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Live or work in Ifield? Make sure you attend ‘Talk Ifield” Community Forum

Over one year after its successful re-launch in autumn 2017, the ‘Talk Ifield’ local community forum will be holding its next open public meeting from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on Monday 4th March 2019 at Elim Church, The Mardens, Ifield, Crawley RH11 0HD.

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‘Talk Ifield’ was first established in 2013 as a neighbourhood forum, run by local people, for local people.

It offers an opportunity for people who live and work in Ifield to meet and share ideas for improving and developing the local community for the benefit of everyone.

Anyone who lives in, who works in, or who has an interest in Ifield is welcome to attend the open forum meetings.

This year they are delighted to announce their guest speaker on 4th March will be Crawley Borough Councillor Martin Stone, who will be giving a presentation and leading a discussion on the subject of ‘Crawley Museum, and a short history of Crawley and Ifield’.

Crawley has a rich and varied history dating back several centuries, and the new Museum has now become a focal point for anyone who is interested in the heritage of our town and its changing character over the years.

Martin has had a leading role in helping to establish the Museum and has himself also undertaken extensive research into the history of Ifield in particular.

Mark Sudan, Chair of the ‘Talk Ifield’ Management Committee, said:

“Very many people attended our last open forum meeting in September, and we enjoyed a most interesting presentation on maintaining our neighbourhood environment from the Borough Council officer responsible for leading that work.

We are now looking forward to our next forum meeting on 4th March, at which Cllr Martin Stone will be bringing us up to date on the new Crawley Museum, and sharing with us his own extensive knowledge and research into the history of Ifield in particular.

This will be a fascinating evening’s discussion, and we urge as many people as can do so, to come along and share the experience as Martin takes us on a unique journey through local history.”

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Crawley library in danger of losing opening hours as County Council choose money saving over services

Another public consultation and this time it is about reducing opening hours for the library.

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Crawley library users are being asked to share their thoughts on proposed budget savings which would see a reduction in opening hours at Crawley Library.

The consultation running from 9 October to 13 November 2019 is, according to the council, aimed to help inform the decision due to be taken by West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, Jacquie Russell, in November. 

The suggested savings include for Crawley to:

Reduce the evening opening hours in the library by one hour (from 7pm to 6pm) from April 2020.

This change, along with the same reduction in hours at three other Sussex libraries along with the ceasing of the mobile library service would apparently result in a total year on year saving of £175,000.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“Since becoming cabinet member, I have often been asked about what will happen to libraries across the county. As I have said before, we need to look at doing things in a more affordable way, but ultimately my aim is to preserve the core of the library service.

“With the suggested savings being proposed, we hope that the other services we have on offer at libraries across West Sussex will diminish any negative impact to users. 

“However, I still want to hear the thoughts of our library users by way of this consultation, especially those who are specifically affected by the proposed budget savings, as this will help to shape and inform my decision in November.”

But Crawley residents will be all too wary of consultations and how they can be just lip service and completely ignored as recently happened with the consulation over the Post Office move into County Mall.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“When West Sussex County Council Leader over a decade ago, I was pleased to procure and open the new Crawley Library, which ever since has been an important community resource. I would encourage all who care about our library to engage with the Council’s consultation and call for evening opening hours not to be reduced.”

You have until 13 November 2019 to have your say.

To find out more and fill in the consultation, visit haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries/libraryoffer/

CN24 approached Jacquie Russell for a guarantee that if the results of the consultation came back that there was a majority against the reduction in hours that she would keep the library open till 7. A response has not yet been received.

But West Sussex County Council did respond saying:

“This is a live consultation and we encourage residents to have their say before the deadline of 13 November. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”

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