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Conservatives win Tilgate seat in landslide victory



It was deemed to be a close fought battle but the end result was far from close.

Councillor Maureen Mwagale was elected by a huge margin to represent Tilgate.

The final figures were:

741 Conservatives
396 Labour
82 Lib Dem
70 Green
5 Justice Party

Having been represented by both a Labour and a Conservative Councillor change came about in the last election when the Labour seat was lost and Tilgate became wholly represented by the Conservatives.

But as everyone settled down across the town to begin the work they had been elected to do then turmoil hit with the shocking passing of the newly elected Conservative Cllr Charles Petts.

Suddenly Labour had another chance to retake the seat they had so dramatically lost.

And so the canvassing began but what a time to be holding a By Election.

With all eyes on westminster as the current parliament rips into one another the last thing those in Tilgate needed was any discourse and yet here it was with news that rents for businesses on the parade were to go up by an astonishing 30%.

Just as this was taking place then upset as crime figures show the alarming increase in people reporting crime is far higher in the ward than anywhere else in the town.

Is it no wonder then that perhaps the result was always going to go against whoever was running the council?

But there are also wider implications here. Is this a sign of change ahead or is this just a bump in the road? Only time will tell but it is clear that something has riled residents up and changed their voting habits either as a result of something within the town or perhaps from actions taking place in a room in the capital overlooked by a big bell named Ben.


Crawley MP launches new cross-party group to fight for future of UK aviation



Crawley’s MP Henry Smith has launched a new cross-party group of MPs to fight for the future of UK aviation after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Crawley MP is Chair of the Future of Aviation Group which will seek to highlight the importance of a vibrant aviation sector to consumers, businesses and the overall UK economy. The Group is urging ministers to introduce measures to support the recovery of the UK’s aviation sector.

Henry said;

“It is of course right that public health concerns remain the Government’s most urgent priority, but the level of support from MPs from all sides and from all regions reflects the pressing need for the Government to provide much more support to our aviation sector, given that aviation is one of the sectors worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Aviation will be vital to our long-term economic recovery at national and local levels and it is high time that Government avoid any further delay and introduce financial measures that support the aviation industry; the businesses, employees and the communities who depend on it.

“We cannot allow Britain’s economic and social recovery to be held back through a failure to support our aviation industry. As a global, island trading nation the consequences of continuing inaction are unthinkable.”

The Group has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, setting out several urgent questions about the Government’s actions to date together with demands for further urgent policy intervention.

You can read the full letter by clicking here.

The letter to the Secretary of State raises several points, including:

  • How often will the 14-day quarantine period be reviewed, and will Government prioritise ‘air bridges’ to restart safe travel to and from low risk countries?
  • What discussions have been held at an international level to find a Common International Standard for aviation health protocols to build consumer confidence?
  • What discussions have been held with local authorities and airport representatives regarding central Government support for business rates relief?
  • What consideration has been given to financial measures to support the restart of domestic aviation and to protect vital regional routes?
  • What additional support can be made available to local authorities and the aviation supply chain until passenger numbers increase?
  • What assessment has been made of the importance of aviation to the nation’s economic recovery?
  • What assessment has been made of the likely timescale of the recovery of businesses in the tourism sector who are reliant on international tourism?
  • What assessment has been made of the opportunity to support low carbon aviation technologies as a way to support UK economic recovery and help aviation deliver its net zero commitment?

The creation of the Future of Aviation Group is Henry’s latest intervention on this issue.

Henry added;

“With Gatwick Airport being such a key local employer I’m very conscious of the Crawley economy being reliant on the aviation and travel industry.

“I’ll continue my representations with ministers, airports and airlines on behalf of the Crawley workers, families, businesses and customers for whom this sector is so important.”

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