In Francis Maude’s column in the County Times (Horsham edition), he claimed that the Government’s long term economic plan is working ‘but there’s much more to do’.
George Osborne confirmed this in his budget when he lay the foundations for further cuts which will have a dramatic impact on our already beleaguered public services.
These planned cuts will mean in Horsham that we will have a reduced police force, an almost non-existent fire and rescue service and waiting times to visit both a GP and obtain non- emergency surgery will greatly increase.
This is all taking place at a time when Horsham’s population is set to increase by as much as 20 per cent. The Tories both nationally and locally refuse to recognise the mismatch between growing populations and cuts to vital public services.
Where is the sense in this? The government only understands ‘cuts’. Throughout history long term economic recovery has been built on the back of house building programmes and investment in infrastructure, thus creating jobs, incomes and higher tax receipts, which in turn has protected our vital public services.
Maude in his weekly column also introduced the recently selected Tory general election candidate, claiming that ‘there was no stronger or more talented candidate than Jeremy’.
The Conservative Party would appear to be a little short on said talent based on the performance of his successor at the CPRE Hustings which I attended last Saturday morning in the Drill Hall.
His performance included; not really understanding the definition of affordable housing, being unable to state whether he was pro or anti fracking and not understanding the issues relating to the A27.
When asked about food security and the challenges for British farming he replied that he thought that it is very difficult to buy a farm these days!
By contrast I can state that I oppose fracking and do not see it as a useful addition to our long term energy mix. I do not wish to see a dual carriageway built within the South Downs National Park and I do want to see governments and developers invest in social housing so that everyone in Horsham has a home appropriate to their need.
I also want to see government focus much more on food security, which will mean investing in a new generation of highly skilled, well remunerated farm and horticultural workers.
Planning was also a much discussed topic at the hustings and there was much talk about the need to restore the concept of planning being based on the needs and wishes of local residents.
Why then did both Tory and Lib Dem councillors recently ignore popular local opinion and vote against the planning application submitted by Horsham Town Football Club for a new home within the town?
It surely would have nothing to do with the fact that the site would make an excellent development plot for exclusive housing, well placed next to the golf club?
Labour parliamentary candidate for Horsham, c/o Wimblehurst Road, Horsham