Newhaven Town Council against parks and spaces proposal

A consultation into how parks and open spaces are paid for is proving unpopular with Newhaven Town Council.

It is objecting strongly to the proposals from Lewes District Council to change the way local people pay for the upkeep of open spaces.

The district council wants to vary the amount it charges through its share of the council tax to residents in different parts of the district, according to how many of the local open spaces are looked after by the district council.

The town council said this meant the district council share of the council tax in certain areas, particularly rural areas, would be reduced, but charges to residents in Newhaven and Lewes would be increased.

The town mayor of Newhaven, councillor Julie Carr said: “Many of the open spaces in Newhaven are not just used by local residents – they are used by residents across the district.

“In addition, Newhaven is one of the most deprived areas in the district and it is unfair for the district council to charge more to our residents in order that residents in more affluent areas can benefit from reduced council tax bills.”

The town council said when local government was reorganised in 1974 the district council chose to take on ownership of many of the recreation grounds in Newhaven, rather than allowing the town council to take control of them.

Cllr Carr added: “This was presumably because our recreation grounds were large and it was felt to be cheaper for residents that way due to economies of scale. Why has this idea been forgotten now?”

The district council has yet to make a decision on the proposals.