One of the best things about Crawley is it’s range of leisure and culture facilities. As the council’s cabinet member responsible for leisure and culture you might imagine I’d feel that way, but it’s true. At different times I’ve heard Tilgate Park, the Hawth and K2 each referred to as the jewel in Crawley’s crown, the town has so much to offer.
I’ve always believed recreation has a major role to play in people’s quality of life and when I was first elected onto the council I got involved in the work to bring forward the Hawth, which has since grown to have the reputation of one of the top arts centres in the South East.
Before taking a break from the council in 2004, as the portfolio holder for leisure I kicked-off the process of building K2. I am hugely proud of what the council has achieved at K2, the centre can truly hold its own against any leisure centre in the UK and through careful negotiation we were able to sell the old site at a price which made the entire development cost-neutral.
That was a lesson which has proven very valuable since becoming portfolio-holder again in 2014. I was determined that a Labour-run Crawley was going to be about more than just managing the Government’s top-down cuts, but that has meant finding ways to do more with less.
The council has some fantastic people working for it and over the last two years they’ve been working hard to find ways that against the background of national cuts, Crawley can improve its recreational opportunities for local residents.
We’re reinvesting in the adventure playgrounds to ensure they are both safer and provide an even better play experience for local kids. Tilgate Park has a range of new attractions set to come online, with exiting new animals set to enter the Nature Centre over the next few years. Meanwhile, we’ve reviewed the space and demand at K2 and are planning to improve the facilities, and of course the new museum isn’t far off now.
All new things set to come forward, all fully-funded. When a party cares about a town they can always find ways to take things forward, no matter how difficult. Labour are building a better future for Crawley.
Cllr Chris Mullins
Labour Gossops Green
Cabinet member for Wellbeing