After several weeks of negotiations, the Labour Group and the council’s Independent member—Cllr Rory Fiveash, have announced that they have agreed a deal over the running of Crawley Borough Council for the coming council year.
Following the local elections, no party was left with overall control of Crawley Borough Council, with the council consisting of 18 Conservatives, 17 Labour and one Independent councillor.
With a Labour councillor holding the casting vote at tonight’s Annual Council meeting, the deal means that for the coming year there will be a Labour-Independent coalition of 18 councillors, able to use a casting vote to provide stable leadership for the next 12 months.
While all groups of councillors have engaged in discussions over recent weeks, from the start it was clear that the shared beliefs and values of Cllr Fiveash and the council’s Labour members provided the strongest basis upon which to address the problems currently facing the town.
As part of the coalition deal, the council will be mothballing rather than closing the Millpond and Creasys Drive adventure playgrounds and seeking new delivery models for the sites, in addition to providing a 12-month extension to the Government’s eviction ban in relation to council properties. Cllr Fiveash will also be taking the role of Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources in the administration.
Cllr Lamb said:
‘Crawley faces enormous challenges over the year ahead, as we seek to rebuild from the pandemic. Cllr Fiveash’s decision to work with us gives the council the stability we need to tackle these challenges head on and I look forward to working closely with Rory again.’
Cllr Fiveash said:
‘I am pleased that we have reached an agreement to work together and, with our shared values and principles, I believe that we can offer a bright and secure future for the people of Crawley as our town recovers from the pandemic.’
Cllr Peter Lamb
Leader, Crawley Borough Council