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The Horsham Society - District Council Elections 2015

As a service to our members, and the public, we wrote to all candidates for wards within the town, asking them to respond briefly to three questions of particular concern.
Just over 50% of candidates replied, and we have archived their responses here for future reference.


  How will you use the resources of the Council to protect and enhance the built environment and public green spaces in the town, and its setting within the wider countryside? How will you use the resources of the Council to support local businesses and encourage a vibrant and successful central shopping area? How will you use the resources of the Council to support and enhance the town’s recreational facilities, and the creative and performing arts?
Tony Hogben
Denne
Conservative

I am disappointed with some of the decisions made by the current Council and would love to see Horsham District Councillors respect and protect the environment around Horsham.
It would be wrong not to recognise that Horsham Town is the central hub of this District and has a right to be properly protected from damaging development and unsuitable change. It would be great to see some change in the way the Council is administered; I feel there is an inherent lack of trust and confidence at present in our local authority.

One solution maybe to form a local town Council for the unparished parts of Horsham town. Town Councillors should be putting the town first above the district and under the current rule, politics have overridden what is genuinely best for Horsham Town.
As the name would suggest, a Market town such as Horsham should arguably be supported by open green spaces. We must look to support and promote such features as Warnham Nature Reserve, Chesworth Farm, Rookwood, Owl Beech Woods, the Riverside Walk and Horsham Park.

I am personally not in favour of the HDC preferred strategy in its current format and whilst I fully support the need for more affordable housing and associated facilities, I concede that North Horsham might not be one of the best sites in the district for such a development. I see no justification for another business park at this stage, which would ultimately ruin hundreds of acres of our beautiful green belt land around Horsham.

I hope that if elected that I can encourage the council to scale back this project and look to spread some of the housing supply around the District, whilst encouraging the reduction to the size of the business park so that it is in proportion to the number of houses built.

I have worked in Retail Management for over 20 years; one of my last roles was as Area Operations Manager for Boots the Chemist, and, as such, I recognise the need to drive footfall into a town to support the local economy whilst keeping the town aesthetically pleasing to visitors.  Recently, I feel that the Council appears to be disregarding these needs, as has been demonstrated through the recent consultation process.

The recent West Street refurbishment scheme has not been well received. The attractive floral baskets are gone and have been replaced by basic square planters which are taking up valuable pavement space. The elegant posts which provided ornamental planting above eye-level are gone, victims of an intention to open-up sight lines. The paved surface is not looking any better than before and it is still sprayed with chewing gum. My answer to this question is to open such changes up to public consultation. I feel that it is important to engage public support before carrying out such sweeping changes.
The same can be said for the new town centre signage. It doesn’t appear to have been received with great support and many feel that this cheapens the look of the town! We must engage the electorate and embrace a “done with “ culture and not a “done to” culture.
 

The young are often forgotten and I feel that it is essential to address this issue through looking at ways of keeping children and teenagers off of our streets through supporting structured sports and youth activities. The recent Horsham Park run is an example of such a scheme, and the popular youth club run in Hurst Road is another excellent facility.  We need to understand and respond to the recreational hopes of the next generation and identify ways of fulfilling these.

The Council needs to make adequate provision for their own operations and monitor private operators. Horsham has a historic background and a fine cultural heritage. I certainly want to protect our treasured works of art and properly maintain public art and other notable attractions for everyone to enjoy.

The Pavilions in the Park Leisure facilities are greatly used by all ages, especially since their recent refurbishment, and should continue to be so, as this encourages children and the elderly to maintain a healthy and beneficial way of life.

Enhancing additional cycling provisions in Horsham has been a common theme that I have heard in recent weeks.

I don’t have all the answers but I come back to a common theme of consultation and listening to the views of our residents and aiming to deliver class leading recreational facilities. This, of course, does have a financial consequence, and, to this end, I am not sure that I can continue to endorse a freeze in taxation.
We need to invest in our town centre’s recreational facilities and performing arts; the current conservative council has frozen taxation for the past few years, and as we are now starting to come out of recession, this money can be used to invest in recreational facilities so that Horsham remains the special town that it is today.

David Sheldon
Denne
Independent
I see my role as local councillor to try to represent the views and concerns of local residents and businesses within my ward. Clearly there is rarely a single view, and often there are very different views, so it is not possible to do what everyone wants.

In terms of using council resources I will do what I can to see that they are used wisely to the benefit of as many residents as possible. First and foremost I will consider those in Denne Ward and then the wider Horsham District. It seems clear that a considerable amount of housing will be built in the Horsham District over the next ten to fifteen years and I want to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure is provided and that any development around Horsham town is well connected to the town centre, so that new residents can take full advantage of local amenities and businesses. I want to make sure that we develop communities and not just build houses.

Stephen Tall
Denne
Liberal Democrat
I served as a councillor for 8 years when I lived in Oxford, so I know first-hand the challenges and difficulties faced by local government – and the importance of consulting properly with local people. A councillor should represent residents on the council, not represent the council to residents. I moved to Horsham two years ago, thinking it a lovely, friendly town in which to raise a family. I continue to think that. Equally, there is clearly room for improvement with simple, affordable measures to brighten up streets in the centre and to promote Horsham as thriving, distinctive place which values its public spaces. I have ideas, as do my Lib Dem colleagues, but what I think is most important is that we work together with the town organisations such as the Neighbourhood Councils and Horsham Society to deliver the best for Horsham. As a representative for Denne Ward, I will press for the town centre to continue to be an attractive place to visit. In particular, I will address issues such as rubbish bins, seating, bike racks and planting that make our town pleasant and accessible. I will work closely with officers to ensure the successful integration of the new Waitrose/John Lewis store into the town and work to ensure that Piries Place remains viable. I will ensure that residents have their say about the future of the Bishopric and the Shelley Fountain, and that these views are taken into account. (Personally I’m in the ‘Save the Fountain’ camp, but let’s see what the public thinks!) I think we need to review the car parking charges which are causing problems for residents in neighbouring streets. I also believe it is important to have a town that is welcoming to families and young people, and which integrates new residents such as in the Highwood development. Having lived in a University town, I understand the importance of providing a wide range of facilities for residents of all ages as well as for students. If the University of Brighton does open a campus here, we will need to offer more recreational facilities to meet the needs of everybody. I think this will add energy and vitality to the town. The Council has an important role as a catalyst in helping to make this happen, attracting inward investment both from the private and public sectors. As a football fan, I want to ensure the Council does what it can to support our local football team in its search for a new ground. This will be a very exciting time for Horsham and I look forward to being involved.
Godfrey Newman
Forest

