From the leader, Cllr Doug Oliver – August 13, 2021

I, like many others, have watched in awe as young athletes pulled the most amazing, gravity defying tricks in the BMX and skateboarding competitions in the Olympics 2021.

The achievements of the GB Team in these arenas will no doubt have sparked an interest and inspired residents across Rother to try their hand at the sports.

We sincerely hope that we can play a part in developing this as both sports grow in popularity as a result of the Olympic Games, and that our planned BMX and skate park in Sidley recreation ground will become a focus for skateboarders and BMX riders from across the district and further afield.

A planning application for the ambitious project has now been submitted to our planning department for consideration, and our officers and councillors will work hard through the planning process to make sure the project benefits all. I would encourage people to give us their views on the plans and help us create something the district can be proud of.

We often talk about the importance of working in partnership, as we know that there are many issues that we can’t solve when working alone.  This was evident at the start of this month when we were notified of plans of a beach BBQ event at Camber Sands.

Despite events not being permitted on the beach and that information being shared on several occasions with the organiser, we were faced with the threat of coach loads of guests arriving at Camber Sands.

Sussex Police, Rother District Council officers and other partners worked hard to discourage the organiser from heading our way and I am delighted to say that their efforts paid off, with the event happening elsewhere.

We are always happy to speak to organisers of events about the most appropriate venues available to them, but we also ask them to respect the regulations in place to protect residents and visitors.

It’s been an extremely difficult year for our residents and businesses, with finances being hit hard by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and we know that, for many, their battle to recover continues.

As a council, we have also felt the strain of rising costs and reductions in income and our 2020/21 financial accounts reflect the challenging year we have experienced.

But it is encouraging to note that our finances were much healthier at the end of March than we had been predicting earlier in the year and we are progressing well with our plans to achieve financial stability.

With life beginning to return to normal, I hope that we can all get back on track and finally start to put the difficult 17 months behind us.

Published: 16th August 2021

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