Archive for the ‘Breaking News’ Category

Concerned County Councillors call public meeting on proposed Fire service cuts

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

County Councillors are challenging proposals by West Sussex County Council to cut back the number of firefighters and fire engines available.  The councillors are also criticising the rushed nature of the public consultation, with the council refusing to extend it beyond 23rd August, despite many people being away during the summer holidays.

County Councillors have become increasingly concerned about the proposals coming from West Sussex County Council to cut Fire and Rescue Services in West Sussex, and in particular the impact this is going to have on Crawley and towns in the north of the county.

The meeting will invite fire fighters, representatives of their unions and the public to hear of the concerns over the proposals, where the council may be cutting too much and to share their views over what should stay.

  • The county council has launched a consultation to cut £1.6 million from the county’s budget for the Fire and Rescue service;
  • If the cuts go through as proposed, Crawley will lose seven full-time firefighters, all ten retained firefighters and one of the station’s three fire engines;
  • There are cuts at all the other fire stations as well in the county putting further strain on the service.  The stations in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill will see their capacity for fire prevention work slashed, as resources are stretched even further;
  • This is on top of £2.5 million of cuts to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service already made by, announced in 2012, and
  • They have also timed the consultation for right in the middle of the summer holidays, despite this being a time when many people are away.

Despite this, County Councillors have pledged their determination to have a public meeting where West Sussex residents can have their say before the consultation period is over.

The meeting will be held at 7pm on Thursday 21st August 2014 at the Civic Hall, Crawley Town Hall, The Boulevard RH10 1UZ

As well as members of the public and the press being invited to attend, representatives of local firefighters will be attending to give their views on the potential impact of these proposed cuts on the resilience of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services.

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UPDATE: Michaela Has Now Been Found – Raised Concerns For Missing Michaela Covey

Friday, August 8th, 2014

UPDATE 08/08/14

Missing Littlehampton teenager Michaela Covey has been found safe and well.

Thank you to the public and the media for their help finding her.

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Have you seen missing teenager Michaela Covey?

Michaela, known as Kayla, was last seen at a friend’s house in Pagham at about midday on Sunday (3rd August).

Michaela Covey

The 17-year-old, from Littlehampton, has not contacted family or friends since and officers are becoming increasingly concerned for her safety.

Michaela is white, six foot and very slim. She has shoulder length blonde hair swept over to one side. When she was last seen she was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms, a grey t-shirt, a hooded top and trainers.

PC Lee Simmonds said: “This is very much out of her character for Michaela. She has never been out of contact with her family for this long and has no money or mobile phone with her.

“If anyone has any idea where she is or where she has been, please contact us.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 731 of 05/08 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

Ian Moorey’s Sponsored Mile Swim

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Ian Moorey Swim

A man with learning disabilities has gone the extra mile and raised over £300 for Crawley charity Outreach 3 Way by taking part in a sponsored swim.

With the support of the charity’s Out There project Ian Moorey swam 64 lengths, the equivalent of a mile, in just over an hour. The owners of the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley donated used of the pool’s lane for the swim that took place on 23rd July.

Out There has been supporting Ian to take swimming lessons since September and he’s improved week by week. At the beginning of summer he decided to use his hobby to raise money for two entertainment projects run by Outreach 3 Way. The money will go towards their in-house band, called The Coasters, and help fund their annual pantomime, in which Ian often plays a key role.

Ian said: “I feel good, my family enjoyed it. I was really quick in the pool and was really pleased about that. I’d like to get involved in swimming competitions and take my swimming further. The money will go towards the pantomime and band; both are very important to me and everyone can use the money.”

Kiri Baxter, Out There Sport and Leisure Development Officer, said: “We’re very proud of Ian and all he has achieved. He has trained very hard and the project has helped him grow in confidence both in the water and out of it. He is committed and passionate and his effort and enthusiasm show the need for sporting opportunities and access to community sessions for people with learning disabilities and autism.”

The Out There Sports and Leisure project was set up by Outreach 3 Way and now works alongside the Sport England funded Sports For All programme in Sussex.  Working with partner organisations, Outreach 3 Way’s Out There programme enables people like Ian to achieve their goals and aspirations in life.

Outreach 3 Way is a charity that provides support for people with learning disabilities and autism in Sussex. It is part of the national not-for-profit support provider Dimensions, which supports around 3,500 people with learning disabilities and autism across England and Wales.

For more information on the project, please contact Kiri Baxter on 01293 544773/ 07920 818894 or kiri.baxter@outreach3way.org

Leon, 11, Is A Fund Raising Star!

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

At just 11 years old, young Leon has shown compassion and dedication in raising money for a local charity.

