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Crawley Council wants to protect frontline services with new budget

Crawley Borough Council’s Cabinet has proposed a balanced budget for 2019/20, protecting frontline services, continuing to invest in the town and improving the council’s efficiency.

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The budget was debated by the Cabinet on Wednesday (6 February). Members unanimously recommended approval of the budget to Full Council on 20 February.

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 has identified additional income, efficiencies and savings of £1.26m, meaning that the council’s element of Council Tax is set to rise by just 2.49 per cent, the equivalent of only 9p per week for a band D property.

The Cabinet has also recommended investment in:

  • £6m 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 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  • A new integrated housing database to replace the council’s outdated systems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.

West Sussex County Council is proposing a rise of £65.79 on a band D property (4.99 per cent), which will be debated at its Full Council meeting on 15 February. The precept for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner will rise by £24 on a band D property (14.47 per cent).

If the proposed rises are approved, 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.”

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

Lifestyle

Live or work in Ifield? Make sure you attend ‘Talk Ifield” Community Forum

Over one year after its successful re-launch in autumn 2017, the ‘Talk Ifield’ local community forum will be holding its next open public meeting from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on Monday 4th March 2019 at Elim Church, The Mardens, Ifield, Crawley RH11 0HD.

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‘Talk Ifield’ was first established in 2013 as a neighbourhood forum, run by local people, for local people.

It offers an opportunity for people who live and work in Ifield to meet and share ideas for improving and developing the local community for the benefit of everyone.

Anyone who lives in, who works in, or who has an interest in Ifield is welcome to attend the open forum meetings.

This year they are delighted to announce their guest speaker on 4th March will be Crawley Borough Councillor Martin Stone, who will be giving a presentation and leading a discussion on the subject of ‘Crawley Museum, and a short history of Crawley and Ifield’.

Crawley has a rich and varied history dating back several centuries, and the new Museum has now become a focal point for anyone who is interested in the heritage of our town and its changing character over the years.

Martin has had a leading role in helping to establish the Museum and has himself also undertaken extensive research into the history of Ifield in particular.

Mark Sudan, Chair of the ‘Talk Ifield’ Management Committee, said:

“Very many people attended our last open forum meeting in September, and we enjoyed a most interesting presentation on maintaining our neighbourhood environment from the Borough Council officer responsible for leading that work.

We are now looking forward to our next forum meeting on 4th March, at which Cllr Martin Stone will be bringing us up to date on the new Crawley Museum, and sharing with us his own extensive knowledge and research into the history of Ifield in particular.

This will be a fascinating evening’s discussion, and we urge as many people as can do so, to come along and share the experience as Martin takes us on a unique journey through local history.”

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