LETTER: Focus now on best possible facilities

Now we know that despite the honourable attempt by our local MP to get a new hospital for Horsham, potentially on the back of some ‘incentive’ from developers, it is as many of us suspected, unlikely to happen.

With major facilities at Haywards Heath developed under the direction of the last Government and similar facilities in Brighton and Worthing, a new Horsham hospital was always going to be very hard to justify.

What we must now focus on is getting the best possible facilities and service for those treatments that both Horsham and Crawley Hospital can provide,

including an extension to the excellent walk in clinics; which I am currently having to use regularly.

In addition we must improve the access time to East Surrey Hospital.

With, albeit a Conservative-led Coalition Government, and Surrey, Kent and West Sussex county councils all currently Conservative administrations, it should not be too hard for our Horsham MP as a member of Cabinet to persuade his Secretary of State for Transport colleague to get the Highways Agency to add an East Surrey Hospital access from the M23.

That action alone would reduce the Horsham to East Surrey journey time by ten or more minutes and help save life in the critical magic hour post incapacitation or injury, whilst also easing the journey for patients and visitors on more routine visits and would therefore potentially get powerful support.

The fact that on the back of the failure of the hospital proposal, two Horsham District Council Conservative council members, including the chairman-elect, object to ‘a meaningless 40 percent low cost housing element to every major development and encourage instead the types of dwellings developers know they can sell’ merely serves to confirm how arrogant and out of touch some of the Conservative members of HDC are with the needs of real working people and the community in Horsham.

That policy just adds to the Thatcher legacy of bribery in selling off the council housing stock and then failing to replace it!

Will more gated communities of the well-off and aspirant really help Horsham to grow as a balanced and caring society?

Where do Messrs Burgess and Mitchell think that those essential members of society that are required to meet the needs of every day life in Horsham District, such as nurses, policemen, firemen and others including ‘the butcher the baker and candlestick makers’, who cannot ever hope to afford the £400,000-plus cost of the homes that developers know they can sell, are going to live?

Or will those sellable houses all create communities that exist in stark isolation like those in the US and South Africa guarded behind gates and served by the remote delivery of the Ocado van?

If ever there was an example of why Horsham needs a change of direction and leadership Mr Mitchell has provided it; as no amount of divine intervention is going to resolve their policy focus!

LAURIE PRICE

Smithbarn, Horsham