LETTER: Meeting is being highly controlled

Your letters
Your letters

You reported in last week’s paper (30/1/14) that the meeting called by councillor Claire Vickers on Thursday, 13 February at 5.30pm is ‘...a meeting in public and not a public meeting’.

What a joke! Councillor Vickers is clearly unhappy about having the sort of meeting held by North Horsham Parish Council last September: this was ‘...a public meeting…’ where any member of the public could stand up and ask whatever question they wanted to ask.

This meeting is being highly controlled. Questions have to be submitted in advance so that HDC’s replies can be prepared by planning officers and with just a 20 minute slot and ten questions that means two minutes each for question and answer.

Then the public have to listen to presentations from consultants handpicked by the officers and Cabinet. It sounds to me like an evening of hard sell akin to that at a timeshare meeting.

What is proposed cannot be described as ‘consulting the public’. The inspector will not be impressed by councillor Vickers’ record of holding meetings in secret, poor consultation with the public compared with other councils and when under public pressure holding a meeting – but a ‘meeting in public’ not a public meeting.

TONY HOGBEN

Old Holbrook, Horsham