Crawley’s council leader is hoping to be chosen as Labour’s candidate to face current MP Henry Smith at the next general election.
The town was represented in Parliament by Labour’s Laura Moffatt from 1997-2010, but since then Conservative Henry Smith has been Crawley’s MP.
While the next general election may not be held until 2022, Crawley’s Constituency Labour Party has started the process of choosing its next prospective parliamentary candidate in the event a snap election is called by the Tories.
Peter Lamb, who was a county councillor until he stepped down earlier this year and has been leader of Crawley Borough Council since 2014, is one of those to put his name forward.
Speaking outside Crawley Hospital, he said: “The loss of maternity and A&E services at the hospital hurt the community and in 2010 as Conservative candidate Henry Smith promised a new hospital it came as little wonder that people voted for him.
“As with so many other areas he never delivered, and last July we faced Crawley’s Clinical Commissioning Group being placed in special measures, raising questions about the financing of local health treatment.
“Healthcare is not an optional extra, education is not an optional extra, having a police officer respond to an emergency call is not an optional extra.
“Austerity is a choice, we’ve shown that at Crawley Borough Council.
“In my time as leader we have managed to avoid many of the cuts which have plagued other authorities, we have believed in our ability to raise new revenue and to provide services that people count on.
“I’m running in this contest because public services are not a choice, and if we are going to deliver we need a credible candidate who can stand up to Henry Smith, challenge him on the basis of his failings, and ensure that Crawley does get future services that we deserve.”