LETTER: Brave action by cabinet member

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At the council meeting on June 24, questions from the public included one from Dr Geoffrey Richardson to the Leader of the Tory Group Cllr Ray Dawe.

There was a Motion in front of councillors to remove North Horsham from the district plan and restore Southwater as the main strategic housing site where it was until May 2013.

“Has any Cabinet member been whipped tonight with regards to this Motion and the definition of a ‘whip’ is that they will be punished with losing their cabinet job if they do not vote against the motion along with you Mr Dawe.”

Mr Dawe responded as he has done before, that cabinet loyalty is accepted by councils all over the country. “Cabinet members are expected to support existing policy of the council. If they don’t they will have to deal with the consequences.”

But then Cllr Andrew Baldwin stood up and said that he was told by leader Ray Dawe he would be sacked if he broke party lines and voted in favour of allocating 2,500 homes in the local plan from North Horsham to Southwater and Kingsfold... He said he was not prepared to give Mr Dawe the ‘satisfaction’ of sacking him.

The people in the gallery applauded Cllr Baldwin. It was a brave and memorable moment. Thank you Cllr Andrew Baldwin for putting residents first and before your political party.

ROGER BAKER

New Moorhead Drive, Horsham

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