Crawley Tories accused of “selling off the family silver” as Labour review spending

Louth to host it's first Triathlon event.
Louth to host it's first Triathlon event.

Crawley’s Conservatives have been accused of “selling off the family silver” while in control of the borough council.

Cllr Chris Mullins (Lab, Gossops Green), Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said spending commitments set in place by the previous administration would be reviewed.

Cllr Mullins was speaking in response to questions about money allocated to the leisure and culture budget, such as the relocation of Crawley Museum and improvements to Worth Park.

While acknowledging many Labour councillors had opposed the amount of money spent on the projects, Cllr Mullins said there was no plans to pull the plug.

He said: “Given how much of the money has already been spent it wouldn’t make any sense to pull the plug now and while we think the decisions were taken at the wrong time we are always happy to see improvements to the town.”

He added: “However, we are reviewing the council’s other capital spending commitments at the moment.

“When last in office Labour built up over £100million in reserves and invested it to provide millions in extra income each year to fund services which were the envy of other district councils.

“We return to office with less than half of that left unallocated.

“In the end it’s the services residents depend upon which will suffer from the Tories’ ‘selling off the family silver’.”

Conservative leader Cllr Duncan Crow (Furnace Green) dismissed Cllr Mullins’ comment as “laughable” and added: “We should also remember that the bulk of the council’s reserves came from the Conservative’s Right To Buy for council tenants which Chris and his comrades strongly opposed.

“Chris Mullins should go away and eat plenty of humble pie before coming out with such nonsense.”

He added: “I hope this isn’t Labour looking for feeble excuses to pull back from our healthy investment in Crawley that we have made in recent years.

“Our programme of investing in our neighbourhood centres, parks and gardens, flood prevention, children’s play areas, disabled facilities grants and residential environmental improvements, has proved very popular.”

The annual meeting of Crawley Borough Council will be held at the town hall on Friday (June 13) at 7.30pm.