An Eastbourne councillor is being asked to publicly withdraw a statement he made during an interview with Eastbourne Buzz about the proposed Downland farm sale.
During Saturday’s (25 February) protest at the Bandstand, Conservative Councillor, Barry Taylor, gave a passionate reaction against service cuts, which is the second option being tabled in the Eastbourne Review, as a bluff.
Statutory Monitoring Officer, Peter Finnis has said, “During the Eastbourne Buzz coverage of the Downland Farms sale protest march, an interview was conducted with Councillor Barry Taylor in which he stated that the council was bluffing with regard to service reductions and that what the council is doing is illegal. This is misinformation. The threat to service levels is a reality unless the council can generate additional revenue income to offset the loss of revenue grant. It can only achieve this by reinvesting capital in areas with higher revenue yield. The Downland farms are capital assets and the council is entitled to acquire or dispose of any such assets. Whilst this may be contentious, it is in no way illegal. As the council's monitoring officer, it is my role to ensure that elected members abide by required standards as set out in the National Code of Local Government Conduct. In publicly stating false information, Councillor Taylor is in breach of that code. Therefore, I would invite and strongly recommend Councillor Taylor to publicly acknowledge that his statement was incorrect."
Eastbourne Buzz has contacted Councillor Taylor and is awaiting his response.