I have for a long time been critical of Horsham district councillors and the recent articles in this paper by council leader, Ray Dawe, have done nothing to assuage this view, in fact the articles have probably encouraged it.
In his review of 2012, not one word was mentioned of the prominent issue that is top of most residents agenda, that of the much despised housing developments proposed for the district.
In the paragraph given to the closure of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, you would be forgiven for thinking that this received the wholehearted support of the residents, rather than the fact that most residents opposed the closure and it was only once the level of opposition became clear did the council decided to fund a replacement.
Then for some really twisted logic, Mr Dawe notes that one of the Olympic champions trained at the soon to be closed Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre. Clearly irony is lost on Mr Dawe.
Then Mr Dawe seems to take credit for what he describes as ‘the high number of start-up businesses’ in the district.
Such claims are easy to make but can Mr Dawe show that more long term jobs have been created in the Horsham District than have been lost.
We have had two or three specialist shops open in Billingshurst to replace the more traditional village shops but, unhappily, not one has lasted.
Mr Dawe then has praise for his Planning Department, but it is this department which proposed to re-route the already busy and congested A281 through the middle of the new Wickhurst Green housing development.
One has to wonder whether anybody on Horsham District Council ever tries to drive on the district’s roads, particularly during the rush hours.
Of course, to admit that our roads are already thoroughly congested, would also be to admit that the area cannot cope with thousands of new houses.
Mr Dawe has the gall to note that ‘Horsham District was ranked in the top five best places to live in the UK’.
Not for much longer Mr Dawe, if you continue to concrete over our lovely countryside, if the residents cannot drive anywhere because the roads are too congested, if we face regular hosepipe bans or flooding because too many houses are built and if our children are bussed many miles to school because our schools cannot cope.
Then Mr Dawe used a whole article to try to explain why, in a time of severe austerity, the council purchased i-Pads for the council members. This total disregard for hardworking taxpayers is the sort of nonsense we have come to expect from Westminster MPs.
It was a Tory MP, Edward Leigh, who asked ‘What is the Conservative Party for? We are alienating people who have voted for us all their lives, leaving them with no one to vote for’.
Regrettably, because it may well mean another Labour Government, who having tried to destroy the country previously and will probably succeed this time, UKIP are making a good play for Tory voters with their traditional conservative objectives, including their opposition to destroying our countryside and people’s lives.
Broomfield Drive, Billingshurst