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Crawley traders, what do you think of new proposal to charge over 5p a day per cover outside your business on public paths?

Traders are being asked by West Sussex County Council what they think of new proposals for the licensing of tables and chairs on the pavement outside their businesses.

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Following feedback on the current flat fee of £520, a consultation on sliding-scale proposals, with charges dependent on the number of covers, went live today.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“We have listened to people’s comments about the current flat fee. Most suggested that a sliding-scale approach would be preferable so smaller establishments would pay less compared to businesses which want to place a larger number of covers on the pavement.

“We now propose a one-off, £150 initial application fee. Then the proposed charge would be £20 per cover (a cover is usually a single chair) per annum, which equates to just over 5p per day, per cover.

We would really appreciate traders taking the time and trouble to visit our online consultation page www.westsussex.gov.uk/tablesandchairs2020 and let us know what they think of the proposals.”

The sliding scale encourages businesses with a larger number of covers to carefully consider how many covers they are likely to fill on a regular basis – or face paying a premium for empty chairs, which can obscure nearby smaller premises, obstruct the highway and provide an unnecessary obstacle for the visually impaired.

The consultation runs until 24 February 2020.

Business

Nervous time for Crawley & Gatwick Pret A Manger shops as chain announces closure of 30 shops and at least 1,000 job losses

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Pret A Manger is to close 30 of its shops as it struggles to cope with the problems caused by COVID-19.

According to the food chain they had faced ‘significant operating losses’ during lockdown.

The closure puts around 1,000 jobs at risk and the chain has said it will make these closures before the end of this year whilst also reducing staff in its other locations.

Crawley has one Pret A Manager within The Martletts with several others located within Gatwick Airport itself.

It is not yet clear which shops will close but with jobs cuts to come across its shops it will be a very nervous time for Crawley’s shop staff to see if they are affected in any way.

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