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Crawley Borough Council Leader answers residents concerns over COVID-19

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Crawley Borough Council Leader Peter Lamb has taken part in an online Q&A with residents across the town.

In a question and answer session on twitter Mr Lamb answered as many questions and concerns from residents. Here are some of those answered:

Q: When will the council announce it is not collecting its percentage share of council tax for facilities no longer available?

A: Covid-19 is pushing our costs up. Non-essential services which have shut down tend to be ones which generate revenue, while most staff are being moved to focus on emergency response. If you’re struggling with council tax help is available: link is here.

Q: When are you going to completely close Tilgate Park? As a resident of Worcester Road, I have witnessed hundreds of idiots walking side by side (family members or not), not obeying 2 metres. Also there now seems to be an increase in idiots now exercising.

A: Crawley’s parks don’t have fences or gates and in several cases have roads and paths running through them. There isn’t any way of physically closing the parks. However, we’re using Community Wardens to disperse crowds where reported.


Q: What is being done to help the people who have been sleeping rough in the town centre?

A: We’re working with Crawley Open House. Overflow shelter accommodation has been set up and where necessary we will requisition hotel rooms. There’s a place for anyone on our streets right now. In the past three days we’ve placed an extra 52 people into temporary accommodation.

Q: Will the council ban evictions for properties for the duration of the crisis?

A: Evictions from council properties have been banned. Where arrears have been accrued due to financial hardship brought about by the crisis we will work with tenants to find a solution.

Q: What can the council do to enable and encourage residents to take exercise while respecting social distancing? Closing parks seems like a disastrous idea.

A: Our Wardens are breaking up crowds where reported, but they can’t be everywhere. We need personal responsibility. 1 person ignoring rules is likely to infect 3 others, 10 iterations later that’s 59,000 people or 1,180 deaths they have caused. Stay at home – save lives.


Q: Is there any update on the business grants being offered by government to assist SMEs?

A: Yes, several different types of financial support are available, for more information go to: www.crawley.gov.uk/pw/Community_and_Neighbourhoods/ProtectingCrawley/Coronavirus/Businessesandemployers/index.htm

Q: Any update on the support network you mentioned last week? Have you had many volunteers?

A: We’ve had quite a few volunteers (although we could always do with more) and are working on identifying all those at risk. We’re now mostly waiting on getting the food supply chain from Government.

Q: Why do Kier Group still have construction workers on the new Town Hall site? The Government have asked for all non critical work to cease. This is not critical work. As the client, why won’t Crawley Council force their contractors to stand down?

A: We’re working on it at the moment. I’m in favour of them shutting down work and we told them to ditch our timetable last week, but under the contract it’s not our decision.

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Crawley Council Leader agrees to meet with opposition party to resolve towns leadership situation

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The leader of Crawley Borough Council, Peter Lamb, has agreed to meet with the towns opposition party, the Conservatives after an invite was extended in response the Mr Lambs call for a motion of no confidence.

In what has been a very tense time across the town politically for the past week, with two Councillors leaving the Labour party resulting in the party have a minority council, another step forward has been made for the council to come to an agreement of how it will continue for the rest of the year.

In a letter replying to Conservative Leader Duncan Crow, Peter Lamb says:

“We belong to different parties of very different beliefs, beliefs which in any ordinary circumstances would make joint-working impossible… However, current circumstances are far from ordinary…Recent events mean that no such majority exists.

We owe it to the town to resolve the current impasse. Consequently the Labour Group has asked that I take up your offer of talks to see what, if any, agreement can be reached.”

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