Crawley Borough Council has received over £61 million in additional Government funding to meet the extra challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As well as going on direct support for Town Hall services, from housing to leisure and from refuse collection to parks, these funds are also used on business grants and discretionary funding schemes to help people across Crawley cope with pandemic pressures.
In Parliament my priority is to help secure the future of our local area. Given the salience of Gatwick Airport to the Crawley economy, last year I established and am Chair of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group. This is a new coalition of MPs highlighting the importance of a vibrant aviation sector to consumers, businesses and the wider UK economy.
The extension of furlough until at least April, business rates relief for Gatwick Airport employers and the introduction of the Covid passenger testing regime for international arrivals into England are just some examples following intense lobbying from myself and APPG colleagues. Of course, the latter was inspired by the need for enhanced consumer confidence which will be affected as a result of the new lockdown and the closure of travel corridors.
It is with the closure of these travel corridors very much in mind that last week I led a cross-party approach to the Prime Minister calling for additional support for this sector.
I will continue to work with any MP of any party who can help improve the life chances of our constituents. Can the same be said of those in the House of Commons or some Crawley councillors who are seeking division at the expense of finding solutions?
Henry Smith MP