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‘Taken for granted’ or ‘support and reassurance’? The two opposing views of the budget on Crawley

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There was never going to be a consensus after the budget was announced yesterday and none more so than the opposing political parties.

Immediate reactions were received almost moments after the budget was announced with highly expected differences reflected in statements.

Crawley’s Labour leader Cllr Peter Lamb reacted by saying:

“‘If I was a Crawley Conservative voter and I’d lost my job four months after the General Election due to the Government’s coronavirus restrictions, then I heard that my Government’s Budget not only gave all the job-creation opportunities to marginal constituencies in the North, but slashed the funding we’d already been promised before the election, I would feel utterly taken for granted.’

While the towns MP Henry Smith said:

““Today’s Budget provides businesses and families in Crawley with the support and reassurance they need to get through the pandemic.

“With more than £400 billion of support for families, jobs and businesses, it’s right that the Chancellor is honest with the British people about our public finances.

“At the same time, I was elected on a commitment to level up communities like ours, and I’m pleased that this Government is now making good on that promise – by building our future economy and investing in every corner of the United Kingdom.

“The £21.9 million Town Deal is welcome news for Crawley as we look to build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Having called for the Government to extend furlough I welcome confirmation that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until the end of September. This provides certainty and stability to Crawley and Gatwick employers as we move beyond the pandemic and reopen our economy.”

So it is no wonder that many of the towns residents and business have left wondering just how the budget is going to affect them and their immediate futures.

It is fair to say that Crawley has been hit harder than most towns and cities across the UK with the impact on the airport one of, if not THE largest reasons for the huge loss of jobs across the area.

A promise of £25 million pounds for a Town Deal has now been cut to £21.9 million and with many businesses still having to wait months before they can reopen, Crawley, like every other part of the country still feels in part limbo.

However you take the Budget though perhaps everyone should take a moment to realise just what the town, the country and the world has had to contend with for the past year.

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‘Please come forward with information no matter how small’ Police appeal as E-Fit of attempted rape suspect released

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Police have released an E-fit image of a man sought in connection with the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl in Crawley.

Between 7pm and 7.15pm on Tuesday (March 9), the teenager was walking her dog along the pathway from Overdene Drive towards the tunnel that runs underneath the A23 and follows on to Quantock Close.

She turned around before the end of the tunnel and walked back along the path to Overdene Drive. As she did so, she crossed paths with a man who grabbed her and attempted to rape her.

The victim was able to break free and shout for help, causing the man to flee the scene in the direction of the tunnel. The victim is being supported by specialist officers. 

The man was described as white, in his late teens to late 30s, 5’ 9” to 5’ 10”, with dark eyes, short dark coloured hair and short dark stubble. He spoke with an eastern European accent and was wearing dark clothing.

Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Allana Hughes said:

“We are appealing for anyone who recognises this man, or anyone who witnessed the sexual assault or any suspicious behaviour at this location around the time of the incident, to make contact with us.

“We would particularly like to hear from people who were in Quantock Close, The Dingle or surrounding roads around this time or anyone who may have dashcam, ring doorbell or CCTV footage which might have captured the suspect fleeing the scene.

“We have increased our patrols in the area and have been conducting house-to-house enquiries alongside investigating any potential lines of enquiry.

“Please come forward to us with any information which you think could help our investigation, no matter how small.”

Information can be passed to Sussex Police online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Stockbridge.

Alternatively, people can get in touch anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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