Crawley MP accuses council of putting jobs at risk

William Hague and Henry Smith SUS-140519-122655001
William Hague and Henry Smith SUS-140519-122655001

Crawley’s MP, Henry Smith, has spoken in the House of Commons to accuse the town’s Labour Group of putting jobs and business growth at risk.

The criticism came after Crawley Borough Council’s ruling party cancelled phase two of plans to regenerate the town centre - known as Town Centre North.

Following his statement, which was made on Monday (June 30), Henry said: “The Crawley Labour Party’s complete lack of vision and aspiration is jeopardising local jobs and business growth.

“As the town’s representative, my concern is that Labour’s decision to rip up the regeneration plans and to leave our town’s crumbling architecture stuck in the 1960s will cost us much needed jobs and could drive away local business to other emerging retail hubs such as Horsham.

“Crawley has some of the largest funding reserves in the country – surely this worthy ambition merits the investment which could no doubt be recovered through subsequent additional business rates in due course.”

Council leader Cllr Peter Lamb (Lab, Northgate) accused Henry of “relentless politicking” and said no work had been done to progress the Town Centre North project for more than a year.

He said: “If Henry knows there was a plan about this that had private sector backing, I challenge him to show it to us.”