Liberal Democrat
There need to be policies already in place to ensure the highest quality of environment is provided and maintained. It is also up to the Council to ensure they happen, if necessary through enforcement. The green spaces, if the responsibility of the Council, must be maintained through its own specified staff and/or volunteers. This would be through SLAs. There is a need to review the activities and shopping experience within not just the town centre but also the town as a whole – the three Neighbourhood Areas. A concern is the number of office areas that are being sold as Brownfield Sites and redeveloped as housing.
Much of the business areas outside the town centre are of insufficient quality for modern needs and the Council needs to encourage redevelopment. The council needs to review its parking prices to encourage a higher footfall and also respond to the ever changing ways of shopping – such as click and collect and showrooms. Encourage lower rents to allow local entrepreneurs to test their products.
We are fortunate in having good facilities with The Drill Hall, The Capitol, Museum, churches, The Pavilions. It all depends on good marketing skills to provide an excellent experience for audiences and performers alike. We have cultural riches that can enhance
the offerings. We do however lack an art gallery and perhaps an opportunity to have a museum that is larger.
The town is at risk of losing much of its history and culture. We cannot afford to lose buildings that reflect how the town reached the position it holds. An example could be
Prewetts Mill.
I would like to add that the only way we can achieve many of the above is through hard work by all parties. It is not just the businesses in the town nor the Council itself. We should add
Horsham Blueprint which can help to propose the vision of the town’s future. With the Neighbourhood Councils, Horsham Society, Horsham in Bloom, Town Centre Forum and other groups and volunteers Horsham’s future can be certain.
Andrew Baldwin
Holbrook East
Conservative
Horsham is a very attractive town with a historic centre and beautiful old buildings. It is a great place to live, work or visit. That is why Horsham has recently been voted the second best market town in the country. We are fortune to be surrounded by wonderful countryside. The country’s population is rapidly expanding due to high birth rate and continued large scale immigration. Inevitably, when we have to cope with the population rising at about 1000 people a day there will be continued pressure to find places for houses to be built. This will be made worse if a second runway at Gatwick is given the go ahead. Demand for housing far exceeds supply. All political parties say we have to build far more homes especially affordable ones. We have to maintain and enhance our beautiful market town despite the inevitable pressure from government and developers to build more homes in our area. The Council has a good track record of ensuring new buildings are of good design, quality construction and are energy efficient.
I have lived in Horsham since 1989. It is a wonderful thriving town and something I am extremely proud of. I will do my best to ensure the unique character of our town is maintained. If re-elected a Councillor in May I will pursue a policy of zero tolerance in respect of litter which should help enhance the built environment and public green spaces.
 
HDC has an excellent record of supporting local businesses including retailers and the District economy. Microbiz is extremely popular and successful, so much so that other councils are now copying of it. A vibrant and prosperous town is essential. We are fortunate in having one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country as well as one of the lowest levels of empty retail units. At the Council meeting on 29 April the Council will hopefully agree to support “Pop up Horsham”. This will allow 7 entrepreneurs each month to use an empty shop unit in Swan Walk to promote their ideas and hopefully become successful enough to go on to set up their own permanent businesses. Mentoring will be available and it will only cost them £199 a month. The new car parking vehicle registration system makes life easier for shoppers and the fact it is free to park on Sundays also helps the town’s businesses. The Council will continue to promote Horsham as a great place to live, work and visit. I have ensured that extra resources are provided in the town to keep the place clean and tidy. We now have our cleansing staff working in the town centre longer at nights. The town and District are well served by excellent recreational facilities. The Capitol theatre is very popular and often screens the new films as soon as they are released. The theatre provides a very good quality and varied offering of performances. The Pavilions is also a great facility. I will do my best to ensure that the Council continues to invest in quality leisure and play facilities.
Karen Burgess
Holbrook East
Conservative
Horsham is an attractive historic town, with beautiful surrounding countryside. There is need for housing and brownfield sites should be the preferred option, with a mix of affordable and social housing, these houses should be energy efficient. The new John Lewis is a good example of encouraging vibrant business, and many new shops are opening in Horsham. Reasonable rents and affordable parking are also a consideration. Horsham has a cinema and thriving theatre which has many different shows and attractions, a swimming pool complex and many parks with up to date play equipment, if elected I will do my best to ensure the council continues to invest in leisure facilities.
Andrew Sharp
Holbrook East
Liberal Democrat
I think that all the areas covered in your questions are important and should be supported. However I am very conscious of the fact that money can only be spent once and that spending on one project is matched by not spending on another. Within our manifesto, Lib Dems promise to work with our communities and I will ensure there is genuine consultation about projects before we make decisions about using these limited resources. I will support plans for sustainable affordable housing but I believe we should do everything possible to minimise the impact of development on the natural world. I am not currently a councillor and have no detailed knowledge of the council’s budget or what projects are competing for funds so I cannot give a detailed answer to your questions. I do think it is important that we work to maintain the attractive environment of the town centre and that we continue to support our traders by reviewing the parking charges. We should also be attracting businesses to the town centre so that we reduce the need to commute. 3. We have excellent facilities in Horsham such as the Capitol and the Pavilions. I will protect the services provided by these facilities.
Peter Burgess
Holbrook West

Conservative

Horsham is a pleasant diverse market town. Previous Councils have tried to keep any development in character, and I agree with this. So my main priority is to maintain our green spaces and character of new building:
1. I will oppose any oversized or crowded planning applications.
2. I will oppose any attempt to remove or reduce any green spaces in the town and work to enhance those that exist.
3. I will try to ensure any new buildings are in sympathy with the current town area, and oppose any ugly developments which are proposed.
4. Totally oppose any building development in North Horsham on the other side of the current bypass.

1. I will support small developments which I think are the initial catalyst for developing future medium or larger scale industries.
2. I will support any attempt to rationalise the central area shopping centre, with new small retailers of any type. For instance, we could do with more specialised provision outlets, clothes, shoes, music etc.
3. I will continue to work for a sympathetic, practical redevelopment of the Roffey Central area, with diverse outlets.
4. Support the proposed University development in Horsham.
1. I support maintaining current Sports facilities including the Broadbridge Heath Sports Centre, The Holbrook Club site, which I think can be expanded and the Indoor Bowls Club, which is one of the best I have seen. I will want to see further sports and recreational facilities in our local area.
2. The Council must work closely with the proposed University to plan and organise the major new developments involved with it, to enhance Horsham and the surrounding areas. I have asked the Council to provide a specific senior officer to facilitate this.
3. Develop a major new hotel with in the town. We have a number of good small ones, but we need something big and beautiful with conference centre facilities and space to hold large community events.
4. Expand the existing arts centres including the Capitol, especially the smaller venues in it, the Drill Hall, North Heath Hall with its theatre capacity and many others.
5. Improve facilities for young people to meet and congregate in an informal, unstructured manner.
6. Improve the bus service to Holbrook, especially in the evening and on Sundays, when there is virtually nothing.
Tony Guyton
Holbrook West

Labour
Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure public spaces, streets and highways are kept free from litter and refuse, I would make sure that Horsham council properly manages this responsibility and improves on the poor standards currently evident in some parts of the town. The benefits to the community that come from well maintained and freely accessible open space far outweigh the cost of providing those facilities. I will ensure that the council prioritises the delivery of a high quality parks and green space management programme,. I will support development on brown field sites where it is clear that this addresses our need for housing. Where developers propose to build on green field sites I will support this if there has been proper consultation with local people, and only for developments that address an identified need for affordable housing for local people. For the benefit of the local economy and local residents Horsham council has to ensure that Horsham provides a varied and interesting offer to visitors to our town centre. I will help the council to develop a town centre strategy that provides something for everyone; that means markets, value shopping, quality high street names, independents and a range of goods and services. I would encourage the council to more effectively promote our town to businesses that can develop that diverse offer. I would ensure that the council uses its resources to assist the businesses in our town in overcoming the challenges they face in difficult economic times and in a changing retail environment. This could include providing training and support to business owners and discussing with them their ideas and support needs. The council has buildings and open space that could be a real asset to our town, providing an improved leisure and cultural offer, appropriate to modern standards . I would ensure that the council works in partnership with potential funders and stakeholders in the community to restore and enhance the leisure opportunities that have been lost as a result of the lack of investment over a number of years. I will campaign for sustainable management and maintenance plans to be put in place so that our assets are valued by our communities and are accessible to everyone. I will oppose a strategy that allows our assets to fall into decline and results in them being handed over to private companies.
Linda Hugl
Holbrook West

