What a disappointment for Rye that this year’s Christmas celebrations in the town were such a damper.
As one person said “where was the magic?”
It was a sad moment when we lost our coloured street lights some years ago, but even though we still have some lights the sparkle has been lost.
The shop windows and the processions used to be more exciting. As the Mayor aptly said “we need to do better as a town”. As usual it is left to the few to do all the hard work.
Next year it is hoped more people will become involved. This must be led by Rye Town Council in partnership with the Rye Chamber of Commerce.
At this time of year we think of those who are less fortunate and have no roofs over their heads, and those who do, having to fight to keep their homes, and keep their children from starving.
Shelter is calling for help, and it is hoped their call will be heard far and wide.
The new food bank opened in Rye will be a source of comfort to those who are finding it very hard at the present time.
The government’s continued austerity measures which are needed to balance the nation’s books will, whatever Party wins the next Election, will increase the pressure on those in need of assistance. More and more food banks are likely to be the norm.
Well done the Rye Tourist Information Centre to win the Silver Award in the Visitor Information Provider catagory. It was a pity Rye Heritage Centre could not have been included.
Peter Costick, the manager of the Centre reported another excellent year at last month’s Policy and Resources committee meeting. Whilst the Rye Heritage Centre has not the funds to take on additional telephone/e-mail enquiries and brochure requests, nevertheless it attracts a large footfall.
It is fortunate to be situated in one of the busiest parts of the town. It has many visitors coming through its door from far and wide. The “greet and meet” system, when coaches arrive, has brought many school children and students marching though its doors.
They, and many others, come to see the Town Model which is an iconic feature of the Centre, and to buy the many interesting things on display.
So a good profit is made. It will never be able replicate the Rye Tourist Centre which is closing its doors on the 21st March due Rother withdrawing funding, but it will certainly become the “Tourist Information point” for Rye from then on.
This would suggest an increase in footfall for the Heritage Centre which must be extremely good for its future.
We do not know what will be in store for Rye this winter as far as the weather is concerned, but it is hoped the town will escape the worst which can be thrown at it.
However, it is gratifying to see that the government has decided at last to throw some substantial extra funding into the nation’s flood defences.
In our area I see reported that there is to be a £30m investment in Broomhill Sands at Camber. This was badly needed to complete the defences around this section of our coast.
Both Amber Rudd and Sarah Owen, Labour’s candidate at the next general election, have been campaigning for more money to boost the flood defences.
This was especially needed at Fairlight which was particularly vulnerable. It is not widely known how vulnerable the Rye area is for potential flooding.
The Rye Emergency Action Team, led by Col Anthony Kimber, regularly monitor the vulnerable areas for flooding including our rivers and water courses.
Maintenance of the mechanisms which control the flow of water is paramount. The long fought out battle to have Southern Water correct the pump in Marley Road which was faulty has at last been rectified.
Debris in the water courses from falling tree branches and fly tipping is an on going problem which has to be monitored, and local residents are asked to contact the Town Council should anything untoward be noticed.
This can be passed on to REACT who would get in touch with the relative authorities for action to be taken.
This being my last column for this year it just remains for me to say to all my readers a very happy Christmas.