by comparison.

However Rye is a town with a long history and a wide range of issues to be addressed so being a town councillor is both challenging and worthwhile.

Image Credits: Mike Slavin .

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