LETTER: Very serious to preserve District

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Horsham District Council (HDC) will vote on its ‘Proposed Strategy’ on Wednesday evening April 30th (Council Offices 6pm).

What happens then? If the plan is rejected then it’s back to the drawing board for Cllrs Dawe, O’Connell, Vickers, Rowbottom, Croft and Rae.

If the plan is approved by a majority vote we can expect these same councillors to be gloating and triumphant in your columns: ‘Democracy will have triumphed’ they will try to kid us. HDC is then required to put the proposed plan out for a further period of consultation and the public will be invited to comment. The trap is that all those who diligently wrote in last year (more than 1,800) might feel they had done their bit – so why bother this time?

Cllr Vickers will no doubt issue soothing words along the lines that: ‘you registered your comments last year so only write to us now if there are different things you want to say. Oh and by the way just to make it easier for us to deal with any comments we want you to start a separate form for each policy.’ It should be easier for respondents not the other way round.

But it is the comments that you individually write to this new approved “Proposed Strategy” that will go direct to the Inspector – not the ones you wrote last summer.

HDC got more than 1,800 responses last year – it will be important to double that number after 30 April. It really is very serious stuff to preserving our beautiful District we all know and love.

There are no dress rehearsals and you will only get the one chance.

BRIDGET WILCOX

Highlands Road, Horsham