News

Protecting Crawley Open House

Last week I explained how our County Council has hugely greater financial pressures than our Borough Council, in part because of the ever-rising demand for adult social care as life expectancy increases. By contrast, Crawley Borough Council is one of the wealthiest local authorities in England due to the historical sale of council housing which has generated tens of millions in reserves that are used to provide the Council with a very substantial income. This enabled it to allocate millions upfront for a new town hall to replace a building barely over 50 years old and I note that Crawley Borough Council has just reported a £300,000 annual budget underspend.

Henry Smith MP calls on Prime Minister to Make Blood Cancer Visible

Crawley MP and All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Cancer Chair Henry Smith has backed a campaign to raise awareness of blood cancer and put it at the forefront of the Government’s cancer plans, including highlighting the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

Crawley Open House

Two weeks ago in this column, I wrote about welcoming the Government’s £100 m strategy to tackle rough sleeping on England's streets and to end it completely by 2027. This strategy has been widely well-received including by homelessness charities. I also mentioned the excellent work undertaken by our leading local homelessness charity Crawley Open House, and by Crawley Borough Council which has the statutory local authority function for preventing homelessness.

Leaving the EU is not a Venezuelan Outcome

August is often known as the ‘silly season’ when trivial news stories are given prominence due to a lack of issues of more substance during the holiday season. This year has been true to form with some London Labour MPs absurdly criticising Jamie Oliver’s Caribbean rice as cultural appropriation, although I suspect the ‘Chicken Little’ hysteria about Brexit from various politicians (including some Labour Councillors here in Crawley) and media will continue until March next year when the UK leaves the European Union.

The Rough Sleeping Strategy

None of us likes to see people living and sleeping on our streets. It was estimated in 2017 that on any one given night in England, there were 4,750 people sleeping rough. The reasons behind rough sleeping are complex and each case is a personal tragedy. It is an issue that has always been with us and stopping it completely will be very challenging both for this government and future governments, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make ambitious plans to eliminate it.

Henry Smith MP: Are You Crawley's Best Small Shop?

Henry Smith MP is calling on Crawley’s small shopkeepers to enter the Best Small Shops competition, celebrating the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.