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Jeremy Taylor: The best option for the regional economy

Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business, Jeremy Taylor reflects on the provision of employment land in the Gatwick Diamond in light of Redhill Garden Community’s propsed plans.



Chief Executive at Gatwick Diamond Business, Jeremy Taylor.

The Gatwick Diamond Economic Area has a GVA of £24bn, accounting for 10 per cent of the South East region and the second highest in the United Kingdom, after the Thames Valley. 

With a per-worker GVA of £63,500, Gatwick Diamond workers are 16 per cent more productive than the UK economy as a whole. 70 per cent of Gatwick Diamond businesses are in knowledge intensive services business sectors, a vital component of the British economy. Other key sectors include international medical device exports £600m from Manor Royal and defence (Thales).

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The Gatwick Diamond economy has been successful in attracting foreign investment with 18.5 per cent of its workers employed by a foreign owned company. New business creation is high at 67 businesses per thousand residents, considerably higher than the UK average.

If growth in the area is not to be constrained, it is essential that the Gatwick Diamond maintains an adequate supply of flexible employment space in the right location, together with new infrastructure, healthcare and affordable housing offering a work/life balance and high quality of life.

If we are to maintain the adequate supply of skilled staff and, increasingly importantly, retain our higher skilled and younger workers needed to sustain the Gatwick Diamond, Redhill Garden Community is the best option for the future.

Redhill Garden Community, with its integrated infrastructure, healthcare, schooling, housing and modern flexible employment space – plus its connectivity – offers the ideal location and opportunity for business.

A new link road directly from the M23 would free business, emergency service and commuter traffic from being delayed at peak times, and provide easy access to the UK’s second busiest airport.

The local area has direct rail links to London that will offer seamless connections to CrossRail 1 and CrossRail 2. The CrossRail projects offer destinations to the Oxford / Cambridge arc, Heathrow Airport and the Thames Valley all on a modern rail service. London Victoria also has good connections to London St. Pancras International   and Eurostar services to continental Europe, Belgium, France, Holland and Germany.

With the proposed fast Busway delivering travellers to Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal in around 10 minutes, the potential of low cost business travel to markets in the Americas, Asia, the Middle and the Far East will be vital for the Diamond as we look to develop new markets for British goods and service exports post Brexit.

The alternative to Redhill Garden Community is disparate business park provision that lacks the associated infrastructure critical to modern business and that will put pressure on existing, already dated and sub-standard infrastructure. The best option for the local and regional economy is Redhill Garden Community.

Jeremy Taylor
Chief Executive, Gatwick Diamond Business

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EXCLUSIVE: Post Office WILL CLOSE whatever consultation says

A source within the Post Office has revealed that despite a public consulation coming up, the decision to close the current location has already been made.



Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.

A source says the consultation is nothing more than lip service to residents.

Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.

“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council

This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.

In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident,  Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.

She writes:

“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.

I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.

The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?

To park in the Mall you have to pay.

It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.

Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.

To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.

Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.

Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?

Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.

J Elmer”

But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears.  CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:

“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise.  For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.

Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.

However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.

If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”

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