The heart of our democracy

As opposition MPs in Parliament work to disrespect and overturn the decision of the Crawley and UK electorates to leave the European Union, it is important to remember that the heart of our democracy is sometimes best represented by what happens at a local level.

Last Thursday saw two by-elections in Crawley following the untimely loss of Charles Petts earlier in the year. Both seats were retained by the Conservatives, with each of the party’s candidates receiving more than half the votes cast.

My congratulations to Maureen Mwagale on being elected as Crawley Borough Councillor for Tilgate, and to Brenda Burgess on being elected as West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges & Pound Hill South.

In light of the result, it is clear that Labour-controlled Crawley Borough Council has no mandate to pursue its policy of rent increases as high as 30 per cent.

The shops on our local parades are more than just sources of income for the Borough Council; they provide goods, services and employment to hard-working people.

A recent Tilgate Parade petition opposed to the Council’s plans reached over 1,300 signatures; which is some 900 people more than the votes received by the Labour Party in Tilgate last week.

In Three Bridges & Pound Hill South, Brenda Burgess will be a strong voice at County Hall in standing up for local residents. Her record of delivery as a Crawley Borough Councillor will be translated into action on West Sussex County Council.

As the polls opened, the Labour Party’s Leader of Crawley Borough Council asked the people of our town to send the Prime Minister a message.

Away from the ‘Westminster bubble’ the people of Tilgate, Three Bridges and Pound Hill South have spoken clearly in favour of the Conservatives and Boris Johnson, and against Labour’s plans to hike taxes and ignore the views of hard-working people on local and national issues like getting Brexit delivered.

Henry Smith MP