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Peter Lamb: Problems with public services can be fixed

In his article this week, Peter Lamb talks about how public services can be turned around.

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For almost two years Crawley NHS has been in financial ‘Special Measures’, unable to afford the treatments residents need on the money they get from Government.

We get daily reminders Sussex Police can no longer cope having lost 800 officers and PCSOs since 2010. Local headteachers have even marched on Downing Street because Crawley’s schools cannot survive on their allocated budgets.

That public services stand on the brink is unsurprising given the Government has been focused on only one thing for the last three years and have been proven unable to deliver even that one thing.

I don’t say this because I believe the situation is hopeless, I say it because it can be fixed if only we had the will to act. Crawley Borough Council is building affordable homes for local people on a scale not seen in decades, we’re one of only a sixth of councils still providing a weekly bin collection and by investing smartly to generate income we’re still spending the same on services as when I became Leader, despite the Government taking all of Crawley’s grant and our council having the lowest council tax increase of any council in the county for most of my five years. In opposition, local Conservatives told me these things couldn’t be done, we showed them that if you have the vision and determination to do it anything is possible. The same is true on the national level.

At these Local Elections voters are posed with a simple choice, put the same people back in control who spent eight years cutting our services last time, who are failing to run our local county council and police effectively, and nationally have driven the country into chaos, or keep Crawley Labour running the only tier of the town’s governance which is delivering for Crawley.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Getting Brexit done, supporting schools and backing our NHS

In his article this week Henry Smith MP talks Brexit, education and health.

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I often receive messages from Crawley residents – those who voted Leave, and those who voted Remain – who tell me that we need to end the Brexit uncertainty and leave the European Union without delay.

The likes of Jeremy Corbyn, and other leftist party leaders such as Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon, seek to prolong the uncertainty, by delaying or even stopping Brexit, which would cost the UK roughly £1 billion a month net in EU membership.

Their Surrender Bill seeks to require the Prime Minister to ‘immediately’ accept any Brexit delay sought by the EU, irrespective of conditions that may be imposed.

As Parliament is blocking the Prime Minister’s promise to the nation to take Britain out by 31st October, the only solution is a general election – which is also being blocked by the opposition out of fear of what the people will say.

While they seek to overturn the will of the people, this week in Parliament I joined the Prime Minister in the House of Commons division lobby to vote for an early election to get Brexit done.

Last week I also questioned the Education Secretary about the increase to school funding, and asked the Health & Social Care Secretary about innovative genomic medicine which will benefit cancer patients in the decade ahead.

I additionally raised the importance of ensuring that the extra cash for frontline NHS services results in enhanced GP provision and reduced waiting times.

As well as this, I led and secured a parliamentary debate calling for greater involvement of patients in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

There is huge potential for AI to transform the lives of those living with heart and circulatory diseases, including some 11,000 people in Crawley. It is vital that those affected are included fully in discussions about the development and adoption of these new technologies.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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