From our extensive engagement with Crawley’s residents, we know that residential neighbourhood parking is a top local concern for many people. Under the direction of Crawley Borough Council and its predecessor Urban District Council, parts of Crawley have been built with woefully inadequate residential parking provision. Regrettably, this historical problem still occurs today with Labour encouraging some developments that deliberately have an under provision of parking spaces, with their misguided view that hardly anyone will ever want to use a car.
Back in February, Labour Councillors scrapped Crawley’s popular Residential Parking Improvement Programme that created additional parking spaces out of surplus grass verges. This £1.3 million budget was re-directed to pay for the heating network of the upcoming new Crawley town hall. Our Conservative budget amendment to reinstate the parking improvements budget and seek alternative funding for the new town hall was narrowly lost as Labour have three more Councillors than us.
Labour’s parking ‘policy’ is to blame West Sussex County Council because they manage and maintain the road network, rather than accept it was the Crawley Council’s planning policies that got us here. This is why Crawley Borough Council started the residential parking improvement programme in the first place and we Conservatives want to bring it back, as a key policy among many that we have to help address neighbourhood parking problems.
The good news is that despite Labour ignoring Crawley’s concerns back in February, in April the Conservative government awarded Crawley Borough Council £1.4 million for its District Heat Network for the new town hall. Crawley was one of nine local authorities which were awarded such funding to help create low-carbon and environmentally efficient heating networks.
This means that Labour-run Crawley Borough Council is sitting on £1.3 million of your money that was earmarked for Crawley parking improvements. We want this money released and have submitted a motion to next week’s Full Council meeting calling upon the Council to reinstate the parking improvements budget and to invite Councillors to nominate streets to be considered for parking improvements. If just two Labour Councillors vote with us, this can happen.