Crawley Live Column, Autumn 2020

With Local Elections–including by-elections–banned until May 2021, you could be forgiven for having thought this was one year there would be no political changes at Crawley Borough Council. Surprisingly, that was not the case, with the resignations of two Labour councillors pushing the council into no overall control, so called because no party has the majority they need to take decisions.

At any ordinary time this situation would be unfortunate but manageable, we are far from ordinary times and for the council to have been left unable to take decisions in the midst of a crisis would have been simply unforgivable. Instead, Labour and Conservative councillors have negotiated an agreement which will provide stability until the voters can decide who they want to run the council next May.

Under the agreement, Labour remains in minority control, with a Conservative Mayor, committee chairs shared between the groups, and new arrangements for ensuring decisions have majority support by the time they reach Full Council. The decision to put politics aside this way is a first for the town, but one circumstances demand.

Over recent months we have endured a pandemic, in the wake of which we now face a crisis of unemployment and a huge budget gap opened up in the fight against the outbreak. Each of these issues poses great risks for the town and will take tough decisions to overcome, but as a council we are committed to getting Crawley through these troubles and onto the better times ahead.

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