I was very interested in your report on the six-week ‘period of representation’ which we are told will allow residents the chance to ‘have their say’, on Horsham District Council’s planning framework.
However, your article also points out that HDC does not make any alterations to the document, making this ‘period of representation’ a little pointless.
Ray Dawe, leader of Horsham District Council, states, ‘The location of more homes for the district’s population is always going to be a sensitive topic. We need them and the government says we must provide them’.
However, even the most unengaged and politically ‘blind’ must look around our area and wonder why we need more than 13,000 new houses and where, in this green and pleasant land, they are going to be built – but, as Ray Dawe says, ‘the Government says we must…’, so our elected representatives hold their secret meetings, use three line whips and punish anyone with a mind of their own and who believes in representing their constituents – and do as they are told by Central Office.
Claire Vickers, HDC’s cabinet member for living and working communities, states, ‘It has certainly raised some very passionate responses and these were seen in the discussions that took place, but it is clear from the large majorities on each of the votes that councillors believe that this is the right plan’.
Surely, every resident, every voter, must wonder what happened to the idea that people they vote for then represent their views – not the Central Government diktat. Not for our ‘representatives’ to arrogantly decide they know better than the, ‘mad, swivel eyed loons’, who voted for them.
Finally, despite all the ‘hard work’, by our district councillors this plan has to be approved by an unelected, remote, Planning Inspector.
This Conservative controlled district council and our Conservative controlled coalition Government appear to believe their promises to bring in smaller Central Government and local responsibility have been forgotten by the electorate or can be dismissed with ‘smoke and mirrors’.
The Government dictates we must carpet our beautiful countryside in concrete and asphalt with mass, uncontrolled, building. Central Government says, ‘we must’, and enforces with their unelected Inspectorate and their ‘lap dogs’ in local Government.