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Six-month conditional discharge, a fine and an in-depth investigation all for throwing a cig on the floor – Crawley’s hard line on littering

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Crawley is showing it is taking a Zero-tolerance for littering across the town.

An ex-Crawley resident pleaded guilty to giving false information to a Community Warden, after being caught littering.

Crawley Borough Council successfully prosecuted ex-Crawley resident, Natalie Bunting of Redehall Road, Horley under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, for providing a false or inaccurate name or address and non-payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). 

Mrs Bunting was stopped in the town centre in August 2019 by a Warden, who witnessed her throwing a cigarette butt onto the floor. She was issued with an FPN and asked for her name and address details.

Due to non-payment of the FPN, a summons was issued by the council but was returned as undeliverable. At this point the council did not know if Mrs Bunting had given a false name as well as a false address.

A thorough enquiry led by the council’s Investigations Team, established that she had in fact given her real name but a previous address. Mrs Bunting was then interviewed and admitted to giving a false address, but stated she did so because she didn’t know if the Warden was who he said he was, despite him wearing the uniform.

Mrs Bunting received a six month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay towards the councils costs.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council said:

“This is a great result for the council and serves as a warning to all potential litterers. Littering puts animals and wildlife at risk, it looks awful, and costs taxpayers’ money to resolve. The council will always take a zero-tolerance approach to littering. We all have a responsibility to look after this town as residents and visitors.”

The Community Wardens patrol the whole of Crawley and will issue an FPN to anyone they see dropping litter.

The councils Investigation team will investigate all aspects of fraud and criminal activity in Crawley. They can be contacted for free and in confidence by emailing investigations@crawley.gov.uk

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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