It was very brave of Cllr Christian Mitchell (Holbrook West) to take the stand he has done at Horsham District Council (HDC) and I was in agreement with his piece: ‘We need to focus on what matters to people’ (20.3.14).
I support your paper’s campaign: ‘Fighting for free speech’ – it is long overdue at HDC. The public must have a chance to rattle the cage of this autocratic tiger that is in our midst and poisoning local council affairs.
I also support calls by several of your readers’ letters for the key figures in the whole toxic affair (Cllr Ray Dawe, Claire Vickers, Helena Croft, Jim Rae, Philip Circus, Kate Rowbottom, John Chidlow and Brian O’Connell) to resign.
I was troubled at the publication of the anonymised letter: ‘Leadership must change at HDC’ as this must speak volumes for the author of their letter.
I deplore what Cllr Ray Dawe is doing since he assumed the leadership of the Conservatives at HDC.
People who write letters to your paper do so knowing their name and brief address details will be published.
So readers must be asking why did this writer want to remain anonymous? We might conclude he/she is an employee of HDC totally fed up with the way things have deteriorated under the present political leadership into an administration run of intimidation, fear, bullying and retribution.
If we are serious about radically altering the culture of our local council then councillors will have to do what Cllr Christian Mitchell did – be open and honest with their electorate.
Since the ‘Cabinet system’ was introduced backbenches appear to have a much-reduced role. It is time that changed and that they did something about it.
It takes courage to speak out and now is the time to do that. Councillors must examine their consciences and ask themselves can they possibly continue in this way.
For those councillors intending to face the electorate in May 2015 they need to think about what action they individually took in response to what the electorate is saying to them at this difficult time.
Tennyson Close, Horsham