Sudden resignation of Horsham District Councillor responsible for the Rookwood plan.
We learned this evening, 6th April, that Councillor Jonathan Chowen, Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture and Deputy Leader has resigned, apparently with immediate effect.
Cllr Chowen has been instrumental in the highly unpopular proposals for the sale and development of Rookwood in which he has been the public face of the Council. Needless to say like many of his colleagues, he does not live in Horsham. Mr Chowen’s resignation occurs at a time when the Conservative led council is under massive pressure from residents and local non political organisations, such as the Horsham parish and neighbourhood councils and Friends of Horsham Park, to withdraw the proposals.
Joanne Kavanagh, standing as Labour candidate for Trafalgar ward, containing much of Rookwood, comments; ‘ I am aware from speaking to many fellow residents in the Trafalgar ward that the majority are objecting not only to Rookwood but also to what this tells us about our too complacent Tory led Council that seems not to care for Horsham nor to represent our interests. Horsham Labour Party has consistently opposed the proposals and argued that we need more social housing particularly; but this is not the right place for it. We hope Mr Chowen’s resignation is not due to personal issues but speculate whether it is connected to recent events and await the Council’s next move with interest.’