The tidiness of our town

Increasingly I’ve been receiving emails from residents concerned about the tidiness of our town. On Thursday 3rd May there will be elections to Crawley Borough Council (with the exceptions of Gossops Green, Three Bridges and Tilgate) providing us with an opportunity to have our say on the future of our local community.

Annual litter warnings in Crawley have more than doubled in the last two years, yet the Labour controlled Borough Council have not issued a single Fixed Penalty Notice to tackle this issue since 2014. Local Conservatives have confirmed that if elected to administer the Council they will pursue a tougher approach.

They will also introduce a Better Neighbourhoods Programme to create new residential on-street parking spaces where they are most needed, and to improve local grass verges.

It’s concerning to see the current Town Hall administration, run by Labour since 2014, seek to do away with an important part of our town’s heritage and tradition. A constant of Crawley New Town since its official formation 71 years ago has been the neighbourhood principle; this now under threat if local Labour councillors get their way to divide those neighbourhoods between new electoral wards.

Our communities are more than just a title on official documents, they are a part of peoples’ identity, with names included on local community centres, shopping parades and places of worship.

Indeed, it’s something which appears in Crawley’s founding plans. This historic principle must literally be kept on the map and it’s disappointing to see the Borough Council’s political leadership showing such scant regard for our town’s history.

There is much we can build on. In the five years to 2015 the number of Crawley businesses increased by more than 600 to 3,600, meaning more companies paying their taxes to fund our public services, and university applications in our town have increased by 40 per cent over the last decade.

Crawley has great untapped potential, and there is much more for us to achieve to improve the state of our local area.

Henry Smith MP