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Say hello to Crawley’s new(ish) Mayor

Councillor Sharma was elected at the Annual Crawley Borough Council meeting on Friday May 24.

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The new Mayor of Crawley is Councillor Raj Sharma.

It’s that time of the year when the towns Mayor is announced and this time you may recognise Mr Sharma as he was Mayor only two years ago.

Raj Sharma was elected to represent Southgate ward in 2014. He was born in Delhi, India, in 1952 and moved to Crawley in 1992. He was previously Mayor of Crawley in 2016/17.

He began his career in 1976 as a tutor at Featherstone Dovetail Youth Wing in Southall, West London. In 1992 he started working in Crawley as a Neighbourhood Youth Worker at Crawley Youth Centre and in 2012 he became Centre Manager at Crawley Youth and Community Centre.

Raj, who lives in Furnace Green, enjoys, swimming, badminton, kite flying, travelling, collecting stamps and coins, but most of all spending quality time with family, friends and his four grandchildren.

Raj sits on various bodies including Crawley Campaign Against Racism, Crawley Town Twinning Association, Southgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee, Southgate Community Forum, Courage Dyer Recreational Trust, Gatwick Airport Community Trust, the Friends of Goffs Park and is an ambassador for The Sussex Football Association.

The Mayor’s charities for 2019/20 are The Posh Club and Manor Green College.

The Posh Club is a glamorous performance and social club for around 100 older people held weekly in Broadfield. Each three-and-a-half hour event is styled as a tongue-in-cheek ‘posh’ 1940s afternoon tea with three live showbusiness turns, volunteer waiters in black tie, vintage crockery and an in-house pianist.

Manor Green College is a dynamic and inspirational West Sussex secondary school for students between the ages of 11-19 who experience a wide range of learning difficulties. The college actively promotes strong personal and community values helping students to live happy, productive and successful lives.

Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Raj Sharma, said:

“It is indeed a privilege to be the Mayor of any town, but to be the Mayor of Crawley, twice and so soon as well, is indeed an outstanding honour. I hope I can live up to it.

“I have as most of you know, believed very strongly in unity, cohesiveness and integration, my motto is “unity in diversity”, A strong believer in raising the profiles of the BAME communities in all walks of life, I worked tirelessly last time around to showcase their cultural, religious and linguistic values and practices, and build bridges between all the communities.

“I promise as previously that during this mayoral term, I will endeavour to make those bridges even stronger, and help build new ones with new communities, reassuring all individuals who live and work in Crawley that they will be respected as equals and worthy citizens.

“I will work to promote my two worthy charities. I hope and pray that the people of Crawley will help me to raise thousands of pounds for these two deserving causes.

“As always for me it will be ‘one Crawley, one community’.”

Councillor Shahzad Malik was elected Deputy Mayor at the Annual Council meeting.

Community

DON’T FORGET: From 1st Dec you must show ID when visiting Crawley’s Household Recycling site

Residents are being reminded that they will need to take ID with them when they visit a West Sussex Household Waste Recycling Site (HWRS) from 1 December 2019.

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The new system is designed to save West Sussex taxpayers £250,000 per year by ensuring the sites are only used by those who pay for them.

Householders will need to prove they live within West Sussex by showing a form of ID such as a drivers licence or council tax bill.

The scheme has been introduced due to the high number of people travelling across county boundaries to recycle and dispose of their waste. This has a significant impact on waste disposal costs which ultimately fall to the West Sussex taxpayer.

Surveys have shown that an average of one in ten people using HWRSs closest to the county borders live outside of West Sussex.

At East Grinstead, this can increase to as many as one in five people. 

In response to this residents in certain areas of Surrey will be able to continue using the East Grinstead Household Waste Recycling Site, following an agreement between Surrey and West Sussex County Councils.

The councils have agreed a settlement which means Surrey residents living in the following postcodes – RH7 6, RH10 3, RH19 2, RH19 3, TN8 7, TN8 5 and TN8 6 – who find it easier to use the East Grinstead site, will still be able to do so.

All other sites in West Sussex will be restricted to West Sussex residents only from 1 December.

The new policy will be enforced through identification checks at HWRSs entrances to confirm that the site visitor pays their council tax to West Sussex County Council. 

People will need to show only one form of identification, such as:

• Current driving licence (photo card or paper licence)
• TV licence – less than a year old
• Council tax or utility bill – less than a year old

Further details about the changes can be found when visiting HWRSs and online at www.westsussex.gov.uk and www.recycleforwestsussex.org.

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