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Crawley-based Thales add their support to national campaign to find RAF veterans in need

Crawley-based Thales in the UK have given their backing to a national campaign to find RAF veterans in need. Second World War pilot George Dunn DFC spoke to staff earlier this week and explained why the RAF Benevolent Fund’s appeal is so important.

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George Dunn DFC

Ninety-seven-year-old George, who lives near Brighton, told Thales employees about his wartime service, flying with Bomber Command having signed up to the RAF at the tender age of 17. George described one of the most famous operations he took part in – the raid on Peenemunde, which destroyed the Nazis V Bomber capability.

George was joined by RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassadors Bob Greig and Rob Bugden, who are both also RAF veterans. They were representing the charity, which Thales has been a generous supporter of, to ask staff to join its centenary campaign to help RAF veterans.

Bob, who lives in Woking, explained:

“The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched this campaign to mark 100 years of support it has already given to the RAF Family, serving and retired personnel and their families. We’re aiming to double the number of people who receive help, from 53,000 people to 100,000 people and to do that we need the help of companies like Thales in the UK.

“If you know anyone who served in the RAF who may be in need, urge them to get in touch with the RAF Benevolent Fund. They have been there for me in my darkest hour and ever since, and all RAF personnel should know that comfort.” 

Thales in the UK has been a long-term supporter of the Fund, having donated more than £100,000 to date, and also have a representative, Malcolm Crayford, on the Fund’s Centenary Campaign Advisory Board, who commented;

“Over the last 100 years, Thales has enjoyed a long heritage of supporting the Royal Air Force; we have also supported the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Today, Thales is proud to be supporting a new campaign from the RAF Benevolent Fund to get Royal Air Force veterans in need back on the radar.”

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‘Evidence of my antisemitism is a joke’ – Crawley Councillor explains her decision to go independent

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Northgate and West Green Councillor Karen Sudan has penned a statement following her decision to leave the Labour party, leaving the council with no party majority.

Her resignation statement reads:

“I have been a member of the Labour Party for almost 50 years. I have outstayed many Party leaders and my resignation is nothing to do with the recent change of leadership.

I was elected to be a voice for the people I represent, but Back Benchers under the current Council leadership have to fight to be heard – even those in the controlling group.

The Coronavirus crisis made it even more important for there to be input from all Councillors and at the outset I suggested setting up a crisis committee (which could, and perhaps should, involve opposition members. Their residents have as much right to representation as others). The Council Leader dismissed this suggestion, even though there was support for it from other Labour members. He said that councillors have no role to play in the current crisis, and he has acted unilaterally all along.

Although I would not say that Peter Lamb has not worked hard or done his best, I believe that CBC’s response to the Crisis has been poorer for lack of input from those of us who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, know our Town and understand ‘our’ residents. We are by no means out of the woods with Coronavirus – only yesterday I was discussing with colleagues at West Sussex CC, the likelihood and danger of localised outbreaks and/or a second wave. All elected representatives should have a voice and a role to play. This goes beyond the many things we have done and are doing as human beings to help one another.

This was my position on Saturday evening when I received a ‘Notice of Investigation’ from Party HQ, accusing me of antisemitism, the ‘evidence’ was three tweets, one posted 2017, another 2018 and one from 2020. This ‘evidence’, which I am prepared to share and put before any judge and jury, fiend or enemy, is a joke.

I do not know what triggered this, but I know from others’ experience how the Party works. While I was a Party member, I would be bound to keep this ‘investigation’ confidential. This would lead to gossip and a stain on my character and a great deal of stress. The ‘investigation’ would be allowed to ‘hang’ indefinitely to be used as an excuse to prevent me standing for office again or accepting office such as a Cabinet position.

I have chosen instead to resign my Party membership so that I can continue to focus on the job I have been elected to do (and I do see it as a job) and so that anyone who wishes to judge me can have available the original documents and make up their own mind about my anti-racist credentials.

Councillor Karen Sudan

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