Labour
A clean and well maintained environment positively affects our well-being.  Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure public spaces, streets and  highways are kept free from litter and refuse, I would make sure that Horsham council properly manages this responsibility and improves on the poor standards currently evident in some parts of the  town.   The benefits to the community that come from well maintained and freely accessible open space far outweigh the cost of providing those facilities.  I will ensure that the council prioritises the delivery of a high quality parks and green space management programme.   I will support development on brown field sites where it is clear that this addresses our need for housing.  Where developers propose to build on green field sites  I will support this if there is proper consultation with local people and only for developments that address an identified need for affordable housing for local people. For the benefit of the local economy and local residents Horsham council has to ensure that Horsham provides a varied and interesting offer to visitors to our town centre.  I will help the council to develop a town centre strategy that provides something for everyone; that means markets, value shopping, quality high street names,  independents and a range of goods and services.  I would encourage the council to more effectively promote our town to businesses that can develop that diverse offer.   I would ensure that  the council  uses its  resources  to assist the businesses in  our town in overcoming the challenges they face in difficult economic times and a changing retail environment.  This could include providing training and support to business owners and discussing with them their ideas and support needs. The council has buildings and open space that could be a real asset to our town, providing an improved leisure and cultural offer, appropriate to modern standards. I would ensure that the council works in partnership with potential funders and stakeholders in the community to restore and enhance the leisure opportunities that have been lost as a result of the lack of investment over a number of years. I will campaign for sustainable management and maintenance plans to be put in place so that our assets are valued by our communities and are accessible to everyone.  I will oppose a strategy that allows our assets to fall into decline and results in them being handed over to private companies.
Christian Mitchell
Holbrook West
Conservative

The poet John Lydgate famously said: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

That’s certainly true when it comes to protecting the unique environment in a place as special as Horsham.

But what Lydgate didn’t add was: "But that shouldn't stop you trying".

Too often politicians give the appearance that they have made up their own minds before they have listened to local people or they have chosen the path of least resistance.

Juggling the competing pressures for more homes and new development with the need to keep Horsham a rural market town is never easy.

But if you give residents genuine choices, listen to their views with a wholly open mind and always seek to do the right thing by the people you serve then you stand the best possible chance of developing solutions that the community will embrace.

A vibrant business and retail community is vital. Well paid local jobs and a high street scene full of quality independents, aspirational national brands, and super-value low price shops will ensure that we continue to deliver the very best for everyone who lives and works in Horsham.

But again, it is all down to listening to people and understanding what they want first as well as supporting those in the community working so hard to achieve these great goals. Councils operating in isolation can deliver nothing of worth - it's only when you work as a team with the town that you can make a real and lasting difference.

I would certainly build on such successes as Microbiz which has done so much to encourage and help small and fledgling businesses as well as Piazza Italia. I congratulate Gill Buchanan and the Horsham Unlimited enterprise too.

The town needs to look attractive too - but money must be spent wisely and in such a way so as to ensure that the unique character of our market town is preserved.

People tell me that key elements that work well for traders are great Christmas lights and decorations - we once had the best in the region; cheap and easily accessible car parking; and good promotion of town centre events and offers.

We need to promote the benefits of the town more across the whole region - and that means working positively with big media players like the County Times and Horsham Gazette group.

These three questions have all be about using the council's resources. Actually, the only resources the council has is the money council tax and town charge payers are forced to give it.

I believe in low taxation and congratulate my own group on freezing tax year after year.

As I hope my previous answers illustrate, of course you need to make some financial investments in the collective ambitions of the town but partnership working can often achieve a lot more than simply throwing lots of money at something.

The town has great recreational facilities like The Pavilions and The Capitol - both the product of a very forward thinking Horsham District Council in the past. These facilities need to continue to adapt and evolve but good marketing is also essential too.

We need to understand as well the recreational hopes of the next generation and identify clever ways of providing them.

As with anything - and as has always been the way with Horsham - whatever we do must be hallmarked with quality.

Horsham is a wonderful town. I am hugely proud of it. That is why I seek, once again, to serve local people in pursuing the very best for them. That means, sometimes, being critical of my own council and that is a position I will never shy away from.

John Randell
Holbrook West
UKIP
If elected I would strive to protect and where possible enhance the Strategic Gap to the North of Horsham and to restrict the activities of rampant developers to within brown field sites. If elected I would also ensure that the council would be held to account should it fall short of its duties to the community. I feel that the high business rates along with parking charges are at an unacceptable level and at variance with encouraging/sustaining both existing and future business ventures to locate to Horsham. High rents, rates and parking costs deter investment and ultimately visitor foot fall. We have a reasonable mix of smaller business but too many of them are failing in part due to the high costs of trading and nothing deters new investment as much as boarded up stores. Horsham has much to be proud of regarding Leisure facilities but there ramains much to do. The maintenance and enhancement of quality of life must be a priority. Support for the performing arts and all sporting activities both within schools and the community at large is a must for the well being and health of our citizens and would have my full support.
Ray Chapman
Horsham Park
Labour
Over the past few years I have been concerned about the appearance of the town centre around the bus terminal.
I am keen to promote the image of our town as first appearances are important to visitors and shoppers arriving at the bus depot.
I would encourage a planned maintenance programme from the Horsham council to address the following concerns I have.
Approaching the town from the Catholic church towards the bus terminus and library where the market used to be the expensive paving is cracked and any missing slabs have been replaced by tarmac.
I am sure the Shelley fountain could have been maintained if a planned maintenance agreement had been put in place at the time of the installation.
The railings around the library often have been bent after collisions with cars. The new railing sections having been fitted are painted in an undercoat colour and it takes forever for the railings to be painted with a finishing coat of paint to match the original railings
The wooden fencing surrounding the edges of the gardens are forever being replaced then knocked down by careless motorists trying to park in this restricted area. Attractive metal bollards are required to be installed in all these areas.
The gardens along the road opposite the library need more sympathetic maintenance as debris is left strewn over the gardens.
The Forum suffers from the same neglect with broken fences and cables on the perimeter of this area.
I think that local businesses should have more support as regards parking being allocated for their use during trading hours. Currently permits are available but parking spaces are a long walk from the business centre.
Parking charges should be reviewed to encourage shoppers to visit our town. There should be more short term parking available for shoppers. I would support and encourage Horsham council to review these issues.
The river walks that have been developed in recent years  has  given Horsham residents the opportunity to enjoy the quite environment.
 
