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Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP accuses Crawley Council Leader of ‘political narrow-mindedness’

“To remove Crawley from the joint effort to better serve people seems like personal petulance”, says Crawley MP.

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Crawley MP Henry Smith has today posted on social media, showing a letter he’s sent to the Leader of Crawley Borough Council which asks him to ‘work constructively with local partners’.

The letter comes following previous communication between Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb and West Sussex County Council.

More news: Change of plan for new Crawley Town Hall

Mr Lamb sent a letter (dated 5 September) to Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, which stated:

“Until such time as West Sussex Changes its course we will be withdrawing from West Sussex Leader Board activities and while honouring current agreements, we will be taking no further steps towards joint working the county.

“We simply cannot work with people who believe such actions to be moral.”

His tweet, which was published alongside the letter, seemed to support this statement, “informing them that these cuts will mark an end in their relationship” with Crawley Borough Council.

Further clashes between the two councils arose on Wednesday after West Sussex County Council announced they held a meeting with local council leaders to talk about the proposed cuts, without Crawley Borough Council.

This led to Peter Lamb filing a formal complaint as he took issue with the wording used by West Sussex Council in their statement. Read more here.

Today, Henry Smith MP addressed Peter Lamb’s move to withdraw from West Sussex Leader Board activities. He says this decision seems like ‘personal petulance’ and ‘political narrow-mindedness’.

He goes on to ask the Leader of Crawley Borough Council to ‘reconsider’:

“On behalf of local residents I would be grateful if you would reconsider, and work together so we can ensure the most vulnerable in society are protected.”

Mr Smith’s Tweet presenting the letter, reads:

“I’m calling on #Crawley Borough Council to work constructively with local partners, not withdraw from cooperation – our town’s housing authority should be a leading voice in West Sussex.”

Read the letter in full below:

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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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