LETTER: Private meetings and public mood

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Cllr Vickers (‘Huge Risks if we have no plan’, 12.3.15, p34) writes ‘nothing further could be further from the truth’ about Dr Geoffrey Richardson’s accusation that she is ‘wilfully ignorant of the public mood’ with regard to the local plan. At least we know now that Cllr Vickers reads the letter column in your paper unlike former councillor Mr Mason who used to represent Storrington with Ray Dawe.

How on earth can she be a judge of public mood when she has never held a public meeting over her scheme to dump more than 2,500 houses north of the A264 on green land?

Oh she did have a meeting of her committee in public – but that was not a ‘public meeting’. She argued in your paper that rather than do that she would hold small group meetings which would give her a much better feel.

She changed the rules of her Planning Advisory Group to hold PPAG meetings in secret – so that members could say what they really wanted to say behind closed doors rather than let the public and press in.

She says ‘I along with other members of Horsham District Council have had to take some very difficult decisions’. I would imagine one of those was something like ‘how can I ensure I get re-elected in Southwater if all these houses are built here and that wretched football club comes to Hop Oast?’

Perhaps Cllr Vickers and her great leader Ray Dawe should find out what happened recently in Winchester. They lost the leader, deputy leader and the whole cabinet over a proposed housing development scheme through a judicial review.

Different issue but pretty powerful outcome with councillors not backed by a strong experienced officer team. Private Eye made it a regular feature.

ELIZABETH BARTNOVSKAYA (Mrs)

Heath Way, Horsham