Standing up for Crawley and celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our travel and aviation sectors cannot be underestimated.

Support for our local economy as a whole will be required. With this in mind, alongside the Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Cllr Peter Lamb, I have written to the Chancellor, the Business Secretary, the Housing Secretary and the Transport Secretary about the unique challenges facing our town.

With the Borough Council I am calling for ten interventions which Government can take to ultimately facilitate a faster economic recovery locally.

Targeted support towards the aviation and travel sectors, grant packages for companies and the scaling up of the Towns Fund are just some of the areas where action taken now will have a long-term impact in ensuring Crawley’s continued economic success.

There will not be a household in Crawley which has not been affected by this virus in some way. This includes the ability to do the things which we have often taken for granted such as seeing our family and friends, and the ability to take part in those events which bring us all together.

Therefore I am delighted that St John’s Church will be going ahead – remotely – with their celebration service for the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May.

To protect our veterans and their families at this time, the large-scale national commemorations celebrating this anniversary of Victory in Europe cannot go ahead.

This does not mean that we are unable to celebrate this important date in our nation’s history. HM The Queen will send a message to the nation, the Prince of Wales will read an extract from King George VI’s diary from VE Day, and members of the royal family and the Prime Minister will take part in video calls with Second World War veterans.

For further information and for ways to pay tribute to those who ensured our freedom, please visit: www.ve-vjday75.gov.uk.

Henry Smith MP