New scrutiny chairman elected

HDC Independent councillor for Steyning George Cockman
HDC Independent councillor for Steyning George Cockman

Independent councillor George Cockman has replaced Liberal Democrat David Sheldon as chairman of the Horsham District Council Scrutiny and Overview (S&O) committee.

The post has to be held by independent or opposition party member and Mr Sheldon (Denne) was chairman for five years.

David Sheldon, HDC Liberal Democrat councillor for Denne

David Sheldon, HDC Liberal Democrat councillor for Denne

Mr Cockman (Ind, Steyning), who was first to be chairman of S&O committee when the cabinet system was introduced in 2000, was elected again at the committee’s last meeting in May.

He said: “David has done a brilliant job and we see things in a similar way. S&O has a vital function, in particular we usually have several working groups and we look at specific issues.

“It’s very valuable work and I reckon if you came into one of those meetings, you wouldn’t know who was a LibDem, Conservative or Independent. You just throw party politics out and work together.”

Mr Sheldon said: “I am disappointed not to be re-elected. I believe scrutiny is a really good way of making the current system work.

“There are two roles of scrutiny - calling the cabinet to account, but also a role in looking at issues which cut across several authorities. There has been some fantastic work in scrutiny and it’s a shame the public only see the final result.

“George believes in scrutiny, has concern about social issues and will drive some of those forward.”