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Jeremy Hunt makes a surprise visit to Crawley

The Health Secretary made a rare visit to show his support to the Conservatives ahead of the local elections.



The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care made a surprise visit to Crawley yesterday to show his support to Crawley MP Henry Smith and all the Conservative candidates up for the local elections next week.

In the middle of a downpour and showing his full support for the local party he was welcomed by Henry Smith and his team.

CN24 caught up with the Health Secretary to find out more about his visit:

Jeremy Hunt, welcome to Crawley. What brings you here today?

I’m helping support Henry Smith for the local elections campaign. He’s a fantastic local MP and I want to help conservatives get control of the council here.

Do you think it’s important that we have a senior minister come to local towns?

Yes, we want to show the people of Crawley that we’re right behind Henry and his team down here and when it comes to elections we’re not ministers. We all muck in – we’re Conservatives and we want to help Conservative candidates.

The Health Secretary even helped with the photo shoot.

We can’t interview you without asking about the letter you sent last week about trying to get Tories to give views on the NHS. What’s been the reaction to that letter?

Theresa May has said that she recognises that we need to move the NHS onto a long-term and more secure financial settlement – and that we don’t want a lurch from budget to budget having to top up the NHS and social care systems.

So we’re going through a process and I want to ask the views of colleagues like Henry Smith and other colleagues because I know that the NHS is a number one issue as far as their constituents are concerned so I want to talk to MPs about what their views are and feed those into the Prime Minister and Chancellor before they make their final decision.

When you’re doing this canvassing and somebody opens the door and starts asking questions about local issues like their bin collections or planning applications, what’s it like as a cabinet minister having to answer those questions?

Not as difficult as you might think because we have to answer them on the doorsteps in our own constituencies.

We don’t always know the details but what we do is we want to show people that it’s a great tradition of democracy.

Even in this terrible rain, it doesn’t matter who you are – Theresa May goes out canvassing every month in their constituency and we all go out and I think that’s what voters want to see, they want to see politicians who are working hard for their vote.

A drenched Health Secretary braved the elements for photos with CN24.

A big local issue that matters for this area is social care. How ready are you for your department to take that on?

We are absolutely committed to sorting out the problems in social care which are very severe at the moment. We totally understand the pressures that County Councils are under. But, we’ve got to be honest as a country and in 10 years time we’re going to have a million more over 75s. Are we going to put our heads in the sand and pretend that’s not happening or are we going to do something and make sure as conservatives that every single older person is treated with dignity and respect.

Does that involve more money? Does that involve asking people to pay more themselves?

Sure it involves more money. But it’s not just about money, it’s also about standards of care, it’s about joining up the NHS and social care system. It’s about fundamentally changing our model of care so that we focus on prevention as much as cure and feel better at looking after people in their own homes when they’re vulnerable. Then they won’t need to go to A&E in the middle of the night and that will be much better for them but it’ll also save the NHS and social care system a lot of money.


Exact money or contactless ONLY says Metrobus



Metrobus passengers are urged to pay by mobile phone or contactless instead of cash when they board.

Metrobus has announced its drivers will not be able to give out change to those paying by cash from Wednesday 15 April. 

The decision has been made to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

A spokesperson for Metrobus said:

“The bus company would like everybody to pay using the correct money or – better still – to use contactless or mobile phones instead.”

The decision comes as a new timetable is introduced this weekend.

The revised timetable, which was produced in consultation with local councils, continues to honour Metrobus’ commitment to maintaining journeys for key workers, particularly on bus routes serving hospitals. 

Metrobus has also retimed Monday to Friday journeys on route 430 so buses arrive earlier at East Surrey Hospital, after feedback from NHS staff.

Here are the main timetable changes:

•             Route 1 – a revised timetable will be introduced on this service.

•             Route 3 – a revised timetable will be introduced for Sundays – with the 1812 and 2026 departures from Crawley withdrawn and the 2024 departure from Gatwick withdrawn. Further changes to the previous revised timetable for Monday to Saturdays.

•             Route 11 – will not operate.

•             Routes 51, 61 and 65 – will no longer operate on Saturdays. Revised timetables will be introduced for Monday to Fridays.

•             Route 93 and 98 – further changes will occur on these services.

•             Fastway 100 and Route 200 – revised timetables will be introduced on these services.

•             Route 420 and 460 – revised timetables will be introduced on these services.

•             Route 430  – first journey Mondays to Fridays has been retimed to arrive earlier at East Surrey Hospital. No other changes.

•             Route 480 – will operate on Saturday and Sundays only. The Monday to Friday service will not operate.

•             Route 820 – will not operate.

You can find all the detailed, most up-to-date timetable information here.

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