Merriment among the winter gloom

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Oh dear... my letter on the subject of the Old Town Hall (letters, January 3) seems to have touched a raw nerve with the Blue Flash Music Trust.

Robert Mayfield’s response (letters, January 10) is written in temperate tones, seeking to reassure readers that the OTH issue was merely one among the trust’s many concerns about the performance of Horsham District Council.

But the trust’s website tells a rather different story, as it is fair to say that among its 21 pages the OTH issue features on, and in most cases dominates, all but a couple.

The trust was apparently founded ‘To promote, improve, develop and maintain public education in and appreciation of the art and science of music in all its aspects by presentation of public concerts, workshops and in such other ways as the Trustees determine from time to time’.

It is absolutely not for me to tell the trust how to run its affairs, but I confess I am mildly curious as to how a registered charity with such laudable stated aims now appears to have become primarily an obsessive political campaign against a local authority.

Most remarkably of all, however, I am flattered to find myself now appearing on the trust’s website, suspected of variously (a) being a ‘Council stooge’, (b) having a connection to the Conservative Party, (c) receiving a ‘selective Council briefing’, and (d) being a ‘future HDC councillor’.

Most laughably of all, my knowledge that Martin Jeremiah’s MBA degree refers to ‘Master of Business Administration” (after a lengthy business career why wouldn’t I know this?) is cited as possible evidence of an HDC briefing on this too! The website requests information on me from anyone ‘in the know’.

Well, here’s the story. I am a long-term Horsham resident who happens to disagree with the trust’s views on the Old Town Hall.

I have no membership or other affiliation with any political party, and never have had. I have had no dealings of any kind in any way at any time, either directly or indirectly, with any HDC member or officer either regarding the OTH or indeed anything else.

I have no aspirations to become a local councillor, and never have had. I speak only for myself. I am sorry if this information disappoints the conspiracy theorists among the trust’s supporters, but there we are.

Finally, at this somewhat gloomy time of year, I am grateful to the trust for the intense merriment which its paranoia has given me, my family, friends and others who know me.

If HDC really is ‘out to get you’, I promise you I am not part of it. But thank you for the midwinter entertainment.

HOWARD SMITH

Britten Close, Horsham