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Shock as towns Mayor claims ‘Crawley doesn’t know what it means to be fully diverse’

A speech made by Crawley Mayor Raj Sharman has been critised by residents who say his views are outdated.



Speaking at the summer celebration held by charity Outreach 3 Way, Mayor Raj Sharman was filmed while he made his speech but many have taken to social media to critise what he said.

Speaking just after the youth MP who talked about how much diversity was in the town the Mayor seemed to disagree and said:

“I look around and I still feel crawley does not know what it means to be fully diverse and to have a diverse community.”

The Mayor continued and when referring to locals attending cultural events Mr Sharman said: “We have been ticking boxes all our life.” which many took to imply that the most people were doing to integrate themselves with other cultures was to eat ‘foreign’ cuisine.

But it is the confliction about whether Crawley is as diverse as is can be that many have taken issue with.

The eight minute speech can be viewed below.
Video by Laura Carter

Laura Carter who is a senior youth leader and manager at Crawley Community Youth Service caught the speech on her phone. She said:

“Everybody was shocked. It was such a lovely day and I personally expecting a very uplifting and inspirational speech about the work the charity does and what a fabulous event the adults had put on.

People were very much taken aback and didn’t expect what he said. As a Crawley resident I personally felt very insulted by his speech.

I live, was born and bred here and I work with young people within Crawley Community Youth Service and it humbles me every day just how diverse Crawley is. I just think it’s an amazing town and we have come strides over the years.

People were quite dismayed about what he said.

I’ve worked with Raj in his previous term when he was Mayor, and I found him to be lovely and very supportive. He is passionate about Crawley in many ways which makes the speech all the more shocking.

A speech like that is going to create a divide and the comments on social media are from people from all ethinicities showing dismay and disgust.

His views are out of date and he needs to bring himself up to the 21st century. Crawley is an amazing town and the people of crawley are fantastic and I see diversity every single day. “

Speaking to Crawley News 24 current Crawley Mayor and Councillor Raj Sharma said:

“I am disappointed that the video ended before the last part of what I was saying.

I was not saying that Crawley wasn’t diverse. What I was trying to get across was how much more effort needs to be put in to show more integration in the town.

Even though we in Crawley are a very tolerent society, we haven’t made as much headway as we could have done in the last 27 years.

Total integration is what I would like to see. I am being critical towards all of society including the ethnic community. We seem to be working in isolated pockets everywhere. What was happening on Saturday was fantastic but rather than one group being involved it would have been great to see more groups working together.

It takes all sides to come together to build, strength and improve bridges within a community.

I didn’t have a single complaint from anyone after my speech and spent over two hours talking with people at the event where many were in agreement with what I said.

I’ve been a diversity champion every since I came to Crawley and would like to work along with all members and groups of society to make a real difference so eventually so there is only one Crawley and one community.”


Give Crawley back its police, demands towns council leader

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb has called for the Prime Minister to return funding to Crawley’s police after he says new figures show cuts to police budgets are much higher than the new funding recently announced.



In a press statement Cllr Lamb says that Sussex Police have lost 32.3% of their funding from central government, leaving local policing in a weakened state.

Speaking about the state of policing in Crawley, Cllr Lamb said:

“Following the loss of frontline officers, crime and antisocial behaviour are now the top issues residents raise with me on the doorstep. They are tired of seeing it in our town centre and across Crawley’s neighbourhoods. Only the police have the power to end the decline and only the Government has the funding to give us the officers we need.

“We deserve more from our Prime Minister than empty promises, it’s time he learnt to keep his word and gave Crawley back its police.”

Crawley Labour adds that this news comes on the back of recent revelations that despite 98% of police officers lost from the service in recent years having been cut from the frontline, around 7,000 police recruits will never see frontline duty.

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