Next week local elections are taking place across Crawley. In three out of every four years, a third of Crawley Borough Council is up for election, with West Sussex County Council elected in the fourth year.
The elections this year are for the borough council and will decide who is responsible for things like housing, leisure and cultural facilities, environmental services, and economic development with most other major local services, such as maintaining the roads and providing social care, the responsibility of West Sussex County Council.
At the moment, no party currently controls Crawley Borough Council, it has a Labour-Independent administration and a Conservative opposition. After next week, Crawley Borough Council will either be run by Labour or by the Conservatives. With the two parties consistently coming first and second in every seat in Crawley, it is extremely unlikely that any other party will be elected to the council this year.
I am very proud of the work we have done on the council during the last eight years of Labour leadership. While we haven’t delivered as much as I’d have liked to have achieved, that’s because our ambitions for Crawley are extremely high and we’ve been working under a Government which has cut the council’s funding for services by two-thirds.
For many people, local elections are a chance to send national parties a message and obviously if the Conservatives receive a really bad result next week that will make it clear to the party exactly what the British public think of having a Prime Minister who breaks his own laws and a Chancellor who can opt out of the taxes he sets.
However, I don’t believe when people go to vote that they need to be thinking of the national picture. All they need to do is to ask themselves, would they rather stick with an administration which has managed to protect services despite the cuts nationally or return to the same Conservatives who began cutting at Crawley before Austerity even started and who right now are failing to deliver the services Crawley deserves at West Sussex County Council.