LETTER: Nothing more than grandstanding

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The kindest comment I can make concerning Peter Grace’s diatribe (Letters 6th March) about my conduct of the last Horsham District Council meeting is that he simply doesn’t know what he is talking about.

I did not ‘pull rank’ but carried out my duty as chairman to apply the rules of the council. Indeed, so members understood the position, I asked the chief executive to make a statement explaining to members why the rules of the council did not permit a discussion or debate concerning the nomination issue.

If Mr Grace was better informed, he would also know that previously I have been criticised for allowing debates to run on, rather than for stopping members from speaking.

I have done that deliberately at every council meeting so that instead of closing down discussion, every member who wants to speak in a debate has every opportunity to do so.

And if he still thinks it’s still a Conservative stitch-up, perhaps he can explain why I led the move within the Conservative Group two years ago to nominate a Liberal Democrat, Cllr Leonard Crosbie, as my immediate predecessor as chairman.

Finally, the protestations of opposition members that they did not know what was going on was disingenuous to say the least.

The leader of the opposition was fully briefed by the leader of the council on the change in the majority group nomination before the council meeting took place.

So the protestations at the meeting were nothing more than political grandstanding.

PHILIP CIRCUS

(Con, Chanctonbury) Chairman, Horsham District Council, North Street, Horsham