Saturday, 25 July 2015

Worth Park Gardens Restored

This week in my Crawley Observer Column, I wrote about the Conservative achievement of the restoration of Worth Park Gardens and how Labour Councillors (including some who have since become very senior at the Council) very nearly cost Crawley £2.42 million of Heritage Lottery Fund investment to restore Worth Park Gardens to their former glory.

Worth Park December 2013 when I was lead councillor for the project  
“Last weekend saw the official opening of Worth Park in Pound Hill, having been restored with an ambitious project devised and implemented by the previous Conservative Administration at Crawley Borough Council. I found it a pleasure to have previously been the Council’s cabinet member that was overseeing this project, and I am delighted that all the hard work has paid off with a park that all of Crawley can be proud of.
It wasn’t always so good. I remember only too well back in January 2012 when Labour Councillors sought to sabotage this project by cynically using council procedures to cause a potentially fatal delay. This delay put at serious risk the £2.42 million funding that we had been successful in securing from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thankfully, Labour’s cynical tactic failed and we haven’t looked back since.

While I am grateful Labour didn’t scrap the Worth Park project when they took control of the Council last year, it is still startling that they take credit for Conservative achievements like this. This fits a pattern of behaviour I've observed since Labour took power at Crawley Council last year.

I recommend checking online to see who really got these good projects moving for Crawley, which are now in full swing or have been completed. To add to Worth Park, other local Conservative achievements that Labour are taking credit for include new and improved Tilgate Park attractions, Ifield West/Dobbins Pond improvements, Ifield Mill Pond restoration, Broadfield Barton revamp, major regeneration of Queens Square, new Crawley Museum, and new equipment for our Children’s Play Areas.
There are two key points here. Firstly, it took a Conservative Administration with vision and aspiration for Crawley to bring these projects forward, often in the face of Labour opposition with no aspiration for Crawley. Secondly, all of these projects could only be afforded thanks to the Conservatives’ sound financial management of the Council.  Labour mostly opposed the efficiency savings we made that enabled us to invest. The reality is that most of these great projects would have never happened if left to Labour.”             

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