Letter: ‘Out of touch with community mood’

WITH regard to councillor Roger Paterson’s response to our petition and concern over the ever changing Hurst Road, Horsham, car parking fee hike (County Times Horsham edition January 19), I took exception to the fact he thinks a 50 per cent increase is ‘small’.

I also wonder how anyone simply parking their car to go to the gym or the park at Hurst Road could agree with Mr Paterson that paying an increase five times more than inflation will give a ‘huge improvement to the experience of car parking’.

Common sense being shown by the council in relation to the fee increase at this particular location seems to be playing second fiddle to the money grab from those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym or the park.

One slight problem with the council’s short sighted approach is that the very likely decrease in membership at the recreation facility will hurt the council directly as it owns the building! Can’t say they haven’t been told.

In addition, I have now written to Claire Vickers, chairman of HDC, pointing out that a 50 per cent fee hike may be a small increase for Mr Paterson, however I am very confident he is misreading the community mood on what is considered a ‘small’ increase.

This shows complete indifference towards the community.

My letter to Mrs Vickers concludes:

‘The council still has not answered the gross incompetence shown in the almost daily fee changes that were being listed at the Hurst Road car park last week and as far back as November, nor the fact that the huge fee increase is contrary to one of HDC’s key goals: healthier lifestyle.

‘I would suggest that you have a word with councillor Paterson, as it is not acceptable to grab money inappropriately from Hurst Road users, when they will not share in the ‘more enjoyable’ experience when parking at the Pavilions (Hurst Road) in Horsham. He is certainly out of touch with the community mood.’

Dr SUSAN MICHAELIS

Hurst Road, Horsham