Horsham People’s Peace Party local issues

I AM WRITING because, as similar to all other Horsham District Council election candidates that don’t represent either the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem or UKIP parties, I would also like to give some press coverage to the main aspects of my election pledges.

Rather than waste time offering critiques of the failings of any of these parties and their candidates I prefer to describe the core local issues that I represent.

Firstly, and fundamental to any candidate that represents Horsham Park ward, is the lack of any representative community structure through which residents can be heard, such as a community or parish council.

The three neighbourhood councils of Denne, Forest and Trafalgar wards, were created prior to the creation of Horsham Park ward in 2003 and each of these ‘representative’ groups cut into the Park ward, leaving its residents with no council of its own, whilst the district council consults these three councils about issues within our own ward.

However, new legislation passed in 2007 has eased the way for the creation of community councils with legal powers and these are outlined in the booklet ‘Power to the People’ produced by the National Association of Local Councils.

I urge all residents and community groups within Park ward to unite to get this much-needed local council underway.

Financially, this could would be funded by the ‘town tax’ taken from you by Horsham District Council through your council tax, in addition to the tax that it already levies for its own purposes.

This amounts to some £35,000 from Park residents alone! It is widely known that community and parish councils have far lower operating costs so more of your money will be spent on causes that are of importance to Park residents.

Secondly, housing and the absolute need for affordable housing to rent and part-own is of paramount importance to many residents.

For too long we have relieved on large-scale private developments to deliver these as a percentage.

This is putting the cart before the horse and has become unsustainable and objectionable to most people. Local housing trusts are a proven way of delivering affordable housing without the unwanted large scale developments and should be encouraged.

Thirdly, health and the prevailing lack of nearby acute medical services. For too long residents have had to travel great distances not only to access these services but to visit family and friends who do. I wholly support any proposed new hospital in the Horsham area.

Fourth, the local economy needs a boost and I propose that Horsham becomes the centre for the development and manufacture of environmentally-friendly technology, such as heat source pumps and solar panels.

And finally, the Acorn service, despite a few glitches is wonderful and long may it stay!

JIM DUGGAN

People’s Peace Party candidate for Horsham Park ward of Horsham District Council

Bennetts Road, Horsham