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The ‘REAL’ reason gritting was reinstated across roads in Crawley

Only a week ago politicians from both sides claimed credit for the decision change but who and why was really behind the change?



At the beginning of December word spread (no pun intended) about how the number of roads to be gritted across Crawley was to be dramatically cut.

West Sussex County Council announced that less than a third of the roads network through the town would be gritted as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

As expected, the outcry began almost immediately and statements from opposing councillors referred to residents being ‘snowed in’ or ‘stranded’ if roads were ungritted and iced over.

The council said that they had taken a risk-based approach with identifying which roads were in most need of gritting but naturally that did little to alay the fears of residents.

Then, last week, there was a sudden change.

The same political voices that had so vehementally opposed the reduction claimed their objections had been heard, in-fact not just heard but as a result the council had changed their minds as a result.

So praise began to rain down on these heroes of the local political system.

But there was just one teeny tiny odd fact. Opposing political parties were making the same claim. Each said it was ‘they’ that had made the council change its mind. They were ones that praise should be reaped upon.

So which of them really was responsible for such a quick change in the councils decision? Which of the parties councillors should be lauded with honour for getting the gritters back out?

Turns out neither.

In-fact the decision to reinstate the gritters came from a combination of feedback from the residents and stakeholders themselves – not the politicians.

Of course, the local politicians were vocal both on social media and directly to those who made the decisions BUT the real force was the people themselves.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure explained:

“Like all councils across the country, we have really tough financial challenges to meet, so we must make sure we scrutinise every penny of tax payers’ money we spend and use it in the best way.

“We had reduced the network we grit but, listening to the feedback from residents and stakeholders, I felt we needed wider engagement. 

We will do this before the 2020/21 season. Meanwhile, the roads removed from the list will be reinstated as soon as practicable.” 

So the real praise is to the residents. So now they can all go out and build snowmen in their gardens safe in the knowledge that they wont get snowed in. Just let us know exactly when this happens as not seen a single snowflake…yet.


Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley



Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here:

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