LETTER: Candidate for change and reform

Your letters
Your letters

I have a keen interest in local government, having even studied politics at college, and have been a parish councillor for Pulborough since 2012 during which time I have abided by my principles of honesty, accountability, transparency and democracy, and I have never claimed a single penny in expenses.

But after recent unfolding events surrounding the Christian Mitchell fiasco and the County Times’ launch of its ‘Free Speech’ Campaign, I now wish to become a district councillor so that I can better represent the residents of Pulborough, Nutbourne, Hardham, Watersfield and Coldwaltham.

I once heard someone say ‘If you don’t vote, don’t complain. If you do vote and nothing changes, stand for election’.

This quote summarises my feelings accurately – I want to see the change and reform so desperately needed at Horsham District Council, but voting for the same party politicians every five years will not achieve this.

Horsham District Council is plagued by a culture of complacency. The people of Pulborough and Coldwaltham deserve a councillor with a true and honest desire to represent them free of party whips and secret courts.

They deserve someone with the freedom and genuine desire to speak up on their behalf – to listen and not dictate. All the while Horsham District Council is dominated by party politics it will be the duty for all of us Independent candidates, if elected, to be the voice of reason and democracy not just for our own respective wards, but for the District as a whole.

We need to see a return to ‘Planning by People’ and not ‘Planning by Politics’. At a time when District-wide strategic planning decisions are unfairly influenced by the all too powerful South Downs contingent of the Conservative Bloc, I wish to strike at the very heart of this political dominance and bring a voice of understanding, reason, honesty, integrity and representation for all.

I understand that houses need to be built in the District, but all the while we have enough empty properties, brownfield sites and urban infill to more than meet the District’s housing need, I vow to do my utmost to defend any greenfield land under threat of unnecessary development, and I promise to ensure that developments permitted deliver real benefits to existing communities rather than simply financial gains for local authorities.

Furthermore, official figures show that 5.2 per cent of all adult deaths in the District in 2011 were directly attributable to air pollution, and so I also promise, if elected, to fight hard for our right to breathe clean air.

I promise to tackle the established issues in Cowfold and Storrington and to also expose the truth about the seriousness of the problem in Pulborough – a problem that one of our current ward councillors admitted at a meeting on 17th July 2012 that Horsham District Council has been ‘all hiding it for the moment’.

I am not afraid to question decisions and challenge wrongdoing and injustice, and so I ask for the residents of Pulborough and Coldwaltham to give me that opportunity to do so on your behalf from next year.

MARTIN DALE

Codmore Hill, Pulborough