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Crawley Borough Council appoints two new senior managers

Two new senior managers have been appointed at Crawley Borough Council.

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Two new senior managers have been appointed at Crawley Borough Council.

Ian Duke will take on the role of Deputy Chief Executive from 11 June and Simon Jones will become Head of Digital and Transformation on 9 July.

Both roles were subject to a vigorous selection process, which included presentation and panel interviews with officers and councillors.

Ian brings a wide range of experience across several service areas from a number of local authorities over 20 years. He worked at Gosport Borough Council in economic development, inward investment and regeneration programmes before moving to the London Borough of Greenwich to lead on regeneration policy, the London Thames Gateway and external funding. Whilst at Greenwich, Ian delivered a range of government programmes to improve frontline services and outcomes within one of the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. He took this learning into consultancy supporting local authorities to work with communities to improve services.

For the past five years, Ian has worked at the London Borough of Hounslow and has been responsible for developing the organisational and partnership priorities, translating these into strategy, developing new ways of working, ensuring delivery and supporting transformation ahead of a move into a new civic centre.

Ian said: “I’m delighted to be joining at such an exciting time for the town and the council. The new Town Hall site is an important landmark in the ongoing development of the town centre and is a one-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we deliver services for our communities.

“I look forward to working with everyone to ensure that through this development and others, such as the new neighbourhood at Forge Wood, we deliver the benefits that our residents and communities deserve.”

Simon is currently Head of the East Sussex Better Together Alliance Digital Programme.

He was formerly Head of IT for East Sussex County Council and for several years he also led digital/ IT provision for a large London social housing provider. Simon has also been responsible for overseeing numerous transformation programmes.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Crawley, as we take big steps moving the town and the council forward. To deliver on our aspirations for the town we need a strong team at the Town Hall.

“I’m confident that with Ian and Simon joining the council’s senior management team, we have the right people in the right roles to help build a better future for Crawley.”

Business

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

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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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