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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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Sussex Police commissioner visits Crawley as first phase of additional officers begins

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne met with Henry Smith to discuss the latest situation with the additional police recruits.

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Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers is now well under way and the police commissioner visited the town to discuss the latest developments as 129 new officers are soon to begin their duties across the county.

With an extra 379 expected overall, the first phase of the operation to increase numbers is now in full swing.

Speaking to Crawley News 24 about the visit Henry Smith said:

“Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the Government – indeed this was an issue I raised in the House of Commons with the Prime Minister on his first full day in office.

Some want to play politics with our police with inaccurate claims that Crawley has seen a reduction in officer numbers over recent years. However, figures show that Crawley officer numbers have not fallen over the last five years. “

“The new officers who will now be recruited are a real boost to our law enforcement capacity across the town, and will, I am sure, provide greater public reassurance.”

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