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Henry Smith: Taking pride in our community

In his article today Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about with election day the town should take pride in its community.

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Our town goes to the polls today – Thursday 2nd May. Unusually for Crawley, every seat on the Borough Council is up for election, giving us the chance to change the future direction of our community.

As I go across town, in addition to the issues raised with me by concerned residents, I have seen for myself that the Borough Council’s current leadership have failed to keep Crawley clean and tidy. Sending out press releases on the subject is no substitute for issuing fines for littering.

Hard-working Crawley Conservative councillors will take pride in our community, and will ensure action against such anti-social behaviour.

Figures released this week show that over 700 Crawley families have been able to realise their dream of home ownership thanks to the Government’s Help to Buy ISA and equity loan initiatives.

This is a contrast to Labour’s record, such as the £1.4 million from the sale of council houses which was meant to be spent on new homes in Crawley but actually wasn’t.

The Council’s leadership have also gone over budget on a botched IT project. Conservative councillors will not lose sight of the fact that Council funds are actually the hard-earned money of local taxpayers.

A vote for local Conservative candidates on Thursday is a vote for a better Crawley.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: The new Railcard for 16-17 year olds

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about the new Railcard that has been introduced for 16-17 year-olds.

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In tackling the cost of living I welcome the Government introducing a new 16-17 year olds’ Railcard. This will guarantee 50 per cent off all rail travel until the cardholder’s 18th birthday, and is expected to benefit more than one million people nationwide.

Many young people rely on the trains from Crawley, Ifield and Three Bridges stations to get to school, college and work. It is vital that rail fares are affordable for young people, and I have written to Crawley secondary school and college heads to ask them to urge their students to sign up.

This Railcard will be released in time for the new school year in September, following the launch of the 26-30 Railcard in January, which saw some 11,000 cards sold on the very first day alone.

Overall, regulated rail fares have been frozen in line with inflation, meaning annual season ticket holders will have approximately £425 more in their pockets in the five years to 2020.

A few days ago I welcomed the Transport Secretary to Gatwick Airport for an announcement about the future of its railway station. Improved accessibility and swifter journeys are at the heart of a £150 million plan to upgrade the station, which will benefit tens of millions of passengers.

It is with increased access in mind that I was pleased to encourage eligible Crawley residents to sign up for the Disabled Persons Railcard. Last year more than 48,000 journeys starting in Crawley were made using the Railcard, up from just over 33,700 four years ago.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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