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Henry Smith: Crawleys ward boundaries need to provide electoral equality whilst keeping neighbourhood identities

In his article this week Crawleys MP talks about the ward changes coming to the town.

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The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) are currently undertaking an electoral review of Crawley Borough Council – this means the current ward boundaries which are used to elect councillors to represent us at the Town Hall are up for change.

Such a process needs to be inclusive and the Commission are accepting the views of local residents through a consultation which is open until Monday, 9th April. The leadership of Labour-controlled Crawley Borough Council however are not behaving in such a manner; ignoring one of Crawley’s founding ideals by recommending new boundaries this week which threaten to tear apart our local neighbourhoods which our town was built on.

The community principle is a long-standing part of Crawley New Town. It means more than words only mentioned on election leaflets; the names are included in postal addresses and are a real part of peoples’ identity, with local community centres, shopping parades and places of worship bearing these titles.

I have written to the Commission in support of Scheme 1 out of those which have been shortlisted – this provides for electoral equality whilst maintaining Crawley’s historic neighbourhood identities.

In contrast to Labour’s closed shop at the Town Hall, a Conservative-controlled Borough Council will instead be inclusive and respect that Crawley is a diverse place with a range of political outlooks.

The LGBCE consultation closes on Monday, 9th April. If you would like to join me in having a say to keep one of Crawley’s historic principles literally on the map, please click here to take part.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Making sure tips go to the right place

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith welcomes changes to how tips are handled.

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With Crawley’s thriving service industry, the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of plans to stop employers making deductions from workers’ tips will make a difference to many in our town.

When leaving a tip after good service at a restaurant, we expect that all the extra money will go to those who provided that good experience. The reality is sometimes different, with some restaurant chains taking up to 10 per cent of staff tips.

Government proposals in this area will see a pay boost for workers and provide a more honest arrangement for the consumers who leave tips.

This is an issue highlighted earlier in the year by Unite the Union, who previously condemned the last Labour government over its lack of action on the subject.

While ministers previously announced plans to tackle exploitative practices by banning or restricting employers taking tips that are given to staff and making a voluntary code of practice for employers legally binding, this week’s announcement goes further and will protect workers from employers taking deductions from their tips.

Such measures will provide a fairer deal for staff, and give confidence to customers who will know where their money is going.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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