Rye Town Council approved its budget for the financial year from April 2019 at Monday’s meeting – but a big question mark hangs over whether the books can be balanced.
Progress (or lack of it) with Brexit (the UK leaving the European Union) could affect the number of visitors coming to Rye, and therefore income from Town Hall weddings and the Heritage Centre.
To date the worst impact is thought to be on Kent’s roads leading to the Channel ports when they again become frontier towns, and roadworks in Kent are already being brought forward, or cancelled (among many other measures).
But the Channel Tunnel terminal is much closer to Rye, and Brexit might affect that and surrounding roads as well – as could Kent’s chaos (should it happen).
Coach traffic to Rye bringing both UK and foreign visitors, and students (as well as visitors in cars), may therefore decrease (or even cease) affecting both Rye’s and the Town Hall’s income.
However the need to also keep an eye on the county council and the district council’s expenditure (and likely rates increase) got some reassurance from East Sussex County Council’s leader Cllr Keith Glazier on Monday.
He said they had lobbied long and hard to reduce the cuts they might have to make, and secure more funds, and – while some cuts were still necessary – they were much less now than they had feared they might be.
However the amount the police want to increase the number of officers will sharply increase that part of everybody’s rates bill, and whether Rye can balance its books remains uncertain.
But the Heritage Centre will get one update. Its current till machine can not handle credit cards and it is so old the paper rolls it needs are no longer available, so the town councillors did agree it must be replaced
Image Credits: John Minter.