In politics, it can be a ‘cover-up’ that is worse than the original error or bad news. When a government or council makes an error, I believe that it is better to be upfront that something hasn’t gone right and to learn from mistakes, rather than to try and hide it.
At the stroke of midnight on the 30th of December going into the 31st, I observed a post on both the official Crawley Borough Council Facebook and Twitter accounts reading “3.2.1… Happy New Year!” What I noticed (other than it being exactly 24 hours too early) is that this tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook must have been set up in advance to be automated. That struck me as somewhat insincere, as if you genuinely want to wish someone a happy new year at the stroke of midnight, programming it well in advance and not being present at the time when the message is sent is fake and not genuine.
It was this error of programming these social media posts well in advance for midnight on the wrong date that drew my attention to the fact they must be automated, as surely no one at the Council would make such a mistake at the actual time they were posted? While this error is of no actual consequence, what followed fits into an increasing culture of ‘cover-up’ and lack of transparency under Labour at Crawley Borough Council.
I shared these posts on my own Councillor Facebook and Twitter accounts highlighting the lack of sincerity as well as the error, and other people did too. However, the next evening they were gone as the Council had deleted these posts with no further comment. There were then no new posts to wish everyone a happy new year when 2017 became 2018.
Last month, I exposed Labour-run Crawley Borough Council losing £1.4 million of Crawley money that should have been used to provide much-needed affordable housing for Crawley residents. This was very serious and the lack of openness with that news, rather than be up-front and learning the lessons was very disappointing.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
10th January 2018