Meeting calls for transparency

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150325-095657001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150325-095657001

Shock over allegations of lack of transparency from Rother District Council has led to a special council meeting at the town hall on Monday April 13 at 1.30pm.

It was called by Cllr Stuart Earl following criticism from central government that RDC had hidden important information.

Why was the first response from Government not acted on?

Cllr Stuart Earl

A letter from Kris Hopkins MP of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), accused Rother of failing to publish data on the council’s website in a number of key areas, including contracts over £5,000, land and assets, senior salaries and parking revenues.

As a result, the government will withhold RDC’s ‘burdens funding’ for 2014-15 until the data is published correctly.

Council leader Carl Maynard said he was ‘hugely disappointed’ to receive the letter and insisted that Rother had never kept information from the public.

However Cllr Earl claims the first he and other councillors knew was when details of the letter were published in the Observer.

He asked the council to hold the meeting on Monday having achieved the five signatures necessary for such a demand - the others were from cllrs Tony Mansi, Doug Oliver, Deirdre Williams, and Paul Lendon.

He was “dismayed” that they “were never put in the picture as to why the first response from central government was not acted on.”

He commented: “Nobody told us. We read it in the Observer. I was angry about that. I cannot understand why we are not complying with what the government wants us to do, why we are against that. I cannot see why we haven’t done it.”