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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A speech made by Crawley Mayor Raj Sharman has been critised by residents who say his views are outdated.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His views are out of date and he needs to bring himself up to the 21st century.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.”


Sussex Police commissioner visits Crawley as first phase of additional officers begins

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne met with Henry Smith to discuss the latest situation with the additional police recruits.



Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers is now well under way and the police commissioner visited the town to discuss the latest developments as 129 new officers are soon to begin their duties across the county.

With an extra 379 expected overall, the first phase of the operation to increase numbers is now in full swing.

Speaking to Crawley News 24 about the visit Henry Smith said:

“Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the Government – indeed this was an issue I raised in the House of Commons with the Prime Minister on his first full day in office.

Some want to play politics with our police with inaccurate claims that Crawley has seen a reduction in officer numbers over recent years. However, figures show that Crawley officer numbers have not fallen over the last five years. “

“The new officers who will now be recruited are a real boost to our law enforcement capacity across the town, and will, I am sure, provide greater public reassurance.”

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