FOR ALL of my voting years I have supported both the Horsham district and West Sussex county councils and been reasonably happy that what they have decided and done for us - who have brought them to power - has been the best option.
However, in the last two or three years, I have become increasingly discontent and disappointed with the way that our town is being spoilt by the loss of things that are held dear by many of the population and inappropriately designed or sited new buildings.
Obviously, the cutting of costs is the reason as, to remain popular, it was promised that our council tax would be frozen but my preference would be to keep the things that we and visitors to Horsham enjoy even if it means adding a few more pounds to our tax bill.
Our Old Town Hall is a well-known landmark going back to the Battle of Waterloo times (which the Shelley Fountain does not). The Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre is important to the local population and brings the youth together from the surrounding area instead of the streets.
It seems now that new houses must be squeezed in to any gap – as many as possible with complete disregard for the fact that everyone has at least one car which needs a parking space. Neither is there any attempt to erect new buildings that sympathise with their existing surroundings (the new houses in Oxford Road being a remarkable exception).
The new buildings at the top of New Street are totally out of character with the surrounding houses. They may be wonderful inside but outside they look like a block of factories!
The number of letters regarding these subjects in the County Times, the sacrifice of beautiful trees and the apparent intention to make this part of West Sussex one intensely built-up area for miles in all directions indicates that a great number of Horsham people feel as I do.
It is no good writing to a local councillor, as I did regarding the through-traffic using pedestrianised East Street – neither of my letters received a reply!
I now feel that our opinions are of no consequence to councillors.
Once they are there they will do whatever they think right with no need to listen to the people who put them there.
With this in mind, I doubt if I will waste the time or shoe leather walking to the polling station at the next council election and I expect many others will have similar thoughts.
DEREK J. SANTER