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New board members for Coast to Capital will help deliver its Gatwick 360 strategy

Four new board members have been appointed to support the delivery for its strategy for the “Gatwick 360” area.

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Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership announce the appointment of four new board members to support the delivery of its ambitious strategy for the area “Gatwick 360”.

The strategy sets out the scope for economic growth in an area which is hugely important for the national economy and has Gatwick Airport at its heart.

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Martin Harris, Managing Director at Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus, has been appointed as a Co-opted Director with a specific transport remit. Martin is passionate about delivering sustainable emissions-free travel and will provide strategic direction in relation to the Gatwick 360 transport priority, in particular the need to maximise the economic benefit from transport investment including railways, roads and ports.

Rosaleen Liard, CEO at Chequers Contract Services Ltd, has been appointed as a business representative Director and will be focusing on advocating for small and medium sized enterprises. Rosaleen has joined Coast to Capital’s 10 other business representative Board members that are contributing to the development of an effective private and public sector partnership in order to deliver the Gatwick 360 vision.

Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, Adam Tickell, has been appointed as Coast to Capital’s education sector representative Director. Adam will be providing strategic leadership to deliver the Gatwick 360 priority to pioneer innovation in core strengths which will require university engagement across the area.

Daniel Yates, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, has been appointed as a public sector representative Director and joins the four other Local Authority leaders on the Board representing West Sussex County Council, Croydon Council, Surrey County Council and Mid Sussex District Council.

Tim Wates, Chairman at Coast to Capital said:

“Our Board boasts influential representatives from the public, private and education sector that have both specialist knowledge and passion for the Coast to Capital area. These new appointments strengthen the Board and will support us to deliver the Gatwick 360 strategy which will be the basis for negotiating further investment for the area.”

Martin Harris, Coast to Capital Board member said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to both contribute from my existing experience and to extend my understanding and appreciation of the many ways in which a progressive and innovative approach to our future transport needs will support our local economy, and to contribute to the LEP’s wider work in supporting the economy which is so vital to the wellbeing of our communities”

Rosaleen Liard, Coast to Capital Board member said:

“I am delighted to join the board of Coast to Capital as a business representative with a background in forging effective partnerships. I am looking forward to supporting the ambitious strategic plan across the region to stimulate sustainable economic growth while delivering great places to live and work.”

Adam Tickell, Coast to Capital Board member said:

“I am honoured to have been asked to join the Board of Coast to Capital. The University is Sussex, like the rest of the region’s universities, is committed to supporting the needs of the area and I have been deeply impressed by the vigour with which Coast to Capital has developed its plans to support sustainable growth.”

Daniel Yates, Coast to Capital Board member said:

“I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to delivering the infrastructure and development that the broader LEP economy requires. Like so many other local authority Leaders I recognise that the economic benefits of work across the region are felt within the city boundaries and being able to fully play my part in ensuring this continues is a great honour and challenge.”

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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.

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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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