Nik Butler: Expect more from Horsham’s next MP

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

What an interesting time it must be for the fly on the wall of the local Conservative party meetings.

With less than 100 days until the General Election it looks like the news cycle may now be diverted, if only briefly, from concerns over Gatwick or Housing as the prospect of a new Conservative candidate is processed through grist of the local rumour mill.

Horsham residents are not immune to sudden changes in their political landscape and this news will attract cries and cheers in equal measure.

Irrespective of your opinions on the individual, his party politics, or his judgement, there can no denying that the 27 years in one role is an impressive achievement; and one wonders if his successor will demonstrate an equal commitment to the need for consistency of public service.

With our own Prime Minister currently dithering on the topic of a National debate there may be an opportunity to take the lead and to encourage our own local discussions.

What then will be the questions we should be asking of the current candidates for the role in representing our community on a national level?

Clearly from the comments already posted in response to the news there is an expectation that the Member of Parliament should represent local issues.

Horsham’s own experiences in this regard have been somewhat inconsistent with demonstrably different levels of involvement in current affairs.

This may be the opportunity to integrate our national representation with our local activities to provide a Parliamentary candidate who understands how national policies need to work for, not drive, local council activities.

In this online era of business, and with the ubiquitous spread of social media, do we expect the candidate to have an informed grasp of Internet and mobile service issues.

Clearly Mr Maude’s approach through the Government Digital Services has been groundbreaking in terms of improving access to civil services; but I wonder who will be picking up that baton when it is passed?

Among the coming conversations over these next few weeks we should avoid being distracted by simple soundbite, manifesto juggling, or fast and loose statistics.

We should look closely to the candidates’ determination for our district.

We have seen what occurs when parties close ranks, close doors, and close decisions, we have experienced the inconsistencies in that governance.

This time Horsham District has the opportunity to expect more of their next MP.