Every house in Eastbourne should have received a copy of the latest Eastbourne Review, according to Eastbourne Borough Council.
It is a topical copy of the council’s newsletter, including an opinion poll on whether the council should sell the freehold of four downland farms or cut public services.
The poll has come under criticism from activists who say it is biased and does not give enough time for people to return it, as well as Conservative councillors whose call for a referendum on the issue was voted down last week.
Residents are asked to fill in their choice and resend it freepost to the council for this Friday (March 3).
The polls, which are not legally binding but an indication to the council of public opinion, will be opened on Monday (March 6).
Council officer Peter Finnis, who is organising the poll, said so far he had only received an approximate number of around 750 polls back.
He said, “Any that come in right on the deadline will be accepted. We want to get as many back as possible.
“We have delivered 47,500, so 4,000-5,000 votes would be a 10 per cent return.
“The last batch were in the Ratton area over the weekend.
“No mail delivery is perfect, but I hope 99 per cent of people have had them.”
Mr Finnis added that, if the majority indicate they would prefer to sell the farms, this would not be used as an absolute validity for the council doing so.
He said, “Whilst the council leader has committed to reconsidering the whole issue of the downland farm sale if there is a strong public response against this option, a strong opinion in favour of the sale will not mean that it will definitely happen.
“It would merely endorse that the council is correct to continue consideration of it rather than reducing services which is a absolute reality on the back of the millions of pounds councils are losing in annual government grant.”
The Eastbourne Review is now available to view on the council website, and copies of the poll are available at the Tourist Information Centre and can be photocopied if necessary.