Compliments of the Season
We are near the end of a year of extraordinary economic shocks made all the more dramatic by the communications channels of today’s world. Hardly anyone can be left untouched by the turbulence that was apparently triggered by the American sub-prime mortgage market. Who had even heard of the expression “sub-prime” before it was too late? We all know its meaning now.
In Crawley, we are used to change and growth with our brand new library being a recent example. That tradition looks set to continue with Gatwick Airport being placed on the market and with the prospect of a new housing development to the west of Bewbush. While the pace of change can sometimes be unsettling, a look back at our local history provides evidence that we as a community have coped well and flourished.
For some people, the boom town has not delivered so well in 2008. Unemployment has risen significantly and our thoughts go out to those affected by this temporary reversal of Crawley’s fortunes. We support everyone engaged in efforts to revitalise our economy both locally and nationally. A recovery cannot come soon enough and the council will play its part in supporting the community during this difficult time.
At the town hall, we had our last Full Council meeting on Wednesday 17th December which ended with an opportunity for members to mingle and exchange compliments of the season. The transition to the festive season at the council can be a hectic experience. Last Sunday I managed to carry forward four tasks. Instead of writing them down, I forgot that I could not remember. I think it was four.
Many of us will now enjoy the Christmas holiday period with the temporary sanctuary that this might provide from the hustle and speed of our usual weeks. As someone who likes his meals, I am always struck by the sheer range of the food of the season. Our indulgence at this time cannot be casually passed off as fasting spelt with an “e” but seems to be much more about the determined pursuit of higher values of the calorific kind.
This last weekend I attended two consecutive Christmas carol services – in Charlwood and Crawley. There was the advantage of being able to sing rather more reasonably at the second of these. Both services in their different environments captured the spirit of Christmas and brought people together.
As we enter the festive break, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Councillor Bob Lanzer, Leader of Crawley Borough Council
23rd December 2008