Thursday, 3 July 2014

Crawley Observer Column 2nd July 2014

This week in the Crawley Observer (below in blue) I have written about how the Conservatives in government have helped local councils like Crawley to help themselves. There is of course an irony that the new Labour administration at Crawley Borough Council are going to benefit from not only having a Conservative administration for eight years previously that got the Council in good financial shape, but also from our government enabling them to strongly benefit from the proceeds of economic growth, and of course us creating the right conditions to create that growth. Crawley Labour have of course opposed everything we have done to fix the economy at a local and national level. Such is life... 

Conservatives renovated Tilgate Parade - enabled by sound finances  

"Four weeks ago I wrote about the golden legacy that our outgoing Conservative Administration at Crawley Borough Council was leaving the incoming Labour Administration. Our eight years of improvements and efficiency savings left the council with a balanced budget and in great shape. This time I will explain how the Conservative-led government has helped improve local Councils in the four years since 2010. The last Labour government was renowned for its authoritarian treatment of local councils, for cynically manipulating funding arrangements so that council tax doubled, and for the systematic redirecting of funding from councils in the south of England to inefficient councils in Labour heartlands up north.
The Conservative-led government in 2010 was a breath of fresh air for local councils, as they were set free and empowered to better serve their local communities. Councils such as Crawley can now keep more local business rate growth which is generated locally as our economy prospers. Benefitting everyone, councils are incentivised to encourage enterprise and to help grow our local economy. Thanks to the Conservatives long-term economic plan (consistently opposed by Labour) which is securing Britain’s future, the much improved local economy is generating bumper business rate growth for Crawley Borough Council.
Another freedom given to local councils by the Conservatives in government is one to invest in property that can generate income. Crawley Council is doing exactly this by purchasing business premises and then renting them out. Both of these policies enable councils to generate more income, requiring less funding from council tax payers to run services. Thanks to extra funding from the government specially for this purpose, council tax has been now been frozen for four years and another grant is being paid to Crawley Borough Council next year so that our council tax will be frozen for a fifth successive year, meaning no rise during this entire parliament. Both nationally as well as locally, the Conservative’s long-term legacy for Crawley Borough Council is one I am very proud of."

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