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Proposal for a separate Winchelsea Parish Council

Copies of various documents setting out arguments by supporters and opponents of the proposal for a separate parish of Winchelsea can be accessed below. All the documents are in PDF format. The most important documents are indicated. Hard copies of all the documents listed below are available for inspection in the Winchelsea Community Office.

If there is a document that is missing, please send a copy to the Winchelsea Community Office for posting on this website.

Background documents issued by Rother District Council

  • Report to Rother District Council’s Licensing and General Purposes Committee of 23rd March 2006 on proposal for a separate parish of Winchelsea. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Maps of civil parishes in Rother District and of Icklesham Parish and its wards. Click Here.
  • Rother District Council answers to “Key Questions” (June 2006). KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Review of Parishing Arrangements in Icklesham Parish. Report to Licensing and General Purposes Committee. KEY DOCUMENT. The full set of papers can be found on the District Council website.

Documents issued by the Parish of Winchelsea Action Group

  • Record of public meeting held in Winchelsea on 29th November 2004 to discuss the proposal for a separate parish. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Proposal to Rother District Council for a separate parish (15th April 2005). KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Response to Icklesham Parish Council “Working Group” meeting. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Insert into June issue of Rye Fixtures for Icklesham, Rye Harbour and Winchelsea Beach. Click Here.
  • Leaflet on “Frequently Asked Questions” about the proposal for a separate parish (9 June 2006). KEY DOCUMENT
  • Response to the (first) anonymous letter of 14 June 206 to residents from the ‘Silent Majority’”. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Response to the (second) anonymous letter of 23 June 206 to residents from the ‘Silent Majority’”. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Response to the Rother District Council Review of 16 November 2006. Click Here

Documents issued by other supporters of a separate parish council

  • Letter by residents of Winchelsea to Mrs Miers (Chair of Rother District Council’s Licensing and General Purposes Committee) of 24th May 2006 Click Here.

Documents issued by opponents of a separate parish council (including anonymous letters and posters)

  • Minutes of the Icklesham ParishCouncil “Working Group” meeting of 11th April 2006. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • See the response by the Parish of Winchelsea Action Group. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Minutes of the Icklesham Parish Council “Working Group” meeting of 19th April 2006 Click Here.
  • Anonymous poster in Rye Harbour Click Here.
  • Anonymous poster in Winchelsea Beach Click Here.
  • Leaflet to residents of Winchelsea Beach from Mr P Hurrell Click Here.
  • Anonymous letter to Winchelsea residents of 14th June 2006. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • See the response by the Parish of Winchelsea Action Group. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • Anonymous letter to Winchelsea residents of 23rd June 2006. KEY DOCUMENT.
  • See the response by the Parish of Winchelsea Action Group. KEY DOCUMENT.

