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More affordable housing and protecting frontline services are key aims say Crawley Council as their budget is approved

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Crawley Borough Council’s budget for 2021/22 will protect frontline services and invest in more affordable housing say the council.

The budget, which was approved at a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday (24 February), will see the council spend £13.6m on council services – a reduction of £1.1m from last year.

The council’s 2021/22 capital programme includes:

  • £20.5m on housebuilding including Forge Wood and Breezehurst Drive
  • £314,000 on IT improvements
  • £916,000 on disabled facilities grants
  • £89,000 on the Three Bridges Station forecourt improvement scheme.

The council say they have identified additional income, efficiencies and savings of £1.81m, meaning that the council’s element of Council Tax will rise by 2.37 per cent, the equivalent of 9.5p per week for a band D property. This equates to an increase from £208.89 to £213.84 for a band D property.

West Sussex County Council has agreed a rise of 4.99 per cent (£71.82 on a band D property) and the precept for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner will rise by 7.5 per cent (£15 on a band D property).

For every pound paid in Council Tax, West Sussex County Council will receive 78p. Sussex Police and Crawley Borough Council both receive 11p.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“For the last 12 months, all my efforts have been focused on navigating Crawley through the pandemic and tackling the huge financial pressures it has created for the council. With the budget approved, the council can now fully focus on our next challenge: rebuilding our local economy and getting Crawley back to work.”

Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of the Opposition, said:

“This year has been very challenging and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions. Both political groups on the council have worked constructively together and we’ve listened to residents through our extensive consultation, enabling us to pass a budget that keeps the council on a sound financial footing and able to continue providing high quality services for Crawley.”

For more details on Council Tax bandings and ways to pay, visit www.crawley.gov.uk/counciltax

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‘Please come forward with information no matter how small’ Police appeal as E-Fit of attempted rape suspect released

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Police have released an E-fit image of a man sought in connection with the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl in Crawley.

Between 7pm and 7.15pm on Tuesday (March 9), the teenager was walking her dog along the pathway from Overdene Drive towards the tunnel that runs underneath the A23 and follows on to Quantock Close.

She turned around before the end of the tunnel and walked back along the path to Overdene Drive. As she did so, she crossed paths with a man who grabbed her and attempted to rape her.

The victim was able to break free and shout for help, causing the man to flee the scene in the direction of the tunnel. The victim is being supported by specialist officers. 

The man was described as white, in his late teens to late 30s, 5’ 9” to 5’ 10”, with dark eyes, short dark coloured hair and short dark stubble. He spoke with an eastern European accent and was wearing dark clothing.

Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Allana Hughes said:

“We are appealing for anyone who recognises this man, or anyone who witnessed the sexual assault or any suspicious behaviour at this location around the time of the incident, to make contact with us.

“We would particularly like to hear from people who were in Quantock Close, The Dingle or surrounding roads around this time or anyone who may have dashcam, ring doorbell or CCTV footage which might have captured the suspect fleeing the scene.

“We have increased our patrols in the area and have been conducting house-to-house enquiries alongside investigating any potential lines of enquiry.

“Please come forward to us with any information which you think could help our investigation, no matter how small.”

Information can be passed to Sussex Police online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Stockbridge.

Alternatively, people can get in touch anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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