‘I’ll fight this injustice’ vows resigning Pulborough parish councillor

A parish councillor has announced his resignation in ‘protest’ at Horsham District Council’s ‘behaviour’ and vows to run for the district council and ‘fight from the inside’.

Sunday, 27th July 2014, 6:50 am
Pulborough parish councillor Martin Dale is to step down in August

Pulborough parish councillor Martin Dale announced that he will be resigning in a shock statement at last week’s parish council meeting (July 17), citing the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ of Horsham District Council (HDC).

This is in relation to a planning application for 103 homes on land north of Highfield, Pulborough, that was approved at last week’s development control (south) committee meeting on July 15.

In objection to the application, local resident Lorraine Dale played an audio recording from February 2012 of Horsham district councillor and committee chairman David Jenkins.

In the recording, he was heard to say to a planning officer: “I needed to let him ramble on because I needed to get it through,” in relation to the outline application for 103 homes.

Mrs Dale claimed that Mr Jenkins’ comments implied that the application was ‘predetermined’ and makes a ‘mockery of the planning system.’

In response, committee members said the recording was too inaudible and a planning officer added that people will have to ‘accept’ the comments.

Mr Dale (son of Lorraine) played the recording at the parish meeting and said: “I don’t know about you, but I find such behaviour completely unacceptable and so I am announcing my resignation in protest at the conduct of HDC.

“If it had been treated openly, transparently and honestly from the start, then fair enough. But it has become increasingly clear that HDC had no intention of a fair and honest debate, and the recording I played to you is but one piece of evidence of this.”

Mr Dale said that he does not feel his resignation will make a difference, but he pledged to run for the district council at the next election.

“I intend to concentrate upon the HDC election next year so that I can effectively fight HDC from the inside if elected,” he said.

“This application has clearly demonstrated the failings of the planning system and so I also feel that I cannot remain a part of that system which I would otherwise be required to act in conformity to.

“I will continue to fight this injustice and am exploring ways in which to take this matter further,” he added.

Mr Dale will step down from the parish in August 15 once he has launched the village’s new Memorial Garden Project.

The County Times contacted Horsham District Council, but a response was not receved in time before going to print.