Crawley council to spend £119m on affordable housing and council homes

SUS-151004-123247001
SUS-151004-123247001

Crawley Borough Council will spend £119.2m to build affordable housing and improve its existing homes.

A spokesman said it was part of the authority’s £160m investment in the town over the next three years in its budget for 2016/17.

The figure included £8.8m to buy investment properties; £1,296,000 to expand the gym and replace the artificial turf pitch at K2 Crawley; £850,000 investment at Tilgate Park and its Nature Centre; £500,000 on installing solar panel on council buildings; and £30,000 to replace gym equipment at the Bewbush Centre.

The budget, which was agreed at a meeting on Wednesday last week (February 24), will also see the authority increase its share of Council Tax by 0.77 per cent - £1.44 a year for a Band D property - from April.

Council leader Peter Lamb said: “This budget maintains services and invests in the town while keeping the cost for local taxpayers as low as possible.

“And for the second year running we’ll be putting a surplus into our reserves to prepare the council for the financially challenging years ahead. Through sound financial management we’re building a better future for Crawley.”

A borough council spokesman said the lowest Council Tax rise in Sussex was agreed in the budget.

He said: “For every pound paid in Council Tax in 2016.17, West Sussex County Council will receive 78p, Sussex Police will receive 10p with Crawley Borough Council receiving just 12p.

“Crawley Borough Council’s 2016/17 budget protects frontline services, makes some savings and sees continuing investment in the town; this is despite a cut of almost 14 per cent in government funding and retained business rates. This represents a 3.1 per cent reduction in spending power – the second largest reduction in West Sussex.

“The council’s net budget to pay for its services in 2016/17 is £14.9m. The Government will give the council £3.66m so the amount raised through retained business rates and Council Tax will be £11.25m.

“The Government announced in July that housing rents will be reduced by one per cent in April 2016. This change means the council will have £148m less to invest in its housing stock over 30 years.”

West Sussex County Council is set to increase its element of Council Tax by 3.95 per cent and the precept for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner will rise by 3.4 per cent.

* Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.crawleyobserver.co.uk

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawleyobserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @Crawley_Obby

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Crawley Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.