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‘Save Tilgate Parade’ is the message as petition is launched to stop ‘incomprehensible’ rent increase

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Following the news that rent increases are to go up for businesses in Tilgate Parade, Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera and Tilgate resident and Conservative candidate Maureen Mgwale, along with the towns MP visited the parade yesterday to meet with local business owners.

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said

“Our Labour-run council has made a decision that literally threatens the future of Tilgate parade.

I’ve been involved with this for a while now, and our Labour run council who like to ‘claim’ they are business-friendly are actually putting many of our parade businesses under threat of closure. Shop owners don’t think they can cope with such a massive rent hike and survive. They are extremely distressed and we have to make residents aware of how serious this situation is.

There is still time for negotiation. I believe it is wrong for the council to base the achievable market rent per shop on what one business is prepared to pay. We really could end up with a parade that has no newsagents, no hairdresser, no bakery, no chippy and no launderette and it angers Henry Smith, myself and Maureen that this decision doesn’t take into account the community value of Tilgate parade. Their contributions to Tilgate in the things some of those small business owners do for the community on the parade is invaluable. Also, the opportunities they give to our young people, many of whom getting their first part-time job there, opportunities not so readily available from national chains who usually only hire 18+ year olds, may no longer be there if this goes ahead!

And then there’s the environmental considerations. At a time when local and national government is saying use cars less, a decision like this sends the opposite message! For example, in Tilgate we have a lot of dog owners and having a great pet food shop here means they don’t have to drive to County Oak or into town. If it closes they will have to! Cllr Peter Smith (Labour) has ultimate control over this decision and he really needs to show some leadership instead of hiding behind council officers!”

A petition which is being made available among most of the shops in the parade has launched today for residents to sign.

A spokesman for the Tilgate parade association said:

“Huge rent increases seem incompressible in the current econominc climate. Having tried to speak to the council there seems to be little moral imperative to support the smaller independent businesses. Having put our heart and soul into not just this family business but the community also, it feels soul destroying to face this threat to our livelihoods and our employees livelihoods too.”

Crawley Borough Council have been approached for comment.

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26-year-old man tasered and arrested at Crawley hotel after threatening people with hammer

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Image: Google Streetview

A 26-year-old man has been arrested at a Crawley hotel after he threatened people around him with a hammer.

Police were called to The Grange Hotel in Crawley at 3pm on Tuesday (4 August).

He was subsequently tasered to ensure the safety of members of the public and officers.

The man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of affray, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

He has since been released under investigation, but detained under the Mental Health Act.

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