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Local residents asked to help save original pub in Crawley Down

The Save the Pub Team in Crawley Down are asking local residents for support as the application to convert the plot to a smaller pub and 8 flats is being considered by MSDC.

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L-R, Tim Burberry, Mark Dixon, Mike Barter, Peter Mills, Hannah Billings, John Sullivan

The Royal Oak Pub in Crawley Down (on the Worth way) has been closed since Feb 2015 leaving the 6000 resident community without a pub.

To residents it also removed a stop for walkers and cyclists where they could have for a drink, lunch or a rest while on the Worth Way.

It has been at the very heart of the village from the very beginning and a much loved landmark in the village.

When it was open it used to be the focal point for social events, celebrations, street parties and Christmas festivities. With its history going back to the arrival of the Railway and the start of the growth of the community in Crawley Down.

To many it is probably the most important heritage building in the village.

But a recent application for planning will see the original pub reduce in size and the remaining land around it turned into flats.

Proposed front
Proposed side

The team are insisting that MSDC demand a viability study for the new pub and say:

“It is not possible to say whether the pub will work with a smaller footprint, no beer garden, no parking and surrounded by 8 flats whose residents may not appreciate live bands, quizzes and beer festivals, all of which help make a pub viable”

They are asking local residents to help them with support against the application.

More information can be found on their website here or on their facebook page here.

Community

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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