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History in the making as Labour & Conservatives agree to run Crawley council together

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In what can only be considered a ‘historic’ agreement, the leaders of the two main parties, Labour and Conservatives, have reached an agreement on how Crawley council will be run.

In a joint statement from both the leaders they say:

“Crawley is facing greater challenges than it has ever known before in the life of the New Town. We are in the midst of a pandemic, with thousands of local jobs at risk, and a multi-million pound budget gap in the council’s finances has opened up in the fight against COVID-19.

Against this backdrop, the council has moved into No Overall Control, leaving no party able to govern by itself. This risks paralysis at the very time the community needs it most.

In these unprecedented times, we as elected representatives owe it to those we serve to put party politics to one side and focus on getting the town through this crisis. This agreement ensures the council has the stability it needs to address the problems our community is facing, leaving it to the voters to decide who controls the council at the local elections next May.

Peter Lamb, Leader of the Labour Group
Duncan Crow, Leader of the Conservative Group

So what does this mean?

Under this agreement:

• Crawley Borough Council will retain a Labour administration with the Leader and Cabinet remaining Labour members.

• The Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Cabinet members will be entitled to the same level of briefing from senior officers as the Leader and members of the Cabinet.

• A detailed list of items due to come before the council will be made available to the Shadow Cabinet.

• The Conservative Group will be providing confidence and supply to the administration and will be invited to send representatives (the Leader of the Opposition, supported by members of his Shadow Cabinet) to agree reports set to come before the council, including the Budget.

• The Leader of the Opposition will second the Budget at Full Council.

• There will be ‘joint accountability for joint decision making’, it will be recognised that neither group is individually responsible for a collective decision.

• Prior notification will no longer be required for the Leader of the Opposition to speak on an item at Cabinet, with the same right extended to Shadow Cabinet members on reports under their portfolio.

• In addition to the Leader and Cabinet posts, Labour Group nominees will receive the following roles: Deputy Mayor, Chair of Licensing, Vice-Chair of OSC, Vice-Chair of Planning, Vice-Chair of Governance, and Vice-Chair of Audit.

• Conservative Group nominees will receive the following roles: Mayor, Chair of OSC, Chair of Planning, Chair of Governance, Chair of Audit, and Vice-Chair of Licensing.

• Cllr Bob Lanzer will become Chair of the Neighbourhood Parades Scrutiny Panel.

• Agreement in principle that later in the year, work would occur (possibly via a constitutional change/ Notice of Motion) over the requirement for a more proportionate system for Chairs/Vice chair arrangements going forward.

• In the event of a hung-council at the 2021 Local Elections, the casting vote of the Mayor or Deputy Mayor will not be used to determine the next Mayor and political control until new talks have been held between the groups.

• Groups will avoid moving single-party motions at Full Council meetings.

Business

Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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