I would listen to the views of residents to extend this type of  recreation for walking and cycling.
David Hide
Horsham Park
Labour
A clean and wellmaintained environment positively affects our well -being. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure public spaces, streets and highways are kept free from litter and refuse, I would make sure that Horsham council properly manages this responsibility and improves on the poor standards currently evident in some parts of the town. The benefits to the community that come from well maintained and freely accessible open space far outweigh the cost of providing those facilities. I will ensure that the council prioritizes the delivery of a high quality parks and green space management programme,. I will support development on brown field sites where it is clear that this addresses our need for housing. Where developers propose to build on green field sites I will support this if there had been proper consultation with local people and only for developments that address an identified need for affordable housing for local people. As someone who has worked in horticulture all of my life I am acutely aware of the social and economic benefits that flow from the creation of excellent green and open spaces. West Sussex is the centre of the British ornamental and edible production industries and I would seek to engage with these to a far greater extent. For the benefit of the local economy and local residents Horsham council has to ensure that Horsham provides a varied and interesting offer to visitors to our town centre. I will help the council to develop a town centre strategy that provides something for everyone; that means markets, value shopping, quality high street names, independents and a range of goods and services. I would encourage the council to more effectively promote our town to businesses that can develop that diverse offer. I would ensure that the council uses its resources to assist the businesses in our town in overcoming the challenges they face in difficult economic times and a changing retail environment. This could include providing training and support to business owners and discussing with them their ideas and support needs.
 
The council has buildings and open space that could be a real asset to our town, providing an improved leisure and cultural offer, appropriate to modern standards . I would ensure that the council works in partnership with potential funders and stakeholders in the community to restore and enhance the leisure opportunities that have been lost as a result of the lack of investment over a number of years. I will campaign for sustainable management and maintenance plans to be put in place so that our assets are valued by our communities and are accessible to everyone. I will oppose a strategy that allows our assets to fall into decline and results in them being handed over to private companies.
 
Frances Haigh
Horsham Park

Liberal Democrat

I am a supporter of Neighbourhood Planning which gives communities a right to plan for the future development of their neighbourhood. I have been working with the three Neighbourhood Councils, Horsham Society, Horsham Town Community Partnership, other community groups, businesses and residents to form a Forum so that we can produce a Neighbourhood Plan. Within the Plan, policies can be included which:

a. Define the character of the area, setting rules for future development to follow.
b. Designate conservation areas
c. Protect green spaces
d. Allocate sites for development and the type of development which will be acceptable on those sites, eg residential, commercial, retail.

I will use the resources of the Council to support the process of neighbourhood planning across the District, but in particular within Horsham Town. In addition, I will ensure that none of the green spaces held by the Council on behalf of the community are sold off to third parties for development nor used by the Council for purposes other than public green space.

I am concerned that the Council does not have enough staff to deliver community projects where funding already exists or could be obtained. This is particularly true of the parks team where a very talented and capable team is being over-stretched. This is to the detriment of the town.

I have opposed the North of Horsham development in the strategic gap and co-authored an Alternative Strategy to the HDPF. I will continue to do so, but should it proceed, I will work to ensure that the development meets the local vision and integrates well with Horsham.
 

I think that the town centre has been harmed by the introduction of the evening parking charge. The revenue raised has been offset by the inconvenience it has caused to residents and the additional cost of enforcement as well as time spent trying to resolve the problems. I would like to stop this charge. The SmartPark system should give more information about parking and dwell times so that we can look at the usage and how to improve charging schemes. Some of the revenue raised from car parking should be used to promote Horsham as a whole, as well as the hugely successful events in the town centre. I would like to see a proper marketing plan for Horsham and the District. I think that there is scope to market Horsham as a weekend place to stay on London’s doorstep, with more being done to promote the restaurants, food producers, heritage and walking/cycling routes. Surrey has embraced the increase in cycling as both transport and a leisure activity, and it is time that West Sussex does too!

With regard to retail, there are two main areas of concern; the effect of the new Waitrose on Piries Place, and the niche shopping area of Queen Street. I will continue to work for Queen Street to be updated and to be marketed as a specialist shopping centre. Piries Place possibly has a future as an alternative area, with a mixture of foodie shops, small businesses and digital cafes. We have to be careful to meet modern needs and not try to be yet another cloned shopping centre when so much is now purchased on-line.

The local economy is more than just retail. Horsham is home to numerous digital businesses and I will continue work on creating a Digital Hub in Horsham. This is a project in association with Hack Horsham, HDC, local schools and local businesses. There is a need to train the workforce of the future and enable people to acquire the necessary skills. We have some very exciting projects under-way for this year. I am also pressing for more spaces for start-ups and co-working to support our fledgling businesses.

The Lib Dem group believes that sports and leisure facilities, including creative and performing arts, are extremely important for all generations. We have been involved in the campaign to stop the demolition of the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre and Horsham Indoor Bowls Club right from the very beginning and have worked with user groups to save those facilities. We are working to help find a home for Horsham Football Club. We also campaign to protect the community green spaces as far as we can and in my ward I am working with officers on replacement football changing rooms at Bennetts Field.

The Capitol Theatre plays an important role in the community, not just as a centre for entertainment and as a meeting and art gallery space, but also in providing an opportunity for local residents to show and perform their work. As such, it should be protected and supported.

The possible new University of Brighton campus will be of great value to the town. It will mean more young adults in the town who are looking for opportunities to perform music and theatre and also looking for places to go for evening entertainment. This gives us an opportunity to update facilities such as the bowling alley and Chameleon nightclub. We should also be looking at providing other venues that will appeal to this age group.

We also need to attract and provide more facilities for children, including restaurants that welcome and appeal to this age group. I have supported the Hop, Skip and Jump charity with their project to bring a “Care in the High Street” respite centre to Horsham. We missed having the first one in the country, but the Horsham branch is due to open in Swan Walk in May. This will be fantastic for local families with disabled children.
 

Carol Hayton
Horsham Park
Labour
A clean and well maintained environment positively affects our well-being.  Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure public spaces, streets and  highways are kept free from litter and refuse, I would make sure that Horsham council properly manages this responsibility and improves on the poor standards currently evident in some parts of the  town.   The benefits to the community that come from well maintained and freely accessible open space far outweigh the cost of providing those facilities.  I will ensure that the council prioritizes the delivery of a high quality parks and green space management programme,.   I will support development on brown field sites where it is clear that this addresses our need for housing.  Where developers propose to build on green field sites  I will  support this if there had been proper consultation  with local people and only for developments that  address an identified  need for affordable housing for local people. For the benefit of the local economy and local residents Horsham council has to ensure that Horsham provides a varied and interesting offer to visitors to our town centre.  I will help the  council to develop a town centre strategy that provides something for everyone; that means markets, value shopping, quality high street names,  independents and a range of goods and services.  I would encourage the council to more effectively  promote our  town  to businesses that  can develop that diverse offer.   I would ensure  that  the council  uses its  resources  to assist the businesses in  our town in   overcoming the challenges they face in difficult  economic times  and a changing retail environment.  This could include providing training and support to business owners and discussing with them their ideas and support needs. The council has buildings and open space that could be a real asset to our town, providing an improved  leisure and cultural offer, appropriate to modern standards . I would ensure that the council works in partnership with potential funders and stakeholders in the community to restore and enhance the leisure opportunities that have been lost as a result of the lack of investment  over a number of years. I will campaign for sustainable management and maintenance  plans to be put in place so that our assets  are valued by our communities  and are accessible to everyone.  I will oppose a  strategy that  allows our assets to fall into decline and  results in them being handed over to private companies.
Josh Murphy
Horsham Park
Conservative
The country faces continued population growth, and with this comes challenges to provide for our current and future generations. This includes the development of housing and infrastructure, but it does not have to come with the cost of endangering the unique beauty of Horsham and its surrounding areas. Listening to residents' concerns is a key step in ensuring the area retains its character and continues to be one of the most appealing places to live in the country. I oppose large-scale development to the north of Horsham. Horsham is well known for its diverse range of shops, cafes and restaurants. I will look to encourage efforts to promote the excellent shopping experience Horsham has to offer, particularly in offering cheap, accessible car parks and improved cycle infrastructure. I will ensure that Horsham town centre continues to be a clean and healthy place by reducing litter to a minimum.
Recent proposals for a university campus offer an important opportunity for Horsham to grow local business further. Getting this right is an important challenge for the council, and something I would look to support.
Horsham town can boast superb recreational facilities: The Pavilions provides high-class sport and leisure for exercise and well-being; Horsham park is a highlight of the town throughout the year, and a wonderful green space; The Capitol hosts a variety of culture and entertainment. I would work to ensure the council continues to deliver the best recreational facilities possible by keeping up with modern trends to meet the demands of residents.
 
