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Henry Smith MP welcomes Crawley-based Virgin Atlantic to Westminster

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Henry Smith MP has hosted Virgin Atlantic at an event in Parliament (Tuesday, 21st February) marking their investment in new aircraft and apprenticeship programmes.

Members of Parliament as well as the Minister for Aviation, Lord Ahmad, Virgin Atlantic cadet pilots and cabin crew, and apprentices from both Airbus and Rolls-Royce attended the event.

Henry Smith said of the event “I was pleased to welcome Crawley-based Virgin Atlantic to the House of Commons to celebrate their investment in the Airbus A350-1000, and to learn more about their commitment to a greener fleet.”

“Virgin Atlantic are a global company based on our doorstep – I want to see more and more of Crawley’s young people making the most of the jobs and opportunities that such great British firms have to offer.”

The new aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce engines, will be part of Virgin Atlantic’s investment in a cleaner and quieter fleet.

Designed to be 30 per cent more fuel and carbon efficient than the aircraft it replaces, it’s expected to reduce the airline’s noise footprint at its airports by more than half.

Nathan Stower, Vice President of External Affairs and Sustainability at Virgin Atlantic, also commented  “As a Crawley-based business it was great to have the support of Henry Smith MP for this event, where we were able to highlight how this investment will benefit our customers, the environment, and UK plc.”


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Crawley Borough Council appoints two new senior managers

Two new senior managers have been appointed at Crawley Borough Council.

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Two new senior managers have been appointed at Crawley Borough Council.

Ian Duke will take on the role of Deputy Chief Executive from 11 June and Simon Jones will become Head of Digital and Transformation on 9 July.

Both roles were subject to a vigorous selection process, which included presentation and panel interviews with officers and councillors.

Ian brings a wide range of experience across several service areas from a number of local authorities over 20 years. He worked at Gosport Borough Council in economic development, inward investment and regeneration programmes before moving to the London Borough of Greenwich to lead on regeneration policy, the London Thames Gateway and external funding. Whilst at Greenwich, Ian delivered a range of government programmes to improve frontline services and outcomes within one of the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. He took this learning into consultancy supporting local authorities to work with communities to improve services.

For the past five years, Ian has worked at the London Borough of Hounslow and has been responsible for developing the organisational and partnership priorities, translating these into strategy, developing new ways of working, ensuring delivery and supporting transformation ahead of a move into a new civic centre.

Ian said: “I’m delighted to be joining at such an exciting time for the town and the council. The new Town Hall site is an important landmark in the ongoing development of the town centre and is a one-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we deliver services for our communities.

“I look forward to working with everyone to ensure that through this development and others, such as the new neighbourhood at Forge Wood, we deliver the benefits that our residents and communities deserve.”

Simon is currently Head of the East Sussex Better Together Alliance Digital Programme.

He was formerly Head of IT for East Sussex County Council and for several years he also led digital/ IT provision for a large London social housing provider. Simon has also been responsible for overseeing numerous transformation programmes.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Crawley, as we take big steps moving the town and the council forward. To deliver on our aspirations for the town we need a strong team at the Town Hall.

“I’m confident that with Ian and Simon joining the council’s senior management team, we have the right people in the right roles to help build a better future for Crawley.”

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