Nik Butler: As in North Britain, so too in the North of Horsham District

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

A referendum on independence occurring a few hundred miles to the North of Horsham has at its core more than a question of national autonomy.

It echoes the sentiments of many local issues which are reflected, weekly, in our own frustrations with democracy.

The proposals that planning, spending and development should be controlled by a self selected cabinet disproportionately represented by members who are separated by distance and experience from their decisions.

As in Scotland so it is for Horsham. Those in the North of the district are unhappy with the committees formed by councillors with strong southern representation.

You can therefore imagine how much more irritation is experienced beyond the border. Similarly the frustration felt over the dangling sword, or carrot, of Gatwick expansion should give some insight into the growing concern that social values in communication and understanding are poorly reflected.

Speaking of social values; those related most to care, such as the NHS, and education, or care for the youth and elderly, are consistently undermined. Again it falls to smaller local authorities to find the answers to fill in the gaps created as funding from distant central government is removed. The drum often beaten in this debate is that we are better together.

Which begs the question; why is one union better than the other? How can you be for a strong union of one collection of countries but against the strong union of another collection of countries. If the concern is that laws and finances should not be controlled by a collection of individuals who do not share in what are defined as ‘our values’; what then does this mean for Horsham? Is it perhaps time for the unparished Horsham areas to look more closely at their own autonomy and finances. To consider the benefits provided to those who live in the North of Horsham and to ask why it cannot be available for themselves.

As the polls open and the debates reach apogee we should not stand as spectators; we should be evaluators of our own democracy. To ask better questions of the value in our representatives and structures of administration that exists today. On the 18th of September Scotland’s future will be in it hands. Equally, come 2015, the burden to change shape our destiny sits squarely on our shoulders. We should not shirk that opportunity through failing to grasp the political nuances.