Connor Relleen
Horsham Park
Conservative
The reality is that Horsham, much like the rest of the South East, is under significant and on-going pressure to build more homes. We have to accept that Horsham has expanded rapidly in recent decades and will continue to grow in the years to come.
However, if elected I will strongly oppose any development that in any way damages the unique character of Horsham, or that threatens to spoil the green space within or outside of our town.
I signed the County Times Free Speech Charter because I will always put the views of residents above all else. I will work with local people when we are faced with pressure for more homes and seek solutions that are appropriate for Horsham in the long-term.
In Horsham we already have a vibrant and successful shopping area. This is in large part due to the wide variety of shops, restaurants and services that make the town centre such an enjoyable place for residents and visitors to be. Events such as Piazza Italia and the Big Nibble Festival attract thousands of people and help make this one of the best towns in the country.
There is clearly a part to play for the Council in supporting local businesses and further improving the town centre. By helping to make the town look better throughout the whole year, by continuing to provide easily accessible and inexpensive parking, and by putting on even more local events that are promoted well across the region on both traditional and social media, Horsham can become an even better town for residents and businesses alike.
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Horsham District Council must continue to support the development of recreational and creative arts facilities, such as The Capitol and The Pavilions, and it must be proactive in ensuring that the needs of all residents are met. The Council has an important role in ensuring that there are a wide range of facilities available for the enjoyment of residents of all ages and it must work hard to support their expansion.
If elected, I will not support any real terms Council Tax rises over the next four years. The Council must be responsible in its spending and, as it has done so successfully over the last few years, it must foster productive working relationships with the private and voluntary sectors rather than recklessly overspending. This is how we will further improve the town’s recreational and creative facilities, it is how we will support local businesses and it is how we will make Horsham even stronger.
David Skipp
Horsham Park
Liberal Democrat
The Town has always played an important role in the county of Sussex and when I moved here in the seventies it still retained a market town feel .The expansion of the fringes and the creep towards Crawley with the breaching of the northern bypass for the North Horsham development has altered the substance of the Town but I believe that the core remains.
I have always supported the view that green space is essential for the well being of residents and indeed visitors.Within the town there are spaces such as the Park, Bennets Field ,Chesworth farm ,and the riverside walk which provide places of relaxation and interest and which should be protected from encroaching developers or those seeking to curtail these valuable spaces for other projects.To use a well known phrase these are the "green lungs" and the green corridors which we must not lose.They connect with the surrounding countryside encouraging continuity between town and country.
Allied to the promotion of green spaces must be the insistence backed by Council policy that new builds should be of the appropriate style to that of the surrounding buildings.
We should have the highest standard of building both in design and sustainability.
I would like to see a Town council and greater involvement of local residents and their representatives in the development of our Town,much of the decision making is by councillors from the south of the district,I question whether this should be so.
With an attractive Town and attractions such as the Causeway ,Carfax ,Horsham Park ,The Riverside Walk and restaurants ,there is a place for a vibrant and successful shopping area.
I would like to see a thorough review of business rates,encouragement of shops with a specialist interest so called niche shops ,and ensuring that the Swan walk centre is always full rather than having empty space.
The parking strategy needs revisiting and the evening charge removed.
The Town should , if marketed well  attract both those on holiday and also people from local villages and towns.This should generate income and interest in the amenities.We are situated between North and South Downs ,a gateway to attractions and the countryside and we    need to raise our profile.
The business in and around the town delivers high class products.Again we need positive advertising ,highlighting the road links and rail links to other towns ,the coast and London. Some of the business areas are looking tired but this could be remedied with little expense .There is a need for engagement with businesses outside the Carfax but in the town.This is something that could be rectified if we had Town members involved in dialogue with business owners and managers.The present system does not allow for ALL. Town members to be involved ,in fact it excludes most. Communication is important and does not require vast sums of money.
A balance between housing ,business and recreation is important.The use of Section 106 money for recreational facilities is appropriate but many of the new developments do not have land for recreation.We need to protect what we have and ensure that in planning we fold in the recreational needs.We have a good theatre which we need to support and maintain and encourage local companies such as Theatre 48 and HAODSto use.The problem is subsidising the theatre particularly as many residents from the south of the district do not feel that it is fair that Horsham should have money spent on a building to which they do not attend.
The Town has an excellent drill hall which could be available for more community events particularly creative events and workshops.
We could certainly use section 106 monies for sporting facilities,but we need a long term strategy with regard to the leisure centre at Broadbridge Heath, the football club and the provision of G3 pitches amongst other projects
We have an excellent museum with a forward thinking management,which is encouraging art exhibitions of a high standard,and this should continue with increased numbers of events.
The great challenge is to find funding,for the Town.Certainly section 106 is one answer but we need greater efforts at marketing ,provide facilities for modern businesses and generate increased footfall bringing increased wealth into the local community.
Ian Tandy
Horsham Park
Conservative
I would seek to sustain green spaces in and around Horsham, for the peaceful enjoyment of residents and visitors. We would resist further indiscriminate development into the countryside, providing positive incentive for the use of redundant brown field sites with a stipulation that developers provide for adequate infrastructure in advance. I would support local businesses by minimising the time for planning consent and by lobbying for a change in the iniquitous system of Business Rates, which increase annually by default. We would also want local suppliers and contractors to have every opportunity to bid for HDC contracts. Parking charges in Horsham do little to encourage shoppers when other locations have free parking. I would seek to sustain the town's recreational facilities (including performing arts) and the contribution that they make to the quality of life in the area. Such facilities have a positive impact on health and well being of residents and they are highly valued. Youth volunteering is a subject I feel passionately about and should be actively encouraged for the benefit of all.
Tony Bevis
Roffey North
Liberal Democrat

In terms of the built environment the Council must have clear planning policies and guidance and it should keep these current by a process of consultation not by doing deals behind closed doors. It should always have the courage to use its enforcement powers and be prepared to defend their use if it loses at an appeal.

