LETTER: Change forced by concerns

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At Council on April 27 Horsham District Council leader Cllr Ray Dawe and his cabinet cabal well and truly had their wings clipped (WSCT, 5.5.16, p4) by vice-chairman Cllr Christian Mitchell and backbenchers such as Cllr Connor Relleen (Con, Horsham Park) who have led the charge that Cllr Dawe’s run council is undemocratic and not transparent in its decision making.

The report before Council followed the outcome of a review of the Constitution which was forced upon Cllr Dawe by an outpouring of public and backbench councillors’ dissatisfaction going back to when Cllr Dawe assumed office in 2012.

I myself put a question to Cllr Dawe last September at Council demanding that change take place in how council meetings and business are conducted.

I’ve read the quotes of Cllr Dawe and his cabinet gang of Cllr Brian Donnelly (Finance) and Cllr Chowen (Arts & Leisure) at the Council meeting as reported in this paper (5.5.16, p4).

Cllr Brian Donnelly (who represents Pulborough and Coldwaltham) tried his best to deny that there were any secret meetings, of the cabinet and committees and that these were silly stories in this newspaper!

Cllr Donnelly takes the public for fools. If there were no meetings that neither the public nor the press nor even backbench councillors knew about then why was his great leader Cllr Dawe forced after three years of campaigning by this newspaper and backbench councillors to present a report to council with the clear and unambiguous Recommendations to change the Council’s Constitution so that: ‘all key decisions will be made by the Cabinet meeting in public’.

This was the second of three recommendations Cllr Dawe was forced into under sustained pressure and is on page 57 of the Council papers (horsham.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/32135/Agenda_160427.pdf)

Congratulations to Cllr Christian Mitchell and others such as Cllrs Peter and Karen Burgess, Liz Kitchen, Toni Bradnum, Andrew Baldwin, Connor Relleen, John Bailey for keeping up the pressure on Cllr Dawe and his cabinet over the past three years. This is unlike other backbenchers Cllr Adrian Lee and Cllr Mathew French whose silence on Cllr Dawe and his cabinet has been deafening.

Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON

Tennyson Close, Horsham

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