Tone of councillors was ‘appalling’ - say Labour Party

Pictured Carol Hayton and Ray Chapman, part of Labour's team handing out leaflets in the Carfax last weekend'Horsham Labour Party 15/10/11

Pictured Carol Hayton and Ray Chapman, part of Labour's team handing out leaflets in the Carfax last weekend'Horsham Labour Party 15/10/11

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A spokesperson from the Labour Party in Horsham has taken issue with the tone of some contributions by Horsham district councillors in a debate over gypsy and traveller sites discussed in a development control north committee last Tuesday.

Carol Hayton believed that some HDC members were in breach of the council’s own equality and diversity policy.

She said: “Questioning of the cultural background, motivation and integrity of the applicants and their agents is surely unacceptable in any council forum and particularly unacceptable in a public one.

“A diverse group of people were present in the public gallery at that meeting, including members of the travelling community. The tone taken by some councillors when referring to the applicants was offensive and shameful.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “The matter will be dealt with in accordance with Horsham District Council’s complaints procedure and a response will be sent to the complainant in the usual way.”

However, the application for use of land for a stationary caravan and dayroom utility block in Deer Park Farm, in Hampers Lane, was rejected on the grounds of being within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Meanwhile the application in Barns Green was approved without dissent with the endorsement of both local members, while the application in Rusper Road was given temporary planning permission, even though members believed it was the wrong location.