I see the Council as responsible for maintaining its green spaces but also being an enabler for voluntary groups who can use council resources and their own time to enhance those spaces.

The Council already has a range of policies, initiatives and events to support local businesses and it supports a number of events which bring people into the town. The single service that the Council operates which has the most immediate impact on shopping footfall is parking, recent changes have been insensitively introduced  and overall charges and time bands need to be reviewed. The Park and Ride scheme needs to be reinvigorated, compared to many towns it is very second rate.

Having been a councillor directly involved with the building of the Pavilions, the revamp of the Capitol and the acquisition of the TA Centre I am always pleased to see the infrastructure being well used. I don’t think Councils are good impresarios; creating interesting offerings in the arts and recreation needs vision but it also needs sensible marketing which aims to build loyal audiences and groups of performers. There is demonstrable support in the town and its hinterland for a range of cultural offerings, the Council needs to unlock that support.
There are a few general points I would make which are, I think, relevant to all the questions.

Although HDC has resources which it can deploy for the benefit of the town it can only successfully meet its objectives if it partners with other organisations in the town with shared values. Examples would be Horsham in Bloom, the Town Centre Forum, the Neighbourhood Councils and a range of statutory and voluntary bodies including the Horsham Society.

In view of the rapid growth of the town it is important that everybody with an interest in the town seeks to generate a sense of civic pride enabling first generation residents to feel a shared sense of identity with the history and culture of the town. Everyone should be actively encouraged to participate in town activities. This should encompass the written, musical and sporting heritage that the town has and every effort should be made to ensure that when local people take part in regional and national events they are seen as examples of the best of Horsham.

Alan Britten
Roffey North

Conservative
By seeking advice and guidance from those better qualified and knowledgeable to guide my endeavours. To continue and support the good work of the last Conservative council in this respect. Recreational facilities are essential elements within a community as is creative and performing arts and both deserve my support to the fullest.
Nik Butler
Roffey North

Independent
We cannot ignore the evidence that the financial powers of any council are limited by its need to service the many issues of local administration; in short without the motivated will of the community to deliver on this question then it continually goes unanswered. You need only see the work of Friends of New Street, Horsham in Bloom and Earles Meadow residents association to see what motivation alongside council co-operation had wrought. Horsham has many great green spaces; some such as Horsham Park are easily identified where as other fields throughout Horsham from Bennetts field, The 'Rec' near Trafalgar and Amberley Close are almost hidden green spaces. With the determination to build new houses being the ever present conversation we should be balancing those desires with the need to create new green spaces and to enhance the discovery of new and existing locations. Projects such as the Riverside walk lay the foundation for exploration and with council co-operation why not look to make these previously hidden spaces another part of Horsham to be explored. First we need to define the purpose of successful shopping area. If we constantly fill car parks and improve footfall is this the success we measure? Is it still a success if sales do not actually improve for all retailers at the same event. Currently we have a number of great points of data from car parking records, to evidence of weather, and a calendar of events. What I have not seen is any evidence of the final point of data to determine value. Sales data; are shops, not just cafes and restaurants, or stall holders in a market, seeing improvements to sales. These retailers who have rates, and electricity, and staff wages to pay, do they see an increase in sales or are their shops empty whilst people crowd the streets? Footfall is a poor indicator of success and with communications and information we have today there is little reason not to improve this information. Further Horsham, like every town today, should understand the river of electronic commerce is already flowing through it; and it does not require new business parks or industrial estates to benefit from this. The digital creative industry has been outpacing many traditional models of finance and manufacturing for over a decade now. Its workers are not encumbered in a nine to five setting. We need councillors who are aware that thousands of jobs pass through Horsham every hour due to the Internet. That seeking investment from large corporations to bolster our economy constantly places too many investment eggs in one basket. We need to look for the leaner, faster moving, modern creative businesses who are already priced out of London and Brighton and provide them a location for growth. We are already home to one such successful and growing business and there could be more. Having already helped in the provision of the local Horsham Parkrun event in Horsham Park and working on the goal to bring further Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math ( STEAM ) through the Hack Horsham events I believe that as with the first question this is a problem whose answer lies in ensuring that council co-operation and communication can work with groups who are motivated to provide events; such as we saw with Festival of Music, Dance and even the Beer Festival. I feel that we need to provide a balanced approach to aiding and funding events and opportunities and we must ensure that no group can claim a particular control over a resource or area which should be available to the wider public as a whole. I am a strong believer that the Arts and Sciences are complimentary goals whose public leisure and recreational investment should be on a par with those in Sports. Our economic development underpins many of the opportunities for recreational facilitates and by investing in those who are investing their time and will, we may well find new answers to old financial or responsibility questions. In many ways this last question circles back to the first and taken as a a whole we should not look to each of these questions in isolation but consider how each area might positively impact the next.
Jonathan Dancer
Roffey North
Conservative
I believe that in Horsham District, we need to take a strategic and balanced view of housing need.  As a Council, it is our obligation to create a fair, strategically-led long-term land supply that protects the environment & maximises affordability.  I set up the website www.savingnorthhorsham.co.uk in 2014 and have been a staunch campaigner against the arbitrary choice of North Horsham as a site for substantial development on a flood plain containing diverse habitats and adjacent to ancient woodland.  I will continue to argue that we should revise the plan and seek a fundamental and unbiased review of the HDC Local Planning Framework in open consultation with the public. I run a consultancy business from Horsham and cherish the diversity of small suppliers available to me in the town.  I believe it is vital that we do not hollow out the town centre with huge out-of-town shopping areas.  I think it is the duty of the Council to create an environment that is favourable especially to small and fledgling businesses.  There are plenty of policy areas that can help, from favourable parking arrangements to tiered business rates.  I would like to see Horsham becoming a vibrant retail and business centre, and we clearly have work to do to attract small businesses to take up some of the empty office space we have.  I believe that everything starts with a strong local economy and as a small business owner, I really understand the pressures faced by local businesses. As well as being a commercial centre, Horsham is where we live and it is important that we have the scope to relax and enjoy our leisure time.  As a musician I am a great supporter of the Arts and believe that we should do more to support what is already a very strong music scene in Horsham.  There is scope to do more in not only showcasing new and existing talent, but in ensuring that the public have access to open air performances and gigs as well as theatre and exhibitions.  It is not always possible to provide the scale of grants we might like to, but there are plenty of other ways in which the Council can facilitate and encourage the Arts.  In addition to this, I believe it is important that we provide suitable facilities for physical recreation including not only appropriate leisure centres but by enhancing cycling provision, a key part of which is listening to the concerns of residents that cycle either for transportation or leisure and finding ways to act upon them.
Ivor Williams
Roffey North
UKIP
I would fight to maintain green spaces around Horsham for the joy of people and wildlife and stop further building on fields which are meant for food production. I would like to see the planned building for North Horsham scrapped.  I would like to see lower business rates to encourage business and trade to Horsham keeping the town thriving. Parks, recreational facilities and theatres are an important part of people's lives. They bring a lot of joy to residents of all ages and should be maintained.
Ruth Williams
Roffey North
UKIP
I am strongly opposed to the planned house building north of Horsham. No thought has been put into infrastructure i.e. schools, healthcare, recreational facilities etc.  If elected I will fight further indiscriminate building plans to preserve unspoilt areas for the pleasure & use of the residents. I feel the council could help small businesses by simplifying planning and reducing business rates. I would also like to see more advice and help offered to businesses wishing to move into Horsham, keeping the town busy and successful thereby encouraging more visitors to come here for shopping, eating and entertainment. As a keen theatre goer I am very conscious how important this and other local recreational facilities are to Horsham. I would always be committed to improving and growing the numerous events, festivals etc. that already take place here.  This along with the sports and swimming facilities are extremely important to residents of all ages and should be protected and improved at every opportunity.
Roger Arthur
Roffey South
UKIP
I want to see green spaces in and around Horsham sustained for the peaceful enjoyment of residents and visitors. I would continue to resist indiscriminate development into the countryside, providing positive incentive for the use of redundant brown field sites.  I have repeatedly fought against inappropriate development on green field land, as facilitated by the NPPF, often against the aspirations of local communities and shall continue to do that. I want to minimise the time taken to deal with planning applications by local businesses and to lobbying for a change in the iniquitous system of Business Rates.  I also want red tape to be reduced, allowing local suppliers and contractors to have every opportunity to bid for HDC contracts. I would seek to sustain Horsham's recreational facilities, with their positive impact on the health and well being of residents in and around the town.  Further improvements will need to be found in HDC's Cost/Income ratio, to maintain discretionary services - in the face of further Government funding cuts.  I shall certainly work actively to improve that ratio, if re-elected.
Margaret Cornwell
Roffey South
Labour

