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Outrage as West Sussex cuts housing support by £4 million

The budget has been finalised and now the fallout has started as West Sussex County Council race round to calm the fears as the full impact of the cuts is examined.

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It has been the subject of heated debate both in and out of council meetings across Sussex.

Only two months ago political leaders from all sides of the spectrum expressed concerns over the proposed cuts by West Sussex County Council.

Now those cuts have been realised and the heated debate from within the council chambers is overflowing onto the streets.

Members of the West Sussex Council Cabinet have approved a number of measures to deliver what they call a ‘balanced budget’ for 2019/2020.

They say:

“Like many local authorities across the country, the council faces unprecedented financial pressures. In the last eight years it has saved almost £200m and in the same period, government funding has been cut by £145m.

The council still faces a huge financial challenge going forward. The county has an aging population and people are living longer with more complex health conditions. At the same time, the complexity and vulnerability of the children the council supports continues to increase. As a result, the authority faces an increasing demand for children’s and adults’ social care services and special educational needs support – services which the county council alone is responsible for providing.”

Whilst there are cuts across many areas it is the housing related support that has attracted the most attention.

West Sussex says:

“The council continues to invest £4.6m in 2019/20 in housing related support, making savings of £1.7m, with a proposed further reduction of £2.3m in 2020/21.”

It was the fear that many organisations, residents and councillors have been fighting against but now it seems that those fears have been realised.

The news came out on the same day that students from a Crawley school did a sleep-out overnight to raise money for the homeless charity Open House.

But with news of the cuts comes the backlash from political heavyweights such as Crawley’s own leader of the council Peter Lamb who tweeted:

But not all political leaders responded in the same way.

Crawley MP Henry Smith tweeted that Crawley Borough Council were granted money to tackle homelessness and they should address this themselves rather than complain:

https://twitter.com/HenrySmithUK/status/1075307932517048321

Whilst it is clear there will be fallout whenever there are budget cuts it seems that the debate will rage on about the issue but what is not clear is how councils across Sussex including Crawley will respond formally.

A lot of people will be watching anxiously.

Lifestyle

Council offers four new apprenticeships

Kick-start your career and make a positive difference to our community, is the message coming from Crawley Borough Council

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The council has four exciting roles available:

  • Worth Park Horticultural Apprentice
  • Communications Apprentice
  • Apprentice Building Maintenance Surveyor
  • Apprentice Specialist Fitter (Vehicle, Plant and Equipment).

Our apprenticeship opportunities aim to help talented people take their first steps in specialist areas while gaining local government experience.

If you’re passionate about helping others and making a difference to Crawley’s residents and the local environment, an apprenticeship with the council could be perfect for you!

The full-time 18-month Horticultural Apprentice role is a unique opportunity based at Worth Park; it’ll combine your passion for sustainable horticulture, hands-on outdoor tasks and a thirst for learning new things.

If you enjoy writing and have a keen interest in the media, Communications Apprentice might be the role for you! During the 18-month programme you’ll write press releases, schedule social media posts, work with local and regional press and so much more.

The Building Maintenance Surveyor vacancy is a two-year apprenticeship with Crawley Homes. You’ll work alongside experienced surveyors and get hands-on experience as a valued member of the Responsive Repairs and Planned Maintenance Teams.

Learn how to service and repair a wide range of vehicles, plant machinery and mechanical equipment with the Specialist Fitter apprenticeship. For three years, you’ll be part of our experienced Vehicle Workshop Team based in County Oak.

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “As a council, we’re committed to offering these opportunities to young people and those looking to start a new career.

“With our apprenticeships, you can be earning a competitive salary while gaining invaluable work experience and a transferable qualification – there are no drawbacks!”

All vacancies close on Sunday 21 July and offer a starting salary of £12,042.

Find out more about our apprenticeships and register for vacancy alerts at crawley.gov.uk/apprenticeships

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