Priority must be new jobs

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Under the headline ‘the boom towns transformed into benefit blackspots’, the national newspapers identified Crawley as one of the towns where dependency on welfare benefits has increased fivefold over recent years.

In case the councillors at Horsham District Council had not realised, Crawley is the major employment area in their district yet is haemorrhaging jobs at a rate of knots.

In our particular village, Billingshurst, there is very little local employment and yet HDC wants to build 2,000 more houses.

Quite frankly the whole proposal is too ridiculous for words and instead of arguing about the numbers of affordable homes, HDC should be considering whether any housing development is required at all.

It is only necessary to look at two sections of the County Times to see where the priority is.

The Property section was 40 pages long with a wide variety of properties for both sale and rent.

The Jobs section was not even two pages and most of the positions advertised are for carers.

The first priority for HDC has to be to get new businesses into the area. The biggest employer in the area is the public sector and it is supposed to be cutting jobs, although I hear the planning department is expanding - surprise, surprise.

The youngsters, who we are told need the affordable housing, will not stay anyway if there are no jobs.

BOB BISHOP

Broomfield Drive, Billingshurst