Disappointment at tourism cuts

BATTLE needs visitors to secure its future, a town councillor has warned, following Rother’s decision to slash its tourism budget.

The district has one manned Tourist Information Centre, in Lion Street in Rye, with smaller satellite offices in Yesterday’s World in Battle and the No 48 cafe in Devonshire Road, Bexhill, with phonelines linked to the main centre.

But the face-to-face service now looks likely to disappear after Rother District Council cut its tourist information budget from £65,000 to just £30,000.

Speaking at a recent meeting of Battle Town Council, Cllr Maurice Palmer expressed his disappointment at Rother’s decision.

He said: “I’m very disappointed we should choose to reduce our efforts in marketing.

“We need visitors for our well-being and future.

“It’s a naive thing to do.”

District Cllr Kevin Dixon, who represents Battle Town, said: “The only people who would be able to provide a service like that on that budget would be a town council.”

Rye Town Council had previously been offered the chace to take over the running of the current Tourist Information Centre, but turned the opportunity down.

Rye town councillors criticised Tourism South East, which currently runs the service, for failing to provide information about the running of the centre.

Rother District Council is due to publish a draft specification in the next few months and hope to appoint a new provider by the autumn.

The new provider will take over the running of the district’s tourism services in spring 2015.