If you managed to see or join in with the St. George’s Cultural Parade here in Crawley at the weekend, it was one of those events that not only put a big smile on your face, but showed just how great this town of ours is. Different communities coming together for an afternoon of music and dance, organised by a small group of residents and supported by the council and other town wide organisations like Crawley Campaign against Racism. An event for Crawley, organised by Crawley people.
Events like these, including The Crawley Festival, Crawley’s Word Fest and the other countless community events, take a huge amount of time and effort to organise, mainly relying on the goodwill and personal support of Crawley residents.
I’ve been speaking with residents on the doors all year round to find out what is important to Crawley people and one of the many things that is mentioned, apart from potholes, is the lack of events the council puts on for its residents.
What happened to the big Christmas light switch on? Big town-wide events like these that don’t just play a social and community role but by bringing hundreds into the town and their money into local shops they can benefit the local economy. Much has been said about the state of the town centre recently and we must find new ways to bring greater footfall in to Crawley, why not have a little fun at the same time.
If Labour win back the council in May, we will work to put together a programme to support the local economy and give local residents more events to look forward to. But we can go further, by looking again at the way the council currently charges community groups, from scout groups to sports clubs, and rationalising the charging structures at the Town Hall we believe that greater support can be offered to the many voluntary organisations around the town.
If you want a successful town, you need a growing economy but you also the community that supports it. A Labour council would look to do both.
Cllr Chris Oxlade
Labour Ifield and Ifield West