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Francis Guidera

‘Sell the United States Declaration of Independence’, says Crawley Councillor

In a highly controversial move, the Crawley councillor explains why he has called for this rare document to be sold on the very day the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit the region.



On the very day that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are officially visiting the county for the first time, a Crawley councillor has publicly called for West Sussex County Council to sell the American Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration is one of only two contemporary handwritten ceremonial manuscript copies, the other being the signed copy housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C. The royal couple were shown the copy of the rare document during their visit this morning.

More news: Councillor Francis Guidera: “Leave Thomas Bennett school alone, Crawley Labour!”

In what can be seen as a highly controversial and outspoken view, the Tilgate councillor has publicly said that the selling of the Declaration would bring much needed funds into the county and help in aiding the homeless.

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera.

Speaking directly to CN24, Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“West Sussex County Council must sell the United States Declaration of Independence!

“You would be forgiven for thinking it was a Hollywood movie title but no… I publicly call for WSCC to sell the United States Declaration of Independence. Not to anyone of course. To a philanthropic, American patriot or consortium of patriots, who will be pleased to know that they are not only bringing home a priceless, precious document, but also funding homelessness and other social services in Sussex.

“For those that don’t know, this document was recently discovered in the WSCC archives, and the only other comparable copy is in the National Archives in Washington!

“A far less significant version sold at auction for $8.2 million in 2000. The copy that we have at WSCC is essentially priceless and I believe it would raise a mind-blowing amount of money which would cover a huge part of the WSCC financial black hole. WSCC has to make savings of £154 million, to be found within three years, cutting funding for homelessness support and radically restricting expenditure on crucial things like adult social care, stripping spending back to the bare minimum.

“If the document is WSCC property we cannot retain such a valuable artefact in good conscience.”

West Sussex County Council were contacted for comment.

Francis Guidera

Cllr Guidera: Is maintaining Queens Sq really too much to ask?

Tilgate Cllr Francis Guidera has spoken out about what he calls the ‘filthy’ state of newly refurbished Queens Square in Crawley.



In an open letter Cllr Guidera says:

“Queen’s Square is costing the tax payer millions to renovate, but if you sat in Queen’s Square today you would be forgiven for thinking that the paving slabs had been down for a decade!

It is utterly filthy, highlighted by the patch in the centre where the fountain operates which is of course clean and shows what the rest looked like when it was installed just over a year ago.

The issue of keeping the square clean after it was done (including chewing gum) was raised by many councillors at consultation meetings before they began the work, and Ifield Councillor Peter Smith (Labour cabinet member for planning and economic development) assured us that these stones would be coated with a substance that helps to repel dirt… well, if they were I hope he’s asking for a refund because it clearly doesn’t work!

Perhaps Councillor Geraint Thomas would like to comment on the state of it also as the cabinet member for environmental services and sustainability? I’ve been told that council staff still do not have the right equipment to properly clean it. Why not? And then there’s The Pavement (the footpath down the side of M&S) which hasn’t even been fully opened yet and there are already issues. The block paving is uneven with gaps and paving stones at randomly different levels across the entirety of it! If this was someone’s driveway they’d rightfully be demanding answers for such a shoddy job!

So to sum up, the first bit is now filthy and hasn’t been looked after properly and the second bit is badly done and isn’t even finished yet…

As a Crawley-born local I’m very proud of this town and a basic thing like keeping Queen’s Square looking decent is not much to ask of the council.

While I’m writing this, I might as well (again) mention that Chichester Close play area urgently needs renovating… (just asking for a few thousand Tilgate residents)…”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera

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