Articles

Putting Wellbeing at the Heart of our Communities

Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t think exercise was for me. It belonged to the ‘already fit’, as I saw them. Now, I go to the gym and also spend hours dancing. It’s great for body and mind – and really helps me keep stress at bay.

Let's Help rather than Play Political Games

Last week, the full council meeting took place at Crawley Borough Council which saw Labour shamelessly playing political games. The issue raised is very worthy and there is cross-party support for it, but my colleagues and I are actively seeking solutions, not playing politics.

Public Spending Boost from a Successful Economy

Many headlines at the moment are related to our leaving the European Union. I personally am quite relaxed about this and have confidence that whatever the outcome of negotiations between the EU and the UK, that we have a bright future as an independent and outward-looking global nation. It is however disappointing that Labour’s official position is to vote in parliament against any deal that the Government obtains, simply because it is a Conservative Government negotiating it. As ever with Labour, this is about trying to inflict damage against the Conservatives for their own short-term political gain, rather than doing what is right for the country.

Achieving Fair Votes for Crawley

Last week the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) published its final recommendations for its review of Crawley Borough Council’s wards. Following this, there will be a whole Council election in May 2019, with the Council then reverting back to its usual annual practice of electing a third of the Council from 2020.

Leading for Crawley

Good leadership requires a broad range of skills including a balanced and measured approach when seeking to represent everyone fairly. For Crawley Borough Council, effective leadership should include having constructive engagement with partner organisation such as Crawley Police and West Sussex County Council, not trolling them both on Twitter to try and make yourself look good to advance your ambitions to become an MP, which sadly is the case with Crawley’s current Council leader. Regrettably, he has also publicly talked down our local schools which is something I will never do.

Creating a Positive Educational Environment

Last Friday I was very pleased to visit Thomas Bennett Community College, along with Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera and Crawley MP Henry Smith. Representatives from the Chelsea FC Academy who are linked to the school were there for the official opening for the newly resurfaced all-weather 3G pitch. This is another great facility that the school has, but schools are more than buildings and facilities.

Labour's Offer on Homelessness - Withdrawal of Cooperation and Petulance?

Last year, Crawley Borough Council’s Labour Administration scrapped the Council’s long-standing programme to create additional on-street parking provision for Crawley streets where previous poor planning polices had led to a chronic shortage of residential parking. My Conservative colleagues and I strongly challenged this, but our budget amendment to keep the programme was narrowly defeated by Labour Councillors.

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.