Though you're correct regarding any requirement to observe purdah, when there are local elections, I suspect you rather underestimate the political gerrymandering reflex. They just can't help themselves. The makeup of the current Rother DC is atypical. 14 Con 13 Ind 7LD 3 Lab 1 Grn. With the rest in coalition, apparently as the 'Rother Alliance', the tories are the opposition. The population served by RDC was 86505 at the last census. If the decision on the A21 crossing isn't finalised before the next LA elections, things could get (relatively) interesting.