Francis Maude MP wrote last week (8.5.14, p45, County Times Horsham edition) about the procedures at Horsham District Council (HDC) under its leader Cllr Ray Dawe and his deputy leader Cllr Helena Croft (Roffey North). Mr Maude gave the pair his support by stating: ‘I don’t think there’s anything at all improper in our system in a whipped vote.’
Cllr Peter Burgess revealed at the council meeting held in February 2014 that the vote for dumping Cllr Christian Mitchell as chairman of council for this year as punishment for speaking out on the issue of North Horsham was subject to a ‘three line whip’ by the local Conservative council leadership of Mr Dawe.
Cllr Christian Mitchell wrote in February 2014 that Mr Dawe and Mrs Croft presided over a secret court last autumn to try to gag him from speaking out.
Clearly Mr Maude condones the behavior of Mr Dawe and Mrs Croft for punishing a fellow councillor for having the temerity to speak up for residents and in Mr Maude’s own words regarding the use of the whip doesn’t see ‘anything improper’ in that at all?
I have found the whole affair at HDC an eye opener and the political culture there is one I do not care for at all.
For the first time in a long while Mr Maude has written about an important local issue and his frankness and insight into his values makes a refreshing change.
But now with 12 months before the general election Mr Maude’s article has helped make my mind up which parliamentary candidate for Horsham I won’t be voting for.
Gorringes Brook, Horsham