Leon Davey has made loom bands and created his own drawings to sell to raise money for his chosen charity, The Olive Tree. Leon even sold his PSP and saved up his own pocket money. Leon told us he wanted to raise the money for the Olive Tree as they looked after his Grandma when she had cancer. He told us “my Grandma still goes but has been clear now for 6 years”.

Nan, Leon, Mum and two brothers

Grandma, Leon, Mum and two brothers

Leon’s mum Emma Davey told us “I am so proud of Leon. He has done all of this off his own back. He has sold his personal belongings to raise more money and taken his own time to make the loom bands and drawings and then sell them on. The Olive Tree is a well deserving charity. They are all so good there.”

We met Leon, his two brothers, his Mum Emma and his Grandma when they attended The Olive Tree unit based at Crawley Hospital yesterday (Wednesday 30th) for the presentation of the £163.04 raised by this amazing young man.

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Leon, his Grandma, two brothers and the staff from The Olive Tree

The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is an independent charity providing a range of support to cancer patients, their carers and families. Formerly known as the cancer self-help group Crawley Cancer Contact, the group was co-founded in 1990 by Heather Goodare and others and was granted charitable status in 1992. The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre opened in its present location in the grounds of Crawley Hospital in July 2009.

The Olive Tree centre manager Marilyn Drury was overwhelmed by such a donation from one so young. Marilyn said “I think we would like to put this money to the Children’s Group as we have children here who have cancer and seeing as Leon is only 11 himself I think that would be a nice place for the money to go.”

We would like to thank Emma and Leon for allowing us into their home and to be part of the presentation. We were pretty taken back ourselves when after the interview Leon presented us with our very own loom band made by himself. We donated to his fund and went away with a big smile on our face.

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Thank you Leon, we love our loom band

Amir Is A Knock Out Fund Raiser

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Amir Ali is using his time and energy to raise awareness and much needed funds for a well deserved plight.

Amir has already donated his purse from one mai tiah boxing match and is bout to donate another.

After spending a long time in prison Amir felt he needed to change the direction of his life. So Amir turned to training with Crawley Martial Arts Academy. Amir also donates every Sunday working in the kitchen at St Catherine’s Hospice.

Crawley Martial Arts Academy is a 5,000 sq ft modern purpose-built facility equipped to cater for thai boxing (muay thai) training, mixed-martial arts training (MMA), Jiu jitsu (BJJ), Wrestling, Boxing, Personal training and circuit training. Owner John Jarvis has worked tirelessly to make CMAA one of the most recognised academies in the South East.

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Amir told us “it is like having a family when you come down here. John and his team are amazing and the club is rammed with champions of all kinds. They have really helped me to stay focused and fit, in body and in mind. The fight is sponsored by my good friend and local business owner Zaffer Khan. If it wasn’t for Zaffer, none of this would have been made possible.”

Along with his last fight and other various other events, Amir has raised around £11,500 for orphaned children in Gaza which he feels is a cause that should not be ignored. “we don’t need to hide the fact it is going on, we need to do something concrete to help them.”

In association with Metro Cars Amir will be fighting at the HG Wells Conference Centre on the 9th August and tickets can be bought from the conference centre or from Crawley Martial Arts Academy.

Amir Ali

Courtesy of Dave Forsdique

You can follow Amir on his facebook page here.

We would like to wish Amir all the best for his future and a win at his fight.

 

Immobilise Your Goods

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Residents are being urged to join the battle against burglars by logging their valuables on a national website.

Immobilise is the world’s largest property register and allows police and the public to work together to make stolen items too hot to handle.

Residents can enter the details of their possessions on the free website and report when they have been stolen.

Police officers not just in Sussex but around the UK can then check the details of items that they find or seize against the database

By confirming that the seized items had been stolen, officers can then look to prosecute whoever they were seized from for burglary or handling stolen goods – and can return the valuables to their rightful owners.

Police Immobilise

Sussex Police is encouraging residents to use Immobilise as part of Operation Magpie, the force’s crackdown on burglary across the county.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Betts said: “When our officers respond to reports of burglary, they often cannot get enough detailed information about the items which have been stolen – without old boxes for electrical items or photographs of jewellery for example it can be very difficult to accurately identify what has been taken.

“Better information greatly increases the chances of us being able to reunite stolen property with its rightful owner, helps us to get a better picture of which burglaries could be linked and gives us the evidence we need to prove that property is stolen.

“That helps us to link items to burglars and those trading in stolen goods and means we can get offenders off the streets and into the courts.”

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, is backing the campaign urging residents to register their property. She said:

“I’d like to see as many residents as possible playing their part in helping to beat burglary in Sussex.

