District boundary changes discussed

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001

Proposed ward boundary changes in Rother district were discussed on Monday night (November 16).

The proposals include merging Battle Central and Battle North to form a double member ward, to include Whatlington from the Sedlescombe and Westfield ward.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Kathryn Field (Battle) said: “When we had the steering group meeting before the last election, we were all unanimous that we want to see three members in three wards. Now we have the proposal which sees three members in two wards.”

She added: “I would propose Battle is split into three separate wards with three separate members.

“It would make so much more sense and people would understand it more.”

Cllr Carl Maynard (Brede Valley) said that although the work done by the steering group had been ‘extremely important’, the plans had since been ‘refined’.

He said: “Whatlington now forms part of that ward, purely and simply because the residents of Whatlington look to Battle for their services and amenities rather than Westfield, where it fell prior to the meeting.”

Cllr Eleanor Kirby-Green, (Darwell) successfully appealed against putting Stonegate,Ticehurst and Flimwell into different wards.

Under the proposal, Stonegate would have come into the Burwash Weald ward with Burwash, Brightling, Mountfield and Etchingham.

Hurst Green, Ticehurst and Flimwell would have been placed in a ward with Salehurst. It was agreed Ticehurst, Flimwell and Stonegate should stay together in a ward with Hurst Green – allowing Salehurst to remain in its current ward with Robertsbridge.

The decision was welcomed by Cllr Sue Prochak (Salehurst) who had fought for the hamlet to remain with Robertsbridge.

The proposals will be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

A consultation will follow and changes would come into effect in 2019.