LETTER: Keep politics out of local elections

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I have become totally confused following the saga of the Horsham and District Indoor Bowls Club over many weeks! One thing is clear – HDC is reneging over suggestions for replacing the bowls club – and now is saying it might not be replaced.

I picked up two bits of conflicting information in Jill and Reg Webb’s letter in the County Times dated March 27, 2014. Quote: “The Bowls Club which occupies part of the end of the site (now called the Quadrant) was promised a new bowls facility... in new premises which were to be built south of the present site.

“Instead, the plan now appears to be to demolish the present indoor bowls club and build a new leisure centre in its place with no guarantee of accommodation for the bowls club.”

Those two paragraphs contradict the planned positions for the club and leisure centre in that the leisure centre was first going to be built south of the present bowls club site – with bowls club south of it – then we learn the new leisure centre will be built on the site of the bowls club!

It begs the question, why can’t HDC leave the bowls club where it is and build the leisure centre immediately south of it?

Of course, the bowls club is not the only group that may end up with insufficient, or even, no accommodation.

HAODS is 60 years old. About 25 years ago when the Tesco site was developed, the Nissen huts were demolished and we were given a temporary home in another Nissen hunt in Langhurstwood.

When the leisure centre was built HAODS gave exact specifications for its HQ, which HDC accepted. The rehearsal room floor area is a little larger than the stage at the Capitol, which meant we would know whereabouts on the stage we were supposed to be at any given time.

There was a ‘Green Room’ for socialising next door. On the ground floor there was a small rehearsal room, an enormous costume area and at the end where stage props and scenery were put together, the room was two floors high – making it easier to paint flats etc.

HAODS members come from all over the district, even as far as Uckfield.

The Drill Hall has been suggested as a possible solution but it would take a lot of work to redevelop part of it – not ideal but I suppose it’s better than nothing.

However HDC seems to be more interested in bringing people into the town than looking after and providing for their electors. What’s planned sounds to be a lot smaller than there is now.

With big settlements appearing in the district, the leisure centre should have the same facilities or more and I consider HDC should again provide HAODS with purpose built accommodation, since it is demolishing what it supplied 25 years ago. It should also accommodate all the clubs etc that have been housed in the current leisure centre.

I’ve noticed, ever since the Cabinet system came into force, that HDC has become more and more unrepresentative of the electorate, i.e. following party lines and ignoring the wishes of those who had put them there.

I’ve always voted for the person I felt would best represent my area. (Years ago I didn’t realise that councillors were elected because of the party they supported so the wishes of the electorate were often ignored.)

Sometimes I wonder what the remaining councillors are there for – the cabinet seems to decide things – and I was horrified to learn they used party whips.

Can I add my name in support of the Free Speech Charter. Of course, it would help if every councillor stood as an ‘Independent’.

That would totally exclude politics. It would also help if those standing for election gave a resume of what they felt they could offer their electorate – and leave out their political allegiance.

There’s no room for politics in local elections.


Fulfords Hill, Itchingfield