This week marks six months since Crawley’s local elections in May when Crawley Conservatives won the popular vote and elected more councillors than Labour. Despite us Conservatives being the largest single group of councillors, Labour clung on to power at Crawley Borough Council because of the Labour Deputy Mayor’s casting vote, who used his casting vote to elect a Labour chairman of the Annual Council meeting, who then used his casting vote to elect that Deputy Mayor as Crawley’s new Mayor. The new Mayor then used two further casting votes to elect a Labour Deputy Mayor and to save the Labour Administration from being removed in a No Confidence vote, despite the expressed wishes of Crawley voters at the ballot box.
It felt spiteful to me when we then saw further mayoral casting votes used at that meeting, to remove Conservative representation on council-appointed positions on outside bodies, where there was previously one Labour and one Conservative representative.
Everyone remembers what then happened a few weeks later in July, with the Tushmore Roundabout video of the Crawley Mayor making national news. It was disgraceful that it took the Mayor seven weeks to resign in September and that Crawley’s Labour Party never made any public criticism of his actions, nor took any disciplinary action.
Further Full Council meetings heightened my concerns as to the Council’s current poor governance. Crawley now has no Mayor, with Deputy Mayoral casting votes being consistently used to secure political advantage rather than working constructively together.
The final straw was a fortnight ago when without warning, without any officer reports or scrutiny, and without any public consultation, Labour made and forced through their proposal to scrap previously agreed plans to rebuild a large children’s play facility at Waterlea in Furnace Green.
Such actions feel like an Administration acting in their own narrow political interest, not one seeking to represent the whole of our diverse town. At the next local elections in six months’ time, we Conservatives will offer a fresh new start for Crawley, restoring good governance and acting in the interests of all of Crawley.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
3rd November 2021