Two Crawley Tories to stand down at next election

jpco-11-7-12 Keith Blake and Wife Sally at their home (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120907120856

jpco-11-7-12 Keith Blake and Wife Sally at their home (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120907120856

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Two Conservative Crawley councillors have announced they will not be standing for re-election in May.

Cllr Sally Blake, 76, and her husband Cllr Keith Blake, 70, will not contest their seats.

Cllr Sally Blake (Pound Hill North), a great-grandmother, said council meetings stopped them going on holidays and seeing their family.

She said: “We have things we want to do in our lives, we are both getting on.

“I want some time for me and my family.

“We had already made the decision four years ago.”

The highlight of her political career was becoming the first Conservative Mayor of Crawley for 37 years in 2006, she said.

Cllr Keith Blake (Gossops Green), 70, had mixed feelings about stepping down.

He said councillors often could not meet the public’s expectations and added: “It’s a challenge but you do try to do the best for the town - you can’t please everybody but it’s been rewarding, it’s been a great opportunity and I’ve enjoyed it.”

He said he had ‘slowed down’ with age and that it was time someone else took on the role.

The couple will have served on the council for a combined 32 years.

Cllr Sally Blake is the only member who lived in Crawley before the new town was built.

She represented Gossops Green for eight years and was elected to her Pound Hill seat in 2002.

Cllr Keith Blake was elected as member for Gossops Green in 2002.