It is nearly decision time in the General Election. We have had a record three terms of Labour Government and our economy has been seriously weakened. Every Briton has been saddled with their own share ofBritain’s incredible national debt. We cannot go on like this. There has to be change.
In 1997, we were so much the incoming Labour Government and its MPs. YetCrawleyhas seen the downgrading of core elements of its health services, contrary to the expectations that were raised at the General Election of 13 years ago. This remains a key issue for our town and only the Conservatives are pledged to use all means to seek an NHS major general hospital forCrawley, to right the wrong that has been done.
We have seen the centralising of decision making by three successive Labour Governments. There is another way. It is called localism – placing decision-making as close as practically possible to the people who are affected. Conservative Parliamentary candidate, Henry Smith, is a leading exponent of this empowering agenda.
More and more powers have been handed over toEurope. Nobody expected this when we joined the EEC (European Economic Community) in the 1970’s. There can be no further ceding of sovereignty toEuropewithout a referendum. As a country, we need more say over our own destiny in the world and the basic right for the government that we elect to carry out the will of the people.
Crawley is the economic powerhouse ofWest Sussexbut we cannot take that success for granted. With Councillor Henry Smith as Leader of West Sussex County Council, we have had a fruitful relationship in delivering investment forCrawley. We have seen the delivery of a new library and strong partnership working on neighbourhood centre regeneration schemes in Bewbush and Langley Green. There has been important investment in Manor Royal, the largest business park in the south-east. This has been coupled with a major spending programme onCrawleyschools.
I make these comments because above all else, we need energy and leadership at the national and local level to ensure the future, shared prosperity of our whole community. Elections are not all about party politics. There is also the capacity of individual candidates. When he was elected Leader of the County Council in 2003, Henry Smith was the youngest person in the country to hold such a position. He was elected from a peer group whose average age was somewhat different and this was testament to his ability to lead and deliver.
Crawley has made strong social and economic progress since its designation as a New Town. Looking forward, we need to sustain and share our economic growth, improve our health services and continue our powerful example as a cohesive and diverse community.
To do all of this requires an MP with capacity, strength of purpose and vision, somebody who will effectively represent Crawley in Parliament and not a political party inCrawley. That man is Henry Smith.
Councillor Bob Lanzer, Leader of Crawley Borough Council
28th April 2010