Connect with us

Opinion

Peter Lamb: Finding the funds to save West Sussex’s homeless

In his article this week, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Peter Lamb addresses the proposed cuts to housing support services, and suggests where West Sussex County Council could find the funds to save them.

Published

on

Louise Goldsmith, the Leader of West Sussex County Council, tells us that cuts to Open House and other housing support services are necessary because they don’t have the money to fund them any longer.

Open House receives a grant of £262,075 and I was able to highlight in minutes where the money to save every hostel in West Sussex, about £1m, could come from.

More news: Man stabbed in Crawley High Street

However, the full cut being proposed is £6.3m, so let’s look if there’s anywhere we can find the remaining £5.3m. For instance, last year West Sussex spent £5,933,666.54 on taxis, with a further £165,299.47 on travel expenses. £5,476,737.16 went to consultants and £831,450.74 on advertising and publicity, well they did increase their Policy and Communications budget by £300,000 last year, so that’s not really a surprise. They also spent £742,319 on books and newspapers, to be clear that figure excludes schools and libraries.

With all the empty West Sussex sites in Crawley alone, it’s not a surprise they spent £212,972.42 on vacant properties and a further £594,443.45 on office removals. Recruitment saw £537,219.64 being spent, alongside a peculiar £143,201.18 for ‘Music and Video’, with a further £198,656.84 on postage and £101,660.85 on stationery.

Now, no doubt there are good reasons for much of this expenditure, but that’s £15m which seems more questionably spent than the £6.3m necessary to support the homeless, vulnerable elderly and victims of domestic violence. I’d suggest Nathan Elvery, who was appointed Chief Executive two years ago at an ongoing cost of £220,166, starts by looking there. That’s before asking himself whether he really needs so many layers of senior management.

More Peter Lamb: Peter Lamb – ‘Give the UK the chance it needs to succeed’ after Brexit

When I became Leader at Crawley I removed the director-tier, so now heads of services report directly the Chief Executive. At West Sussex County Council they not only still have directors, but executive directors. That seems like the real expense West Sussex residents can no longer afford.

Henry Smith

‘Stop needless suffering of live animal exports’ says Crawley MP

Published

on

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith shows his support for Animal Welfare.

‘I am often contacted by Crawley residents who want to see our nation provide greater animal welfare protections, particularly given the opportunities in this regard upon exiting the European Union’s single market.

As a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and a Patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, I wholeheartedly agree.

One key area of opportunity is to stop needless suffering of live animals which are being exported for slaughter.

Along with parliamentary colleagues I have campaigned on this issue for some years, with successive UK governments not able to tackle the issue due to the constraints of EU membership.

With the end of the Brexit transition on the horizon, it is right that this Government is looking to the future. The Environment Secretary has launched a consultation aiming to ban live animal exports.

In addition to reducing the risk of potentially severe harms faced by animals being transported due to injury and maltreatment, this would also mean that these animals will no longer have to rely on the welfare laws of other countries, which may fall short of the standards expected in the UK.

Ministers are also consulting on proposals to ensure improvements to animal welfare in transport such as reduced maximum journey times, more space for animals and tighter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures.

The Government consultation ‘Improvements to animal welfare in transport’ is open until 28th January 2021. Please click here for more information and to make a submission.’

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

Continue Reading

Trending