Connect with us

Community

‘Save our Library Service’ petition launched in Crawley

Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council and prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate in the forthcoming election, joined with Labour councillors from across West Sussex today to show his support for their campaign against cutbacks to the Library service across West Sussex.

Published

on

Labour Parliamentary Candidate Peter Lamb joined by Cllr Karen Sudan, Sue Quinn, Cllr. Brian Quinn, Cllr. Chris Oxlade & Cllr. Michael Jones.

The proposals would see the mobile library service abolished, all main libraries’ opening hours cut back by at least an hour and many smaller libraries under threat of closure, as Sussex County Council tries to cut back services to fit its shrinking budget following, as Labour put it, ‘continued drastic cuts by the national Tory Government’.

Commenting on the cuts Peter said:

“People in Crawley and all over the country have simply had enough of these cuts. What happened to the promise that austerity was over? Once these services are lost, they are lost forever. That is why I am supporting my County Council Labour Group colleagues in opposing these proposals.

“I know how hard it is to deliver services in the face of relentless budget cuts, but you have to draw a line somewhere. The Library service benefits people of all ages in Crawley. Not every family can afford the internet at home, they go to the library. If it closes at 6pm most working people will only be able to use the service on Saturdays which really isn’t good enough.

“I hope that people will sign the petition and force West Sussex to think again.”

Labour Group Leader on the County Council Michael Jones (Southgate and Gossops Green) who is a member of the Select Committee where the proposals were scrutinised and supported by the Tory majority, added:

“It is outrageously unfair to cut back in this way, and socially very damaging.  West Sussex say they want libraries to be the heart of their communities.  But presumably that is only provided that the community finishes at six in the evening.

“The West Sussex Library Service is one of the jewels in the crown of the county council and it is heartbreaking to see it being whittled away in this wholly irresponsible manner by the West Sussex Tories.

“And the sad fact is that all these Tory cuts to the library service are paltry in local government spending terms and to achieve them they will diminish a vital and much loved service.  I know Labour councillors across West Sussex will be keeping up the pressure to ensure none of them do.”

If the petition, which calls on the Cabinet Member to scrap any planned cuts to the library service, raises 3,000 signatures, which can be from anyone who lives, works or studies in West Sussex, West Sussex County Council will be forced to consider it at a meeting of the full council, where it will have to decide whether to take action to listen to the petitioners’ calls.

The petition can be found here.

Charity

Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities

Published

on

Eleven-year-old Theakston Lee-Watson is among the first recipients of innovative new equipment to provide disabled children with sensory activities in their own home.

Theakston, from Crawley in Sussex, received the equipment from Caudwell Children as part of a UK-first charity campaign to deliver sensory equipment and support to disabled children across the country.

The sensory pack will provide a range of therapeutic benefits for Theakston, who has autism and sensory processing disorder, helping him regulate his emotions and develop his motor skills. 

Theakston’s mum, Kitty Lee-Watson, has already noticed the benefits the equipment brings.

Kitty said:

“He has a lot of anxiety at the moment, I now have the sensory pack out on his bedroom floor so when he has a meltdown it’s easy to guide him to something or distract him. This has been a real help.

“Theakston’s favourite part of the Get Sensory pack is the Fibre Optic Light as it’s both visual and tactile. He likes touching the fibres.”

Caudwell Children has pledged to provide thousands of families with essential sensory equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic – with each family receiving a pack of appropriate and safe toys to support children living with a wide range of disabilities. 

Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“Our Get Sensory Packs are designed to support children who are likely to benefit from sensory resources – it’s so encouraging to hear that Theakston is enjoying using the equipment and his family can see the benefits already.”

“We’ve committed to provide thousands of families with a pack, because we know it’s difficult to access resources at the moment.

“To deliver on that we’re now calling for anyone who can to make a difference to the life of a disabled child by donating to our Get Sensory Packs campaign – you can make a life-changing difference from just £5.”

Caudwell Children launched its Get Sensory Packs campaign following consultation with parents to find the most appropriate and safe sensory items – selected by the charity’s Occupational Therapists.

The packs include:

  • A Liquid Cell Timer,
  • Scented Bubbles,
  • A BoBo Massager,
  • Sissle Brush,
  • 4 Ball Massager,
  • Weighted Cushion,
  • Spikey Domes,
  • Space Blanket, and
  • A Fibre Optic Lamp.

Packs are available to children who have a confirmed disability or chronic illness. Families can apply directly to Caudwell Children for support, with the charity providing 80% of the cost of each pack.

Families will be asked to contribute 20% of the cost, which is £20, and to confirm their financial status and their child’s diagnosis. More information is available at getsensorypacks.com.

Continue Reading

Trending