Crawley Conservatives ‘want to find fair and sensible agreement’ with Labour

Conservative group leader Duncan CrowConservative group leader Duncan Crow
Conservative group leader Duncan Crow
The opposition leader at Crawley Borough Council has suggested Labour and the Conservatives form a coalition.

Duncan Crow contacted leader Peter Lamb with the suggestion after being invited to table a vote of no confidence in the administration when two Labour councillors jumped ship to become Independents.

The loss of Karen Sudan and Rory Fiveash left the council with 17 Conservative councillors, 16 Labour and two independents, with one seat vacant following the death of Geraint Thomas in November.

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In a letter to Mr Lamb, Mr Crow said: “Having discussed your email with the Conservative Group, we feel that tabling a no confidence vote in yourself should not be the first resort at this time.

“We are in very challenging times for our town and the good running of Crawley Borough Council to support our residents and the local economy must come first.

“This really is a time to put party politics aside and for us all to work together to provide stability and effective leadership until elections can be held in May 2021.”

Inviting Mr Lamb to meet to discuss the possibility of a coalition – and suggesting the name the Crawley Unity Coalition – Mr Crow acknowledged that the no confidence vote would still be on the agenda ‘as a possibility’ for next week’s meeting of the full council.

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He said: “Given these exceptional times and a council where neither party has a working majority, we believe the people of Crawley want us to try to work together first – not head straight into a no confidence vote with unknown and potentially very unstable outcomes.

“However, given that the deadline for any motions to be tabled for next week’s annual council meeting is today (July 7), I have – regrettably – tabled a motion of no confidence, to enable this option to remain on the table as a possibility.

“It is very much my hope that I can withdraw this motion and that we can reach a fair and sensible agreement that puts Crawley first before party politics.”

Mr Lamb said the Labour Group would be meeting this evening to discuss the situation.

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He added: “Ultimately, all these decisions are taken collectively, so it will depend on what Labour members choose to go for.

“Regardless of what happens, I’ve been quite clear this year we’re going to have to be adults about this and we’re going to have to talk and come up with joint positions.

“The politics has to take a back seat for crisis like the one we’re facing.”

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