On 22 April in Three Bridges, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves MP joined local council candidates Atif Nawaz and Linda Gregory meeting residents and canvassing for their support in the elections coming up on 6 May.
Rachel and the Labour team received a warm welcome on doorsteps from residents anxious to talk about the impact of the Covid pandemic on their lives, and the need for local council support to help ensure a strong economic recovery in the Crawley area, where last month nearly 6500 people were claiming out-of-work benefits, more than three times the number recorded just a year ago.
Recognising that businesses and jobs associated with Gatwick Airport have been particularly badly hit as a result of the pandemic, Rachel said ‘For as long as Crawley Labour are in control, the town will always have a council which puts the needs of the local community ahead of all other priorities.
‘Under Crawley Labour majority control, from 2014 until 2020 the council managed to avoid any frontline cuts, despite the budget being reduced every year by central government.
‘When Covid made this very difficult over the past year, the Council set up an Economic Recovery Task Force, bringing all sectors of the Crawley community together, including businesses, colleges and social organisations, to rebuild the local economy in a united approach.
‘This is in direct contrast to Conservative-run West Sussex County Council, which has presided over year-on-year cuts in essential services coupled with substantial increases in council tax.’