helping Crawley residents on a range of issues

Crawley MP Henry Smith's latest column
Crawley MP Henry Smith's latest column

Since being elected in 2010, it has been an honour to help over 5,000 Crawley residents on a range of issues, from local healthcare matters to local council concerns.

It is a privilege to be able to assist people day to day in our town.

I know that while Crawley unemployment has dropped by more than 60% since the last general election, there is still more to do. This is why I have organised two Crawley Jobs Fairs, and have worked alongside organisations such as Central Sussex College, where I was delighted to open the new University Centre there.

The decision of the previous government to scrap our A&E and maternity units is still being felt by our town – myself and my young family included.

Crawley Hospital has over 200 more doctors and nurses than in 2010, and I was pleased to officially open the new Digital Mammography Unit. That being said, I will continue to push for improved services, and I will continue to bang the drum for Crawley in Whitehall, in discussions with the Health Secretary and NHS officials.

A number of local business owners have told me that the £2,000 Employment Allowance has helped them hire more Crawley people, and train up more staff.

Around 1,000 Crawley companies have benefited from this Allowance, which enables them to hire someone on £22,400 a year, or four people working full-time on the minimum wage, without paying any employer national insurance at all.

Youth unemployment in Crawley is down by more than 75% since 2010.

But I know there is more to do.

The pupil premium is worth around £3 million a year to Crawley schools, and the state pension is guaranteed an annual increase out of the highest of earnings, inflation, or 2.5%.

I am well aware of the strength of feeling in our town in support of an in/out EU referendum.

I have voted constituently in the House of Commons on this issue, and the only way we can make this happen is with a majority Conservative government. Any other outcome to the election on 7th May will result in a government that will not give us a referendum.

I was pleased to welcome the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, to Crawley this week, to launch my re-election campaign – I am grateful to everyone who took the time to come along.

I discussed with the Home Secretary how this Government has helped people in Crawley, and what more can be done in the future.

If I am given the honour if being re-elected to Parliament, I will continue my record of being Crawley’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in Crawley.