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132 cases of false single persons discount claims uncovered by Crawley Council

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Crawley Borough Council has uncovered 132 cases of incorrect claims of Single Person Discount, resulting in more than £75,000 of extra Council Tax being collected.

Single Person Discount (SPD) is claimed when there is only a single adult who is liable for Council Tax at a property.

The council’s Fraud and Inspections Team monitors the discounts awarded to households in relation to its Council Tax bills.

Between April 2019 and February 2020 the team reviewed a large number of people who were claiming SPD, matching data against information they hold.

Any discrepancies result in an investigation into whether any discount that has been awarded is incorrect.

In this period the team removed 132 SPDs due to a second unreported adult being resident in the property. This has resulted in an extra £76,424.18 in Council Tax being collected.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“Council Tax pays for vital services so it’s key that discounts are only given to those who are truly in need.

“If you’re in receipt of a discount or exemption for your Council Tax and your circumstances change tell us immediately.”

The Fraud and Inspections Team look into all aspects of fraud against the council.

If you know or suspect that someone has or is making a fraudulent claim against the council then please visit crawley.gov.uk/fraud If you’re circumstances have changed tell us by visiting crawley.gov.uk/tellus, email comments@crawley.gov.uk or call 01293 438000

Business

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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