Articles in Letters to the Rye Observer

  • 28 April 2006. Article on “Winchelsea in breakaway bid for own parish council” by Andy Hemsley. ”Click Here.
  • 30 April 2006. Letter from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 5 May 2006. Letter from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) and article on ”Winchelsea survey on council set-up” Click Here.
  • 19 May 2006. Letter from Knightley Chetwood (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 22 May 2006. Letter from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 26 May 2006. Letters from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) and DR Bourne (Winchelsea), and article on “Winchelsea breakaway consultation timetable” Click Here.
  • 2 June 2006. Letters from Iain Kerr (Icklesham) and D Bailey (Icklesham) Click Here
  • 4 June 2006. Letter from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 9 June 2006. Letters from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) and D Cameron-Clarke (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 16 June 2006. Letters from DR Bourne (Winchelsea), Chris Mears (Winchelsea), Iain Kerr (Icklesham) and Ann Rachlin MBE (Icklesham), and article on “Survey bid to determine future make-up of parish” Click Here.
  • 23June 2006. Article by the Winchelsea and Winchelsea Beach Village Voice and on “Breakaway petition gathering strength”, and letters by Iain Kerr (Icklesham), Chris Mears (Winchelsea), Mike Terry (Winchelsea) and Denise Shemeld (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 30 June 2006. Letters from Iain Kerr (Icklesham), JD Spencer (Winchelsea), David Morris (Winchelsea) and AJ Jasper (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 7 July 2006. Letters from Dominic Manning (Winchelsea) and Chris Mears (Winchelsea), and article on “Winchelsea win call for parish referendum” by Andy Hemsley Click Here.
  • 14 July 2006. Letters from Peta Cameron-Clarke (Winchelsea), SPM Detsicas (Winchelsea), Iain Kerr (Icklesham) and Ben Thompson (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 18 July 2006. Letter from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) Click Here.
  • 21 July 2006. Letter from Richard Comotto (Winchelsea) and the Village Voices for Icklesham (Laurie Bowman) and Rye Harbour (anonymous). Click Here.
  • 21 July 2006. Letters from Ann Rachlin MBE (Icklesham), I Sambrook (Winchelsea) and Iain Kerr (Icklesham). Click Here.
  • 4 August 2006. Article on "Not the first battle for independence". Click Here.
  • 4 August 2006. Articles on "Parish referendum rejects calls for 'Winchelsea split'", "Winchelsea should decide its own future" and "Stimulating debate good for local democracy". Click Here.
  • 4 August 2006. Letters from Ann Rachlin MBE (Icklesham) and Iain Kerr (Icklesham). Click Here.
  • 11 August 2006. Letters from David Morris (Winchelsea) and Derek Stevens (Rother District Council). Click Here.
  • 11 August 2006. Letter from DR Bourne (Winchelsea). Click Here.
  • 1 September 2006. Letter from AJ Jasper (Winchelsea). Click Here.
  • 22 September 2006. Article on "Rother officers discuss results of Winchelsea 'consultation'". Click Here.
  • 13 October 2006. Letter from Chris Mears (Winchelsea). Click Here.
  • 17 November 2006. Article on "Cautious Welcome for Parish Report" by Andy Hemsley. Click here.
  • 24 November 2006. Article on "Council defers parish decision" by Andy Hemsley. Click here.

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Chronology of events

1886 --- Winchelsea's local government, the historic Corporation of Winchelsea, was deprived of its civil and judicial powers under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1883. Although Winchelsea expected to become a parish on its own, it was merged under the Divided Parishes Act of 1882 into the Parish of Icklesham. Residents of Winchelsea were denied their lawful right to make representations and a legal challenge failed.

1952 --- Winchelsea Beach is transferred from the Parish of Pett to the Parish of Icklesham.

2000 --- Rother District Council undertakes a Review of Parish Boundaries and Electoral Arrangements ahead of the Local Government Commission's Periodic Electoral Review. 130 residents of Winchelsea make representations to Rother District Council in support of Winchelsea becoming a separate parish. Eight residents oppose the proposal. Rother District Council does not acknowledge any of the representations (contrary to its own code of practice). It is rumoured that the matter came before the District Council, but was buried after an intervention by Councillor Keith Glazier (District Councillor for the area that includes Winchelsea but a former Parish Councillor for Icklesham ward).

2004 --- A public meeting in Winchelsea on 29 November 2004 renews calls for a separate parish and agrees overwhelmingly to ask the District Council for a referendum. New representations are made by residents.

March 2006 --- Rother District Council announces a Review of Parishing Arrangements in Icklesham Parish in response to letters from residents of Winchelsea calling for a separate parish, but refuses a referendum in favour of a questionnaire.

July 27, 2006 --- A Parish Poll is called by residents of Winchelsea. Each ward of Icklesham Parish is asked “Do you wish your ward to become a separate parish?” Winchelsea votes 65% in favour: other wards vote against.

November 16, 2006 --- Rother District Council’s Licensing and General Purposes Committee considers the Review produced by officers --- which offers no recommendation --- and defers a decision until the implications of the White Paper on local government reform become clearer.