Questions asked of ‘Democratic Rye’

I was interested to see Cllr Mary Smith’s robust letter distancing the ‘Campaign for a Democratic Rye (CDR)’ from the Rother District Council Lib – Dems.

It needed to be!

However, it was perhaps unfortunate if that, within the same batch of letters Cllr. Sue Prochak, leader of RDC Lib-Dems chose to champion the cause of ‘Area Committees’, the main plank of the CDR’s unpublished manifesto, with particular reference to Rye and the transfer of powers to RDC nearly forty years ago.

I would challenge the assertion made by Cllr. Smith that “we (the CDR) are united solely by a determination to secure a better future for our town”.

It is well known that the CDR has made representations to at least two other local councils with a view to promoting the concept of Area Committees in Rother – in both cases they were shown the door.

The title CDR (Campaign for a Democratic Rye) is a complete misnomer; what it really stands for is ‘Campaign for a Democratic Rother’. I have no problem with this and the proposed ‘localism Bill’ from Central Government may enable devolution to happen, but at no doubt extra cost to Rye taxpayers.

Let’s stop pretending that this is just about Rye!

As an independent Rye Town Councillor for the last four years, my ‘maiden speech’ to full Council was to set up an independent Working Group (which I subsequently chaired). This was to examine and negotiate with RDC what services, and at what cost could be returned to Rye Town Council. This initiative was completely undermined when the CDR, en-block, withdrew their support from negotiations... Wasn’t this their raison d’être and their promise to the electorate?

No doubt before long the CDR will hold a ‘call to arms’ meeting to encourage the town to support their cause. Just remember this is not just about Rye, it is about RDC politics, whatever you may be encouraged to believe.

Cllr David Wright

Independent Rye Town Councillor

Landgate, Rye.