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“The wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is a priority for us” says K2 Crawley following incident as England Boxing Championship takes place

Reports of staff receiving abuse and trash strewn across the centre as the England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019 takes place.

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A visible mess of litter is strewn across the entrance to K2 Crawley

It is a large event even for K2 Crawley, with hundreds of visitors from across the country coming down to visit.

The England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019 have been taking place at K2 Crawley over the weekend. But it appears that some of the visitors who came down for the event may have caused disruption to the centre with their actions and left a visible mess that has dismayed locals.

Yesterday, Saturday 18th May, reports were made of staff being left in tears after receiving abuse from some of these visitors whilst others reported that the police were called to an incident outside the entrance.

Some locals were so concerned they contacted their local councilor who then made a visit to the centre.

Speaking on his facebook page Tilgate Cllr Guidera said:

Just got back from K2 after receiving several complaints today. A horrendous mess has been left and we have another day of this tomorrow! The entrance stinks of cigarettes, and there are hundreds of butts everywhere, along with so much rubbish strewn across the paved area and car park! I’ve had reports confirmed by K2 staff of teenage staff in tears, feeling intimidated by some of the people attending this boxing tournament, an alleged incident outside that the police had to attend to (now confirmed) and K2 are having to up the security tomorrow.

I am absolutely sure that there are many, many good people attending this boxing event and I saw some young lads leaving with their trainers as I arrived, but there’s absolutely no way that what’s been going on there today is remotely acceptable and I will be there at 9am tomorrow to speak to Everyone Active’ s management.

This is Crawley’s public leisure centre and there are standards that we expect to be upheld.”

Mr Guidera also took photos of how the area outside the centre had been left.

According to Mr Guidera he called an urgent meeting with Cllr Ali Pendlington, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Wellbeing along with the management of K2 and Crawley Borough Council where they were given assurances that the day would be managed differently to Saturday.

Some locals commented how they were able to see more visible security around.

But there was also an unconfirmed report on the Sunday as reported by a local resident facebook page where one claim was made of some visitors seen trying to steal a computer. This could not be verified by K2 Crawley.

Stuart Mills, Everyone Active area contract manager, said:

“We have worked closely with England Boxing to ensure that the event can run smoothly. 

“We are aware of an incident that upset a couple of members of our team. The wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is a priority for us and we don’t tolerate abuse within the centre. The facility is open as usual today.”

But despite the altercations outside the event, the boxing championships were a huge success with Chief Executive Officer, Gethin Jenkins saying:

“We have not been made aware of any issues at the K2 Crawley during the England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019 this weekend.

“What I would say is that it’s been a fantastic two days of boxing where almost 200 bouts have taken place. It’s great to see so many kids active and being cheered on by their family and friends.

“Those who have won titles are following in the footsteps of Crawley boxer Alan Minter, who went on to win an Olympic medal, and I’m sure this experience will have inspired them.   

“The event has brought a great deal of extra income to the town’s restaurants and hotels, and K2 Crawley have been an excellent and accommodating venue throughout.”

Community

Crawley library in danger of losing opening hours as County Council choose money saving over services

Another public consultation and this time it is about reducing opening hours for the library.

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Crawley library users are being asked to share their thoughts on proposed budget savings which would see a reduction in opening hours at Crawley Library.

The consultation running from 9 October to 13 November 2019 is, according to the council, aimed to help inform the decision due to be taken by West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, Jacquie Russell, in November. 

The suggested savings include for Crawley to:

Reduce the evening opening hours in the library by one hour (from 7pm to 6pm) from April 2020.

This change, along with the same reduction in hours at three other Sussex libraries along with the ceasing of the mobile library service would apparently result in a total year on year saving of £175,000.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“Since becoming cabinet member, I have often been asked about what will happen to libraries across the county. As I have said before, we need to look at doing things in a more affordable way, but ultimately my aim is to preserve the core of the library service.

“With the suggested savings being proposed, we hope that the other services we have on offer at libraries across West Sussex will diminish any negative impact to users. 

“However, I still want to hear the thoughts of our library users by way of this consultation, especially those who are specifically affected by the proposed budget savings, as this will help to shape and inform my decision in November.”

But Crawley residents will be all too wary of consultations and how they can be just lip service and completely ignored as recently happened with the consulation over the Post Office move into County Mall.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“When West Sussex County Council Leader over a decade ago, I was pleased to procure and open the new Crawley Library, which ever since has been an important community resource. I would encourage all who care about our library to engage with the Council’s consultation and call for evening opening hours not to be reduced.”

You have until 13 November 2019 to have your say.

To find out more and fill in the consultation, visit haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries/libraryoffer/

CN24 approached Jacquie Russell for a guarantee that if the results of the consultation came back that there was a majority against the reduction in hours that she would keep the library open till 7. A response has not yet been received.

But West Sussex County Council did respond saying:

“This is a live consultation and we encourage residents to have their say before the deadline of 13 November. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”

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