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Peter Lamb: “Employ Crawley” is here



In his article this week, Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb talks about the new initiative “Employ Crawley”.

Delivering better life chances, for people of all ages, is the core of
my work as a Labour council leader.

Since becoming Leader, I have sought to achieve this through focusing
the council’s efforts on the three things which have the greatest
impact upon people’s life chances: jobs, housing and community. Of
these things, the area the council has the least control over is
employment, yet nothing has so great impact an upon people’s life

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While Crawley has historically been blessed with low unemployment, we
have the second highest jobs density in the country outside London,
over the years much of the skilled employment in light industry has
been replaced with lesser skilled and consequently lower paid roles.
Well-paid work does still exist in the town, but far too many of these
positions are currently taken up by those commuting into the area
rather than residents and the growth of internet shopping and
automation means the jobs currently employing Crawley workers are
increasingly at risk.

Our goal is to not only help people into work but to access better
careers, whether it’s a first job or a last. That’s why we
restructured the council to create an economic development team, with
a dedicated Head of Service, and created the town’s first Jobs and
Skills Plan, detailing clear steps for addressing the jobs gap. Last
week, the first of the plan’s cornerstone projects ‘Employ Crawley’
was launched, a new service to help Crawley residents to access the
jobs, skills and training support they need to get onto a better
career path. It’s a first step, not a last.

Crawley has one of the UK’s most vibrant economies, Crawley Labour is
determined our residents will get a fairer share of the benefits. It’s
an ambitious goal, but one we believe in.

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BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store



It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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