LETTER: Substantial cost of hopeless appeals

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We knew that Cllr Claire Vickers’ housing plan is to dump all the housing for the next 25 years in North Horsham along with an industrial park.

And we knew that she and her leader Cllr Ray Dawe don’t want any housing in the south but now we know, thanks to the tireless work of the Scrutiny Committee (17.9.15, p1) that thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being wasted on fighting developers from building in the south.

The council is consistently losing hopeless appeals and paying substantial costs. We learnt recently that thousands of pounds was wasted in the High Court fighting houses in Henfield and that followed on from £180,000 wasted fighting another appeal in Strorrington.

Thankfully Cllr Crosbie’s Scrutiny Committee is bringing Cllr Vickers to book on how she exercises her discretion of fighting High Court appeals and those in inquiries.

It is bringing appeals in the south of the district into sharp focus. We must also thank Cllr Leonard Crosbie and Cllr Christian Mitchell for blowing the lid on what has been taking place.

It was his predecessor, as vice-chairman, Cllr Tricia Youtan who similarly took the former deputy leader Mrs Croft to task at a Scrutiny meeting over £40,000 of spending on bamboo in West Street.

We are lucky to have councillors of honour, all of whom signed the Free Speech Charter, who do not flinch from asking the cabinet awkward questions.

But the only way forward is to abolish the cabinet system at Horsham District Council.

That has all gone quiet since Cllr Dawe’s announcement in the summer and one suspects that Cllr Dawe has kicked the matter into the long grass.

VALERIE WISE

Owlscastle Close,

Horsham

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