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Election day is fast approaching. We’ll be voting not only for who is to be our new MP but also for our representatives on Horsham District Council. Claire Vickers, one of Southwater’s three current District Councillors (along with John Chidlow and Ian Howard), has asked us to publicise the fact that they will be holding a pre-election surgery at Beeson House in Lintot Square on Saturday 2nd May from 10.00 to 11.00am.

New housing provision across Horsham District, and in Southwater in particular, is a very emotive subject and they would welcome the opportunity to talk with residents on this matter prior to the elections. This is an opportunity for you to ask those pressing questions, learn more about the planning process and the pressures exerted on district councils by central government, and reinforce the concerns we all share over our village being covered with concrete and tarmac.

Claire Vickers (2)Claire Vickers has lived in Southwater for 30-years and has been a member of the Parish Council for 25 of those. She was first elected to the District Council in 1991, and has been Chairman twice, in 2001 and 2011. Most importantly, she is currently HDC cabinet member with responsibility for planning and therefore is ideally placed to answer questions on why Southwater is under continual  attack from developers, and what is being done to mitigate this.

Claire says “Together with Ian Howard and John Chidlow, who also live in the village, I would like to explain what we are doing within the Horsham District Planning Framework to protect Southwater for the foreseeable future, which includes ensuring Great House Farm can continue to be viable. I’d also like to discuss the constraints under which HDC has to operate. There will always be huge pressure to build houses in Horsham District, simply saying ‘no’ will not make it all go away. We have to make sure it has the infrastructure and community facilities that people need. I consider myself very fortunate to live here. Southwater is a lovely parish with a great community feel to it, and recently Horsham was ranked second in The Times’ list of the top 15 market towns in Britain. My colleagues and I are passionate about doing all we can to ensure it stays that way.”

KSG urges you to attend the District Councillors’ surgery on 2nd May and ask your questions!