Dear Jeremy (Horsham MP), you really must try harder to address Horsham’s concerns.
Your colleague Nick (Arundel and South Downs MP) is really showing you up with his lucid grasp of local constituency issues.
I’m afraid that your allocation of almost three quarters of your column space in last week’s WSCT to Scottish Nationalism and the House of Commons Speaker really won’t cut it with your constituents.
So please can we have more of Horsham and less of Westminster? Only last week Dr R.F. Smith (CPRE) challenged you to acknowledge the severe local planning issues and help stop housing developers exploit the NPPF to rape the green fields of Horsham District.
Please don’t abdicate to HDC as planning authority because they appear impotent in the face of the unelected government enforcers (aka the Planning Inspectorate), answerable only to government ministers.
Even HDC Leader, Ray Dawe, has labelled the HDPF Planning Inspector as ‘sole Judge and Jury’.
As the coalition government has now ended, you can’t even blame the other Nick (Sheffield MP) anymore; the ball lies firmly at your own government’s feet.
So please get lobbying and then tell us what you have done to try and solve this planning dilemma and help prevent the urbanisation of Horsham District.
Being a ‘parachuted in’ candidate to a rock-solid Conservative seat and thereby blocking some excellent local contenders, brings with it great responsibility.
I hope that you will rise to the challenge and follow the example of your compatriot MP (certainly not your predecessor MP!) in speaking up for ‘locals’ without deference to either the Westminster ‘elite’ or party whips.
Your newly adopted constituents desperately need your help on local planning matters, and they need it now.
The recently ‘allowed’ Gleeson Homes planning appeal decision for land north of Old Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath, epitomises the problems facing communities.
The reported reaction of the new Conservative district councillor there of ‘unsurprising disappointment, it’s the way things seem to be going’ is unbelievably complacent and submissive.
Accountability must fall full-square with the Conservative government and their ministers for this and similar situations.
As a paid-up Conservative party member and now MP for Horsham, you have every opportunity and every reason to get stuck in, just like Nick does (that’s the neighbouring one of course)!
Cox Green, Rudgwick
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