Pilot Officer Alfred Davies gave his life for democracy and for the people of Bexhill and Hastings on October 30, 1940.
Recently, Rother District Council (RDC) organised voting for the name of the new Bexhill to Hastings link road with the intention (presumably) that the name with the most votes would be selected.
At least, that would seem to be a reasonable conclusion as to the purpose of the exercise. However, Rother District Council have now released some details of the votes cast.
Combe Valley Way (the one selected) got 198 votes.
Pilot Davies Way got 349 votes.
Robert Wood Way got 902 votes. This was a late addition to the process and was equally worthy given that Robert Wood was a local soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Combe Valley Way was second from the bottom with the lowest (King Harold Way) getting 131 votes. Kingsway got 243 and Viking Way got 364.
So, Pilot Davies Way was out-voted anyway and that is fair enough - although I am still waiting for the figures on Spitfire Link and Pilot Alfred Davies Way - both of which intended to honour Pilot Officer Davies. I’d have thought that those votes, when aggregated with Pilot Davies Way, would take the vote to honour Plt Off Davies way above 364 and making it second in the rankings - albeit that it was way behind the very deserving Robert Wood Way.
And so, ignoring the public’s wishes, RDC and its elected members decided to go for Combe Valley Way - some 704 votes behind Robert Wood Way.
I am struggling to come to grips with how this represents the democracy for which Robert Wood or Alfred Davies died. Equally, I’m struggling to grasp what the whole point of the exercise was if the vote wasn’t listened to, anyway, and the second-to-last name in the voting process was chosen in the face of the public’s clearly stated wishes.