I still meet electors who have not heard the result of the 4 May Rother District Council election and am aware nothing until now has gone out on the FRA email scheme.
Elections were held on 4 May 2023 for all Rother seats, with counting the next day.
The composition of the council is now –
|Party||Number of Seats|
|Rother Association of Independent Councillors||8 (+1)|
|Lib Dems||7 (no change)|
|Labour (6) + Lab & Co-Op (2)||8 (+6)|
In Southern Rother Tim Grohne (Con) and I (Lib Dem) were returned to represent the ward. I congratulate Tim on his election and commiserate with the unsuccessful candidates.
Councillors represent all electors, irrespective of party allegiance.
As before no one party has an overall majority, and an Alliance of Rother Association of Independents, Labour, Lib Dem and Greens is being formed.
The most significant features are the rise of Labour and the Greens, and the reduction in Conservative seats. Lib Dems retain the same number of seats as before (though some in different wards). Independents have increased by one.
In cabinet (a political body) Rother Association of Independents will have 4 seats, Labour 3, Lib Dems 2, Green one.
Unfortunately the two Lib Dems will be the only non-Bexhill cabinet members. By way of counterbalance one rural member, Cllr Sue Prochak MBE (Robertsbridge), will be joint Deputy leader with Cllr Christine Baylis (Lab, Bexhill). Cabinet portfolios will appear on the Rother website in due course.
In nearby wards there were some developments of note. Rye and Winchelsea returned two Labour members in place of a Lib Dem and a Conservative. There was no change in Eastern Rother (2 Cons) or Brede and Udimore (1 Con). In Seddlescombe and Westfield Jonathan Vine-Hall (RAI) stood aside and Beverley Coupar (RAI) was elected in his place together with sitting member Cllr Carl Maynard (Con) the Conservative group leader and our County Councillor. Jonathan Vine-Hall (previously planning chair) stood in Northern Rother but was unsuccessful.
I note that 16 of the 38 councillors are new to the role.
Chair and Committees
Cllr Vikki Cook will be Chair for the year, with Cllr Richard Thomas as Vice-Chair. Chair of the Council is a largely honorific and representational role, though the Chair presides over Full Council meetings and is an ex officio member of all committees.
Membership of committees is determined in proportion to each party’s representation on the council.
By tradition and following good practice the Overview & Scrutiny Committee is chaired by a member of the opposition party, in this case Cllr Paul Osborne (Con, Eastern Rother).
I (Andrew Mier) shall chair the planning committee but will not have Jonathan Vine-Hall’s planning policy brief, nor his place in cabinet. My fellow ward councillor Cllr Tim Grohne (Con) will join me on the planning committee
Membership of other committees will be available on the website – Agendas for the formal first meetings of Planning, Licensing, Overview and Scrutiny, and Human Resources are already available and contain the names of all proposed committee members.
Full election results and Councillors’ contact details are available on Rother’s website.
Cllr Andrew Mier