Two more Horsham District Council election candidates have signed up to the County Times’ Free Speech Charter.
Ronald Vimpany, who is standing for the Conservatives in Trafalgar, and Graham Avery, a Green Party candidate in Rudgwick, added their names to the list of more than 80 people who have signed the Charter.
It was launched in March last year to promote openness and transparency in local Government after Conservative Christian Mitchell was effectively sacked as Horsham District Council’s chairman-elect by his own party.
The Charter states: “I undertake to speak, write and vote on behalf of my constituents without fear or favour of party discipline.
“If I am a member of a political party, I will respect its values and honour its pre-election manifesto pledges - but I will always put first the people I am elected to serve.”
Mr Vimpany moved to Horsham 25 years ago, was a general manager of several multi-million pound businesses, and spent most of his life living in Surrey with a 12 year spell working in Nigeria. He assisted in putting together All African Games in 1973 and volunteered for the Ministry of Sport on Nigeria whilst he was out there.
Asked why he had decided to sign the Charter Mr Vimpany said: “Simply because I believe in free speech.
“We should not fight or kill each other because we have a different political opinion, we should listen to each other.
“If you don’t have free and open speech how can people trust you?
“I think Horsham is a fantastic place and I would like it to stay that way.”
Mr Avery, who lives in the village, said he was focusing on planning and how it is being handled by HDC and its response times, and business rate valuation of new premises at the Old Rudgwick Brickworks, which he feels is too high and might discourage new firms from locating there. He added: “We should not be turning businesses away.”
He will be attending Rudgwick Village Day on Sunday May 3 and will be manning an environment stand there with other party members including Darrin Green, the Green Party’s general election candidate in Horsham.