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Did Crawley Council Leader really tell worried business owners ‘we’ll let the court decide’ over rent hikes?

It has become one of the hot topics of the year, the 30% rent increase for businesses on Tilgate Parade. But has an open letter from a councillor revealed more than just a heated debate.

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Take a walk through any part of Crawley where there are shops. How many of them are the same ones that were there just a few years ago?

In-fact if you walk through the town centre then you are almost going on a walk of memory as you pass empty units or one of the too-many-to-count coffee shops.

Parades so far have faired a little better with most retaining their stores but for how much longer?

Rules set out that rents for businesses must be set at a certain percentage of the value of the property, we will gloss over the fact that councils do have options in which they can reduce this as this has been spoken about at length before.

So a 30% rent hike, whilst shocking, is not surprising as prices increase over the years.

Tilgate Parade where rents are to increase by 30%.

But now an open letter by Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera has potentially revealed just how much tension there really is between the business owners and the council.

In the letter (which you can read here) Mr Guidera talks about a discussion held after a recent Full Council meeting where eight Tilgate Parade business owners were ‘confronted’ by the Council Leader.

According to Mr Guidera’s letter, Council Leader Peter Lamb ‘demanded’ to know why the council should ‘subsidise’ profit making businesses.

Now heated words between disgruntled residents, business owners and opposing councillors are nothing new but according to Mr Guidera the parting words from the Council Leader appear to show that tensions are at breaking point.

“We’ll let the court decide” – these are the final words, according to Mr Guidera, that Peter Lamb used to the Crawley business owners as the conversation/debate/argument (use what you will because it is not clear what it was) came to a conclusion.

The whole country is on a political see-saw with every party taking any opportunity it can to score points from the other so letters like this can be seen to be just that, another point scoring opportunity – BUT – ‘if’ what Mr Guidera saying is right then it does beg the question of whether the council is really understanding the true concerns of the very people it represents.

CN24 approached Mr Lamb for comment but at time of publishing had not received a response.

There are rules, regulations, legislation to follow but there are also opportunities open to councils to make a difference and to help those it works hard to convince it wants to help. So why such defiance?

The see-saw has dropped on one side now, let’s see what comes out to make it tip the other way?

Business

One year, two friends and a growing agency. The future of recruitment has arrived in Crawley

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A year ago two friends were chatting, as friends tend to do, about life and work and in particular about whether they should go into business together. That dream scenario most people think about but very few actually decide to undertake.

Only a couple of months after that first conversation, the same two friends were registering a company name, handing their notice in to their bosses and looking ahead to starting the scary journey of company ownership.

That was back in 2018. Now, in January 2020, their company has just completed an exceptionally successful first year of trading and they are beginning the new year with larger offices, new staff and a client roster that is growing exponentially.

This is the world that Daniel James and Tommy Durville have created and it is an ambitious, enthusiastic and highly motivated one that you cannot help but want to be a part of.

Recruitment agencies can have a stigma in the same way that estate agents do. Images of Rolex dangling, Armani wearing youngsters whos only interest is meeting a target that will allow them to impress whoever is next on their radar.

Ok, this is an extreme but be under no illusion the stigma is there, which is why it is not just refreshing to find a new approach to this industry but it is a huge relief.

Recruitment agencies, particularly ones that specialise in specific areas need to have dedicated staff that not only have a list of potential candidates available to them, but who actually understand what these candidates are capable of, not just a quick over view of their CV.

In turn they also need to do something that many companies have complained about for years when it comes to using an agency, they need to listen to their clients needs.

This is where Daniel and Tommy have done something that really is shaking the industry by its Hugo Boss lapels.

Onero is these two ambitious friends agency that doesn’t just ‘try’ to be different, it’s whole aim is to ‘always’ be.

Named after the latin word that signifies ownership and means to ‘take away a burden’, Onero has set itself apart from other agencies by doing something very simple yet exceptionally effective. They dedicate time.

To Onero it is not about sending out mass quantities of CV’s to a client looking to fullfil a particular role. It is about sending only a few, but knowing that every single one is a potential new employee.

How is this done? With time. With research. With listening. With real passion to fulfill the needs of a client who knows exactly what they are looking for and is desperate to find the right person.

Remember, recruitment agencies are not cheap. But there is a reason a company will use one and not try themselves.

The two guys proudly recant a recent case where a client asked them to find someone for a particular role. The company had already found six candidates themselves so Onero was under pressure.

Daniel and Tommy decided to send just one person up against the other six.

Who got the role? Of course, Onero’s!

Daniel explains:

“We are not going to work by stats and figures. I mean, lots of companies will send CV after CV hoping that by the sheer numbers one will be right. What’s the point in that? It’s wasting everyones time. We research, we listen and understand what is needed and by doing all that we find the right people so that the only problem our clients will have is a choice of who to employ.”

It is this transparancy that has seen the first year of Onero be a success and allow them to move into larger officers in Manor Royal, Crawley, as well as take on new staff to maintain their growing roster.

The two owners, who once dreamed of being a pilot and a dentist, have a new vision. Specialising within the engineering and technological sectors these friends, now colleagues, have started Onero with an ambition and ethic that is second to none and one that is outshining others and for good reason.

This is how agencies should be and after the success of year one, it is with baited breath that we all watch what year two will bring.

You can find out more about Onero at their website by clicking here or going to www.onero.co.uk

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