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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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Crawley College to reopen following incident

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Crawley College will be beginning a phased reopening to students from tomorrow, Thursday 29 April.

The phased reopening will take place between tomorrow and Tuesday 4 May with full details by courses provided on the college website www.crawley.ac.uk . Students should check details before returning to campus.

The campus has remained closed for the past two days following police investigations into the incident that took place at the college on Monday (26 April).

Vicki Illingworth, Principal of Crawley College, said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming our students and staff back to the college.

“We’d like to reassure everyone, the college is safe and they will be well supported in their return to the campus.

“Sussex Police have confirmed that this is being treated as an isolated incident which is not terror related and nobody else is being sought in connection with the incident.  The individual concerned is in police custody and has been charged.”

“We are now focussed on ensuring we can bring students and staff safely back on site. We’re proud of the service we provide to our students to give them opportunities in education and training.

“I can reassure everyone that this was a one-off incident and we have strategies in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, as well as giving the students the support they need to come back and join us to complete their studies successfully.”

Vicki also echoed her earlier comments, paying tribute to the staff who supported students who were on site during the events of Monday afternoon.

She added:

“I continue to remain full of admiration of our team. They pulled together on Monday and implemented all of the protocols we have in place to keep students safe.

“They’ve continued to work together to support each other and their students over the past couple of days – and they will continue to do so when students return to campus.

“We are also particularly proud of the two members of staff who acted so bravely and swiftly to apprehend the individual before the police arrived. They acted selflessly to protect their students and the college community. They have asked for privacy during this time.

“It was a very intense time for everyone involved.

“The students who were kept inside the college and who were part of the emergency evacuation were supported throughout by our staff and counselling services have been available to them this week. These services will continue to be in place for them to access.

“We’ve continued to be in touch with our students through our support services to check that they are ok and we will resume face-to-face counselling as soon as we can.”

Work is taking place at the college campus to repair some damage which was sustained during the evacuation and subsequent investigations, with teams working hard to ensure the campus is ready for reopening.

The college would like to thank students, staff, the Police and Emergency Services and the wider community for their ongoing support and understanding.

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