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Has Crawley’s Council Leader just made a clever political chess move?

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At first glance it looks like Crawley’s Labour party has resigned itself to the fact that they are now a minority party in the town.

The invite to call a ‘motion of no confidence’ appears at first to be a suggestion that there ‘should’ be a vote to decide who runs the council, but let’s look at it more closely.

First of all, the invite itself is actually unnecessary. An opposing party can call for the motion at any time they want, they do not need an invite to do so.

So by sending the invite the Crawley Leader is almost tempting the opposing party to call a vote, trying to illustrate to the real voters, the residents, that it is the responsible thing to do.

So why wouldn’t the Conservatives take up the invite?

The real question is actually ‘why would they?’. It may seem odd that a party who wants to run the council would not challenge the current situation but the reality is there is no security that a challenge would even work in their favour.

And this is the very clever part.

For if a motion is called then it falls to a vote of all the councillors, two of which are now independent, and whilst they may no longer be with Labour, they are certainly not Conservatives.

So to think they would vote with the Conservatives would be a very naive expectation.

So, their only real options are to abstain, or to vote with Labour.

If they vote with Labour then the council remains the way it is till the next election in May 21.

But if they abstain then the Conservatives take over control and (the really clever part) the fate of the town falls on their shoulders. This means that any blame of the situation is moved away from the Labour party and directed at two individuals instead.

This political game of chess could not come at a worst time with COVID-19 making such a devastating impact on the town at the moment.

The Conservatives could make the decision to ignore the invite and continue as things stand till next year. Almost test their voting power, so to speak, and then if they find they have the votes then make a decision to call a motion of no confidence at a later date. For there is no rush with this, it is not something they ever had to wait for an invite for.

Of course there is the possibility that this is a genuine offer to call for a motion of no confidence – but this is politics, and does anyone really believe that?

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Kickstarting the recovery

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As the challenges of COVID-19 continue to be addressed, the scale of the response across the nation needs to have long-lasting effects.

The Kickstart scheme launches this week to widen job opportunities for young people and I urge employers in Crawley to sign up.

Participating firms will be able to offer young people between 16 and 24 years of age who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement that is fully funded by the Government.

The scheme will see Government pay all of the young persons’ age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week, which the employer can top up if they chose to.

Companies will also be paid £1,500 for each young person they take on as part of the initiative, to support training or other associated costs.

Kickstart is a vital part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs and I hope local employers will participate.

Young people are more likely to have been furloughed than the population as a whole, and we cannot allow them to be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

Creating jobs and helping young people develop the skills to access them is essential. Interested employers can find out more information via: www.gov.uk/kickstart

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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