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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.”

Business

Crawley jobs at risk as DW Sports goes into administration

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Jobs at DW Sports in Crawley town centre are at risk along with 1,700 hundred jobs across the country as the company announced it is to wind down the business.

The sports website has also been closed with immediate effect.

According to reports closing down sales are due to begin at the remaining stores as the business comes to an end.

Fitness First, a sister company of DW is to continue to operate as a separate company and its 43 clubs are not to be affected by the news.

Chief executive Martin Long said:

“As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.

“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”

Crawley Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“This is terrible news for the staff of DW Sports; I sympathise with them and hope that they are able to secure other employment quickly. Our Employ Crawley service is currently providing free one-to-one employability and training support to jobseekers by phone, email and text.”

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