LETTER: ‘Whipping’ is simply outrageous

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It was with a heavy, angry heart I protested outside County Hall North in Horsham last Tuesday (‘Tories deny whipping, calling Charter a ‘stunt’’, WSCT, April 17).

I learned over Easter weekend the ‘Cuts Vote’ - made last February at County Hall on Valentine’s Day amid much protest - was ‘whipped’.

Every single Tory county councillor voted for the cuts against the disabled, which was - and still is - borderline insanity.

If, as HDC councillor Christan Mitchell says, ‘a whipped vote on April 30 could leave the housing plan unsafe and open to challenge’, then the whipped vote on February 14 could also leave the cuts plan of WSCC leader Louise Goldsmith ‘unsafe and open to challenge’.

It also makes utter nonsense of the comments made by county councillor Jim Rae (Con, Roffey): “I serve as a West Sussex county councillor, and I serve on another council in West Sussex as a Conservative councillor. Neither of those groups have, or operate, a whip. They do not now, and they never have done.”

‘Whipping’ is simply outrageous in a local democracy which should befit the 21st century. A councillor’s first allegiance is to those they represent - no one else - not even the political party they represent.

If a councillor’s first allegiance is elsewhere, and not to those who democratically elected them, they should resign.

RICHARD W. SYMONDS

Independent candidate for Ifield, Ifield Street, Ifield Village