The local Tories, having gained control of the Borough Council, have certainly been revealing their true colours.
First they tried to sell tenants a bunch of lies (or were they just ridiculously awful calculations that no-one bothered to check?), but thanks to the tenants, local opposition, the Government of the South East, the Audit Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority they failed. Still, the people of Crawley in their wisdom returned even more Tory councillors last May.
Now they are going for the Play Service. Last year proposals came out to ‘rationalise’ the play areas, which appear to have been put into abeyance for a while. Maidenbower will get a new play area though (which is fine, no problem at all, although the developers should have put it in years ago, not the taxpayers).
Instead of shutting down play areas, looks like the Tories are instead going to close down Play Centres. These are the places that stay open after schools close so that children can play in a secure environment before parents pick them up. They are incredibly popular during school holidays, because parents can’t all get time off in six week blocks.
The two centres that I know of being under the knife are Northgate and Southgate. Southgate has in the last two years voted for a Conservative councillor. In order, presumably, to avoid the risk that people around here see what the Tories are up to and vote accordingly, the decision has been postponed until June.
Typically, the Tories will tell you all about the 2% increase in Council Tax, but won’t tell you which services will be cut as a result. The truth is that they will be hitting the children, and given that delinquency is linked to a lack of provision for kids, adding to the problems of youths hanging around with ‘nothing to do’ until they get into trouble. It’s not just hugging hoodies, it’s increasing the problems for and associated with youth.
Vote Tory – have more kids hanging on the street corners!
March 18, 2008 at 18:27
I’d be interested in your comments re-previous closures of Play Centres – under the Labour administration.
March 24, 2008 at 17:30
I seem to recall that changes in the law, particularly regarding the ratio of children to adults led to the need to make changes. H&S legislation had changed a lot since the Adventure Playgrounds were first set up, and so there was a lot of pressure there too.
It certainly wasn’t aimed at making cuts for the sake of saving a few pennies for tax-payers.
March 26, 2008 at 14:43
And who says that is the Conservatives intention?
March 28, 2008 at 20:22
I suspect that it is. I’d be interested in knowing what the intention is in closing the Play Centres was if not to cut costs. I would hope that a councillor for Northgate would have some interest in knowing the real reasons behind such a move – and why the decision has been left until after the local elections.
April 8, 2008 at 13:57
I suspect the reason the decision is being left till after the local election is for EXACTLY the same reason Labour left some decisions till after specific local elections…… :-))
April 11, 2008 at 21:02
You’ll have to be a bit more vague and woolly, as it’s possible that someone might have a clue about what you’re referring to.
Or, alternatively, you could be less like a liberal and deal in specifics…