Mr Hogben’s letter of 24.4.14 was a revelation. His Freedom of Information (FoI) request has shown that on 6 February 2014, just 11 weeks before the vote on North Horsham, Cllr Claire Vickers (Cabinet member for Planning) was meeting with Steve Harvey (of Huntley LLP), HDC’s chief executive and a planning officer at Liberty’s offices at Kings Hill, Kent. Mr Harvey is a major landowner in North Horsham.
During this stage HDC was supposed to be analysing and taking on board residents’ comments on the North Horsham proposal – and adjusting its plans.
But in reality Cllr Vickers was meeting the major landowner with her council officers on a trip to Kent. There were no minutes, no record of what was being discussed and we aren’t told how many other meetings like this took place.
This council speaks with forked tongues. Publicly it was assuring us that all planning options were open yet it appears apparent it had made up its mind all along. Another secret meeting in a secret location and it has taken an FoI to expose this.
The council has a Cabinet member for Communications with the public in Cllr Helena Croft (Roffey North). Isn’t it her job to ensure that the public knew of this meeting? She is paid a council allowance for doing it.
Or is information given to the public should be on a ‘need to know basis’?
Downsview Road, Horsham