Town hall re-opens slowly

Rye Town Hall

Rye Town Hall is slowly beginning to re-open, but – like the prime minister – it is being cautious and taking one step at a time.

There have been two wedding ceremonies since small ones were permitted again from 29 March and “both went well” said the town clerk, and “we anticipate hosting quite a few this year because of the backlog”.

The information point for tourists plans to re-open next Monday, April 12, but the April opening dates / times have not been confirmed yet because the town hall is still working on the staffing rota. But the aim is to open seven days a week from May.

From April 12 the town clerk or his deputy will be at the town hall from Monday to Thursday, at least when the information point is open, but they will not be encouraging people to drop in to see them as their communication preference for the foreseeable future, while Covid lingers, will be email or telephone, and ‘in person’ visits will need to be by appointment.

Zooming continues

Council / committee meetings will continue to be held by Zoom while legally permissible and if the legal challenge to the ‘non-extension’ of remote meetings succeeds they will continue via Zoom for a while. If not, the council will need to decide whether to delegate decision making authority to the clerk (as it did for five months last year).

There will be no Mayor Making on Monday, May 3. Instead the mayor will be appointed via Zoom on that day at 6:30pm, and the meeting will be combined with committee formation (brought forward). The earliest the council is likely to meet in person will be June 28, the town clerk advises, and then only because of the legal requirement for the council to approve the 2020-21 audit return.

If the meeting goes ahead, it will take place at a community centre, with more distancing space, and will be as brief as possible. Councillors are not inclined to arrange a town meeting until it is considered safe to hold one ‘in person’ as it is considered that a town meeting via Zoom would be unmanageable.

But there are some elections

The council’s “Think Rye” social media campaign is about to restart, prior to the re-opening of non-essential shops / businesses on Monday, April 12.

And in the meantime, for those who may not have noticed, there are local elections for the county council and the police and crime commissioner, in addition to a Rother District Council by-election to fill the seat vacated by our new MP for Hastings and Rye.

Image Credits: Rye News library .


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