With West Sussex County Council elections just weeks away the leaders of the main political parties have made their pitches for your votes.
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:36 am
Polling day is Thursday May 6 with all 70 seats up for election.
More green jobs could help Crawley bounce back from the huge impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the area’s economy.
Iain Dickson, a prominent member of the Crawley Green Party and standing for a borough council candidate in Ifield and at county level in Langley Green and Ifield East, described how they are promoting a green Covid recovery plan based on the Preston model of community wealth building.
This involves main anchor businesses and large public sector organisations helping out local businesses rather than going to big corporations for their contracts.
He said: “This safeguards local jobs and allows local businesses to employ more people and is also more environmentally friendly.”
The Green Party also wants to see the decarbonisation of the local economy and the start of a shift to a true green economy.
Mr Dickson felt Crawley could be one of the leaders in green technology given its skills base and existing high-tech companies already based here.
With the impacts of climate change looming, he felt they need to start taking action at a local level alongside efforts at a more regional, national and international level.
Mr Dickson also spoke about wanting to encourage people to set up smaller green projects as well as ensuring the wildlife and environment is protected, citing plans for thousands of homes at West of Ifield currently being considered.
He questioned with so many people losing their jobs whether this scale of housebuilding is actually required.
He also asked: “How is it going to benefit the local community?”
His party wants Crawley to be greener and more environmentally friendly overall, with one of their big goals to improve air quality.
He explained: “We want to make it easier for people to get around the town without having to use cars and petrol and diesel vehicles.
“We need cycle paths all around the town to make it easier to get around without having to use cars.”
He added: “We need to think about how are going to plan a safe and joined-up cycle and footpath network that people can use without worrying about going on to the road, or being too close to traffic.”
As well as better cycling and walking routes the Green Party is campaigning for improvements to the public transport network.
Mr Dickson said: “Covid has allowed us to see what it’s like walking around and seeing nature without traffic and aircraft.”
He added: “Do we need to use the car all the time? Why not have a better bus system and better cycle and footpaths around the town so people can get to areas easily and try and get people to not use their vehicles as much as they are at the moment?”
Rewilding is another area they would like to see more focus on, to encourage wildlife and insects as well as making the town ‘more pleasant for people to live in’.
Mr Dickson said: “Covid has opened people’s eyes up to how important nature and the environment is.”
On refuse collection, he felt they were still producing a ‘phenomenal amount’ of waste and wanted to see action to reduce what was being sent to landfill.
He explained there were lots of good initiatives happening in different parts of West Sussex that they would want to see expanded.
He cited a local energy company in Balcombe as one example and also floated the idea of local municipal banks in each area to help business and people who have green ideas put them into action.
Mr Dickson said: “We are offering new green ideas, for the workforce, the economy and local people for a better place to live and a cleaner and healthier place to live.”
Forty-eight candidates will be hoping for good luck on May 6 when Crawley goes to the polls to fill 14 seats on the borough council.
Crawley Town Hall. Pic Steve Robards SR2102021 SUS-210202-115716001
One-third of the 36 seats will be up for election along with those of Francis Guidera (Con, Tilgate), who resigned in March, and Geraint Thomas (Lab, Ifield), who died in November 2019.
Due to the pandemic, no by-election was able to be held for control of Mr Thomas’ seat before now.
The council has been in no overall control since former Labour councillors Karen Sudan and Rory Fiveash quit the Party to become Independents.
There are currently 16 Conservative councillors, 15 Labour and two independents – 33 in total.
The Southgate seat of Raj Sharma, who died in January following a battle with Covid-19, is one of those which was due for re-election.
Whatever the outcome on May 6, Crawley will have a full complement of councillors once again.
The CBC candidates are:
Bewbush & North Broadfield: Shamsul Arfin (Liberal Democrats),David Brades (Conservative and Unionist Party), Michael Jones (Labour), Richard Kail (Green Party).
Broadfield: Craig Burke (Conservative and Unionist), Kiran Khan (Labour), Parveen Khan (Liberal Democrats).
Gossops Green & North East Broadfield: Zack Ali (Conservative and Unionist), May Champion (Liberal Democrats), Ben Fletcher (Green Party), Tahira Rana (Labour), Colin Thornback (Reform UK).
Ifield – two seats: Josh Bounds (Conservative and Unionist), Sandra Buck (Labour), Iain Dickson (Green Party), Sally-Claire Fadelle (Green Party), Jilly Hart, (Labour), Lawrence Mallinson (Liberal Democrats), Martin Stone (Conservative and Unionist).
Langley Green & Tushmore: Tahir Ashraf (Conservative and Unionist), Sue Mullins (Labour), Mike Sargent (Liberal Democrats).
Maidenbower: Duncan Peck (Conservative and Unionist), Max Perry (Green Party), Matt Pritchard (Labour).
Northgate & West Green: David Anderson (Liberal Democrats), Smita Raja (Labour), Karen Sudan (Independent), Jan Tarrant (Conservative and Unionist).
Pound Hill North & Forge Wood: Kevan McCarthy (Conservative and Unionist), Bob Noyce (Labour)
Pound Hill South & Worth: Olusina Adeniyi (Labour), Cyril Gambrell (Green Party), Alison Pendlington (Conservative and Unionist), Naeem Shahzad (Liberal Democrats).
Southgate: Julian Charatan (Labour), Andrew Eastman (Liberal Democrats), Robin Fitton (Green Party), Simon Piggott (Conservative and Unionist)
Three Bridges: Danielle Kail (Green Party), Atif Nawaz (Labour), Jonathan Purdy (Conservative and Unionist), Paul Taylor-Burr (Liberal Democrats).
Tilgate – two seats: Carlos Castro (Labour), Thomas Coombes (Green Party), Kerry Flynn (Labour), Michelle Morris (Conservative and Unionist), Maureen Mwagale (Conservative and Unionist), Harry Old (Liberal Democrats).
Ballot papers for the borough election will be counted from lunchtime on Friday (May 7), followed by the ballots from the county council election.
The ballots from the Police & Crime Commissioner election will be counted on Monday (May 10).
Bewbush and Ifield West: Richard Kail (Green), Lawrence Mallinson (Lib Dem), Chris Oxlade (Labour) and Martin Stone (Conservative).
Broadfield: Craig Burke (Conservative), Parveen Khan (Lib Dem) and Brian Quinn (Labour).
Langley Green and Ifield East: Donald Butterfield (Conservative), Alison Cornell (Labour), Iain Dickson (Green) and Naeem Shahzad (Lib Dem).
Maidenbower and Worth: Carlos Castro (Labour), Sally-Claire Fadelle (Green), Bob Lanzer (Conservative) and Mike Sargent (Lib Dem).
Northgate and West Green: David Anderson (Lib Dem), Natalie Pudaloff (Labour), Karen Sudan (Independent) and Jan Tarrant (Conservative).
Pound Hill: Richard Burrett (Conservative), Cyril Gambrell (Green), Bob Noyce (Labour) and Clive Trott (Lib Dem).
Southgate and Gossops Green: Zach Ali (Conservative), Andrew Eastman (Lib Dem), Robin Fitton (Green), Michael Jones (Labour) and Colin Thornback (Reform UK).
Three Bridges: Brenda Burgess (Conservative), Linda Gregory (Labour), Danielle Kail (Green) and Paul Taylor-Burr (Lib Dem).