LETTER: Semblance of democracy

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Your letters

I don’t know about other readers of this newspaper and would not have the temerity to speak on their behalf, but I am sure that, in common with myself, there are many who are feeling unease at the state of affairs in this country.

We seem to be watching our health service, especially our hospitals, approaching a state of collapse, our essential train services are not working properly, our police reduced to having to choose what crimes they attend and what they do not being replaced by poorly trained substitutes and our police stations closing, our prisons are in some instances becoming out of control, criminals who should be behind bars are walking our streets, potholes are common on most of our roads and normal services that over the past we have come to expect and depend upon are now constantly being reduced or cut.

It is as if we are gradually sliding into a third world country status rather than the United Kingdom we have become accustomed to.

Yet whenever anyone raises the issues we are told that all is well or it is being put right, and the occasional plaster patch is administered yet the gradual meltdown continues.

When responsible organisations such as the Police Federation, the Prison Officers Service and the Red Cross together with many of those working in these various sectors of our services point out the situation, they are told they are wrong and all is well.

This situation is especially problematic in West Sussex, where we seem to have had a Conservative administration for so long, that our adversarial system of democracy has all but disappeared leaving what can only be described as a semblance of democracy, especially in towns such as Horsham. Even the local MP is a career politician parachuted in who hardly needed bother campaigning or have any personal manifesto.

Perhaps this explains the strange silence of our local politicians over the overall situation of decline.

Indeed the only comment I heard was made by one West Sussex councillor of many years, who sits on a police committee, saying that I was wrong in stating the Horsham police station was closed, and that it was open until five in the evening.

Obviously he thinks that criminals keep office hours!

In situations such as this, and not unique to Horsham, a campaigning local paper such as the West Sussex County Times is essential and over the years it has raised and supported many issues that otherwise would have been ignored.

We urgently need change. We need people to come forward as independent councillors both in county and town and speak for the people rather than a political party and properly represent us.

Those selected by the political parties have failed us in this representation and until this is remedied, there will be no pressure exerted on Government or those senior officials of our various services to change or be held to account.

I was brought up in a service that said, never mind the excuses, admit the problem.

Once this is done it is identified and can be fixed.

However to do this we need competent rather than politically acceptable people to lead the way.

We need heads of our service organisations that instead of waiting until their retirement, will speak out now when their departments cannot function properly and sacrifice their anticipated honours trinkets for honesty and the morale and well being of those under them and the public that they serve.

Michael Rawlings-Lloyd

Brighton Road, Lower Beeding


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