£600,000 is no small amount for Battle Town council

Battle Town Council
Battle Town Council

From: Ron Harris, The Coppice, Battle

George Kiloh asks in his letter of March 22 how the Town Council can maintain a flourishing High Street in an age of austerity.

He then goes on to say that BTC has no statutory duty towards business at all.

Bit of a contradiction there. Anyway, it appears that spending £600,000 on developing the Almonry is seen as aiding the prosperity of the High Street. Really?

While it is indeed the council’s job to promote the town, surely their main role is to look after the interests of the residents. Do councillors believe that saddling residents with a £600,000 debt is looking after their best interests?

Yes, the council does maintain (just about) a free car parking area. But what Battle badly needs is more car parking capacity. There would probably be more support for a loan to pay for that, than there is for the Almonry project. The least said about last year’s pathetic Christmas lights, the better.

In case there are any of your readers that do not know, George Kiloh is active in the Battle & District Historical Society. The Historic Society was apparently hugely supportive of BTC’s plan to develop the Almonry building to include a Heritage Education Centre. Is there, maybe, a vested interest there?

My interest in the Almonry development plan is as a Battle Council tax-payer with a fixed pension who resents being asked to pay a “mere” 7.35 per cent more in Battle’s Council Tax, on top of the 99.8 per cent increase over the past seven years. So, residents were asked about the Almonry development proposals. Yes, but in the context of much of the funding coming from the National Lottery. Everybody that I have spoken to on this agrees; Yes to Lottery funding. No to BTC funding.

Finally, in what sort of dream world does George Kiloh live if he believes that expending £600,000 can be dismissed as necessary to get “small and useful improvements”?

Many in Battle believe that £600,000 amounts to a very substantial amount of money – hardly a few farthings.

George, ask some of our less well-off residents how much they welcome BTC continually appropriating ever more of their limited assets.