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Henry Smith: Time to renew the Manor Royal BID

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The Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID) has seen Crawley-based firms work together to create an enhanced working environment for members.

It was established in June 2013 following a vote by these companies and is governed by Manor Royal businesses themselves. It is managed by an independent not-for-profit company formed by members to manage and deliver the BID business plan, as well as creating a fund to improve the business district, and attracting additional investment.

On Friday 2nd February, voting opened to renew the Manor Royal BID for another five year term to 2023.

If successful, companies across the business district would reap the rewards of around £2.6 million of funds to be reinvested, as well as any additional investment secured by the BID team.

The BID’s commitment to improving the local area has been clear to see, alongside Crawley Borough and West Sussex County Councils and Sussex Police, developments have been made to roads, infrastructure, security and green spaces.

Manor Royal is home to the largest non-retail BID in the country. The BID has listened to feedback from local businesses on issues including broadband speeds and will strive for faster connectivity for better business functionality.

If renewed, the Manor Royal BID will seek continued improvement of roads and footpaths for employees and members of the public. Subsidised and free services such as Business Watch will be delivered, adding to recent developments in security, as well as investigating the potential of generating renewable energy.

In the five years to 2015 the number of Crawley businesses increased by more than 600 to 3,600, and since 2010 unemployment in Crawley has fallen by 59 per cent. Support for business initiatives such as the Manor Royal BID will continue to bolster employment and opportunity locally and help contribute to the drop in unemployment nationally, currently at its lowest rate since 1975.

Voting for the BID ends at 5pm on 1st March 2018 and I would welcome a positive result for the renewal of the Manor Royal Business Improvement District. If successful, I look forward to seeing the proposed developments strengthen local businesses for the benefit of the people of Crawley.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituenc

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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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