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‘It’s about real change’ says Labour candidate as party claims 3.5k Crawley children would get 30 hours of free childcare

It is described as a radical expansion of free healthcare that will exceed all other political party’s offers.

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A new policy that would see 1,000 Sure Start centres across England replace those that have gone has been proposed by Labour with Crawley’s candidate whole-heartedly supporting it.

The plans laid out are to expand free childcare to 30 hours a week for all 2-4 year-olds which has the potential to save families thousands of pounds a year.

According to Labour an analysis by the House of Commons Library, found that Labour’s expansion of free childcare would see:

·      a family with one 2 year old (currently ineligible for childcare support) save over £5,000 a year

·      families with 2-4 year olds (currently only eligible for 15 hours childcare support) save over £2,500 a year.

Peter Lamb, Crawley Council Leader and Labour’s Candidate in Crawley, said:

“This policy is about the real change that the next Labour government is going to bring to people’s lives.

“Just imagine how much easier this will make life and work for the parents of young families in Crawley.

“You can’t trust the Tories and the Lib Dems with childcare – they cut more than a thousand Sure Start centers across the country and told us it’s impossible for the state to make people’s lives better by helping with childcare.

“Yet I’ve met families across Crawley who struggle to afford the childcare they need to return to work. For too many families that results in the use of foodbanks and rising numbers of children growing up in poverty in our town, even though at least one parent is working full time.

“This is another example of Labour delivering real change that makes a difference to real people’s lives.”

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Victory in Europe Day 75 years on

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At 11am on Friday, 8th May, our nation will fall silent for two minutes, to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and in honour of all those who gave their lives for our freedom.

As the Royal British Legion have said, there is no right or wrong way to take part in the silence. Some people may choose to stand at the window or step outside the front door, and I encourage all in Crawley to spend this time to think of the events which took place three quarters of a century ago.

Alongside a host of television and radio broadcasts, the Royal British Legion have also developed a VE Day learning pack which is designed for seven to 14 year olds, with first-hand accounts from the Second World War generation, interviews with veterans and a variety of activities to help families explore and commemorate VE Day together.

I am grateful to Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council for their work to ensure this important anniversary can be marked remotely given the current COVID-19 pandemic social distancing restrictions. This will include posting items on social media from the Crawley Library archives, as well as a range of resources available online from the West Sussex Record Office.

My thanks as well to St John’s Church, whose celebration service will also take place remotely on Friday.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the general election where I was first elected to Parliament. It is not lost on me that were it not for the bravery of those who defeated the threat to our freedom in the Second World War, we would not have a functioning democracy and a free country today.

When the clock strikes 11am on Friday my thoughts will be of the individuals from the UK and right across the free world who stood up for our way of life, including the service of those from what would soon become the New Town of Crawley.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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