Gary Shipton’s full-page analysis (24.4.14) of the minutes of the Conservative group meeting held on 24 June 2013 was truly excellent. The whistleblower’s action in releasing the minutes to the Horsham Society has finally blown apart the flawed case for an industrial and warehouse park in our ‘green belt’ between Horsham and Crawley.
The minutes show that the decision to break the long standing promise not to build beyond the A264 was in fact ‘all about money’ and filling up the HDC’s coffers – no doubt to pay for gold plated pension funds and councillors’ allowances – and had absolutely nothing at all to do with housing and where it is needed.
The 2,500 houses in North Horsham would only be needed to fund the building of the industrial park. If there were no industrial park then no housing would be needed on that site at all – and no intrusion into the ‘green belt’.
I note that Cllr Jim Rae (Holbrook East) assiduously took the minutes for this economically illiterate and environmentally damaging plan.
This is the same Cllr Rae who is a member of the Gang of Four, with his leader Ray Dawe (Storrington), deputy of absolute loyalty Helena Croft (Roffey North), cabinet member for planning Claire Vickers (Southwater) and now joined by Brian O’Connell (Henfield) deputy cabinet member for planning to Mrs Vickers.
Cllr O’Connell has been seemingly rewarded for his role in dumping housing in North Horsham since he was parachuted into the role of chairman in place of Cllr Christian Mitchell (Holbrook West). Cllr Mitchell had to go since he was asking too many awkward questions of the Gang – so they disposed of him as the next chairman of council.
Only 18 out of 33 Tory members supported this plan but the Gang of Four got their way through ‘whipping’ – a nice alternative word to use in a family newspaper.
Thank you County Times for your investigative journalism that has resulted in the exposure of this truly shocking affair.
This newspaper is an invaluable community asset unlike the Gang of Four whose plan would make a totally negative contribution to our historic town and district.