Space for community

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DESPITE The Horsham Society claiming that ‘everyone has had a chance to put in a bid for its use’ not all the bidders for the town hall have been treated with the honesty and respect that you should expect from an elected district council.

In a similar fashion to the options ‘selected’ for public discussion for the new leisure centre proposal, the council has already made up its mind on what should happen to the town hall and as such has not run the bidding process for the town hall on a level playing field.

I can only hope that a legal challenge will allow the process to be rerun in a more open and honest manner where all bidders are given the same amount of time to prepare their bids and that the voice of the community that the council is meant to be representing is listened to – and not just the bottom line.

In Bill Collison’s statement concerning the town hall last week he said ‘we are about the community’. If this is really the case, and should Bill’s Produce win the bid for the town hall as a result of a properly run bidding process, then I would challenge him to prove it and set aside some space within the town hall for community use.

This would prove he really does value the community where he does business and that it is not just a cynical statement designed to attract more customers to part with their cash. After all the town hall is a large building and I find it hard to believe that a multi-level restaurant filling this amount of space can be kept even half full at any other time apart from maybe Christmas!

You only have to look at the other smaller multi-level restaurants in Horsham to see that the extra floors remain empty for the vast majority of time.

If Bill’s community values turn out to be just hollow words I suggest people vote with their feet and wallets and find somewhere else to eat – after all there’s plenty of choice in Horsham.

KEVIN MIDDERIGH

Croft Way, Horsham