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Peter Lamb: Government must remember the importance of local services



This week we welcome Crawley Borough Council Leader Peter Lamb as a regular writer to CN24.

There’s an urban legend about a B-52 being escorted to a show by a fighter jet. The jet pilot is showing off, pulling off daring manoeuvres and boasting to pilot of the B-52.

Eventually the bomber’s pilot agrees to show what he can do, yet after several minutes of apparently nothing happening the fighter pilot radios the B-52 to ask exactly what manoeuvre they’ve performed. The radio crackles back: “we’ve shut down two engines.”

Local government in England has achieved much over its history: building railways, roads and canals, opening the first public hospitals and state schools, creating telephone exchanges and major utilities, providing civic institutions and becoming the largest housing providers for their areas. Yet, looking back over recent years, success for councils isn’t to be measured in buildings and infrastructure, but in managing to continue delivering the same level of service despite losing half their income: we’ve shut down two engines, yet we’re still flying straight and level.

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Despite being recognised as the most efficient part of the public sector before 2010, we have faced the harshest cuts of any part of Government over the period since. For all the talk of private sector efficiency, it’s hard to think of any business which could adapt in the same way to losing 50% of their income over such a short period of time.

Change hasn’t been easy, it’s a testament to the commitment of public sector workers that they’ve worked so hard to continue delivering for our community in such difficult circumstances. From drastically improving the efficiency of the organisation through our transformation programme to creatively using council assets to generate new income, Crawley is managing to meet the challenge. Yet, everything has its limits and Government must remember the importance of local services before we’re forced to move beyond them.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Hall

    4th October 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Well that was a nice story about a B52 but there was not much information as to what he is actually doing, but then a B52 does have six more engine’s to keep fly strictly and level on.

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Britain’s Got Talent auditions come to Crawley

The ITV show is holding auditions at The Hawth this month.



Get practising because Britain’s Got Talent is coming to Crawley!

The hugely popular ITV show is holding auditions right here in Crawley at The Hawth and you can be a part of it.

On Thursday 30th August from 2-8pm you can audition to be a part of this fantastic show.

If you are under 18 you MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

You can also apply via

So dust off those dance shoes, dig out the instruments and show the world how talented you are.


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