Nik Butler: Acknowledging Free Speech Charter is great first step

JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001
JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001

As the musical chairs of selection occur within local political parties and candidates are flung to the wolves, or the wind, in equal measure it is important for those who remain selected to remember the core concerns reflected in comments, both online and in numerous local coffee shops.

At the heart of the matter are questions over how candidates can act in respect to the whole electorate which they wish to represent.

Acknowledging the Free Speech Charter is a great first step and as a symbol of the need for valued local representation it provides as good a starting point as any. Confidence in parties is continually shaken when manifesto pledges go unfulfilled and excuses are delivered more often than promises.

After this should come the acknowledgement that much like our local football club, grandiose political posturing has no home in the heart of Horsham District politics or meetings. Thanks to first past the post we should not forget that due to the counting process the majority who do vote did so for the other candidates; not the just the successful one.

Interest and engagement with communication from the council has never been easier or more robust and these should not become photo opportunities or a chance to create personal cabals of information.

The town and district are one community and they thrive or decline in each others presence. These duties should be part of every councillor’s approach; as Horsham is more than the town centre and with the oncoming development storm we need councillors who can work together in council not meet alone in parties. The question of the unparished areas of the town and their representation must come to the fore and we should expect every candidate to have a clear answer to the question of the towns representation.

The Pandora’s box of planning has been opened and whilst hope remains to be found at the bottom of that pile of papers we should ask the prospective candidates what their direction for these developmental changes in Horsham would be.

Frankly no candidate entering this election, myself included, can look to the midden heap of mismanaged opportunities and consider themselves fortunate.

However, where there is muck there is brass, so it will be time to roll up our sleeves and take care to ensure that the financial prospects are curated with a care to the community not the corporations.