As a Labour Party Candidate I respond to your question according to our  Manifesto and fully endorse the response you have already received from Carol Hayton
Affordable houses for local people.

Ian Nicol
Roffey South
Labour
A clean and well maintained environment positively affects our well -being. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure public spaces, streets and highways are kept free from litter and refuse, I would make sure that Horsham council properly manages this responsibility and improves on the poor standards currently evident in some parts of the town. The benefits to the community that come from well maintained and freely accessible open space far outweigh the cost of providing those facilities. I will ensure that the council prioritizes the delivery of a high quality parks and green space management programme,. I will support development on brown field sites where it is clear that this addresses our need for housing. Where developers propose to build on green field sites I will support this if there had been proper consultation with local people and only for developments that address an identified need for affordable housing for local people. For the benefit of the local economy and local residents Horsham council has to ensure that Horsham provides a varied and interesting offer to visitors to our town centre. I will help the council to develop a town centre strategy that provides something for everyone; that means markets, value shopping, quality high street names, independents and a range of goods and services. I would encourage the council to more effectively promote our town to businesses that can develop that diverse offer. I would ensure that the council uses its resources to assist the businesses in our town in overcoming the challenges they face in difficult economic times and a changing retail environment. This could include providing training and support to business owners and discussing with them their ideas and support needs. The council has buildings and open space that could be a real asset to our town, providing an improved leisure and cultural offer, appropriate to modern standards . I would ensure that the council works in partnership with potential funders and stakeholders in the community to restore and enhance the leisure opportunities that have been lost as a result of the lack of investment over a number of years. I will campaign for sustainable management and maintenance plans to be put in place so that our assets are valued by our communities and are accessible to everyone. I will oppose a strategy that allows our assets to fall into decline and results in them being handed over to private companies.
Belinda Walters
Roffey South
Liberal Democrat
Green spaces: If elected I will use my influence to help local communities identify and protect local ‘green space’ land - whether its value is in its natural beauty, its historic resonances, its recreational value, its tranquillity or its importance as wildlife habitat. I have personal experience of local small green lung space being designated as brown field sites and then having houses built on them. I will endeavour to support local communities in protecting our valued open spaces into the future.

Built environment: If elected I will use my influence to amend and develop the Horsham District Local Plan and Planning Rules so they reflect fully the wants and needs of Horsham residents. This would mean protecting identified buildings and street scenes to ensure Horsham maintains its description as a picturesque historical market town and that these buildings and street scenes are kept as is in perpetuity.

The wider countryside: If elected I will use my influence to ensure that Horsham District Planning Framework - Preferred Strategy and Local Development Framework are developed taking into account the wider district needs and that local housing development meets both the needs of local communities and businesses both in Horsham and throughout the district. There is much need for affordable and social housing across the district and house building needs to be spread to meet these needs rather than cram them into and around Horsham.

Vibrant Economy: As a local craftsperson trading in Horsham Market, I fully appreciate the need to ensure Horsham is a vibrant "come to" shopping town. If elected I will use my influence to build on such events as Piazza Italia, the English Day of Dance and the Big Nibble so that there are many more reasons for people to spend time in Horsham for fun and to shop. We have just been named as the second best market town in England and we should use this accolade to ensure Horsham is seen as a destination town.

Encouraging visitors: Car parking charges have a major influence on people wanting to stay and shop in Horsham. As a councillor, I argued strongly against the rises in car park charges at the time. If elected I would want to review these charges with a view to reducing them. I am aware that coach companies would love to bring their customers to Horsham but are reluctant to do so as there are no coach parks within the town. I would use my influence to develop a coach park within one of the council’s open car parks or land.

Business Support - Business rates for independents has always been a stealth tax which for small businesses cannot be passed on to customers. I believe that a fairer rating system should be in place and would use my influence where possible to drive through new initiatives to support small businesses. I am also passionate about the markets in the town and would like to see more support offered to traders – fiscal as well as material. Many traders develop into small business moving to commercial units in the town which in turn bring job opportunities. If elected, I would like to see a “package of support” available to help the transformation from trader to small business.

Supporting Leisure: It is a well known fact that good leisure facilities improve people’s health and wellbeing. HDC run Leisure facilities in Horsham are varied and well supported. In the past many have been an income stream for the Council. Some facilities are wrongly under the threat of closure for example the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre. I am passionate about Horsham Football Club and believe strongly that a home should be found for it. If elected I would look to facilitate a strong permanent future for all our leisure facilities.

Culture: The Capitol Theatre offers various opportunities not only for creative and performing arts but it can also form part of cultural offering in the town together with the museum given the opportunity to do so. If elected I would use my influence to keep both these facilities publically owned and run. For those that visit the town on a Saturday between April and September they will find themselves serenaded with bandstand concerts and street players. Together with the Battle of the Bands, many budding musicians and performers have the platform to entertain the public. I would like to ensure the council offers its resources where needed to support Horsham’s vibrant entertainment industry.

If elected I will look to find ways of protecting and extending the many and varied facilities run and supported by HDC, freeing them up to expand their offerings and where appropriate keeping them in the public domain.

