Rye Town Councillor

The Rye View with Granville Bantick SUS-140608-112150001
The Rye View with Granville Bantick SUS-140608-112150001

The Chairman of the Campaign for a Democratic Rye, Mr Alan Bolden, set the cat amongst the pidgeons at a Rye Town Council meeting when he drew attention to the seeming indifference accorded to various areas of the town by local government generally.

His list was extensive and included the Landgate Arch where the illuminations and the clock never work, the Lookouts where the views were obstructed by ever taller vegetation, and the neglect of many of the footpaths.

However his main complaint was the state of Rye Cemetery which he considered a disgrace due to the prevalence of weeds and pathways receiving little or no attention.

It is understood the Rye Cemetery is almost full and Mr Bolden rightly asked when was the “top field” to be explored, and prepared for eventual use. It appears from information that has come to light from investigations made by District Councillor, Sam Souster, that the area at the northern end of Rye Cemetery, roughly between the Garden of Rest and the cemetery lodge, was used for the burial of people who had been living in the Rye Workhouse.

The Cemeteries Officer at Rother District Council has stated that between 1877 and 1930 there were over 1,000 people buried in that area, and there are plans which show where the graves are located. Because records appear to show that the graves were dug only to single depth the area cannot be used for future burials.

What we need to know is what plans does Rother intend to pursue to identify additional burial space to serve Rye? That question is to be asked by Rye Town Council as the matter is becoming urgent.

The Rye Observer printed a press release a short time ago initiated by Col Anthony Kimber, Chairman of the Rye Emergency Action Team (REACT) highlighting the need for Southern Water to give urgent attention to the vital pump in Marley Road which could result in areas of the town flooding if it fails.

Despite continual requests for some action all efforts have failed due to lack of any response. This is a key pump, fundamental to preventing flooding.

The company is not good at maintaining its infrastructure and this is an issue which urgently requires resolution. Not only is this pump in question, but the whole sewage system does require constant maintenance to avoid it becoming overloaded.

There has been sewage leakage into gardens in Winchelsea Beach affecting 100 homes and businesses, and similar incidents around Rye in the last few years.

Unfortunately Southern Water has a very poor record when it comes to spillage, and is on record at having to pay some really hefty fines for allowing sewage to foul beaches in the Southeast. We still await a response which the company promised to address to our last complaint.

The report of a tree falling into a garden in Copper Road, Rye during a severe storm destroying a shed was very dramatic, and could have caused the residents living there to have been injured if they had been in its vicinity.

The tree in question is one of several which line the dyke along Old Brickyard many of which have been reported to be unstable and have dropped quite large branches in windy weather.

As a resident who once lived in Old Brickyard I am well acquainted with the area. Obviously the trees require professional attention by a qualified tree surgeon.

Last year I drew attention to the state of the trees which grow along the dyke to Rother’s Parks Technical Officer. The main problem is the difficulty of identifying ownership of those trees which border the right of way to allow action to be taken.

However whilst it is known that trees are the responsibility of the landowner, the Local Govt (Misc. Provisions) Act 1976 Sec 23 &24 do give powers to the local council to take action if there is a danger to the public on a right of way. After some superficial work on the trees last summer the ESCC Rights of Way concluded in a letter to me from the Parks Technical Officer that the trees were not an immediate danger!

I believe this latest incident shows the contrary.