A great loss to local politics

THE Rye Observer did not have any stance or strong views on whether Rye Town Council should have flown the flag at half mast for Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.

We can understand the council wishing to take a neutral stance and can also understand that this would have upset some.

What we do have a clear view on is that Cllr David Russell’s resignation from the council is a great loss to Rye.

David is unassuming and was always keen to play down his title of Lord, but the reality is he conducted himself with a dignity and sense of statesmanship befitting that title.

He was often the voice of reason in heated council debates , presenting alternative views in a clear and reasoned manner.

We suspect that this is just the tip of the flag pole and that there are deeper reasons why Cllr Russell felt he had to part company with the Town Council.

It is upsetting to see Rye lose one of it’s annual festivals. It is events like the Maritime Festival that help make the town what it is and bring a sense of colour and culture. We are not entirely sure though that the blame can be laid so firmly at the feet of Rye Town Council and wonder if all other options were exhaustively explored.