Connect with us

Lifestyle

Crawley Council reveal budget for 19/20 to tackle homelessness

Crawley Borough Council say their budget for 2019/20 will protect frontline services, provide extra funding to combat homelessness and will continue to invest in the town.

Published

on

The budget was approved at a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday (27 February).

The council’s 2019/20 budget includes:

  • £7m to purchase investment properties. The rental income generated from these will be used to help fund council services
  • More than £9m over three years for repairs to council homes
  • The creation of a new ring-fenced ‘Supported Accommodation’ reserve to combat homelessness, funded from additional Housing Benefit subsidy paid to the council on behalf of residents in supported accommodation
  • The purchase of a housing development in Broadfield, giving the council a good payback period and providing tenants with a more efficient service
  • A new integrated housing database to replace the council’s outdated systems
  • The ICT transformation programme.

Crawley will suffer a further 89.7 per cent cut in revenue support from the Government over the next year. The reduction in funding since 2016/17 is £1.72m.

Despite this, the council say they have identified additional income, efficiencies and savings of £1.26m, meaning that the council’s element of Council Tax will rise by just 2.49 per cent, the equivalent of only 9p per week for a band D property.

West Sussex County Council has agreed a rise of 4.99 per cent (£65.79 on a band D property) and the precept for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner will rise by 14.47 per cent (£24 on a band D property).

For every pound paid in Council Tax, West Sussex County Council will receive 77.8p, Sussex Police will receive 10.7p with Crawley Borough Council receiving just 11.5p.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“Local services used to be paid from income tax, meaning those who earned more paid more. Due to government cuts to council and police funding, funding for these services increasingly comes from Council Tax which tends to hit pensioners and poorer residents hardest.

“While Crawley Borough Council is responsible for collecting all your Council Tax, more than 88 per cent of it goes to West Sussex County Council or Sussex Police. We’ve worked hard to ensure that Crawley Borough Council’s part of the bill is kept roughly in line with inflation, meaning that the ‘real terms’ increase this year comes exclusively from West Sussex and the police.

“I’m proud to say that despite cuts from central government, we continue to spend the same on services today as when I became Leader, we are probably the only council in the country able to say that.”

For more details on Council Tax bandings and ways to pay, visit www.crawley.gov.uk/counciltax

Lifestyle

Inspirational seven-year-old cancer survivor from Crawley is guest of honour at new store opening

A brave youngster who has battled a rare eye cancer helped Vision Express to re-open its East Grinstead store – raising awareness of an aggressive condition called retinoblastoma.

Published

on

Alicia Ferriera, centre with mum Laura, officially open the East Grinstead Vision Express store, with from left: Dispensing optician Jody Lewis, optical assistant Dan Morrissey, Monica Kalsi, optometrist and store manager Paul Lyne.

Alicia Ferriera, seven, from Crawley, West Sussex, was aged just two when she was diagnosed with the devastating condition, and had to have an eye removed as part of her cancer treatment.

Alicia Ferriera at the East Grinstead store.

Alicia was accompanied by her mother Laura Belton, to officially cut the ribbon at the Vision Express store in East Grinstead, West Sussex this month, as special guests from the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, which is a charity partner of Vision Express.

Mum Laura said:

“We found out that Alicia only had retinoblastoma in one eye and it wasn’t genetic. It all happened very quickly – she had the operation just a week after initial diagnosis.”

Since having her eye removed, the family have kept up regular appointments at The Royal London Hospital, initially every couple of months to now once a year for check-ups.

Laura said:

“Alicia is doing amazingly well and is just like other child at her age. She’s been doing karate for a year and a half now and is doing so well with it. She enjoys lots of walks, adventures and park trips and we’ve recently been to Cornwall where she was at the beach every day. Nothing will stop this girl!”

The ribbon cutting led by Alicia and Laura celebrated the Vision Express store’s recent extensive refit and marked the optician officially open to the public – in the same convenient location in London Road.

Vision Express East Grinstead store manager Paul Lyne added:

“It was brilliant to have Alicia and her mother Laura join us to officially declare our new store open. Her story of battling retinoblastoma, and the courage shown at such a young age, is an inspiration to us all.

“We’re proud to support the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust and we urge any parents that suspect retinoblastoma or notice any potential symptoms in their child, such as a white glow in their eye in certain lighting conditions or a squint, to visit their local opticians or GP.”

Continue Reading

Trending