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‘Evidence of my antisemitism is a joke’ – Crawley Councillor explains her decision to go independent

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Northgate and West Green Councillor Karen Sudan has penned a statement following her decision to leave the Labour party, leaving the council with no party majority.

Her resignation statement reads:

“I have been a member of the Labour Party for almost 50 years. I have outstayed many Party leaders and my resignation is nothing to do with the recent change of leadership.

I was elected to be a voice for the people I represent, but Back Benchers under the current Council leadership have to fight to be heard – even those in the controlling group.

The Coronavirus crisis made it even more important for there to be input from all Councillors and at the outset I suggested setting up a crisis committee (which could, and perhaps should, involve opposition members. Their residents have as much right to representation as others). The Council Leader dismissed this suggestion, even though there was support for it from other Labour members. He said that councillors have no role to play in the current crisis, and he has acted unilaterally all along.

Although I would not say that Peter Lamb has not worked hard or done his best, I believe that CBC’s response to the Crisis has been poorer for lack of input from those of us who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, know our Town and understand ‘our’ residents. We are by no means out of the woods with Coronavirus – only yesterday I was discussing with colleagues at West Sussex CC, the likelihood and danger of localised outbreaks and/or a second wave. All elected representatives should have a voice and a role to play. This goes beyond the many things we have done and are doing as human beings to help one another.

This was my position on Saturday evening when I received a ‘Notice of Investigation’ from Party HQ, accusing me of antisemitism, the ‘evidence’ was three tweets, one posted 2017, another 2018 and one from 2020. This ‘evidence’, which I am prepared to share and put before any judge and jury, fiend or enemy, is a joke.

I do not know what triggered this, but I know from others’ experience how the Party works. While I was a Party member, I would be bound to keep this ‘investigation’ confidential. This would lead to gossip and a stain on my character and a great deal of stress. The ‘investigation’ would be allowed to ‘hang’ indefinitely to be used as an excuse to prevent me standing for office again or accepting office such as a Cabinet position.

I have chosen instead to resign my Party membership so that I can continue to focus on the job I have been elected to do (and I do see it as a job) and so that anyone who wishes to judge me can have available the original documents and make up their own mind about my anti-racist credentials.

Councillor Karen Sudan

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K2 Crawley and other local leisure centres to reopen next week

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Local leisure centres in Crawley are set to reopen after being given the green light by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

K2 Crawley, Broadfield 3G Pitch and Pavilion and the Bewbush Centre, managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active in partnership with Crawley Borough Council, will reopen their doors on Wednesday 2 December following a month’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has confirmed all leisure centres across all tiers will be safe to reopen with strict operational measures in place.

However, local restrictions mean some activities are not available at some centres. Full information on how the tier system affects your local centre is available here.

Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator’s pledge and safety measures can be found here.

While its 200 leisure centres across the country have been closed, Everyone Active has provided a comprehensive package of online workouts for people to use, along with live streamed classes across its social media pages.

Jon Hodgson, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said:

“We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community.

“After being closed for a month, this announcement from Government is the news the leisure industry has been eagerly awaiting.

“It is very important to give people the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre, particularly during the winter months, and this will go a long way to maintaining the good health of local communities.

“We would like to thank the 615,000 people across the country who signed the petition we supported to keep gyms open, which triggered a Parliamentary debate, and to acknowledge the impressive manner in which the leisure industry has pulled together.

“We would also like to thank Crawley Borough Council for their support, which has proved invaluable during this challenging year.

“Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe is our number one priority and we have carefully considered the strict measurements to ensure we adhere to the guidance.

“We will be contacting all customers directly over the coming days regarding the centres reopening. We look forward to welcoming everyone back and thank them for their patience.”

For further information on Everyone Active and its leisure centres, visit www.everyoneactive.com.

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