Bexhill will soon have its own Town Council – despite an 11th hour call for the idea to be postponed for another year.
The plan, which will see nine wards established, each represented by two councillors, was agreed at a Full Council meeting of Rother District Council.
Councillors voted 27-6 in favour of the scheme, which was subject to public consultations in 2017 and earlier this year. The first elections are expected to take place in May 2021.
Councillor Lynn Langlands told the meeting that half of Rother’s population was in Bexhill, yet they hadn’t had a voice since 1974.
“It’s time to allow Bexhill to have an identity and future that reflects the life and needs of the people who live there,” she said. “I’m fully in favour of it.”
However, Councillor Mary Barnes urged a decision to be delayed for 12 months due to the extra stress on Rother District Council staff when they’re already dealing with Covid-19.
“This is the wrong time to be talking about a council,” she said. “Please put it off for a year. Just let everybody gather their thoughts and let’s make it easier for our hard working officers.”
Councillor Christine Bayliss acknowledged finances were tight for many Bexhill families and stressed that major spending decisions will be left to those who are elected.
“If people are really concerned about spending and council taxes going up I urge them to stand and let’s have a proper debate about costs,” she said.