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Crawley Question Time is back!

Crawley Question Time is back for another year, giving residents an opportunity to ask questions about topics important to them.

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The annual event takes place from 7-9pm on Thursday 14 March in the Civic Hall in the town centre.

Crawley Question Time takes the form of an independently-chaired general debate and discussion. There are no set topics so attendees can raise any areas or concerns for discussion, such as community safety, Brexit, health, Gatwick Airport, parking, the economy and so much more!

Confirmed panellists include Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council; Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of the Opposition; Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development; Rosie Ross, Chief Inspector of Crawley Police; and Laiba Baig, Crawley Young Persons Council. More panellists will be added to the panel.

The event is open to everyone; the public, business leaders and partner organisations. The views and comments expressed will help the council and others to plan work on improving services and the town in general.

Councillor Peter Lamb said:

“As a council, Crawley believes that it is important we give residents the chance to hold decision-makers to account. Crawley Question Time is a great chance to ask questions about our town and to raise the issues which matter to you in front of local decision-makers, such as myself.

“These evenings are always full of lively debate, so please sign up now and come along to let us know what you’re thinking!”

To register to attend the debate visit https://crawleyquestiontime2019.eventbrite.co.uk/

Lifestyle

Council dispels the myths around adoption

As West Sussex County Council celebrates National Adoption Week – 14 – 20 October, they have released information to dispel a lot of myths around who can and cannot adopt.

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People from all walks of life are eligible to adopt children regardless of age, marital status, sexuality or disability. The message comes from West Sussex County Council during National Adoption Week (14-20 October) that celebrates adoptive families from across the country.

Wendy Wood, Group Manager of West Sussex County Council Adoption Service said:

“Some people are cautious about enquiring about adoption because they think they wouldn’t be accepted either because of their age, if they’re single, gay or have a disability. This simply isn’t the case and we want to reassure prospective adopters that these factors aren’t a barrier to adoption.

“There’s no age limit to adopting, in fact the average age of an adoptive parent in West Sussex is 43. We also have many adopters who are single or LGBTQ. Our most important priority is to find loving parents for children that need adopting.”

Over the past year more than 50 children have been adopted through West Sussex County Council.

Paul Marshall, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

“National Adoption Week gives us an opportunity to thank all the wonderful parents who have adopted children unable to live with their birth families.

“Adopting a child can be challenging but also hugely rewarding. It takes a special kind of person to adopt, someone with patience, empathy and lots of love to help these children thrive.

“Every child deserves a safe, loving family and our priority is to keep any disruption to a child’s life to a minimum.”

To be eligible to adopt, individuals must be aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit) and can be:

• Single, married or unmarried
• From any ethnic or religious background
• Heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
• A homeowner or living in rented accommodation
• Employed or on benefits
• Those who have children or who have none
• People thinking of adopting for a second time

West Sussex County Council offers in-depth support for anyone going through the adoption process, including friends and family of adopters.

“Knowing you can talk to someone about your queries and concerns as an adoptive parent is of vital importance to adoptive families.” continued Wendy.

“Our Adoption Support Service is available to provide advice and guidance to adopters and their families as well as adopted people and birth families. We provide therapeutic parenting workshops and playgroups to adopters and their families, alongside support groups, social work and therapeutic support to families at a later stage.” 

Anyone interested in finding out about adoption should visit the West Sussex County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/adoption

Information sessions are also held monthly, the next event takes place in Worthing on Wednesday 6 November from 5pm -7pm. To book a place call 0330 222 7777 or email adoption.team@westsussex.gov.uk

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