Council response was required

Apparently the West Sussex County Times cannot accommodate 2,000-plus words, so you will be pleased to hear that I have no wish to add any further information to that which was attributed to me on the letters column two-weeks ago!

Once again I write in a personal capacity to replace ‘fiction’ with ‘fact’.

Of course, Jane Cross in her letter ‘Acrimonious relationships’ (WSCT August 23) has every right to extol the positivity that she has heard and experienced about the Billingshurst Community Partnership. She may ‘share the views of Mr Lawes and Mrs Campbell’ (WSCT August 9), with regard to the appropriateness and inaccuracy of the parish clerk’s comments, but she, like them, will be sharing the same ‘inaccurate and inappropriate views’.

As explained previously, the parish clerk has to have approval from the parish council before she signs communications on their behalf. The particular letter to which Jane Cross refers was fully discussed and voted on by a committee of the council and was UNANIMOUSLY agreed by that committee. No communication on behalf of the council comes from the clerk in her personal capacity.

Jane Cross further implies that not all councillors were aware of the letter before publication. ALL councillors receive an agenda for each and every committee meeting even though they may not be a member of that particular committee.

Agendas are sent out a week before a committee meeting, to give members a chance to read and digest the items therein; agendas also appear on notice boards throughout the parish and on the parish council website. The addendum item to discuss the West Sussex County Times Eye Project coverage response went out to ALL councillors on July 19; it was on notice boards and added to the website that day.

Any councillor NOT on that particular committee has, like the public, every right to attend that committee meeting and speak in the public adjournment. Although not on the finance and general purposes committee and therefore not able to vote, I attended the meeting on July 25 after reading my agenda.

I believed a response was required from the parish council to the very inaccurate article and wanted to add my support for this response.

A councillor who could not attend because of family commitments sent in written comments which were duly read and discussed by the committee.

ALL councillors would have been aware from the agenda item that this response was to be discussed at the meeting.

To cast aspersions on the parish clerk’s integrity and professionalism is both acrimonious and spurious. It would appear Jane Cross’ shared views have little basis in fact and, as such are inappropriate and inaccurate.

LESLEY WILDING

Carpenters, Billingshurst