Connect with us

News

Councils across West Sussex meet to discuss budget cuts, without Crawley Council

Further clashes between West Sussex County Council & Crawley Borough Council.

Published

on

Yesterday (12 September), West Sussex County Council released a statement saying ‘Conservative council leaders’ from across the county held a meeting to discuss the budget cuts impacting West Sussex.

In the meeting earlier this week, the Leaders of West Sussex County Council, Adur and Worthing Councils, Arun District Council, Chichester District Council, Horsham District Council, Mid Sussex District Council agreed how they could work together to try to ‘mitigate the potential impacts of the cuts on vulnerable groups.’

More news: SECAmb welcomes new law to protect emergency workers from assault

Crawley Borough Council however, did not attend the meeting.

The participating councils released this joint statement:

“All the Conservative council leaders from across West Sussex met earlier this week to discuss the budget situation faced by West Sussex County Council due to lack of central government funding.

“West Sussex County Council explained the financial challenges of reduced government funding and the increased demands for the statutory services of Children’s and Adult Social Care.

“West Sussex County Council has already saved £145m over the last 8 years but now faces a funding gap of £146m over the next 4 years.

“The leaders agreed how they could work together to try to mitigate the potential impacts of the cuts on vulnerable groups.

“It was acknowledged that in the next four year period there is insufficient funding and it was agreed to write collectively to the Government highlighting the difficult decisions that will need to be taken if social care services are not adequately funded.

“They expressed regret that Crawley Borough Council would not participate in this joint work for local communities.”

Leader of Crawley Borough Council Peter Lamb, responded to the statement. He also put in a formal complaint to West Sussex County Council, asking for a public apology. He claims that West Sussex’s comment stating Crawley Borough Council ‘would not participate in this joint work’ is not true.

Peter Lamb said:

“Crawley is standing with the almost 10,000 West Sussex residents who have demanded that Louise Goldsmith and Nathan Elvery drop the proposed cuts to housing services for vulnerable adults. These increasingly desperate statements show the community has the council’s leadership on the back foot and we will not be bullied into backing down.”

In his complaint, Mr Lamb reports a breach of ‘the Code of Practice on Local Authority Publicity’ and ‘Part II of the Local Government Act (1986)’. He says:

“We expect WSCC to investigate this complaint thoroughly, identify which officers or members have been involved in putting together the wording, and to take appropriate disciplinary action in addition to making a full public apology.”

West Sussex County Council’s has since issued an amended statement. The first sentence now reads: “All the council leaders from across West Sussex (with the exception of Crawley Borough Council) met earlier this week to discuss the budget situation faced by West Sussex County Council due to lack of central government funding.”

It was last week that the Leader of Crawley Borough Council, wrote a strongly worded letter to West Sussex County Council, informing them that unless they changed their plans for cuts, Crawley Council would make no further effort to work with the County Council on future projects.

Mr Lamb said:

“Until such time as West Sussex Changes its course we will be withdrawing from West Sussex Leader Board activities and while honouring current agreements, we will be taking no further steps towards joint working the county.

“We simply cannot work with people who believe such actions to be moral.”

Over 8,200 people have signed an online petition which ‘demands that West Sussex County Council rejects the proposed cuts to Housing Related Support’. The cuts would see services like Crawley Open House have their funding completely cut: for the Crawley based hostel, this is a contract worth around £250,000.

More on this story:

Coronavirus

BREAKING NEWS: Coronavirus cases jump 200% in one week across Crawley

Published

on

On Monday 14th Sept the new “rule of six” comes into force across England with news breaking today that children under 12 will not be exempt from it.

The new rules mean people are limited to meeting in groups no larger than six people both indoors and outdoors.

The rule ‘could’ potentially be coming slightly too late as new figures for Crawley reveal a 200% jump in recorded cases in just one week.

People need to realise the harm it can do you without putting you directly in hospital

Data from the UK public health bodies shows that in last week (2nd – 8th Sept) there were 15 NEW cases reported in Crawley. This number does not seem a lot but when compared to the week(s) before it shows a dramatic jump.

In only the previous week there were only 5 new cases reported, with 4 separate days reporting no cases at all.

But in the past week this figure jumped with 8 reported in one day alone.

So far the worst single day for reported cases in Crawley was back on the 28th April when 19 cases were reported in a day.

To date, since recording began there have been 502 cases, with 77 of these resulting in death.

As more parts of the UK are also having to deal with stricter lock down restrictions Crawley remains below the national average of cases per 100,000 at 13. The national average is currently 18.

The towns neighbour, Horsham, saw an even greater rise of 360% with 23 cases reported between 2-8 Sept.

Across the UK an additional 3.497 cases were reported in the past 24 hours, an increase of 36% on the same day a week ago, taking the total to 365,174.

A local doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said her and her colleagues were very worried about how too many people were downplaying the risk of infection.

“I hear every day some people talking about how the number of people in hospital through Covid are so low so we shouldn’t worry about the number of cases increasing – but we should. People need to realise the harm it can do you without putting you directly in hospital.”

But questions on how the new rules will be enforced are still not clear with new statements released from the Police that talk about ‘engaging, encouraging and explaining’ before even considering taking any action.

A source close to Sussex Police has told Crawley News 24 that there is both confusion and dismay within the ranks about who and how officers are going to contend with issues of larger groups than allowed meeting up, while juggling the increase of daily issues that are returning since the full lockdown.

Another source said they were awaiting a full outline of what powers the police really will have on Monday (14th Sept) before officers would be given full guidance on what they should do.

Sussex Police told Crawley News 24:

“As we start to see a rise in infections it is vitally important that we all follow the regulations and restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Everyone has a role to play limiting the outbreak by following the regulations, including those about gatherings which will be limited to six people both indoors and outside when the new legislation comes into force on Monday 14 September.

People need to take personal responsibility for their actions, in particular during this heath emergency, and this includes adhering to the latest government guidance.

Sussex Police will continue its approach of engaging, encouraging and explaining the current regulations and only taking enforcement action when necessary. “

Only 1 week after schools reopen, a couple of weeks after a house party alarmed residents in the town, (and Crawley Council confirming they were investigating the event), and new rules coming into force, all eyes will now be set to see just how well the town responds to the new measures and whether the rise is just a ‘blip’ or if it is a sign of a returning rise.

Continue Reading

Trending