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‘Is Crawley Leader on a power trip?” – local Councillor asks

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Following the news that a Labour Councillor left the party to go independent, in turn creating a no majority party council, Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera has penned a response.

Cllr Guidera writes

“Cllr Karen Sudan publicly accused Crawley Council Leader Cllr Peter Lamb yesterday.

She wrote:

“The Coronavirus crisis made it even more important for there to be input from all Councillors and at the outset I suggested setting up a crisis committee (which could, and perhaps should, involve opposition members. Their residents have as much right to representation as others). The Council Leader dismissed this suggestion, even though there was support for it from other Labour members. He said that councillors have no role to play in the current crisis, and he has acted unilaterally all along.”

So Peter now stands accused by his own colleague of disregarding his Labour colleagues and disregarding the 17 Conservative councillors at a time when we should all have been working together during this terrible crisis for the benefit of all Crawley residents.

Right now we need to be working together. We must be discussing the future of the town, how to save jobs, how to support the economy, that’s what we’re elected to do!

Crawley faces the biggest multifaceted crisis in its history and we have a leader of 17 Labour Councillors who allegedly doesn’t want to involve many of them and all of the 17 Conservative Councillors!?!

Making it worse is the reality that if we’d had the May election I am almost certain we would have taken control of the council and Labour would not be in power.

This Thursday, 2nd of July, Peter will host yet another live video Facebook Q&A on the Crawley Borough Council Facebook page. I’m sure you have questions for him…”

Opinion

Crawley Councillor who resigned from Labour party is…err… STILL a Labour councillor for West Sussex Council

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You are going to have to bear with me on this one because even I am struggling to understand how this is even possible or allowed – well actually it may not be if party rules are to be followed.

Remember last week when two Labour councillors resigned? Well one of them was and still is a County Councillor – so you might expect that leaving Labour and becoming an Independent would mean – well – that you have left Labour and become Independent – DUH!

Stupid thing to say isn’t it, I mean it’s obvious. What other way is there to think?

Apparently a completely different way, that’s how!

For West Sussex County Council has now confirmed that the EX-Labour Borough Councillor Karen Sudan is in-fact still representing Labour on the County Council.

How is this even allowed?

This raises a worrying and somewhat confusing rule. For if this is totally ok with local government then it means you could represent one party as a county councillor and a completely different party for the borough.

But let’s add to the mix that the Labour Rules state that in order to represent the party you MUST be a member. But Cllr Sudan is no longer a member.

There is also something else here that would not be a miss within some conspiracy theory. IF Cllr Sudan was to stop representing Labour in the County Council, then the amount paid in allowances changes dramatically. Having 5 members instead of 4 allows more than £6K in additional allowances to be paid to the groups leader.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said:

“Cllr Karen Sudan has informed us that she remains a member of the Labour Group on West Sussex County Council. The County Council is aware that Cllr Sudan is now an independent on Crawley Borough Council.”

So where does this leave us at the moment. Well if you are one of the voters who ticked the box for Cllr Sudan then you may be thinking, what party have I voted for, and you would not be criticised for thinking so.

What is needed is clarity of the situation…not an independent Councillor waving a Labour flag.

Both Cllr Sudan and Cllr Michael Jones have been approached for comment.

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