LETTER: Importance of council integrity

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In his column in last week’s County Times, Cllr Ray Dawe asked ‘What is more important to you, knowing that Horsham District Council has agreed to freeze your council tax for the next year or hearing how the next chairman of the council was chosen?’.

He goes on to state that ‘The chairman is chosen for just one year… It is a purely honorary position. He presides at council meetings… and represents the council at public events…’.

In general, he seeks to give the impression that the position and the choice of chairman is of little importance.

If the position is of so little importance, why did he, and the Conservation party group: (a) break with precedent and not allow the then vice-chairman to become chairman; (b) impose a three-line whip on that decision; and (c) write to the then vice-chairman indicating that he would not support his becoming chairman and would write to the HDC Conservative Group about the matter?

And why did the outgoing chairman refuse to allow discussion of the matter at the full council meeting?

In the circumstances, I would rephrase his question and ask, which is more important, the fact that council tax has been frozen again, or the integrity, honesty, and lack of openness of our council?

It is increasingly clear that many of the Conservative Group councillors are not willing to listen to the public who elected them; are not willing even to explain themselves and their decisions to the public; and are making as many decisions as they can possibly get away with in closed meetings.

Having asked for alternative housing proposals, they are not willing to consider them seriously or objectively, and their basic attitude is ‘Nanny knows best’.


The Street, Slinfold