Delivering on Environmental Commitments

We will soon have a new Prime Minister, but I would like to pay tribute to our current Prime Minister Theresa May, whom I feel has done a good job in very difficult circumstances over the last three years, with what I regard as a dysfunctional parliament. Her strong sense of public service has been exceptional, and I believe she is widely respected for this across the political divide. While not being able to implement the EU referendum result on time will probably always be associated with her premiership, I believe that history will be more kind and one thing in particular will also be remembered.

Helping Parents at a Time of Need

A subject that can be difficult to talk about but which will happen to all of us is death. Understandably, it is something we don’t like to think about, whether it is about our loved ones or indeed ourselves. When someone has died, their death needs to be registered with the registrar. Once this is done other organisations and government departments need to be informed. West Sussex County Council operate the ‘The Tell Us Once’ service which makes this process as smooth as possible. While we expect death in old age and can plan for it, there is nothing worse than losing a child.

Politicians and Trust

Trust in our democracy as well as in those who represent us is important. It is normal to have a healthy scepticism and not just automatically accept everything that politicians say, but when there is a widespread breakdown in trust, almost everything politicians say is treated with cynicism, regardless of merit.

The Conservative Leadership Contest

As I write on Sunday evening, I look forward to the week ahead that will see much progress in the Conservative Party Leadership contest. Tuesday and Thursday will see the second and third rounds of voting by Conservative MPs. Tuesday evening will also have the BBC TV debate that follows the Sunday evening Channel 4 debate.

Planning or Punishing in Crawley Town Centre

Last week, I observed the first Planning Committee meeting at Crawley Borough Council meeting since May’s local elections. I was interested as to how this meeting would go, as Labour had imposed one of their Councillors of just one year’s experience as new Committee Chairman, as well as a new Vice-Chairman who was a brand new Councillor with no experience whatsoever.

A Fairer Private Rented Sector

Bringing fairness in the private rented housing sector and making it work better for people is a key aim of the Conservative Government. Last Saturday, the Tenant Fees Act came into effect, banning unfair letting fees for tenants so that private renters keep more of their income.

The Showcasing of Unfairness

On May 2nd, every council seat at Crawley Borough Council was elected in a one-off whole council election following a boundary review. The overall size of the council changed from 37 to 36 councillors. The previous council was 20 Labour 17 Conservative, and following the election where both main parties received 47% of the Crawley-wide vote each, it is now 19 Labour and 17 Conservative, a very finely balanced Council.

Tilgate Park Improvements and Opposing Opportunistic Charges

I’m proud that our previous Conservative Administration at Crawley Borough Council of 2006 - 2014 made many improvements to Tilgate Park. The Nature Centre had major investment with new attractions added such as the Meerkats. Under our tenure, the empty pub building became a popular western-themed restaurant, treetop walks and boating on Tilgate Lake were introduced, the large children’s play area had a major upgrade, the outdoor gym was installed, a new clubhouse was built for the golf course and the driving range was improved. We also increased the size of the car parks and put in the A23 access road to help reduce traffic going through Tilgate.

Labour's Problems with Maths and Money

Last week, Jeremy Corbyn announced that a future Labour Government would pay 16 and 17 year-olds a £10 hourly minimum wage. A decade ago, when youth unemployment had soared under the last Labour Government, such a proposal would have been rightly criticised by everyone as stopping young people getting into work. Now, a decade later and with youth unemployment having halved under the Conservatives, such a proposal may be seen as eye-catching by those too young to remember the economic damage that Labour always do when in government. This ‘policy’ is of course a cynical bribe (with non-existent money) to get a few more votes and has no sound basis in economics whatsoever. As well as obviously hiking up youth unemployment, it seriously risks the viability of much sought-after apprenticeships. The numbers are just made up as they go along.

A Strong Election Result in Crawley

On behalf of all of our candidates in last week’s whole council election, I would like to say a huge thank to everyone who voted Conservative in Crawley. We achieved a fantastic set of Crawley results, which were all the more remarkable when nationally our party had its worst set of local election results since 1995.