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‘There is no democracy in Crawley’ – residents furious outcry as part of Three Bridges could become Langley Green

Some Crawley residents could find the area they live in has changed as Council puts forward their boundary change recommendations.

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Residents have been voicing their furious views over the Councils decision to vote for a recommendation on electoral ward changes that will see some Three Bridges and Northgate residents change ward to Langley Green.

The recommendation will also see Three Bridges extend its boundaries to cover the town centre which is currently covered by Northgate.

Additionally Broadfield North and South will be combined and Gossops Green will extend into the current Broadfield North ward.

In a heated full council meeting last night, residents voiced their concerns to the councillors who, in the opinion of some of the residents, were just not listening.

One resident said:

“What is the purpose of being allowed to speak at these meetings if all they are going to do is put down everything we say and go with what they want?”

Another resident said:

“We are very disappointed to see that there is no democracy in Crawley.  It seems so unnecessary what they are doing when there are perfectly respectable ways to do it.”

So what is the all the fuss about?

Crawley has been informed by the boundaries commission that they must reduce the number of councillors by one for the town.

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In order that this still gives a fair representation to the residents and that each ward has a similar number of people represented by a councillor this means that ward boundaries are going to have to alter.

The commission has asked the council to put through their recommendation which is what was voted for last night with a proposal put forward by Labour winning the vote 19/17.

But what didn’t help was councillors commenting to the residents saying, “there are winners and losers”.

A spokesperson for Crawley Borough Council said:

“It is important to note that we are a consultee and therefore not a decision maker on the ward changes. We have been consulted and put forward our recommendation.  Any resident who wishes to put forward their opinion should goto the boundaries commission website before the 9th April.

No-one is having their neighbourhood changed, it is only the electoral boundaries.”

This is actually a very important note as whilst the council has voted on their recommendation it in no way means that this will actually happen.  It is now down to the commission to make the final decision taking into account both the council and residents views.

But residents hit back with one saying:

“Of course we wont lose our neighbourhood but what we will lose is the relationship with councillors we have built up over years.  Having a new councillor who has looked after an area miles from us and who now has to start again learning about our area is ludicrous.”

Henry Smith MP has spoken out against the changes on Twitter:

If you would like to see the map of the recommendations voted for by the council then click here.

If you would like to put forward your views to the commission then you have till the 9th April.  To do this click here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

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Labour

Crawley Labour’s push for railway clean-up

Years of littering led to a potential health hazard in the areas close to Ifield station.

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Before & after the clean-up [Images: Cllr Geraint Thomas].

Crawley Labour party members and residents in Ifield are delighted that after many months of trying Network Rail have eventually cleared up the rubbish alongside the railway by Ifield Station.

The rubbish alongside the footbridge at the end of Ifield Drive had gradually accumulated over many years forming both an eyesore and a potential health hazard.

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Cllr Geraint Thomas, the Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability took up the challenge after residents complained about the rubbish alongside the footbridge at Ifield Station in Ifield Drive. Former Cllr John Stanley had tried every which way to find who was responsible for this litter and to get someone to clear it up – Crawley Borough Council could not remove it as it was on railway land but action was soon taken to find out who was responsible and prepared to act.

Clearing up litter and fly-tipping is often made more difficult by the need to establish the actual owner of the land. Contrary to what many people think the public land in Crawley is not always owned by Crawley Borough Council and may typically be owned by WSCC or a private organisation or individual. Establishing the right owner is just part of the process as the owner must be willing to effect a clean-up.

And then there is the question of who pays for the work.

Of course, on the railways it has to be the appropriate organisation. Especially as access and safety concerns have to be addressed – but which is the right organisation?

Cllr Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability’ said:

“After much persistence I am delighted to have found a contact at Network Rail that was able and willing to clear up this mess. I am now looking to take advantage of this contact and have other trouble spots cleared up as well.”

Ifield councillor Cllr Peter Smith said: “I’m pleased that Cllr Thomas has succeeded in getting this cleared up. My former colleague John Stanley had invested a lot of time and effort trying to get this done and I know that he would have been pleased to see the results achieved. We now have to get the bridge on Berrymeade Walk in Ifield West added to the list for cleaning.”

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