Seven stand for role of new Rye councillor

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SEVEN candidates were in the running as Rye Town Council co-opted a new councillor for the first time in more than a decade.

They were standing for the vacancy left by Lord Ampthill, who resigned from the council earlier this year.

Candidates had to give a short presentation to the council when it met on Monday evening. They also had to answer questions including what would be their one wish for the town of Rye.

Standing were Mandy Turner, from Tilling Green Community Association; Colonel Anthony Kimber, chairman of Rye emergency group REACT; Local mum and hairdresser Lisa Fenton; businessman Jonathan Dellar; Andy Stuart, from Rye Arts Festival and Rye Conservation Society; local businessman Gavin McGarvey and Michael Boyd, who established the Rye Treasury of Mechanical Music.

Following a ballot by councillors, Michael Boyd was co-opted, with Rye born Mandy Turner just missing out.

Mr Boyd said his main wish for Rye would be better communication links for the town.

He is a director and shareholder of the Rye Community Interest Company which is currently in negotiation with Rother Council to lease and manage the town’s two allotment sites.

Mandy Turner, who along with the other candidates, said she would stand again at the 2015 council elections, stated one of her main concerns was to see a united Rye.

She said: “Rye in many ways is in a peculiar situation, the two populations being quite separate.

“The Citadel is wealthy, with many second and holiday homes, while the majority of the population live in social housing in the Tilling Green, Valley Park and Kings Avenue areas.”

Gavin McGarvey said that one of his greatest concerns was to address the drugs problem in Rye and giving young people in the town a say in council matters.

He called for the council to establish and support a drugs awareness programme in the town.