Ahead of voters going to the polls on Thursday, we thought residents might like to know why they should vote for the Conservatives to keep Horsham District as beautiful and desirable as it is and not risk letting the Lib Dems or Labour messing it up.
Lowest Council Tax in West Sussex
We will continue to provide excellent value for local residents by keeping council tax increases low and no higher than inflation while maintaining all our core services. We are in the lowest 20% council tax of all councils nationally.
We have built highest number of affordable homes in West Sussex. Almost 25% of all the houses built in the last 7 years in the Horsham District are affordable. Over the last year alone the council reduced the housing waiting list by 10%. We are set to invest a further £12m on affordable housing to help local people into safe and secure housing and almost £6m to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people.
We have an over 50% recycling rate which is the highest in West Sussex and we have reached the government target two years early. We had the ninth biggest recycling increase in the whole country last year due to our encouragement to local residents to recycle more by moving to fortnightly collections of non-recyclable waste. We have invested £3m in a fleet of new quieter, cost-effective, environmentally better, waste collection vehicles. We are in discussions with other West Sussex councils regarding the introduction of food waste collections with a trial to take place in the Autumn in the Mid Sussex District. We have launched a new campaign to tackle fly-tipping.
We live in one of the safest districts in England. Whilst we do not influence Policing budgets and deployment, Horsham District Conservatives continue to work alongside the Police and our Neighbourhood Warden Scheme continues to grow. There are now 5 schemes in operation across the District and a further two schemes will begin by Spring 2020 including in Horsham town.
There is fantastic investment in the District for our residents. We have put £12.5million in our new Broadbridge Heath Leisure centre, £8m in the new Piries Place car park and £4.5m in our new district waste collection plant.
We are working for a sustainable future by working with environmental groups, including Sussex Wildlife Trust on a range of environmental issues where we can make a measurable difference. We are working with Network Rail to get new rail stations built at North Horsham and Kilnwood Vale. We have secured, alongside other West Sussex authorities, £19m to help roll out new generation of high-speed internet.
Horsham Town Vision
We have a 10-point plan working with Horsham Society, the Cycling Forum and Neighbourhood councils and looking at things like retail shopping and the internet challenge, car parks and residential and office accommodation in the town. The over-arching theme that underpins this vision is planning for the future but recognising the heritage of the past.
The demand on us continues from central government to build more houses but with the adoption of the Horsham District Planning Framework and a 5-year land supply we can defend speculative planning applications to protect the local environment, targeting future house building to be where jobs exist (so minimising commuting especially by car) and where good public transport can be provided.
Year of Culture 2019
We are in the midst of an inspirational year for the District leaving a legacy long after 2019 with over 400 events throughout the district from Shakespeare at Knepp Castle to Global Gruffalo and much, much more.
Around 83% of those expressing an opinion said that they were satisfied with the way HDC runs things.
Investing in our Green Spaces
We have developed new management plans and investment in Warnham Nature Reserve, Chessworth Farm, Southwater Country Park, and Horsham Park. Our aim is not only to provide leisure but also to protect our ecology, wildlife and unique landscapes for future generations.
Investing in Leisure and Sport
We have invested £12.5m in The Bridge, the new Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.