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Crawley Labour Councillors and members celebrate victory at the Election Count

On behalf of Crawley Labour, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted last week, those involved in running the election, and everyone who put themselves forward to run or campaign, ensuring our town's democratic process remains alive and kicking.

With all the votes counted, every seat contested remained in the same party's hands as before the contest with Labour winning eight of twelve wards, although almost every seat now has a smaller majority. The popular vote across the town was essentially a draw, with the Tories securing a lead of only 5 votes in a constituency they won by almost 2,500 last June. It seems in Crawley, as in the country, voters are fundamentally divided on the big political questions.

Over the last week I've been repeatedly asked what this result means for Labour and the next General Election. Frankly, I'm tired of the spin, the truth is no one really knows. What's sad is no one asked me what the result means for Crawley, the most important question. For Crawley, it means Labour has another year delivering our programme for office: making housing more affordable, securing better job opportunities, regenerating Crawley's infrastructure and maintaining local services despite national cuts.

In 2019, new electoral boundaries are being introduced for Crawley, meaning that every councillor will have to re-stand for election on the new boundaries and residents will have the opportunity to completely replace the council should they choose. Over the next year, all of Crawley's parties will have to clearly set-out their vision for the town and how they intend to deliver what they promise. It is dishonest to promise every road a parking improvement scheme when the borrowing cost would take most of the next century to pay off, particularly not when it's a West Sussex County Council responsibility and they already take the vast majority of Crawley's council tax.

For Crawley Labour though, there is no time to take a break. We are back in the Town Hall, working to deliver on the commitments we made to the public and keep building a better future for Crawley.

Cllr Peter Lamb,

Leader, Crawley Borough Council

Delivering on our Commitments

Crawley Labour Councillors and members celebrate victory at the Election Count On behalf of Crawley Labour, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted last week, those...

In the wake of Windrush, we’ve had cause to ask ourselves what sort of country we really are. Are we a country which values equality, celebrates diversity promotes community cohesion, and opposes racism and intolerance? Or are we going to become a country which judges people first by what they look like and not by who they are?

In Crawley we’ve always been proud of the strength of our community, as a New Town everyone here has come from somewhere else and yet rather than becoming a source of division that diversity has given us strength.

Some 20 years ago, I joined a fantastic group, known as ‘Crawley Campaign Against Racism’. This group was established in 1976, when a young man, dying from cancer in Crawley Hospital, wrote a letter to the Observer, opposing a surge of racism in the UK. Noticing the range of ethnicities amongst the doctors and nurses caring for him in the NHS, he called for us to: ’Leave the British race and join the human race.’

We see this effort to bridge the gap between cultures in the work of other local groups too, including Crawley Interfaith Network This organisation has brought together local religious leaders and believers from across the town’s faith groups: Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Buddhist, meeting regularly and sharing their ideas and beliefs to promote greater tolerance, understanding and harmony.

As Crawley’s first Hindu Mayor, I sought to build upon this work in promoting the message that though we may be of many faiths and creeds, we are ‘One Crawley, one community’. Projects supporting this message over recent years have included a multi-faith service on Remembrance Day, along with bringing community and religious leaders together for celebrations on Eid, Diwali, Christmas and Vaisakhi, which as Mayor I was proud to host in Crawley’s council chamber.

As a country we have a choice, we can create a future based upon the prejudices of the past or we can choose to build a better one. I know which one I’m fighting for and I hope I can count on your support.

CllrRajSharma.jpgCllr Raj Sharma,

Labour Southgate

British values

In the wake of Windrush, we’ve had cause to ask ourselves what sort of country we really are. Are we a country which values equality, celebrates diversity promotes community cohesion,...

At every level the Conservatives hold power in Crawley, services are failing. That isn’t just the opinion of a Labour councillor, it’s played out in the pages of the Observer every week.

Despite the promises our MP made at the General Election, school underfunding has worsened, the extreme cuts proposed at Thomas Bennett highlighting the scale of the challenges now faced by every local school. Meanwhile, Crawley CCG, which pays for Crawley residents’ NHS treatment, has been in ‘Special Measures’ since last summer, for the first time risking the rationing of healthcare.

Things aren’t any better where the Tories hold power locally. Our Police Commissioner we’ve lost our dedicated neighbourhood PCSOs and police officers have become a rare sight. While the level of care Conservative West Sussex County Council can easily be seen by looking at the  state of our Highways, where their lack of action on broken pavements, potholes and parking comes up on almost every doorstep.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Labour-run Crawley Borough Council has shown you don’t have to give in to cuts, instead you can raise the revenue we need to provide residents with the high quality services they deserve. The amount the borough spends on services today is the same as when Labour regained control of the council four years ago. It wasn’t easy, but we believe in public services and are willing to put in the work to protect them.

One example of this is the bins. We’re one of less than a quarter of councils still running a weekly bin collection, we restored the grass cuts the Tories got rid of and created an economic development team which is delivering Crawley’s first ever Jobs and Skills Plan. Beyond that, we’ve built 1,000 new affordable homes for local people, invested in new leisure opportunities and started the regeneration of the town centre.

That progress is now at risk. When you vote next month you have a choice: vote in the exact same people responsible for the state of Crawley’s Highways or re-elect Labour to keep building a better future for Crawley.

CllrTimLunnon.jpgCllr Tim Lunnon

Labour, Broadfield South

A Better future for Crawley

At every level the Conservatives hold power in Crawley, services are failing. That isn’t just the opinion of a Labour councillor, it’s played out in the pages of the Observer...

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