Saturday, August 12, 2006



For various reasons, the Tory Conservative Party of West Sussex were desperate to seize political control of Crawley Borough Council in the last local elections - and they succeeded. (Note : Councils throughout West Sussex are nearly all Blue-controlled, with the exception of Crawley - which has been Red-controlled for many years)

The West Sussex Con Party ran a slick, well-financed, well-orchestrated campaign in Crawley - and they also brought in a professional politician from outside, Mr Michael Weatherley, to ensure victory. A politically-complacent and amateurish Labour Party were out-manoevred and out-played and, helped by an apathetic electorate (60% didn't vote), they shockingly lost - but only just.

To my 'independent' mind, Cllr 'Mike' Weatherley (Con, Furnace Green) made the difference - the local Con Party simply would not have won without him. He has now been rewarded by being selected as Prospective Candidate for the Hove Conservative Party (I honestly thought 'they' were replacing Crawley's prospective Con MP, Henry Smith, with Weatherley to fight the present Crawley MP Laura Moffatt - but I was wrong).

Mike Weatherley lives in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex. He might have recently found himself another place here in Crawley, West Sussex - but essentially his home is among the seagulls on the South Coast.

As I see it, Mr Weatherley can be a Crawley Councillor (Furnace Green) , and also live outside the area. It is probably legally right for him to do just that; but whether it is morally right to do so is quite another matter, of course. But moral issues are of little concern when an election has to be won.

It is Cllr Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green), who actually lives in Furnace Green, Crawley - Weatherley's present political colleague and deputy mayor -who is now talking the most dangerous political nonsense; for example :

"So let's not have this left wing attitude of criticising personal success, and wish Mike well..." (Crawley Observer Letter, August 9).

What a prat !

You say that Conservatives only just took control of Crawley Borough Council.

They polled 10,022 votes against Labour's 6,141 votes.

You polled 94 votes.
Duncan Crow is deputy leader not deputy mayor.

Despite the previous comment you were right about the Tories only just winning, since we do not conduct elections by proportional representation (If we did then the Tories would only just have a majority in the county!)

Mike gave his address as being in Northgate in May this year. Be interesting to see what the address was on his nomination forms for Brighton Pavilion in 2005 and the B&H council elections in 2003...

Of course there is no law against having more than one property.
Thanks for that correction, Skuds -Deputy Leader. But he's still a prat.
But he has come up in the world. Previously he was a harmless prat.

Interesting follow up this week from a woman in Crawley Down. I had not thought about the register of voters. I wonder which register Mike W is on?

I think she is wrong and you do not have to be on the electoral roll to be a candidate - although you must be to sign a nomination form - you only have to either live in a place, work there or own property to qualify as a candidate/councillor I think. Still, there was a implication that he was based here, or at the very least he did nothing to stop anyone thinking that.

I don't think there is anything illegal going on, but its does feel like sharp practice.
As for 'their Con", I agree with you Skuds - "sharp practice" but not illegal.

As for 'our Con', I also agree with you - he is no longer a "harmless prat".
The Deputy Leader of the Council got 849 votes in 2004. That is 755 more votes than you received two years later.
Ballustrade, my dear fellow (or lass), it's not about me. If you knew me well - which you obviously don't - there was no-one more relieved than me to have got nowhere in the last elections.

My primary motivation for standing as an Independent was (and still is) to play a part in keeping the BNP out of Ifield.

In that respect, I achieved what I set out to do.

There are some who say that my standing as an Independent not only lost Labour the Ifield seat, but also 'tipped the balance of power' in the Cons favour on the whole Council. Interesting theory, but wrong in my view - but I would say that, wouldn't I ?!

Labour ran a 'crap' amateur campaign, and the Cons a professionally slick one - thanks to someone shipped in from Brighton (and a well-financed campaign).

My theory - and I'm sticking with it - is that if I had not stood as an Independent, both the Labour and Conservatives would have lost Ifield to the BNP - who then might have held the balance of power on the whole Council.

And Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green) is still a prat - and a dangerous one.
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