North Horsham: Anger that only first six questions can be asked at meeting

Dr Geoff Richardson
Dr Geoff Richardson

Only the first six questions received on the contentious subject of massive housing in North Horsham can be put in person at a crunch meeting on Wednesday (April 30).

But campaigner Dr Geoff Richardson has demanded to know why there was not a random ballot of all questions received by the deadline.

In a letter from HDC’s Democratic Services Officer Lesley Morgan, Dr Richardson was told his request was not in the first six.

“In view of the number of questions received for the forthcoming council meeting, the Chairman has agreed that the first six received may be put in person with the remainder to be provided with written answers which will be available at the meeting.

“Unfortunately, your request is not in the first six in order of receipt and cannot therefore be put in person at the meeting, although as indicated a written reply will be available.”

Dr Richardson responded: “While the Chairman may decide to limit the number of questions dealt with in a meeting, on what grounds did he decide to select only the earliest submitted six questions rather than a random ballot of all questions received by the submission deadline?

“What precedent is there for this criterion, and what public statement has been made that this will be the approach taken in this situation in general or in this instance? “Unfortunately for the Chairman many residents will see this as undemocratic.”He added: “What measures have been put in place to maintain the important democratic role of public questions and council responses in informing councillors before they vote, by providing written replies in advance of the meeting copied to councillors?”