LETTER: Never put party before electorate

Your letters
Your letters

Doubtless the champagne glasses were clinking in the Tory fold following the results of the local elections.

And it would be churlish not to offer one’s congratulations to all those who were elected to office. The electorate of Horsham District has spoken and we must respect their decision in the hope that the biggest majority in the council’s history will aim to serve all their constituents - irrespective of their individual party loyalties.

But the overwhelming Tory victory looks like evidence of how little the public is now willing to tolerate compromise of any sort; the message that hit home hardest during the campaign was the virtual wipe-out of the Liberal-Democrat opposition which acted as a brake on some of the more controversial Conservative policies.

In what we like to call a democracy, surely that is healthy as it ensures that minority views at least have a voice in the council chamber in order to argue their case.

Decisive, single-party administrations are difficult to hold to account without a strong, vocal opposition and at times during the last Conservative administration, it was your newspaper that took the initiative for more open, transparent governance - especially in relation to the planned housing and industrial development to the north of Horsham. Two cheers for democracy!

The democratic path is often messy - demanding compromise - but for all its faults, it appears to be the best political system on offer.

So when all the Tory celebrations have died down, let us hope that they will express a generosity of spirit to all the people who voted and, above all, listen attentively to them before arriving at a decision.

It is just possible that a policy - even one taken by the largest majority in the council’s history - could at times be wrong but still go through on the nod.

So with this in mind, it is vital that members of the new administration think - and think again - before casting their vote - never putting party before the good of their electorate.

To do otherwise would be an act of betrayal.

ROBERT B. WORLEY

Bourns Court, Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham

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