LETTER: Abject failure to follow constitution

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Cllr Adrian M. Lee (Con, Denne), is obviously a loyal follower of our council leader Cllr Ray Dawe. His letter, which appeared in last week’s paper (5.11.15, p34), could have been written for him by Cllrs Ray Dawe or Claire Vickers.

Perhaps Cllr Lee has joined the Gang of Four, which has two vacancies after Mr Rae and Mrs Croft were dumped by their association.

Cllr Lee denies that there is a ‘cabal’ at Horsham District Council and criticises the youngest councillor, Conner Relleen (Con, Horsham Park) for speaking up for democracy and Cllr Lee clearly wants the public to believe that all is well with the status quo at HDC.

Cllr Lee claims that ‘...to learn about these mechanisms it is necessary to participate, be involved, attend meetings and learn about the role of a councillor. I attend as many of the meetings as possible...’

Well just how good is his attendance record for the committees on which he sits? How many of the nine Advisory Groups has Cllr Lee actually attended since he was elected? We have asked HDC for Cllr Lee’s attendance record.

Cllr Lee should read Dr Richardson’s letter ‘Sofa government rules at HDC’ (5.11.15, p35). Cllr Lee claims ‘...all Advisory Groups will now produce agendas and notes of meetings… so that all members will be able to access these documents online and see for themselves that there is nothing secret about anything being discussed…’

All a bit late really. The Constitution introduced in 2001 provides that Notes of all Advisory Groups must be taken and published. This is mandatory and if it’s not followed HDC is open to challenge on how its decisions have been reached. Clearly Cllr Lee wasn’t aware of that existing requirement in the Constitution (Article 11) that Notes must to be taken else he wouldn’t have drawn attention to this abject failure by the council in his letter!

Dr Richardson also explained that the meetings of Cllr Vickers’ PPAG from 2013 to the present were the critical ones because she unilaterally, and against the council’s SCI policy, held the PPAG meetings in secret while her housing plan was reshaped moving 2,750 houses from Southwater to North Horsham. A Freedom of Information request has been submitted to HDC for Notes/minutes of all Cllr Vickers PPAG meetings from the time she has been the cabinet member.

Cllr Lee may dismiss this as Cllr Relleen’s lack of understanding, which is rather patronising. But Cllr Lee should check the legality of the situation he is claiming to be so pure before it all goes before a Judge on a likely Judicial Review. Cllr Lee might be called on Oath.

EDUARDO DELGADO

Parry Close, Horsham

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