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‘Administrative error’ blamed for West Sussex Youth elections fiasco



It should have been a simple process.

Candidates would submit their manifestos which would be printed out and made available online and then children across the county would be able to take part in the election process.

Except, in the case of West Sussex, the simple process appeared to be flawed.

Each candidate was asked to submit no more than 150 words which they could put forward to encourage a vote for them. But when the manifestos went up there was one candidate who was given over 200 words.

Not only that but the layout of their manifesto was significantly different to the others.

Was this a case of favouritism? According to West Sussex County Council it wasn’t but the evidence was enough for them to call a halt to the process.

Now it appears that the council is rushing to rectify the situation by reprinting and republishing the manifestos so that ALL the candidates get exactly the same space, words and layout. But has the damage already been done?

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said:

“Unfortunately an administrative error meant the candidate signup forms were issued stating an incorrect word limit for manifestos.

As a result we have paused the current Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament election process while we resolve this issue and issue new candidate signup forms.”

West Sussex Council say that new manifestos should be reprinted and republished in due course so that the process can be restarted soon but no date was given.


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



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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