LETTER: Sad fact that we need Charter

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With regard to the proposal for the obliteration of the remaining greenfields North of Horsham (NHSD) on 2,500-5,000 houses, crematoria, yet another empty (500, 000 sq ft!) business/industrial park, a Morrisons, new schools (which will disrupt local catchment area causing North Horsham residents to lose eligibility for Millais and Forest), I wish to note that local residents are watching those councillors who have not signed up to your Free Speech Charter, which would promote the knowledge of this build and its alternatives (at least two viable other strategies are on the table!) amongst local residents and the ability of councillors to vote conscientiously - this April.

Looking at those that currently hold office at Horsham District Council I was very pleased to see that Cllr Tricia Youtan (Vice Chairman for 2014/15) has signed, as has the immediate former Chairman, Leonard Crosbie (2012/13) along with the current Vice Chairman, Christian Mitchell (2013/14) who was deposed on the instructions of Ray Dawe, with his deputy Helena Croft, following Cllr Dawe’s email to him in September 2013 (as reported 6/3/14).

However, Cllr Philip Circus, the current Chairman of Council, still has not signed or spoken on the Free Speech Charter. This is the same Cllr Circus that had the police called because an esteemed local resident Dr G. Richardson insisted that a Cabinet member answer his question (about NHSD!) in a council meeting in December 2013, the same Cllr Circus who physically stood up and metaphorically ‘stamped his feet’ at Cllr Frances Haigh, the new Lib Dem Leader, at her first meeting in office as leader of the opposition, when she dared to ask why a three line whip had been imposed on the de-selection of Christian Mitchell as Chairman because he spoke out against the proposed development in North Horsham, rightly representing his constituents’ opposition to this build.

Cllr Circus’ silence says it all. Who would have thought that in the United Kingdom in the 21st century we’d have needed such a Charter in local government? But it’s a sad fact however that at Horsham District Council we do.

I. ROHVARGER (Mrs)

Pondtail Road, Horsham