Committee hears lighting update and hands out hundreds in funding

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News focus

Hundreds of pounds has been given to three community groups to pay for computers, workshops and election costs.

The money was assigned at a meeting of the West Crawley County Local Committee (CLC) at Crawley Library on January 14.

Residents who attended the meeting also heard an updated report from the contractors of the West Sussex street lighting project, SSE Contracting.

And the committee also agreed highways priorities for inclusion in the Local Infrastructure Plan for 2016/2017.

These included suggesting traffic regulation orders to help counter parking problems in various roads.

Five groups submitted applications for money from the £17.271 which is still to be handed out from the CLC’s £30,000 Community Initiative Funding pot.

The Silver Birches Singers received £276 towards a musical workshop; Relate North and South West Sussex received £2,068 for four new lap tops and training in Skype counselling.

Crawley Young Persons Council asked for £1,111 to help pay for 2014 election costs but the CLC chose to give them £600.

Applications, from Broadfield Youth and Community Centre and the 2nd Ifield Scouts, were deferred until the end of the financial year.

Concerns had been raised at previous meetings, about the council’s ongoing scheme to replace the county’s aging street lights.

The committee welcomed Nathan Thayre and Dale Lewington, from SSE contracting, as well as Peter Atkins, the county council’s engineering services manager, to update residents on the progress of the project.

After listening to questions and answers about the siting of some of the new lap-posts, Cllr Sue Mullins (Lab, Gossops Green/Ifield East) told the meeting there had been a “complete breakdown” in communication between SSE and the public.

She added: “People feel they have no part in this, no impact at all. Better communication all round is needed.”

Mr Thayre said: “We do satisfy a lot of residents but we can’t always give the outcome that the resident wants.

“We have changed 17,500 lights in the past 12 months. It’s a lot of work and a lot of houses that have been impacted.”

The next meeting of the CLC will be held on March 20 at Crawley Library.