LETTER: Fake letters must be investigated

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If council leader Ray Dawe thought he would calm people’s outrage with his article entitled ‘Council tax, the council chairman and democracy’ in last week’s paper, then he is sadly deluding himself.

His piece was patronising and insulting. Does he take local people to be complete idiots? He reminds me of a condescending individual, patting us all on the head and saying ‘There, there… don’t trouble your little head over it. Just leave it to me. I know best’.

Councillor Dawe seems to think local people are only interested in a freeze of the council tax for next year.

Not so. Many of us want to know how decisions which affect us all are being made and who is calling the shots.

He has a very funny idea of democracy if he thinks instructing people how they are to vote is an example of it. The matter of the fake letters supporting the North Horsham development needs investigation, not sweeping under the carpet.

That those letters have been allowed to remain on the official consultation website is extremely worrying. I wonder what the Local Authority Ombudsman would have to say about that?

The treatment of vice-chairman Christian Mitchell has been shameful. Cllr Dawe states that ‘each member was able to vote freely for the person of their choice’. Does he really expect us to believe that?

Some councillors have admitted they felt powerless to do anything other than vote as instructed and Cllr Peter Burgess said he could not speak freely because there was a three-line whip. A three-line whip at a district council meeting? It’s a disgrace.

The current chairman of HDC, Cllr Philip Circus, has also waded in with a disingenuous letter expressing his perplexity at Gary Shipton’s resignation from The Chairman’s Trust.

Oh really? I suspect he is not so much ‘perplexed’, as hugely embarrassed. Well done to Editor Gary Shipton for having the courage to make that gesture. It speaks volumes.

There has been something rotten at the heart of Horsham District Council for some time now. For the sake of all local inhabitants let’s hope members can do something to remedy this situation.

Perhaps a start could be made if Cllr Brian O’Connell declined to take up the position of chairman, thus paving the way for vice-chairman Christian Mitchell to step into the position. Perhaps then a start could be made on restoring the council’s credibility and badly tarnished reputation… and not a moment too soon.

SHEILA WHITE

Dorking Road, Warnham