By-election timing ‘shows total lack of compassion’

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The decision to call a by-election by an opposition party has been branded ‘shameful’ by Horsham Conservative Association.

It was called for the West Sussex County Council division of Warnham and Rusper this week after Mick Hodgson died following a short battle with cancer last month, and will be held on Thursday October 24.

Nomination papers for candidates must be delivered to Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham, RH12 1RL, by noon on Friday September 27.

However a spokesman for Horsham Conservatives said: “With Mick’s funeral taking place only one week ago, it shows a total lack of compassion and respect for Mick’s family and friends to have called this by-election with such haste, giving no time to grieve or come to terms with such a loss.

“Under these circumstances it is normal custom and practice, not to mention common courtesy, to allow the incumbent party to call the by-election.

“In this instance it was called by an opposition party who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”

Applications to be added to the Register of Electors must reach the electoral registration officer, Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham, RH12 1RL by 5pm on Wednesday October 9.

A spokesperson from HDC said: “The election was requested by two registered electors, as required by legislation (in fact we had two separate requests each signed by two electors).

“There is no indication of, and we have no need to know, their political affiliation.”

For more information on the by-election or electoral registration, contact HDC on 01403 215126 or email elections@horsham.gov.uk