LETTER: Deeply troubled by punishments

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I’m deeply troubled by the way that HDC leader Cllr Ray Dawe and deputy leader Cllr Helena Croft (Roffey North) through their ‘leadership’ have punished councillors in their Tory group that voted against the North Horsham housing plan.

Your edition (Horsham, 19.6.14) reported that Cllr Christian Mitchell was stripped of the chairmanship of licensing which it was reported he has done for seven years; Cllr Peter Burgess felt he had been subjected to what he called a ‘Court Marshall’; and at the same time Cllr Simon Torn was kicked off the personnel committee. Both these councillors as we know are opposed to the proposed North Horsham Development.

Seven months ago the former chairman of council, Philip Circus, wrote the Christmas comment in your paper (‘We need to treat each other better’, 19.12.13, p30) and quoted Aldous Huxley (the author of a Brave New World and other such books): ‘I have learnt that people need to treat each other better.’

It was Cllr Circus who had the police called in to council when Dr Geoffrey Richardson had the temerity to insist on an answer to a supplementary question in a full council meeting in December 2013.

As chairman he told the newly appointed leader of the opposition to sit down in January 2014 and ‘lashed out’ at resident Mr Grace in March 2014 through your letter columns.

Looking back, it is difficult not to conclude that Cllr Circus’ words were hollow - espoused on behalf of himself and his Tory group.

It will be interesting to see whether Cllr O’Connell, the new chairman parachuted in to replace Cllr Mitchell, will write similar such drivel for his Christmas ‘message’.

This time we will know to disregard it.

E. DELGADO

Parry Close, Horsham