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BREAKING NEWS: Crawley to go into Tier 4 from Boxing Day

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The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced during a Downing Street news conference that Sussex is to enter Tier 4 from 1 minute past midnight on Boxing Day.

In his address he urged the public to ‘keep our resolve’.

Mr Hancock said that cases have risen across the country by 57% in the last week alone.

This is in addition the the fact that hospital admissions are at the highest level since April.

The health secretary said that against this backdrop, it is “absolutely vital that we act”.

He added that more of the East and South East of England had to be put into Tier 4 as Tier 3 was not enough to control the new variant of COVID-19.

Crawley joins the rest of Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and parts of Essex that are not already in Tier 4 as well as Waverley in Surrey and Hampshire who will all now go into Tier 4.

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb released a statement saying:

“We are in the midst of a global pandemic which has already cost far more lives in Britain than were lost in the Blitz and which is stretching the NHS to its limits. Under such circumstances, if epidemiologists and public health experts believe that these restrictions are necessary to avoid needless loss of life, then we must except them, even where that is painful.

Regardless, today’s announcement will have huge consequences for a town whose economy has already been hit harder by COVID-19 than any other. It is hard to see how the many local businesses which are already stretched to their limits will now survive, adding to the growing unemployment crisis in Crawley caused by past sets of restrictions.

Despite being the hardest-hit economy in the country, Crawley not only has yet to receive any significant support from the Government to get the town back on it’s feet from COVID-19, we are still waiting for the economic investment the Government promised the town before the last General Election. The unemployment crisis facing the town is the direct consequence of decisions taken by this Government. They have a duty to help solve the problems those decisions have created.”

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Crawley College to reopen following incident

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Crawley College will be beginning a phased reopening to students from tomorrow, Thursday 29 April.

The phased reopening will take place between tomorrow and Tuesday 4 May with full details by courses provided on the college website www.crawley.ac.uk . Students should check details before returning to campus.

The campus has remained closed for the past two days following police investigations into the incident that took place at the college on Monday (26 April).

Vicki Illingworth, Principal of Crawley College, said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming our students and staff back to the college.

“We’d like to reassure everyone, the college is safe and they will be well supported in their return to the campus.

“Sussex Police have confirmed that this is being treated as an isolated incident which is not terror related and nobody else is being sought in connection with the incident.  The individual concerned is in police custody and has been charged.”

“We are now focussed on ensuring we can bring students and staff safely back on site. We’re proud of the service we provide to our students to give them opportunities in education and training.

“I can reassure everyone that this was a one-off incident and we have strategies in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, as well as giving the students the support they need to come back and join us to complete their studies successfully.”

Vicki also echoed her earlier comments, paying tribute to the staff who supported students who were on site during the events of Monday afternoon.

She added:

“I continue to remain full of admiration of our team. They pulled together on Monday and implemented all of the protocols we have in place to keep students safe.

“They’ve continued to work together to support each other and their students over the past couple of days – and they will continue to do so when students return to campus.

“We are also particularly proud of the two members of staff who acted so bravely and swiftly to apprehend the individual before the police arrived. They acted selflessly to protect their students and the college community. They have asked for privacy during this time.

“It was a very intense time for everyone involved.

“The students who were kept inside the college and who were part of the emergency evacuation were supported throughout by our staff and counselling services have been available to them this week. These services will continue to be in place for them to access.

“We’ve continued to be in touch with our students through our support services to check that they are ok and we will resume face-to-face counselling as soon as we can.”

Work is taking place at the college campus to repair some damage which was sustained during the evacuation and subsequent investigations, with teams working hard to ensure the campus is ready for reopening.

The college would like to thank students, staff, the Police and Emergency Services and the wider community for their ongoing support and understanding.

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