It was very disappointing that at last Wednesday evening’s Full Council meeting of Crawley Borough Council, that Labour Councillors voted to sabotage a Conservative proposal to help address neighbourhood parking problems.
Wealthy Crawley Borough Council has had a budget for many years to create additional residential on-street parking provision in streets where this problem is most severe, out of surplus grass verges that would otherwise be being parked on and damaged.
In February Labour reallocated this £1.3 million budget to pay for a District Heat Network for their new Town Hall project, but when in April the Conservative Government provided the Council with the funding for the District Heat Network, the Council suddenly found itself sitting on £1.3 million of your money.
My colleagues and I want to see this £1.3 million used for its original intended purpose, so we tabled a Motion for last week’s Full Council meeting so that Crawley Borough Council could reinstate its residential parking improvements programme. In a political stunt, Labour forced through a rewording of our Motion that changed it to ask the County Council for this money instead, so that Crawley Borough Council could continue to sit on all this money and do absolutely nothing about parking.
Labour’s policy is to do nothing except blame West Sussex County Council, arguing that only a Highway Authority should pay for creating extra parking spaces, while failing to recognise the role that Crawley Borough Council continues to have as the local planning authority in allowing housing without enough parking.
We also need to recognise that Crawley Borough Council has a vast amount of financial reserves from council house sales which the County Council simply doesn’t have.
Sadly, Labour in Crawley appear to be of the naïve view that punishing motorists means we all cycle everywhere instead, and in what brought back memories of the infamous sneering of Labour MP Emily Thornbury, one Labour Councillor said in the debate that “White Van Man has taken over Crawley and he’s breeding”. Rest assured, a future Conservative Administration at Crawley Borough Council will bring back Crawley’s parking improvements programme.