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‘The money is already spent’ – Crawley Council leader says extra money from government can’t help fund school meals

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The debate rages on but in response to the news that an extra £500,000 pounds from the government to help Crawley Council’s ‘vital’ services Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb has hit back saying the money they received has already been spent.

In a statement to the news Cllr Lamb said:

“At no point have councils received any money from government for the purpose of providing free school meals, the only mention of free school meals in any guidance has been that councils should not seek to duplicate the scheme which had been running over the Summer.

Despite having no involvement in the provision of free school meals, Crawley BC is stepping up to ensure local children are fed this Christmas. We’re doing so despite having a budget deficit of £1m this year, even when this new funding is taken into account, and despite having no access to any of the records on which families are eligible–due to having no involvement in the usual provision of these meals.

We are working to solve these challenges and ensure that now–as ever–when our national representatives let us down, Crawley Borough Council won’t.”

Now the Council Leader along with the local Labour Party has called for a ‘release of the Town Deal Funding’.

Last year it was announced that Crawley would received up to £25m as one of 100 Town Deals across the UK. But the towns leader says that 13 months on Crawley has not seen a penny of the money.

When the ‘Town Deal’s’ was announced last year it was announced that its purpose was to support towns and build prosperous futures.

But the Labour Party say that since then and following all the pandemic restrictions that Crawley’s economy is being hit harder than any other in the UK. They add that despite requests to ministers for support there has been a complete failure to deliver a commitment to the area greater than the Town Deal.

Cllr Lamb said:

“This money was promised to Crawley before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19. Since that time, Crawley’s economy has been hit harder than any other by the government’s regulations, with thousands of jobs lost, and despite the promises we have yet to see any of the funding.

“There is simply no excuse for Crawley not forming part of the first tranche of Town Deals or for the government misleading councils as to the amount they could bid for.

“Every day they delay further they costs Crawley more local businesses and more local jobs.”

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Police drop investigation in alleged bullying of Oriel High School boy

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Sussex Police have confirmed they have made the decision to drop an investigation into an incident of alleged bullying.

The investigation was launched following an outcry from concerned residents when a video emerged on social media.

The video has since been taken down from most social media accounts.

Earlier Susses Police had confirmed they had launched an investigation into the incident and were liaising with Oriel High School.

Now it appears their investigation has turned up new information which has led to their decision to drop the police’s involvement and hand it over to the school.

A statement from Sussex Police said:

“Police have investigated the circumstances surrounding a video on social media showing the alleged bullying of a boy by fellow students from Oriel High School in Maidenbower, Crawley.

As a result, the matter has been passed to the school for any action they feel is appropriate.”

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