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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

Crawley MP Henry Smith condemns Brexit uncertainty

Henry Smith MP has spoken out against the uncertainty and democratic damage of Brexit not being delivered and in Parliament last week called for the instruction given by the people of Crawley and the UK to leave the EU not to be delayed beyond 29th March 2019.

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Speaking in the House Of Commons on Friday 15th Feb, Mr Smith partook in a debate and made his strong feeling very clear.

Here are some of the highlights of what he said:

“It’s been three years since the Brexit referendum was called. With exit day of 29th March only weeks away, I urge the Prime Minister to take a robust approach to the continued negotiations with the EU.

“One of the biggest reasons for the current uncertainty is the continued calls for another vote of the people. Crawley residents – and indeed voters across the UK – have already spoken clearly and it’s up to the Government to carry out their will.

“The previous day I asked Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions for assurances over our departure on the date set out in law of 29th March 2019 – the people’s Brexit must not be denied.”

He then followed it up about Crawley itself:

“The message I get is as follows. Just the other day, I was walking down Tilgate shopping parade in my constituency, and as is typically the case, someone came up to me and wanted to know about the current Brexit debate in Parliament.

“They said, “Why aren’t we getting on with the decision we made two and a half years ago?” That is a compelling argument.”

Mr Smith continued on the subject of Brexit uncertainty and the countries relationship with Europe:

“We have heard this afternoon calls for a so-called people’s vote. I would argue that we had a people’s vote in 2016. We have also heard calls for an extension of article 50, to delay our departure from the European Union.

“We have heard from those Members concern about the uncertainty of Brexit. The one thing that will maintain uncertainty is questioning the democratic decision that was taken by holding a second referendum.

“That would certainly do a lot to damage our democracy and prolong uncertainty, as would a delay to article 50, and that is before we even get into the issues of whether the remaining 27 members of the EU would allow article 50 to be extended and, if article 50 were to be extended beyond July, of EU elections.”

“Yes, we absolutely should be seeking and honouring a deep and close relationship with our neighbours and allies in Europe, but the trouble with a customs union, which Labour Members advocate, is that it would prevent us from doing the global free trade deals that, in a world that is getting smaller, are key to our prosperity.

“The key to this country’s future prosperity is our unique global links, and being a conduit for that thanks to our proximity to Europe. We must be robust in the ongoing negotiations, and I support the Prime Minister in continuing them.

“I have never known an EU negotiation that did not go down to the last moment, and I therefore remain optimistic about our future. For goodness’ sake, we should be more optimistic as a House and country, because our best years are ahead.” r

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