LETTER: Electorate is now much more savvy
I read Cllr Vickers will work out her response to the Inspector on housing requirements for Horsham area in her secret SPAG meetings to submit to the full council meeting on 18 March.
Her docile colleagues will no doubt do what she says - free from any real public scrutiny or personal accountability. Then she will have to put this preferred option out to a six-week public consultation, which brings us to early May just a few days before local government elections.
A newly elected council of 44 councillors will then consider the responses from the consultation and decide how Horsham District Council should respond to the Inspector.
A newly elected council? We the electors can make that happen if we want.
On the past record, Cllr Vickers will want the period up to the election to go quietly without too much public consultation and fuss as during the first consultations in 2014.
She won’t want to see letters from residents in your pages. She won’t want Southwater (her own ward) and Billingshurst to be up in arms about having to take more houses. She will have to find ways to pacify councillors in those wards.
But we voters have one chance to swing the council vote in a different direction. I would urge your readers to consider the facts of the previous flawed, whipped council meeting on this matter.
Before the debate on the proposed document (20 May 2014) Cllr Circus (then chairman) announced to everyone’s surprise that he wanted to remind the meeting that he had two votes. I wonder why he did this?
The vote when it came was of the 44 councillors, 25 were yes, 2 abstentions (including Cllr Andrew Baldwin) which counted yes, 4 absentees and 13 voted no.
Amongst the yes votes (following the dear leader) were Cllrs Croft, Rae, Cornell all from North Horsham and Cllr Baldwin – who abstained and it counted yes. So it could have been much closer.
With an electorate much more savvy from your excellent coverage about all the machinations of this current council and complete distrust of many of the local councillors, there is a great opportunity to bring in councillors who will take a fresh look at the situation and who will have the bottle to stand up against the current ruling cabal and the Inspector to challenge the very basis of the numbers – as other councils are increasingly doing.
Parry Close, Horsham