The Conservative Leadership Contest

As I write on Sunday evening, I look forward to the week ahead that will see much progress in the Conservative Party Leadership contest. Tuesday and Thursday will see the second and third rounds of voting by Conservative MPs. Tuesday evening will also have the BBC TV debate that follows the Sunday evening Channel 4 debate.

Planning or Punishing in Crawley Town Centre

Last week, I observed the first Planning Committee meeting at Crawley Borough Council meeting since May’s local elections. I was interested as to how this meeting would go, as Labour had imposed one of their Councillors of just one year’s experience as new Committee Chairman, as well as a new Vice-Chairman who was a brand new Councillor with no experience whatsoever.

Henry Smith MP to ask Rail Users How Passenger Benefit Fund should be spent

Henry Smith MP is asking Crawley’s rail passengers to get involved with helping to decide how local stations can spend their share of a £15 million Passenger Benefit Fund – a fine levied by the Government on train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (Southern Railway and Thameslink) as a result of the May 2018 timetable disruption.

A Fairer Private Rented Sector

Bringing fairness in the private rented housing sector and making it work better for people is a key aim of the Conservative Government. Last Saturday, the Tenant Fees Act came into effect, banning unfair letting fees for tenants so that private renters keep more of their income.

The Showcasing of Unfairness

On May 2nd, every council seat at Crawley Borough Council was elected in a one-off whole council election following a boundary review. The overall size of the council changed from 37 to 36 councillors. The previous council was 20 Labour 17 Conservative, and following the election where both main parties received 47% of the Crawley-wide vote each, it is now 19 Labour and 17 Conservative, a very finely balanced Council.

Tilgate Park Improvements and Opposing Opportunistic Charges

I’m proud that our previous Conservative Administration at Crawley Borough Council of 2006 - 2014 made many improvements to Tilgate Park. The Nature Centre had major investment with new attractions added such as the Meerkats. Under our tenure, the empty pub building became a popular western-themed restaurant, treetop walks and boating on Tilgate Lake were introduced, the large children’s play area had a major upgrade, the outdoor gym was installed, a new clubhouse was built for the golf course and the driving range was improved. We also increased the size of the car parks and put in the A23 access road to help reduce traffic going through Tilgate.

Labour's Problems with Maths and Money

Last week, Jeremy Corbyn announced that a future Labour Government would pay 16 and 17 year-olds a £10 hourly minimum wage. A decade ago, when youth unemployment had soared under the last Labour Government, such a proposal would have been rightly criticised by everyone as stopping young people getting into work. Now, a decade later and with youth unemployment having halved under the Conservatives, such a proposal may be seen as eye-catching by those too young to remember the economic damage that Labour always do when in government. This ‘policy’ is of course a cynical bribe (with non-existent money) to get a few more votes and has no sound basis in economics whatsoever. As well as obviously hiking up youth unemployment, it seriously risks the viability of much sought-after apprenticeships. The numbers are just made up as they go along.

Crawley MP launches Heart Disease Report in Parliament

Crawley MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heart & Circulatory Diseases, Henry Smith, has launched the APPG’s new report highlighting the potential impact of artificial intelligence technologies for patients.