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Crawley MP welcomes £1.3 Billion increase in local council funding

Henry Smith MP has welcomed the news that councils will receive a real terms increase in funding for vital local services.

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Henry Smith MP has welcomed the news that councils will receive a real terms increase in funding for vital local services. The provisional Local Government Finance Settlement gives councils a real terms increase in core spending power for 2019-20 – up from £45.1 billion to £46.4 billion. This brings the level of local government funding to more than £200 billion in the five years to 2020.

The £1.3 billion funding boost allows councils like West Sussex County Council to deliver the services residents need while protecting them from unfair hikes in their council tax bills.

This increase follows significant Government investment in local services announced at last year’s Budget. The Government is giving councils £650 million for social care next year – building on the £240 million announced to relieve winter pressures on the NHS, £420 million to tackle potholes and £84 million more for children’s social care.

The Government is supporting opportunity for communities by increasing business rates retention to 75 per cent from 2020. This gives West Sussex County Council even more incentive to work towards local economic growth so more of the revenue raised locally is kept locally, to be spent on services for hard-working people.

Henry said;

“I’m delighted the Government is delivering a settlement which paves the way for a fairer, more self-sufficient and resilient future for local government and a brighter future for the people and places they serve.

“This settlement delivers a real terms increase in spending for local authorities in 2019 to 2020 and gives them more control over the money they raise too, while protecting residents against excessive council tax rises.

“I’ve been working alongside other county MPs, as well as the leadership of West Sussex County Council, to ensure greater retention of business rates (rather than this local corporate tax going centrally to HM Treasury as it does now); a cause I’ve raised with the Secretary of State for Local Government and in the House of Commons.

“Last month’s settlement confirmed our work had paid off, with West Sussex being included in the Government’s pilot programme of 75 per cent business rates retention in 2019-20. “The existing business rates retention scheme taking place around the country is already yielding strong results, with councils estimating that in 2018-19 they will keep around £2.4 billion in business rates growth.”

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Leave your cars at home on June 20th urges Crawley Council

Crawley Borough Council is urging residents to support Clean Air Day and leave their cars at home on 20 June.

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Clean Air Day is an annual event that aims to encourage people across the country to choose a sustainable mode of travel and help reduce air pollution.

This year, the council is supporting the Sustainable Transport eVent on 19 June, to help local businesses discover opportunities to play their part in making Crawley air cleaner. The event will show companies how staff can take up different commuting options to reduce the number of cars on the road with only one person. There will also be showcases for electric vehicles and other sustainable working practices which can all help to reduce air pollution.

Air quality will also feature at the next annual Junior Citizen event, with the aim of supporting the next generation to walk, cycle, scoot and take public transport to help reduce pollution and keep fit and healthy.

For local residents, there are plenty of ways to reduce air pollution, both inside your home and outside:

  • Walk, cycle, scoot or run! In a car, you’re exposed to 10 times more pollution than as a pedestrian. This is because car exhaust fumes from the car in front gets sucked into the car, with air filters having little effect, meaning you breathe in lots more pollution
  • Air pollution is more concentrated around busier roads. Walking through parks or quieter pedestrianised areas can significantly reduce the amount of pollution you are exposed to and make a nicer journey
  • Regularly service your boiler; this will ensure fuel is burnt cleanly and prevent carbon dioxide from building up
  • Choose low-or no-chemical cleaning, DIY and personal care products, fragrance free cleaning products, roll on deodorants and “low VOC” paint products alternatives

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:

“Air pollution is a big health and environmental issue, but there are things that we can all do to make ourselves and others safer and healthier. Whether you leave the car at home once or twice a week, switch to an electric vehicle or public transport or make changes to the products you use, it all makes a difference.

“It’s important that we tackle the issue of air pollution together on Clean Air Day, so we can breathe cleaner air in the future.”

The Sustainable Transport eVent on 19 June is part of the Sussex ECO Grant Scheme which also offers financial assistance for businesses working towards energy saving schemes.

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