Rother District
Rother shown within East Sussex
Rother shown within East Sussex
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyEast Sussex
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQBexhill-on-Sea
Incorporated1 April 1974
Government
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyRother District Council
 • LeadershipLeader and Cabinet
 • MPsHuw Merriman
Sally-Ann Hart
Area
 • Total197.6 sq mi (511.8 km2)
 • Rank77th (of 296)
Population
 (2021)
 • Total93,429
 • Rank255th (of 296)
 • Density470/sq mi (180/km2)
 • Ethnicity
98.1% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code21UG (ONS)
E07000064 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ7388508555

Rother is a local government district in East Sussex, England. Its council is based in Bexhill-on-Sea. The district is named after the River Rother which flows within its boundaries.

The neighbouring districts are Wealden, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Folkestone and Hythe, and Hastings. Aside from its coast, Hastings is surrounded by Rother.

History

The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It covered the area of three former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[1]

The new district was named Rother after the River Rother which flows through the district.[2]

Governance

Rother District Council
Rother District Council logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Vikki Cook,
Liberal Democrat
since 24 May 2023
Doug Oliver,
RAOIC
since 22 May 2019[3]
Structure
Seats38 councillors
Political groups
Rother Alliance (24)
  RAOIC (8)
  Labour (8)
  Liberal Democrat (7)
  Green (3)
Other parties (12)
  Conservative (10)
  Independents (2)
Elections
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
2027
Meeting place
Town Hall, London Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 3JX
Website
www.rother.gov.uk

Rother District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by East Sussex County Council.[4] The whole district is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[5]

Political control

The council has been under no overall control since the 2019 election, being led by a coalition called the 'Rother Alliance' comprising Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens and some of the independent councillors.[6] The independents in the Rother Alliance formed a local political party in January 2023 called the 'Rother Association of Independent Councillors' (RAOIC).[7]

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[8][9]

Party in control Years
Independent 1974–1979
No overall control 1979–1983
Conservative 1983–1991
No overall control 1991–1999
Conservative 1999–2019
No overall control 2019–present

Leadership

The leaders of the council since 2001 have been:[10]

Councillor Party From To
Ivor Brampton[11] Conservative 17 Jan 2001
Graham Gubby[12] Conservative 2001 6 May 2007
Carl Maynard[13] Conservative 23 May 2007 22 May 2019
Doug Oliver Independent 22 May 2019 31 Jan 2023
RAOIC 31 Jan 2023

Composition

Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:[14]

Party Councillors
Conservative 10
Rother Association of Independent Councillors 8
Labour 8
Liberal Democrats 7
Green 3
Independent 2
Total 38

The next election is due in 2027.

Premises

The council is based at Bexhill Town Hall on London Road in Bexhill, which was built in 1895 for the Bexhill Urban District Council, which became Bexhill Borough Council in 1902. The building continued to serve as the seat of local government following the reorganisation in 1974 which created Rother District.

Elections

See also: Rother District Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2019 the council has comprised 38 councillors representing 21 wards, with each ward electing one or two councillors. Elections are held every four years.[15]

Parishes

See also: List of civil parishes in East Sussex

The lowest level of local government is the civil parish; there are 34 within Rother. The parish councils for the three parishes of Battle, Bexhill-on-Sea and Rye take the style "town council". The two parishes of Ashburnham and Penhurst share a grouped parish council. The parish of East Guldeford has a parish meeting rather than a parish council due to its small population.[16][17]

Geography

Rother District covers two areas of relief: to the south, a section of the High Weald; and to the north the lower land, named the Rother Levels, across which flow the River Rother, which rises on the Weald and flows easterly towards Rye Bay, and its tributaries. For much of the course of the main river it constitutes the boundary between East Sussex and Kent, and is given the alternative title of the ’’Kent Ditch’’. Tributaries of the river include the Rivers Dudwell, Tillingham and Brede.

The district reaches the coast in the vicinity of Bexhill, and on the shores of Rye Bay.

Climate

Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[18]

Climate data for Rother, UK
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
11
(52)
13
(55)
17
(63)
19
(66)
23
(73)
22
(72)
18
(64)
14
(57)
10
(50)
7
(45)
14
(57)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1
(34)
1
(34)
3
(37)
4
(39)
6
(43)
9
(48)
12
(54)
11
(52)
9
(48)
6
(43)
3
(37)
1
(34)
6
(43)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 43
(1.7)
30
(1.2)
28
(1.1)
43
(1.7)
28
(1.1)
41
(1.6)
89
(3.5)
38
(1.5)
61
(2.4)
48
(1.9)
43
(1.7)
66
(2.6)
550
(21.8)
Average precipitation days 21 19 22 20 16 19 16 16 19 22 21 21 232
Source: Weatherbase[19]

Demographics

Rother has one of the oldest populations (with a median age of 52 years)[20] and the lowest per capita income[21] in the UK.

Transport

There are several main roads crossing the district. The major trunk road is the A21, London to Hastings road; it is joined by the A28 road from Ashford road near Hastings; which in turn is crossed by the A268 Hawkhurst to Rye road. There is also the A259 coastal route

The Hastings Line, East Coastway Line and the Marshlink Line are the three railway lines in the District; The Kent and East Sussex Railway tourist line terminates at Bodiam.

Long-distance footpaths include the Sussex Border Path; and the Saxon Shore Way, which links with the 1066 Country Walk.

Landmarks

Major landmarks include Bodiam and Camber Castles; and Battle Abbey.

References

  1. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 31 May 2023
  2. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  3. ^ "Council minutes, 22 May 2019" (PDF). Rother District Council. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  5. ^ "Election maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Rother District Council's new leader confirmed as parties form alliance". www.bexhillobserver.net. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Rother Association of Independent Councillors". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  8. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  9. ^ "England council elections". BBC News Online. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Council minutes". Rother District Council. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  11. ^ "Death of leader - statement from Rother DC". Local Government Chronicle. 22 January 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Gubby to stand down". Sussex World. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  13. ^ "New leaders of Rother are crowned". Sussex World. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  14. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "The Rother (Electoral Changes) Order 2016", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2016/1236, retrieved 25 June 2023
  16. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  17. ^ "Parish council contact details". Rother District Council. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  18. ^ Climate Summary for Rother, UK
  19. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on July 9, 2013.
  20. ^ ONS - Median age for local authorities, mid 2015
  21. ^ ONS https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2018 and data tables

50°50′59.24″N 0°28′13.81″E / 50.8497889°N 0.4705028°E / 50.8497889; 0.4705028