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Free on-street parking for social care and NHS workers

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Social care and NHS workers can now park free-of-charge in West Sussex County Council on-street spaces during the coronavirus outbreak.

It follows a central Government announcement that local councils in England should provide free parking in on-street parking bays and council-owned car parks for both groups of key workers.

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

“Social care and NHS workers are doing a vital job, supporting the most vulnerable in our community during the coronavirus outbreak. It is only right to take away the worry of time restriction and cost as these two groups of key workers try to park safely, as close to their workplace as possible.”

Social care and NHS workers will be encouraged to display supporting evidence in their windscreens, such as photocopies of their work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence from their employer. 

Local councils are also being encouraged to waive any fines incurred by health and social care staff while carrying out their duties in recent days. The staff are encouraged to appeal any fines, with supporting evidence of their work.

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Crawley Borough Council Leader answers residents concerns over COVID-19

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Crawley Borough Council Leader Peter Lamb has taken part in an online Q&A with residents across the town.

In a question and answer session on twitter Mr Lamb answered as many questions and concerns from residents. Here are some of those answered:

Q: When will the council announce it is not collecting its percentage share of council tax for facilities no longer available?

A: Covid-19 is pushing our costs up. Non-essential services which have shut down tend to be ones which generate revenue, while most staff are being moved to focus on emergency response. If you’re struggling with council tax help is available: link is here.

Q: When are you going to completely close Tilgate Park? As a resident of Worcester Road, I have witnessed hundreds of idiots walking side by side (family members or not), not obeying 2 metres. Also there now seems to be an increase in idiots now exercising.

A: Crawley’s parks don’t have fences or gates and in several cases have roads and paths running through them. There isn’t any way of physically closing the parks. However, we’re using Community Wardens to disperse crowds where reported.


Q: What is being done to help the people who have been sleeping rough in the town centre?

A: We’re working with Crawley Open House. Overflow shelter accommodation has been set up and where necessary we will requisition hotel rooms. There’s a place for anyone on our streets right now. In the past three days we’ve placed an extra 52 people into temporary accommodation.

Q: Will the council ban evictions for properties for the duration of the crisis?

A: Evictions from council properties have been banned. Where arrears have been accrued due to financial hardship brought about by the crisis we will work with tenants to find a solution.

Q: What can the council do to enable and encourage residents to take exercise while respecting social distancing? Closing parks seems like a disastrous idea.

A: Our Wardens are breaking up crowds where reported, but they can’t be everywhere. We need personal responsibility. 1 person ignoring rules is likely to infect 3 others, 10 iterations later that’s 59,000 people or 1,180 deaths they have caused. Stay at home – save lives.


Q: Is there any update on the business grants being offered by government to assist SMEs?

A: Yes, several different types of financial support are available, for more information go to: www.crawley.gov.uk/pw/Community_and_Neighbourhoods/ProtectingCrawley/Coronavirus/Businessesandemployers/index.htm

Q: Any update on the support network you mentioned last week? Have you had many volunteers?

A: We’ve had quite a few volunteers (although we could always do with more) and are working on identifying all those at risk. We’re now mostly waiting on getting the food supply chain from Government.

Q: Why do Kier Group still have construction workers on the new Town Hall site? The Government have asked for all non critical work to cease. This is not critical work. As the client, why won’t Crawley Council force their contractors to stand down?

A: We’re working on it at the moment. I’m in favour of them shutting down work and we told them to ditch our timetable last week, but under the contract it’s not our decision.

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