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Crawley Borough Council offers free parking for NHS, social care staff and volunteers

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NHS workers, social care staff and volunteers can now park free of charge in a Crawley Borough Council town centre car park until further notice.

The council is pleased to be able to show its support for the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak by offering free parking at Orchard Street multi-storey – a secure, 24-hour car park less than five minutes’ walk from Crawley Hospital.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“Nobody who is working tirelessly to help those people who are most in need – whether they work in the NHS or social care or are volunteering – should be paying parking charges.

“This is the right thing to do in this time of crisis.”

To take advantage of the free car parking all that NHS and social care staff, as well as volunteers, need to do is email parking.services@crawley.gov.uk from their work email address with their:

·       Name

·       Vehicle registration number

·       Telephone number

·       Organisation they are working for.

If they only have a personal email address, they should also provide a copy of their identification badge (preferably photo ID) or volunteer identification.

Crawley Borough Council will set them up on the system and confirm by email when this has been done.

Coronavirus

West Sussex refuses to support Crawley schools decision of NOT fining parents for keeping children absent

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September seems to creeping ever closer and with it comes the supposed return to school for children across the town.

But with the news that parents ‘must’ send their children back to school come the start of the new school year, also came the news that one head in paticular had gone on record to say he would not fine any parent who kept their child at home.

Head of St Wilfrid’s Michael Ferry was interviewed on breakfast television where he stated that he would not fine a parent. This then led to a whole debate about who was right and what the right decision should be.

Now West Sussex County Council has added to this furore by refusing to support a decision to not fine a parent made by any head teacher or school in Crawley.

In a statement a West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the plan for all children to return to the classroom in September after, what has been for many, a lengthy absence.

“We recognise that some children may be anxious about returning to school and will work closely with our schools to help them prepare children and build the confidence of parents  and carers in the plans for a safe and managed return.

“We will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents and carers in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance. Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”

The lack of apparent support from the county council shows an ever growing divide on decisions being made around the ongoing problems with the coronavirus.

Responding to the comments from West Sussex, Michael Ferry said:

“The guidance allows head teachers as far as they can to make local decisions to meet the needs of their school communities.  If one of those decisions happens to be that we are not going to fine people for something that isn’t their fault then I would expect the local authority to support the headteachers in doing so.

If only 10% turn up when we reopen then I would say I have failed because I have not got across the message about what measures we are taking to protect our students.”

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