Haywards Heath Branch of the Labour Party wishes readers to know it hopes that this year’s Town Day is a tremendous success.
It is a special year as 2016 marks 175 years since the railway arrived in the town.
The Labour Party wants readers to know it will not be present with a stall in Victoria Park on Saturday 17 September. The reason is simple. Haywards Heath Town Council officials decided not to invite political parties to provide a stall at this year’s event.
We are extremely disappointed at this decision. It prevents people attending the Victoria Park event from using the opportunity to meet local Labour Party members. There are thousands of people in Mid Sussex who support the Labour Party and we in turn have supported the town at this annual event for many years.
At a time when many people show an active interest in politics, witness the turn out for the EU referendum this year, which exceeded that for the 2015 General Election, this decision is perverse. There is insufficient representation of parties opposed to the Conservatives on the Town Council and this decision reinforces in the public’s mind that local Conservatives cannot tolerate any opposition. Labour Party members will continue with our efforts to make Haywards Heath a thriving community for all, not a selected few.
Joint Acting Chair, Haywards Heath Labour Party, Junction Road, Burgess Hill
• A spokesman for Haywards Heath Town Council responded: “The priority and focus of Town Day has been, and will always be, to allow local voluntary groups and organisations to promote themselves and raise much needed funds for their worthy causes. In addition this year, local sports clubs are also attending to promote their activities and provide taster sessions/demonstrations.
“The popularity of this event grows every year. At the present time there are over 90 stalls booked in for the day along with all of the additional infrastructure. The decision was not politically motivated, as suggested, and was purely an officers decision because of high demand from local groups at a very early stage of event’s organisation and applies to all political groups. It is appreciated that some are disappointed by the decision, which was taken after lengthy consideration.”
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