Rye can expect many more visitors in 2015! In response to reviews and social media exchanges about the Mapp and Lucia series, more bookings are already coming in. Our new Kino cinema, with its superb facilities, staff and film offerings, is already a triumph. It is welcoming not only Rye residents but visitors from neighbouring communities, who will keep returning. Both the Radio Times and The Guardian have just featured Rye as a place to go. Yet there are still issues on which local residents hope to see action. Have the expectations of both locals and visitors ever been higher – or meeting them been more important?
Proposals are afoot to boost the town’s ability to meet these expectations – by reinventing an existing organisation. Though a great deal has been achieved by the Campaign for a Democratic Rye, its original aims – to win back for the town more control of its affairs by creating an area committee structure for the whole district – has been overtaken. Thanks to the Localism Act of November 2011 and much hard work, a Neighbourhood Plan for Rye is emerging. It is now hoped that the outcome of the forthcoming CDR AGM, [Wednesday February 4, 7 pm, at Rye Club on Market Road] will be a plan for moving forward, most likely with a more appropriate name.
Though only members may vote at the AGM, others who are interested are very welcome to attend and share ideas for the way ahead.
The main questions for discussion are: how do we
- make our town even more attractive as a place to live?
- keep attracting more visitors – to help our economy and enliven the town?
- ensure visitors have a rewarding experience so they will return and encourage business?
So far, our starter ideas are:
- To form a group – non political and not in competition with any existing organisation – able to support events and projects benefitting the town, for example by helping at peak times of need such as during our various festivals.
- The group would need to be capable of gathering ideas, arranging for informed assessment and feasibility, generating interest and collaboration and attracting a membership representing a broad range of skills and interests. All this would contribute useful peoplepower, when needed, to boost the good of Rye initiatives by community organisations. (Rye Town Council, the Neighbourhood Plan, the Chamber of Commerce, Transition and Rotary are just five of many possible examples.)
- An organisation developing from CDR could continue to be constructively critical of local government neglect
- The group could become an information hub for people with specific skills and the time and interest to use them, for causes identified as helpful to Rye as a place to live and a tourist attraction.
If you have ideas but cannot attend the meeting you are welcome to send them to us.
It is hoped that there will be good news about progress to report in Rye News soon!
Photo montage: Tony Nunn