Rye View column is not political

I felt I should respond to Nick Warren’s letter on behalf of the Labour Party (Rye’s Observer 21 January), and correct some of the comments he made.

The first thing I have to say is that the CDR is a non-political organisation. Its aims are shared by a very large group of people in Rye of various political persuasions or none. One’s personal political affiliations are put to one side when its committee meets.

The Localism Bill is a much more robust piece of legislation than the “Power of Wellbeing” brought in by the previous government.

I drew attention to the Localism Bill in my column for the reason it is very much in the news and will have a big impact on communities and organisations up and down the country, and at various levels of local government.

It is true that the Liberal Democrats support the concept of the creation of Area Committees as another form of localism, but it must be remembered that all the main political parties support some form of devolution to the lower tier of government. I think it can be said that it is empowering local people with local solutions.

The impact of the Localism Bill on local finances remains to be judged, but there is still much detail to come out in the legislative process, so let us wait and see and not jump to conclusions.

I welcome the editor’s decision to approach the political parties to contribute a regular column in the Rye Observer. For my part I shall continue to highlight the main issues which arise in Rye and which concern its residents.

I do not use my column to promote the Liberal Democrats, but leave that to other correspondents. The aims of the CDR are well known and does not require any promotion on my part in my column.

It is interesting that the criticism of my column comes from the Labour Party but no one else.

Perhaps there is an election in the offing?

Cllr Granville Bantick

Udimore Road, Rye