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‘Immoral & Jobsworths’ says Tilgate business owner as Crawley Council refuse to move on rent increase

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Darren Kirkham from Tilgate Bakery.

Businesses on Tilgate Parade who were warned of a rent increase of 30% by Crawley Borough Council have been told there is no option but to pay the increase.

Following the news last week that the council were going to look into the huge increase that some of the smaller businesses said they would not be able to reach, it now appears that following an internal review no change is to happen.

Some of the businesses on the parade have been receiving calls already from council staff who have said that if businesses do not comply then legal action could be forthcoming.

Darren Kirkham from Tiglate Bakery said:

“This is immoral and jobsworths! This is bigger than here and now. This is sustainabilty for small buisnmess and i am just frustrated that the council is being short-sighted in their policy and not willing to review it as it will change the face of parades across the town.

It’s going to affect every parade in 2 and 5 years, everyones going to get hit and ultimately it’s gojng to be the smaller businesses that are goin to go under first.”

In response to the news Crawley Borough Council Leader Peter Lamb said:

“Crawley Borough Council faces a £1.3m budget deficit over the next several years due to government cuts. The choice for residents is, would they rather the council subsidises the rents of profit making businesses or would they would prefer to see services cut and council tax go up?”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“I think it is extremely regrettable that the Crawley Council leadership are unwilling to negotiate fairer rents for smaller shop owners in Tilgate parade. My fear is that this will lead to firms closing and the community shops provided by those in the parade could be lost.

What’s happening now in Tilgate will no doubt be visited upon the other neighbourhood parades across Crawley which I think goes against one of the finest new town principles.”

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Give Crawley back its police, demands towns council leader

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb has called for the Prime Minister to return funding to Crawley’s police after he says new figures show cuts to police budgets are much higher than the new funding recently announced.

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In a press statement Cllr Lamb says that Sussex Police have lost 32.3% of their funding from central government, leaving local policing in a weakened state.

Speaking about the state of policing in Crawley, Cllr Lamb said:

“Following the loss of frontline officers, crime and antisocial behaviour are now the top issues residents raise with me on the doorstep. They are tired of seeing it in our town centre and across Crawley’s neighbourhoods. Only the police have the power to end the decline and only the Government has the funding to give us the officers we need.

“We deserve more from our Prime Minister than empty promises, it’s time he learnt to keep his word and gave Crawley back its police.”

Crawley Labour adds that this news comes on the back of recent revelations that despite 98% of police officers lost from the service in recent years having been cut from the frontline, around 7,000 police recruits will never see frontline duty.

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