Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 29th September 2021

It seems with every passing week now the UK is faced with a new crisis. Last week it was the extraordinary hike in energy costs, this week it’s accessing fuel, next week who knows?

Whatever the challenges brought of the pandemic, the problems now facing Britain cannot be found to anywhere near the same extent in other major economies. Is coincidence? Or some unique problem with Britain? Or does the repeated pattern of failure stem from a Government unwilling or incapable of planning beyond the end of the week, never mind facing up to the major challenges of the coming decades?

For Crawley, for the first time in our history we are facing mass-unemployment, the direct consequence of decisions taken by our Government. Yet, despite being harder hit than any other economy in the country we have not received any extra support to undo the damage they have done.

We have a housing crisis and a system which makes it increasingly hard to ensure developers build housing people can afford and provide the infrastructure necessary to avoid stretching existing services beyond breaking point.

At a time when local councils need to be empowered to provide sustainable transport options, retrofit housing for carbon neutrality, and deliver large quantities of local green energy generation, councils are instead left struggling to maintain even basic services on a fraction on the budget they had just over a decade ago.

These are the real challenges our town is facing and which cannot be resolved without Government support and every one of them has been made harder to overcome by the Conservatives’ decisions over the last decade. Yet, instead of helping fix the mess, we are having new and entirely unnecessary problems created for us, one after the other, without end.

This Government’s survival relies upon bluster and fiction, upon promoting the belief that there is no alternative and that every country is going through the same thing. The reality is the UK has always had alternatives, other parties consistently highlighted them and we still have time to put our country back on the right course.

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