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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.

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Help Crawley Council plan the future of your town

Crawley Borough Council has started work on a review of its local plan that will help to guide development in Crawley over 15 years from 2020-2035.

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This draft local plan review follows a review of the existing adopted local plan.

However, there is a greater emphasis on a number of policy areas, including health and wellbeing, higher environmental standards for new houses and housing to meet a wider range of needs.

Crawley Council say that it is important that local people, groups and organisations are able to put across their views and participate in the way that we plan the future of the town.

From now until 16 September they are asking people to let them know what they feel are the most important issues for Crawley that will need to be planned for over the next 15 years.

The staffed consultation events take place at:

  • County Mall on Saturday 27 July from 10.30am-4pm
  • Town Hall on Monday 29 July from 10.30am-4pm
  • K2 Crawley on Monday 5 August from 3-8pm
  • Crawley Library on Tuesday 6 August from 5-6pm
  • County Mall on Saturday 17 August from 10.30am-4pm
  • Town Hall on Monday 19 August from 10.30am-4pm
  • Crawley Library on Monday 9 September from 5-6.30pm.

Councillor Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“Anyone interested in the future of Crawley should get involved in this consultation. 

“The local plan review is all about finding out what you want to see the town look like. We’ll be asking questions at events and online to get your feedback. Please take your chance to shape the future of your town.”
 

For more information visit crawley.gov.uk/crawley2035 or email forward.plans@crawley.gov.uk

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