Articles

Battling Against Extremism

Extremes in politics are clearly not a good thing. I was first elected as Councillor for Furnace Green in 2003 in an election that also saw the first BNP (British National Party) candidate stand for election in Crawley, gaining 15% of the vote. Subsequent years saw more BNP candidates stand in local elections both in Crawley and across the country.

Crawley Borough Council Electoral Boundaries - Fair is Best

Last week a Full Council meeting took place at Crawley Borough Council. The main item for debate was a vote on a preferred future warding pattern to formally submit as part of a local government boundary review that is taking place for Crawley Borough Council.

Beyond the Verge of Acceptability

Across the town, there are two issues that consistently get raised with my Councillor colleagues and I, that being neighbourhood parking and damaged grass verges. These two issues are for the most part interlinked and have been going on for years. Damaged and muddy grass verges are at their worst in early spring after months of being unable to dry out.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Last week saw another terrible terrorist attack in Europe, this time in the south of France. Sadly, France has suffered very badly from terror in recent years and we stand shoulder to shoulder with our French allies in the face of such evil attacks on their country, in the same way they support us in the wake of the chemical weapon attack in Salisbury.

Enforcing Yellow Zig-Zag Lines at Schools

Last week on my local councillor Facebook Page @TilgateFurnaceGreen, I wrote about the problem of parking on the yellow zig-zag lines outside a local school and I posted some photographs of offending cars. While I knew this was an issue, the scale of the reaction showed that there are strong feelings about this issue across the whole town. My post was shared multiple times and was viewed by over 11,000 readers.

Time for Strong Defence

Last week I wrote about how I won’t be watching any of the FIFA World Cup being held in Russia in June and July, because of their appalling actions in Syria. Recent weeks have seen over 1,000 civilians killed in Eastern Ghouta including 200 children. Banned chemical weapons have also been used by Syria despite Russia claiming in 2013 they would oversee their removal. I had written this before it became known that a chemical weapon had been used in Salisbury during a murder attempt, with it being pretty obvious as to which country the chief suspect is.

Politics and Sport

I used to think that politics should be kept out of sport but my view is changing. I recently enjoyed watching some of the Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang in South Korea and supporting Team GB. Last weekend I spoke with a friend in Korea, so naturally I asked if he had enjoyed the recent Winter Olympics held in his country.

Meeting Our Housing Need

Arguably the biggest issue we have in Crawley and indeed across the wider South-East of England is the availability and affordability of housing. We need housing for all types of tenure including homes to buy. Over the last 20 years, the supply of housing has not kept up with the UK’s population increase, which has been growing annually at half a million people for many years.

Domestic Abuse and Registering to Vote Anonymously

Being stuck in an abusive, controlling and violent relationship is terrible and I cannot politely write here what I think about the perpetrators who use violence and fear to control their partners. It is mostly women who are the victims, although not exclusively so, and escaping such an environment and then rebuilding your life can be very traumatic.

Helping People to become the Best That They Can Be

A fundamental reason as to why I have always been a Conservative is that I believe in aspiration and helping people to become the best they can be. One of the best ways to improve prospects for our young people is through education, with further and higher education enabling greater opportunities. I am therefore delighted to see that information released by UCAS (The University and Colleges Admission Service) shows that University applications in Crawley in 2018 have seen a 40% increase, rising from 25% of 18 year-olds applying in 2009 to 35% in 2018.