County Times: first with the news

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The West Sussex County Times is first with the news.

In a letter to the newsdesk this week (July 9), a council official explains how she learnt of Horsham Football Club’s move from this website days before her parish council was officially informed.

Catherine Tobin, clerk to the council, Southwater Parish Council in Lintot Square, said: “I write in reference to the extensive coverage relating to the possible move by Horsham Football Club to the Hop Oast area which appeared in last week’s County Times.

“It is clear from the article, which first appeared on your website on June 29, that the district council had been involved in discussions relating to a new ground for some years.

“Indeed, the parish council also met Mr Borrett, chairman of the football club some years ago to hear the club’s future proposals, as part of a non-prejudicial pre-application process.

“It is therefore extremely regrettable that the parish council had to learn about these latest developments within its own parish from the electronic pages of a newspaper.”

She continued: “The district council did not publish a press release until July 1, and then only to its own councillors – could it be that even our local Southwater members were unaware of the ongoing discussions until this point?

“The parish council was not officially informed of events until July 3, by which time the horse had well and truly bolted from the unsupervised stable.”

The clerk added: “With all the much publicised vaunting of Localism, and its ethos of extensive consultation with residents and partner authorities alike, the parish council finds it inexcusable that the district council did not keep it informed of the ongoing situation.”