I read your paper with interest. Over the last year I have particularly enjoyed the investigative journalism and exposure of the machinations of Horsham District Council under the leadership of Cllr Ray Dawe.
Your editorials were a brave stance by the paper. I find the letters pages the most interesting with increasing numbers of high quality, well thought out contributions from the general public.
Your campaigns are welcome, particularly the one getting local politicians to sign up to your Free Speech Charter. But you have gone very quiet on this particular issue in recent weeks.
Could you please tell us how many West Sussex county and Horsham district councillors actually signed the ‘Free Speech Charter’? Can you please publish their names?
If councillors did not sign up for this – presumably indicating that he/she does not accept the wording of your paper’s protocol – why should they be allowed to have half page spreads to talk about their political agendas?
JAMES P. HOUGHTON
Owlscastle Close, Horsham
Editor’s note: I am grateful to Mr Houghton for his comments. The Free Speech Charter remains central to our campaign. This week, the leader of West Sussex County Council made good her promise to sign it. We will be reminding readers of all signatories from time to time - especially and in great detail in the run-up to next May’s district council elections.
It might be tempting to withdraw a regular column in the County Times from those elected representatives who have shunned the Charter - but I remain to be convinced that in a democracy this is the right approach.
Better, instead, to give additional coverage to those representatives and parties who have made the commitment. In this respect, I hope that both the Lib Dems and UKIP will take full advantage of the opportunity that their commitment now affords them.