Rye must not be bullied

Your comment editorial about the Rye allotments last week hits the nail on the head: WHY is Rother so hell-bent on retaining ownership of community property that should be administered by our own Town Council?

All allotments in the UK are normally the property and responsibility of Town and Parish Councils.

From a briefing paper circulated to District Councillors, we already know that Rother District Council had been advised against the return of the land because it might prove valuable to a speculator or building consortium.

Thanks again to the Freedom of Information Act, Mary Smith has now dug out the truth not only about the classification of Rye’s Allotments (THEY ARE STATUTORY) but also about the sale of allotment land in Love Lane to East Sussex County Council in the 1990’s - made without any recorded opposition by the then Rye Town Council. Since the allotments were statutory, this sale appears to have been illegal, as was pointed out by your reporter, Andy Hemsley.

So far, so bad. But now our County Councillor pours fuel on that fire by accusing the Chair of Rye Town Council Planning Committee, Adam Smith, of provoking concern about road safety issues in the debate about Rye’s intended supermarket.

Cllr. Adam Smith, thankfully for Rye, was doing his job in a detailed and highly responsible way. We are all desperate for a new supermarket - none of us want a dangerous or ugly hotchpotch.

Nothing could more clearly illustrate Rye’s lack of independence than the deplorable handling of these issues by Rother and East Sussex. It is high time Rye debated and decided these matters for herself.

That is why you elected a new Town Council. And let us hope that no Rye Town Councillor is going to give way to the bullying of either Bexhill or Lewes.

Dr Keith Taylor; John Howlett Campaign for a Democratic Rye.