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Tributes paid after Tilgate Councillor passes away

Councillor Charles Petts passed away yesterday evening (15th July).



Councillor Charles Petts recently won a council seat for Tilgate in the May elections after serving as a West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges.

Posting on his facebook page Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“Yesterday evening I lost one of my best friends to cancer.

We’d been friends since 2006, well before either of us got involved in local politics.

Cllr Charles Petts to most and Jeff to his friends, Jeff was a great guy. A really kind, generous man who lived his Christian faith and smiled at life.

Jeff knew my family really well, knew my kids, knew my mum and dad, and loads of my family. He was a big part of my life.

Whenever I met up with him or whenever he came over to my place (which was very, very regularly) I said the usual “how’s it going?” and he would say “ahk you know, I’m alright, can’t complain”.

Jeff had been battling cancer for a couple of years, and was putting up a great fight, even doing a tough mudder last year, but then very recently, it all changed.

I am heartbroken. I haven’t lost a colleague, I’ve lost a brother, a best friend.

Jeff has left behind a young daughter and a son. I am heartbroken for them too, completely.

I look forward to seeing Jeff in the next life, and until then I will miss him greatly.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“He was well liked and dedicated and will be a great loss to Crawley.”

Mr Smith also tweeted:

Crawley Conservative Leader Duncan Crow tweeted:

Leader of Crawley Council tweeted:

A statement from Crawley Borough Council said:

“Councillor Charles Petts, ward councillor for Tilgate, died peacefully yesterday evening in St Catherine’s Hospice with his son present.

Charles had been a Crawley Borough Councillor since May and a West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges since 2017.”


Final written warning for Crawley police sergeant after pizza ‘dangling’ incident with Jewish colleague

A Sussex police sergeant has been given a final written warning after he was found to have breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of equality and diversity.



Gary Jacobs, 43, who is based at Crawley, appeared at a misconduct hearing at Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes on Tuesday (November 19) to face an allegation that despite knowing a colleague was Jewish and kept a kosher diet, he had dangled a pizza containing pepperoni over their food. A piece subsequently dropped on to that officer’s meal.

The panel, headed by an independent, legally-qualified chairman, found the allegation proven and he was given a final written warning.

Detective Superintendent Steve Boniface, head of the force’s professional standards department, said:

“We work very hard to ensure that anyone who works for Sussex Police or who we deal with on a daily basis is treated with respect, understanding and consideration for their feelings and beliefs.

“Sergeant Jacobs’s behaviour fell woefully short of the personal and professional standards that we expect of anyone who works for us and should not allow the name of Sussex Police to be tainted, nor bring into disrepute the enormous amount of good work carried out day-to-day by thousands of hard-working and enormously dedicated police officers and staff.”

Sussex Police have clarified that a ‘Final’ written warning does not mean in this case that the officer has had previous warnings for his conduct. In this case a Final Written Warning means that he has been given the highest level of warning before dismissal.

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