Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb has made the warning as the effects of the pandemic begin to hit deep within the towns infrastructure.
Writing on his personal blog Cllr Lamb said:
“For the last six years, Crawley Borough Council has bucked the trend. Despite huge cuts to local government funding, every year we have managed to generate enough new revenue to make up for the cuts without having to put council tax up above inflation. Due to the pandemic, that streak has come to an end.
Throughout the lockdown, the money-making parts of the council were forced to shut, while various new costs arose. Unfortunately, the financial consequences will last long beyond this one year, with the economic impact resulting in a significant ongoing cut to the council’s income from business rates and council tax.
As a result, for the first time in six years we are having to make real cuts to balance the budget. We will do everything we can to make savings humanely and minimise the impact on frontline services, but there will be real consequences for service delivery.”
Cllr Lamb goes on to say that the policies for tackling the coronavirus could not have come at a worst time for the town and Crawley’s economy has been hit harder than any other town in the UK with thousands of job losses.
Cllr Lamb finishes by saying that the council is continuing to work with companies and public bodies in an effort to support and up-skill job hunters and is continually looking for new industries to come to the town.
But he warns that the process is slow and long but if everyone sticks together then it will create a better future for Crawley.
‘Please come forward with information no matter how small’ Police appeal as E-Fit of attempted rape suspect released
Police have released an E-fit image of a man sought in connection with the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl in Crawley.
Between 7pm and 7.15pm on Tuesday (March 9), the teenager was walking her dog along the pathway from Overdene Drive towards the tunnel that runs underneath the A23 and follows on to Quantock Close.
She turned around before the end of the tunnel and walked back along the path to Overdene Drive. As she did so, she crossed paths with a man who grabbed her and attempted to rape her.
The victim was able to break free and shout for help, causing the man to flee the scene in the direction of the tunnel. The victim is being supported by specialist officers.
The man was described as white, in his late teens to late 30s, 5’ 9” to 5’ 10”, with dark eyes, short dark coloured hair and short dark stubble. He spoke with an eastern European accent and was wearing dark clothing.
Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Allana Hughes said:
“We are appealing for anyone who recognises this man, or anyone who witnessed the sexual assault or any suspicious behaviour at this location around the time of the incident, to make contact with us.
“We would particularly like to hear from people who were in Quantock Close, The Dingle or surrounding roads around this time or anyone who may have dashcam, ring doorbell or CCTV footage which might have captured the suspect fleeing the scene.
“We have increased our patrols in the area and have been conducting house-to-house enquiries alongside investigating any potential lines of enquiry.
“Please come forward to us with any information which you think could help our investigation, no matter how small.”
Information can be passed to Sussex Police online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Stockbridge.
Alternatively, people can get in touch anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.