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Free training event in West Sussex to help protect local businesses from online fraud

Business owners will be able to attend an informal session over a free breakfast and have a chance to hear the latest cyber security tips and advice straight from the experts.

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The average cost of fraud to a UK business is now nearly £35,000 so it is vital business owners are up to speed with the latest online safety measures.

West Sussex County Council has today announced it has teamed up with police to host a free Stay Safe training session for anyone who owns or runs a business in West Sussex, regardless of its size or turnover.

More news: Sussex Police launch Autumn campaign targeting burglary

For just an hour of their time business owners will be able to attend an informal session over a free breakfast and have a chance to hear the latest cyber security tips from experts at South East Regional Organised Crime Unit along with advice from the Community Safety Team at West Sussex County Council.

This free training session takes place at County Hall, Chichester on 5 November 2018 from 6.45am to 8am. Breakfast rolls and refreshments will be provided and parking is free.

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“Police figures show that nearly half of UK firms identified a breach of data in the last 12 months, the majority as a result of phishing emails to staff. Becoming a victim of online fraud can be devastating for any business so it’s vital those in charge know how to spot the threats that exist so they can ready staff to protect against them.”

Places at the event are on a first come first serve basis and places need to be booked in advance.

Tickets can be reserved here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stay-safe-business-breakfast-event-tickets-50634991623

Or for more information, email: CommunitySafety.Wellbeing@westsussex.gov.uk

West Sussex County Council and partners are also hosting various Stay Safe sessions for West Sussex residents or  professional groups on how to protect children and vulnerable adults when they go online. For full details and to book a place visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/staysafe

Business

More business rates to be kept local and pay for gigabit broadband

A successful bid to keep more business rates in West Sussex, supported by Crawley Borough Council, will enable residents and businesses to access gigabit broadband.

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The bid, to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to keep 75 per cent of business rates collected in West Sussex – instead of the current 50 per cent – was one of 15 successful applications out of 35 nationwide. This means that there will be an additional £19.1m retained in the county annually from 2019/20. However, this will be spent on improving digital infrastructure as we are unable to use it to help with Crawley Borough Council’s financial challenges.

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

“This is good news for the digital infrastructure of the county and, once complete, the ‘spine’ will enable residents and businesses to connect to a full fibre network.

“Crawley has the biggest economy in the county and must benefit from this successful bid. However, this money is not extra for individual local authorities and will have very little impact on our finances, which are getting more challenging every year. Much is made of announcements like this but it will have no impact whatsoever on council finance or the services we provide.”

A digital ‘spine’ will be created alongside railway lines, to avoid digging up roads. A full fibre network will be laid from which residents and businesses can access gigabit broadband.

The spine will accelerate investment in and deployment of further new digital infrastructure by reducing barriers to investment in full fibre access networks and new wireless technologies.

The network will run along the Arun Valley railway line, from Ford to Three Bridges, the Brighton Mainline from Three Bridges to Brighton, and a coastal route from Brighton to Ford.

Crawley is the economic powerhouse of West Sussex. The town occupies just two per cent of the land but collects around 35 per cent of the county’s business rates. The town generates more than £120m in business rates each year but keeps only £6m; 10 per cent goes to West Sussex County Council and the rest currently goes to central government for redistribution.

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