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Crawley Town Hall reopens but make sure you book an appointment

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Crawley Borough Council is offering a limited, appointment-only service at the Town Hall from Wednesday (22 July).

The Town Hall, on The Boulevard, has been closed since 24 March following government guidance.

It will reopen for residents to pay in cash if they’re unable to pay via any other channels, drop-off or collect an item or to use a self-service terminal. Where possible, the council ask that people please scan documents and send them to the council electronically.

Appointments to access other services aren’t currently available but this is to be reviewed regularly.

Several changes have been made to the ground floor of the building and how the council operates to ensure peoples safety and the safety of staff. These include:

·       You must have an appointment to enter the Town Hall. Please arrive on time; if you arrive early you will have to wait outside the building

·       You will have to sanitise your hands on entering and exiting the building

·       Council officers will sanitise surfaces after every visitor

·       A one-way system will be in place to ensure social distancing

·       Only one payment kiosk will be open and there will be no cashiers’ service. Cash payments will have to be made at the kiosk. Cheque, debit and credit card payments will not be accepted; debit card and credit card payments can be made online at crawley.gov.uk/payments, over the phone by calling our automated payments line on 01293 438312 or at your bank

·       The only public entrance to the building will be the front doors on The Boulevard; there will be no access from the multi-storey car park

·       The front doors will be closed and manually opened by a Customer Service Advisor to people with booked appointments.

To book an appointment, please call 01293 438000 or email comments@crawley.gov.uk Council officers will try to help you with your enquiry or advise of other ways to access our services in the first instance.

When booking, you will be asked for your full name, address and contact information for track and trace purposes. This information will be kept for a minimum of 21 days before being destroyed. You will also be asked if you have any accessibility needs. If you’re able to, please wear a face covering.

If you are dropping off or collecting an item, or making a payment, you will be given a 15-minute appointment. Self-service appointments will be an hour long.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“Almost everything anyone ever needs to contact the council for can now be done online or over the phone; we would ask that people only come in if they have absolutely no alternative other than to make the trip. Pandemics do not spread themselves, only people spread pandemics.”

A wide range of council services, including paying bills and reporting a problem, can be accessed online through smartphones, tablets and computers.

Visit the council’s website at www.crawley.gov.uk for information and use myCrawley to access real-time information on your rubbish, recycling and garden waste collections, Council Tax account and much more.

Sign up at my.crawley.gov.uk

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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