Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 17th October 2018

Representatives of every political party claim to stand up for the interests of the people they were elected to serve and, for all the disagreements over what those interests are and how best to deliver them, most of the time they probably believe it’s what they’re doing. What is much harder to believe is when local Conservative county councillors claim to be acting in Crawley’s best interests, when they are the first to fall in line when the orders are sent out from Chichester.

Last week, Cllr Duncan Crow, Leader of the Crawley Conservative Group, wrote his column under the title ‘Conservative campaign put Crawley first’ although all it really discussed was a rather selective account of how the independent Local Government Boundary Commission came up with the boundaries we will using for borough council elections in future.

Yet, I see no evidence from his group that it is Crawley and not the county council that they are putting first, constantly defending the county for the shoddy state of our roads and parking, for the under-investment in our schools and for cuts to vital services like Fire and Rescue. That may all be in the best interests of the Conservative Party, but it’s certainly not in the best interests of the town.

So, here’s my challenge to the Conservative county councillors claiming to put Crawley first: if you want people to believe you, your actions need to match up to your words and this week is the perfect opportunity to prove yourselves.

At tonight’s Full Council meeting in Crawley we will be debating a motion calling upon the county council to maintain funding for Crawley Open House and the other vulnerable peoples’ housing services they hold responsibility for, then on Friday at West Sussex County Council our petition demanding they stop the cuts–as signed by almost 15,000 people–is being debated. If you want people to believe you genuinely put the town first and don’t simply follow the orders of the Conservative Party big wigs in Chichester: don’t just do what your told, vote with us to maintain Crawley’s services.

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