Crawley Borough Council Labour Group is pleased to announce Labour councillor for Bewbush and Broadfield North Michael Jones has been elected to be their new leader for the forthcoming year.
Cllr Jones will be put forward as the Labour Group’s nomination for the new leader of the council when the outgoing Labour leader of the council Cllr Peter Lamb stands down at the forthcoming annual general meeting of the council, which is due to take place on 27 May.
• Cllr Lamb announced following the election count results on Thursday that he would not be putting his name forward as Leader for the forthcoming year.
• This began the process where an election for a new leader of the Labour Group took place and Cllr Jones was selected.
• Cllr Jones was first elected to Crawley Borough Council in 2010 and has served continuously since then. He has formerly been Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Protection, Cabinet Member for Housing and Chair of the Licensing Committee at the council. He has also served previously on West Sussex County Council where he was also leader of that council’s Labour Group between 2019 and 2021 and represents Crawley on the Sussex Police and Crime Panel.
Responding to the result Cllr Jones said,
“It is an enormous privilege to be able to serve the public in this way. I will become leader of the council at an exciting but crucial time, this year we are set to move into a brand new, modern town hall with a regenerated town centre and leisure facilities across the borough that would be the envy of many larger cities.
“I begin my leadership at a time society is adjusting back to some kind of normality from lockdown and Covid, people want to reconnect, to get back to the sort of lives we once had. I see a key part of the council’s role going forward in helping people to reconnect and build an even stronger community.
“It also comes at a time Crawley is still recovering from being one of the worst hit areas to its economy and industry by Covid – and at a time our residents may be facing the worst cost of living crisis in living memory, so I am far from complacent.
“We need more council homes for local families to live in, we need to maintain a beautiful environment with sustainable technology that does not harm it, we want development that is in keeping with the new town we all came to live in.
“This is a Labour council with an outstanding record and valued by its residents. The recent council election results reflect that. I aim to ensure that people always know Crawley Borough Council is a vibrant place in touch with local priorities and is out there in every part of every neighbourhood working for them.”
Cllr Jones added his own praise for the outgoing council Leader Peter Lamb:
“I want to pay tribute to Peter Lamb, although he is standing down, he is leaving this council with a golden inheritance and a record that we can all be proud of. He has continued to uphold the sheer scale of vision for the borough that dates back to the very early days of the New Town pioneers. Thank you, Peter, for all you have done.”
Supporting Cllr Jones’ comments, outgoing council Leader Cllr Peter Lamb said:
“I’d like to congratulate Michael Jones on his successful election as Labour Group Leader. I’ve worked closely with Michael for many years, he brings a wealth of experience to the leadership from his considerable time spent at Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council, and I know he is fiercely committed to securing the best for our community. I wish him well in the role and he knows he has my full support as he takes on the challenges, new and old, facing Crawley.”