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Crawley has a new Mayor!

Carlos Castro has been appointed as the Mayor of Crawley.

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The new Mayor of Crawley is Councillor Carlos Castro.

Councillor Castro was elected at the Annual Crawley Borough Council meeting on Friday May 18.
Carlos Castro was elected to represent Tilgate ward in 2016. He was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1975 and moved to the UK in 2009, first to Cardiff and then to Crawley in 2013.

He worked as a manager for Superdrug in Wales and in Horsham until 2015, before leaving to work for Santander in Queens Square.

Carlos, who lives in Tilgate, enjoys taking walks with his wife, listening to all sorts of music and playing with his children and granddaughter.

Mayor Castro with his Autn and Uncle from London.

Carlos sat on the Tilgate Community Forum until being elected as a councillor. He represents the Black Tie Portuguese Group, which aims to promote diversity, inclusion and Portuguese culture in Crawley.

The Mayor’s charity for 2018/19 is Crawley Forget-Me-Not Club, which supports carers of someone with dementia.

Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Portal Castro, said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to have been nominated and made it this far. Never did I think I could make my family this proud when I decided to move to the UK.

“I feel this is a huge responsibility but also a wonderful opportunity to be able to represent a town that is diverse and rich in culture.”

Councillor Tahira Rana was elected Deputy Mayor at the Annual Council meeting.

For more details on the Forget-Me-Not Club visit www.forgetmenotclub.org

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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