Carol Bowring
Trafalgar
UKIP
It is priority that we keep the green spaces in and around Horsham and to oppose any more land grabs by greedy developers, who seem intent on covering our beautiful town and surrounding countryside in concrete, without a second thought on how the local services will be affected Local businesses should be supported better than they are at present. There are too many closing down. The business rates need to be lowered to encourage more local people to invest.  The towns recreational facilities need to be encouraged and sustained as they are unique to Horsham.The Theatre and the Art exhibitions are very important to residents and visitors, who bring revenue into the town.
They should be fully supported.
The Leisure facilities are greatly used by all ages and should continue to be so, as this encourages children and the elderly to maintain a healthy and beneficial way of life.
Christine Costin
Trafalgar
Liberal Democrat
Having been a Councillor for 20 years I have watched the influence of Horsham Town evaporate so the first thing I would hope to change is the Cabinet System, so that a balanced and fair Committee System could be reinstated. I would also want to see genuine move to install a proper Town Council to represent Horsham Town.  We have recently seen too many decisions that threaten the future character and nature of Horsham.  I would want to see a return to protecting the town's unique built environment so that it matches the superior and magical image that it has been known for.  Horsham is an exceptional historic town, a delight for residents and a magnet for business; it needs to uphold that reputation. A beautiful country town must be balanced by open green spaces, fine landscaping and countryside. Making the most of amazing areas like Warnham Nature Reserve, Chesworth Farm, Rookwood, Owl Beech Woods, the Riverside Walk, Horsham Park etc etc Horsham town has all the ingredients to be successful. I would want to see:- a strong focus on first class Planning (to include dynamic yet appropriate architecture), scrupulous attention to providing proper infrastructure (health, schools, roads, public transport and waste removal), responsible maintenance and management of known works of art, strengthening a friendly welcome with interesting signage, creative landscaping, fine street furniture, sponsored floral displays, clean streets,  attention to details such as the provision of safe and easily available seating, adequate facilities, markets and street  entertainment, recognition of independent small businesses and their role in making the town different ---  . All this requires strong cooperation between the District Council, Councillors, the business community and residents. A whole variety of townspeople have a role to play including volunteers and established groups like Horsham Society, Horsham in Bloom, Horsham  Town Community Partnership and Horsham Unlimited.  Promotion and marketing of the town is of paramount importance; I would want to see all its attractions recognised, protected and enhanced then properly proclaimed far and wide! A thriving community needs to be supported by a well thought out infrastructure that embraces recreation and leisure. People must to be able to enjoy the satisfaction of plenty of sporting and leisure pursuits, this is essential for health, education and wellbeing.  I would want to see plenty of protected open green spaces, parks and sports grounds. The Council needs to support their own operations and monitor private operators. The public can be very useful if keen volunteers can be attracted to help with responsibilities, for example this has worked well at Horsham Museum.  Horsham has a historic background and a fine cultural heritage.  The town needs to live up to its responsibilities! I certainly want to protect our treasured works of art, properly maintain public art and other notable attractions for everyone to enjoy.  People of all ages need   their sport and leisure time.  Horsham town events can make a positive contribution, festivals and 'fun' events get local people involved and attract a wider audience ? all of which lifts people?s spirits and stimulates the local economy.
Ronald Vimpany
Trafalgar
Conservative
The fact that a growing population needs an increase in the housing stock does not mean Developers can be allowed to simply build, build and even more building ......obviously that is their mindset , because that is their business and means to profitability (but that premise is so important to bear in mind when listening to Developers !! ).

The next essential to keep in view is that once destroyed the green and pleasant land is almost certainly never going to be returned to its former glory. Consequently the greatest priority should be to re-develop brownfield sites, although this may not suit Developers ! Preference should also be given to the concept of building up vertically .....and not expanding horizontally.

Finally, at least within the constraints of brevity for this response, the local planning should first and foremost be based of local needs __ defined by impartial appraisal and analysis. There is little point in creating more grand mansions or executive homes when the local need is for starter and young family homes. The corollary is not to allow a preponderance of new properties that in the main will be of prime interest to purchasers who will be dormitory dwellers.

RAGE , CAGNE and all such specific objective organisations deserve support.
 

To date the impression is that the Council have an understanding of the needs of business, knowing only truly successful industrial, commercial and retailing sectors can create the opportunities for students` aspirations and career choices. Equally essential is the fact that living standards, a quality of life, can only be achieved by the success of the businesses that thrive in our District.

To continue and even increase the economic growth it is obvious the Council officers will perform more miracles if they enjoy the support and input of Councillors who have a proven track record of exceptional ability in the cut and thrust of commercial life. Probably we do not need more enormous Industrial Estates (especially in this digital age ) but we will value the availability of lateral thinking , or outside the box, for encouraging , creating or partnering new ideas or concepts and
encouraging the evolvement of existing enterprises. We must be flexible, with that vital modicum of realism , because life and business do not stand still __ old ideologies are for study , maybe , but
they are not a basis for managing an economy.

For the curious my track record has had reasonable exposure ............ and I always enjoy recalling exciting and rewarding moments across my careers (including twelve years in international management ).

When the local newspapers publish photographs and stories/reports from long ago (hey _ is fifty years really that long ago ??) we are reminded of some of the enormous changes that evolved or seem to have just happened __ that is as life was , emphasising the incredible difference between then and now , all within the personal memory of more mature readers. So we would be well advised to realise these differences did not occur overnight __ life is ongoing and progressive ,
meaning we should accept and adjust, revise and refashion , and this is just as valid for quality time , or recreational activities, as in education or government or business life.

Parks and gardens, sport facilities and pavilions, the arts _ whether on the performing stage or hanging in the gallery are probably more valuable now than ever before and may well be more so in the future. We ignore that premise at the peril of the next generation. Enough said !

As a personal note I will admit to an amateur `career` in the thespian arts for many years (before establishing my own business __ how demanding self-interest can be !! ). Also you could accuse me of a personal interest in sport __ with my greatest achievements in organising rather than performing (can`t all be Olympic Champions).
 

Maggie Weir-Wilson
Trafalgar
Green

As a Green Party candidate I would encourage the provision of social housing on brown field sites, and those houses to have the highest levels of insulation and reusable energy provision. I would support the efforts of Blueprint in establishing a neighbourhood plan for the unparished parts of the town, and would encourage the formation of a town council to promote the interests of the town centre in a managed and sustainable way. It is, of course, important to protect and enhance the green spaces in the town and develop new and accessible facilities such as the Riverside Walk which links Warnham Nature Reserve, Chesworth Farm and Leechpool Woods to provide not only natural corridors for the enhancement of biodiversity, but healthy and interesting leisure walks for residents and visitors.

I believe that working in partnership and proper consultation with the public is the way to develop the town to everyone’s benefit. West Street should have been so much better. I would expect there to be a comprehensive town centre strategy to include the support and encouragement of independent small traders, improved accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians, energy efficient buildings and marketing and promotion. Parking costs and favourable rents for small businesses could be considered. Support for renewable energy initiatives and new digital businesses could create and exciting hub of innovation. There are large developments coming such as the West End and the Novartis site, plus changes to existing area like Piries Place and Prewetts Mill, I would like to see an overall strategy which preserves and enhances what is good, and develops new interesting areas.

Horsham has good well used arts facilities; Horsham Museum, The Capitol and the Library, all do an excellent job and should continue to be supported and kept in public ownership. The Cricket Club is a treasure with a wonderful setting, but what has happened to the Football Club? It must be found a home and perhaps the last planning decision revisited. Allotments should be guarded against development as they are always vulnerable but provide exercise, social interaction and fresh local food. Having lost the Town Hall there is a need for a low cost venue near the town centre in which community groups can afford to hold events, supported and encouraged by the local Council, this would be welcome. Finally, volunteers do so much to enhance recreational and arts facilities, they should be celebrated and appreciated.

     

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