LETTER: Intrusive request is serious abuse

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Your report (WSCT - December 18th) concerning Jonathan Dancer’s efforts to stand as a Conservative councillor in next May’s elections reads like a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Is this really happening in Horsham? Or have we been transported back to the former DDR - home of the Stasi, or Bureau of State Security.

For Horsham District Council - funded from the public purse - to make such an intrusive request of a local newspaper regarding the nature of correspondence contributed by a private individual is a most serious abuse. What right has the council to make such an outrageous request?

This alarming abuse of office is yet another example of the increasingly secretive and probing nature of our district council and its dealings with the public - in particular over the proposed North Horsham development. A full investigation into this serious dereliction of duty is now urgently required.

Of course, council chief executive Tom Crowley’s pathetic excuse is that the request was made by ‘a relatively inexperienced member of staff’. And the Tory cabinet member for communications - Cllr Helena Croft - clearly wishes to distance herself from this fiasco. And who can blame her?

That said, congratulations are in order for the editor of the County Times for his refusal to hand over copies of any correspondence to the district council.

Horsham is not, as yet, a police state!

ROBERT B. WORLEY

Bourns Court, Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham