May 23rd, 2012
Winning elections isn’t the point of politics; it’s just part of the process. Political parties sometimes forget this point and right now it would be easy for the Labour Party to focus on the progress it has made since the General Election.
At the start of May, Labour gained over 800 new councillors and the party has retained an impressive 10% lead on average in opinion polls. Of the wards which were up for election in Crawley, Labour won the most seats and picked up the most votes in total. But while voters have come to realise what the Conservatives stand for, they still aren’t sure what Labour has to offer and locally we need to change that Labour lost control of the council back in 2006, the first time in the history of the borough. People felt that we had lost touch, they were upset over decisions the party had taken in government and they were no longer sure what Labour stood for.
Over the last six years members of the Labour Party have spoken with tens of thousands of Crawley residents, on the doorstep, at street stalls and in local community groups. Democracy doesn’t just begin and end with elections; it’s about involving local people in the decisions which affect their lives and their community. The next borough council elections are in 2014 and whether or not Labour is in control or in opposition we want an approach which puts local residents at the heart of our decision-making process.
Part of that is going to involve going on listening, but it is also going to involve increasing the number of people who are involved in the party. We’re a party of volunteers; any local resident can join the party or become a registered supporter (offering additional opportunities to supporters without needing to join the party), anyone can run for council or even MP. We need a local party of supporters, members and elected representatives which reflects the broad range of people in the town. People united by one common thing: the desire to make the world a better place. If that sounds like you we’d like to hear from you.
Cllr Peter Lamb, Northgate and Labour Leader on Crawley Borough Council