I wholeheartedly support the sentiment behind your launch of a ‘Free Speech Charter’. However, the small clique of headstrong Conservative councillors who are using the ‘whipping system’ and council rules to stifle any opposition to their own views must themselves be targeted by their electorate.
It is significant that the majority of these councillors, although some live in and around Horsham, represent rural wards outside Horsham town itself.
Their electorate are therefore not directly involved with or, more importantly, affected by the proposed development north of the town.
It is for these rural voters in particular, but also for us all, to make clear to all our local representatives that they must listen to and represent our views.
The current party and closed cabinet system in local government makes it difficult for voters to choose who to vote for to ensure their voice is heard.
Unless the present culture is changed, there is a clear need for a protest vote against the ruling clique of Tory councillors in the forthcoming 2015 local election.
The ‘Free Speech Charter’ might work to this end. Councillors who do not represent the views of their electorate have no business in local government.
DOUGLAS DE WILTON
Coniston Close, Horsham