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:

News

Crawley College to reopen following incident

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending