LETTER: Call for a public meeting is ignored

Your letters
Your letters

On September 26, 2013, you published an open letter from me to Mr Dawe, leader of Horsham District Council.

I expressed my concern that Horsham residents have not had the opportunity to meet him, Mrs Vickers, Mr Crowley and senior planners face to face to ask questions about the council’s proposals to develop the site north of the A264 for housing and a commercial/industrial park.

I asked Mr Dawe to arrange a town meeting before the close of the consultation process on October 11. I delivered my letter personally to the Council Offices on Monday September 23. To date, I have not had the courtesy of a reply nor an acknowledgement.

In the same edition, the Horsham Society asked for a town meeting which I understand has been refused.

Your edition of September 26 also carried an interview with Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty.UK (an American company) in cahoots with Mr Dawe and in line to wreck our greenfields.

He was asked whether he would meet the town in a public meeting. He gave the same sort of reply Mr Dawe gives in his column (p41) in the October 3 edition of your paper. ‘On the constructive side, there have been various meetings between council officers and groups of people who do not like the proposals… experience from the emotionally charged debate around the replacement leisure centre at Broadbridge Heath has shown such round table meetings to be highly beneficial’.

Beneficial to whom. It looks to the electors who pay Mr Dawe’s salary and those of other councillors, that he is afraid of meeting the public.

Maybe he is afraid of being asked about the process he had responsibility for when the Ian Howard plan that was ready to go to public consultation was suddenly dropped.

It all happened so quickly while Mr Dawe and Mrs Vickers in the cosy secrecy of the Strategic Planning Advisory Group meetings closed to the public hatched up in haste the current flawed Preferred Strategy.

At least Jim Rae had the courage and decency to attend a meeting in north Horsham and listen to what residents were saying. That took a bit of courage Mr Dawe.

Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON

Tennyson Close, Horsham