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Over 1300 people sign petition calling for Crawley Council to stop 30% rent hike

The petition was presented to the towns MP, Tilgate councillor and also a candidate for the upcoming by-election.

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It was only a couple of weeks ago that Crawley Council announced publically that they would not move on the 30% rent hike for businesses on Tilgate Parade.

Despite pleas from business owners the council took the decision to uphold their sizeable rent increase.

In a sign of solidarity over 1300 people signed a petition to call for the rent hike to be changed. It was handed over to Henry Smith MP, Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera and Conservative candidate in the upcoming by-election, Maureen Mwagale by some of Tilgate Parade’s small business owners and staff on Friday 20th of September.

In a press release from the local conservatives they said:

“After months of desperate negotiation by Tilgate Parade business owners, the Labour administration has chosen to ignore their pleas and plough on with a huge rent increase which threatens the immediate future of several of the shops and small businesses, and leaves others questioning whether to try and carry on anymore. Tilgate Parade’s businesses recently started a petition which they placed in their shops for customers to sign. This has gained huge support in Tilgate with well over 1300 signatures so far, going up daily.”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“Tilgate Parade’s small businesses are almost all staffed by the people who own them. When you go into these shops you are often talking to the person who owns it and they are not joking when they say they cannot afford what they are being asked to pay.

Some are faced with the option to either give up now or continue at a loss and hope for a miracle. Some of these businesses have been on the parade for 20, 30, even 40+ years and I’ve been told about some of their elderly customers who are distraught at the idea they may be gone soon. What’s really upsetting people is it’s the elected Labour leaders of this town who are quite literally putting their parade out of business.

I was disgusted to read Cllr Peter Lamb repeatedly talking about “subsidising” profit-making businesses. He should have a look at some of their books. Some are barely breaking even. This will finish some of them. Nobody is subsidising anything, the council is asking for more rent than is commercially viable for some parade shops and when Crawley was built the parades were central to the neighborhood plans. The purpose of each parade was to serve the local community, not be a cash machine for the council.”

Conservative Tilgate election candidate, Maureen Mwagale said:

“I’ve knocked on many doors and spoken to so many people, and especially for the elderly these shops are a lifeline. They are the ones who cannot make daily journeys into the town centre and the parade is a big part of their daily social life. If I am elected I will be pushing hard for an urgent review of how we negotiate neighbourhood parade rents going forwards, starting with Tilgate which is of course my priority!”

There are still around ten Tilgate Parade businesses still currently battling the council for a change in the rent hike.

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Local petition to remove COVID pop-up cycle lanes gains over 1500 signatures in just 12 hours

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A Crawley petition launched by a local resident to try to get the COVID pop-up cycle lanes removed has gained over 1500 signatures overnight.

The cycle lanes have already been described as ‘a complete waste of time’

A video published by CN24 two weeks ago shows the extent of the problems drivers are experiencing with the cycle lanes:

With the petition reaching so many signatures so quickly it is expected that it will reach the required 3,000 signatures required for it to be brought up for an official debate with West Sussex County Council.

The petition was setup by resident Daniel Armstrong who said:

“I started it is because of the reaction online from a massive majority of residents.

I’d like WSCC to consider removing the Pop up cycle lane already in place on Hazelwick Ave, as this is causing more havoc than it is helping anybody.”

Anyone wishing to add their signature to the petition can do so here.

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