Addressing Our Parking Issues

I only need to speak to a few Crawley residents before the issue of neighbourhood parking comes up. Poor neighbourhood planning by Crawley Borough Council in the past with a lack of foresight about future car ownership laid the foundations for today’s problems in many Crawley streets, but more recent actions (and inaction) has only made the problem worse.

A Strong Economy supporting Investment in Public Services

The government’s spending review announced last week did not get much publicity, but assuming it gets through a disruptive parliament controlled by the opposition that is serving itself and not the people who elected them, we can look forward to greater investment in our public services.

Delivering Brexit and Looking Beyond

Most people want to see Brexit resolved so that the Government can focus on the issues that do affect most people’s lives. Boris recognises this and is bringing in a strong domestic legislative programme through a new Queens Speech in October. Ordinary people feel that getting Brexit sorted is long overdue and that any further extensions so that MPs can carry on arguing among themselves but agree nothing constructive, is pointless.

Investing in Education and Achieving Results

Next week sees the start of the new school year and I wish every one of our local schools every success, building on this year’s great exam results. While there is more money going into education than ever before, the large growth of pupil numbers has meant that per pupil funding has fallen. When this is added to the imbalance of school funding across the country that built up under previous governments, this has seen financial pressures in schools in the south of England outside of London. As a school governor myself in Crawley, this is something that I am very aware of.

The Importance of Gambling Regulation

The last two decades have seen a major deregulation of gambling, with it being much easier to gamble and with widespread advertising. For most of us this hasn’t been an issue, but it has been for an increasing number of people and the effects on them and their families can be truly devastating. For them, lives are literally wrecked.
I believe the impacts of online betting have yet to be fully understood. Lives are ruined on a daily basis and younger people are increasingly exposed to it. Teenagers play online games and it is now incredibly easy for online gambling to become an extension of that. Things have moved on from playing fruit machines in the pub.

Tough on Crime

I very much welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strategy to get tough on the criminals who blight our streets and neighbourhoods. To deal with crime effectively, it requires a strategic approach that looks at everything. It is not just as simple as needing more police, as much as the 20,000 additional police that has been pledged is very helpful. We need to look at many things, including laws, tougher sentencing, police powers, rehabilitation and prisons.

Arguments for Attendance and a Thorough Contribution

After reading last week’s Observer Labour column, the old saying of “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” sprang to mind. It was disappointing that Labour’s County Council Group Leader was selective with facts and disingenuous with information, intentionally leaving out context that provides the full picture. An example being his highlighting of the cost of redundancy payments, but not mentioning the ongoing major annual savings thereafter following restructures. With Labour in Crawley, it is all about trying to secure political advantage, not genuinely trying to address difficult issues.

Boris Hits The Ground Running

Our new Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has certainly hit the ground running. A new government has been created and six key pledges have been given. They are: 1 - Getting Brexit done by 31st October, with a great new deal for Britain. 2 - Making sure Britain is prepared for a no deal, as the best way to get a great new deal. 3 - Making sure people start seeing the £20 billion in new NHS funding in their GP surgeries and local hospitals. 4 - Hiring 20,000 new police officers and giving them the powers to keep our streets safe. 5 - Properly funding our schools so that every child gets more guaranteed minimum funding, regardless of where they live. 6 - Delivering a strong economy to fund the public services we all rely on.

An Improving Education

The summer holidays are upon us and my fellow Councillors and I would like to thank all the teachers and staff who work in our local schools for their efforts over the school year. It is right to recognise this hard work, often in difficult circumstances, that means Crawley’s children are gaining the skills and knowledge they need for the future.
I am delighted to hear that in figures released last week by the government, that 9,006 more children in Crawley are now in schools rated good or outstanding, compared with 2010. There are now 15,801 Crawley children receiving a good or outstanding education, compared to just 6,795 in 2010.

Investment in Electric Vehicles and Gatwick Railway Station

Our country has started on the path to change to electric vehicles, which is likely to speed up as the years go by. Last week, our Conservative Government announced the investment of £37 million to revolutionise the experience of owning an electric vehicle, which will help more people realise the benefits of electric vehicles and speed up our journey to a zero-emission future.