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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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WARNING: From Monday 18th Nov Tushmore Roundabout Roadworks begin for 7 WEEKS!

The work is being carried out by Southern Gas Networks.

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If you drive around Tushmore Roudabout then you need to be prepared to either give youself plenty of extra time OR to avoid the areas completely for the next 7 weeks.

SGN is replacing the old metal gas pipes with new plastic ones to ensure a reliable supply.

The works were agreed with West Sussex County Council and will commence on Monday 18th Nov and last approximately 7 weeks.

The work is being done in three phases with the first phase involving reducing the roundabout down to one lane with all approaching roads also reduced to a single lane.

SGN has listed below the full information for each phase:

Phase one:

We’ll begin working at Tushmore Gyratory roundabout on Monday 18 November. For safety, we’ll need to reduce the roundabout to one lane, with all roads approaching the roundabout also reduced to one lane.

Phase two:

Our engineers will then begin upgrading our pipe in the A23 Crawley Avenue at its junction with the Tushmore Gyratory roundabout. We’ll increase the roundabout and approaching roads from one lane to two lanes. However, the eastbound carriageway of the A23 Crawley Avenue will need to remain reduced to one lane.

Phase three:

We’ll then progress to carry out network upgrades near to Ifield Roundabout. For everyone’s safety, the eastbound carriageway will be reduced to one lane on its approach to Ifield Roundabout from Ifield Community College and between Ifield Roundabout and Tushmore Gyratory roundabout, too. The existing traffic lights and pedestrian crossings will remain in place during our project. The bus lane which runs north/south along the A23/A2219 London Road at Tushmore roundabout will be unaffected by this work.

You can read the full details in the leaflet SGN has produced by clicking here.

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