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Peter Lamb: Who is really at fault for the problems with parking in Crawley?

In his article Leader of Crawley Borough Council talks about canvassing and one of the biggest questions being asked.

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Elections are exhausting. Countless hours go into every campaign canvassing and leafleting, amongst a vast array of other activities required to fight an election. If most people knew how few people were sustaining our democracy and how much time they give up to do it, they’d be amazed.

Nonetheless, I support retaining Crawley’s annual elections, against Conservative wishes, as they ensure representatives remain in touch with residents and give the public the power to do something about it if they fail.

I joke with Labour canvassers that if a resident raises a problem, it’s probably the county council’s fault. The sad thing is, that tends to be true and this year was no exception. The main issues this year were: potholes, pavements and parking. All county council responsibilities and all failing to meet residents’ expectations.

Parking is a particularly difficult issue. Much of Crawley was built when households couldn’t afford a car, certainly not more than one, with little that can now be done to fix things and every new bay costing on average tens of thousands of pounds. Even starting to address parking would cost more than twice Crawley Borough Council’s annual budget.

Consequently, it came as a surprise that the Conservatives appear to be committing to fixing Crawley’s parking problems on their election leaflets. Putting aside the fact we lack the space and money, they already run the county council, the only organisation with the Highways powers necessary to tackle parking and with a far bigger budget than the borough council. The relevant cabinet member is even a Crawley Conservative.

So if, in the remaining hours of the campaign you have a chance to speak with a Conservative representative, make sure you ask why, if they’re serious about tackling Crawley’s parking issues, they haven’t just done it already?

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Pickett

    2nd May 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Peter Lamb is absolutely correct about parking. It is something that is firmly the responsibility of West Sussex County Council. Our local MP Henry Smith knows this as does Duncan Crow, leader of the Tory group on Crawley Borough Council. And yet both of these mean keep pushing the line that Labour is at fault and that if only there was a Tory Council in Crawley then this problem can be sorted out. This is dishonest.

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Lifestyle

Crawley joins money-saving initiative

Crawley Borough Council has become one of the founding members of the Local Government Mutual, helping to save money every year.

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The mutual aims to save its members money by offering an effective alternative to the conventional insurance products and services available to local authorities.

Any surpluses the mutual generates may be used to reduce the cost of insurance, improve the claims process or returned back to members as income.

The structure of the mutual means the council will not pay insurance premium tax, currently set at 12 per cent, on the vast majority of insurance products.

As well as saving money, the mutual puts councils in control by working together, sharing knowledge of best practice and reducing members’ risk exposure without increased costs.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Lamb, said:

“It’s great to see Crawley Borough Council become a founding member of this initiative. The mutual is another way the council is saving money to put back into services and to reduce the forecasted budget gap.”

As a member, the council can still choose between the mutual and private companies for its insurance. However, the mutual can offer price matching or better cover that is up-to-date with changes in local authorities’ organisational and operational activities.  

The council can insure through the mutual from 1 April 2020.

Find out more about the Local Government Mutual here: www.local.gov.uk/new-local-government-mutual


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