“It’s simple – and it’s free – to register your personal items on the website and I hope people will do so. As well as making it easier for the police to track down registered owners, it can also act as a deterrent as it makes it harder for thieves to sell items on because they can be identified.”

25 million people use Immobilise and every week hundreds of people are reunited with their lost or stolen property because of the site.

As well as registering mobile phones and electrical items with serial numbers, residents can also register other items by uploading photographs and giving a description.

They can also use the website to instantly access a list of all their property and to print off certificates of ownership if they need to make a claim to their insurance company.

You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com

South Coast Memorial Run

Monday, July 28th, 2014

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Running the entire Sussex Coast = 100 miles for The Royal British Legion because the work they do needs our support

Myself and Darryll Boden are running the Sussex Coast = 100 miles over four days; starting 30th July 2014. this 100 mile run is to highlight the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of world War 1. We will be starting in Hastings and finishing in Portsmouth on Saturday 2nd August at Gunwarf Quays approx. midday (we know that is in Hampshire, but we needed to do 100 miles) We will be starting at Hastings Pelham Car Park and stopping off at Seaford, Worthing and Chichester (overnight stops) Please support us on route if you can……we WILL need it.

We would like to raise at least £2000 for the Poppy appeal, but are more than happy to raise more.

Pleas visit my JustGiving page.

Many Thanks

Ray Collins

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Summer Launch For Broadfield Nursery CIC

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Broadfield Nursery CIC had their first successful fun day on 19th July. They used this opportunity to to launch their new enterprise on this day too….which was also a great success.

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Over 200 people attended and enjoyed a range of traditional stalls including hook a duck, face painting & score a goal football. Paul Edwards very kindly DJ’d for the day. The children enjoyed a visit from Reggie the Red from the Broadfield Stadium. The police provided lots of fun for the children with a finger printing kit. The young ones were also allowed to explore inside the police car. The Crawley Firefighters came to hose everyone down as it was so hot!

West Sussex County Councillor, Cabinet Member for Children Peter Evans and Chris Cheshire Deputy Mayor of Crawley officially cut the ribbon for the launch and wished the team well.

The directors Anna, Becky, Claire and Natasha would like to thank everybody who volunteered on the day, and to all the children and families for their ongoing support.

Two Arrests Made After A Man Was Wounded In Bewbush

Friday, July 25th, 2014

A man and a boy were arrested after another man was injured in a confrontation between a number of people in Crawley on Thursday afternoon (July 24th).

Police were called to a report of a suspicious group in Skelmersdale Walk in Bewbush at 4.11pm. A few minutes later, the ambulance service reported that they were attending an incident where a 22-year-old man had received knife wounds to his left arm. He was taken to hospital and was expected to be transferred to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead for specialist treatment.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident or anyone who saw the group in the Bewbush area in the time leading up to or after the attack, which is believed to have taken place in a field adjacent to Breezehurst Drive. Anyone with information is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting serial 1175 of 24/07. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, both from Crawley, were arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug. Both remained in custody on Friday morning.

Missing David Hutchinson May Be In Sussex

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Surrey Police is growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of David Hutchinson who went missing from a unit in Walton-on-the-Hill on Sunday (20 July).

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Officers are appealing for help in tracing the 30-year-old who was last seen at 3.20pm.

He was later seen in Redhill town centre and on CCTV by the bus stop at 4.20pm.

Mr Hutchinson had been detained under the Mental Health Act and it is believed he does not have his medication.

Police are contacting friends and family of Mr Hutchinson but so far he has not made any contact. He used to live in Sussex and has connections in Crawley and Shoreham.

Mr Hutchinson, who was previously known as David Goodyer, is described as white, 5′ 11″, of a slim build, with dark brown shaved hair. He is described as clean-shaven and has a piercing in his left ear but no earring.

He was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt, blue jeans and brown trainers.

Detective Sergeant Tristan Hardiman, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are asking for the public’s help in tracing Mr Hutchinson. Although there is no indication of any direct threat to the public, anyone who believes they have seen him is urged not to approach him but to phone police on 101, quoting reference number P14210062.

DS Hardiman added: “Because we believe he has not taken his medication, he may also be at risk of harming himself, and our concern is increasing with each day that passes. We are carrying out extensive searches for Mr Hutchinson, but we need the public’s help.”

Any sightings should be reported to Surrey Police on 101 quoting reference number P14210062 or 45140060656.

Stay Off The Track!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Hundreds of children and young adults – as many as 14 a day – risk their lives and those of rail passengers and staff every year by trespassing on railways.

British Transport Police (BTP) says more than half of all railway trespassers are aged between 14 and 25.

Railway Tracks

The lighter evenings usually show an increase in trespass cases, some of which include vandalism. Between April and June this year, BTP recorded almost 2,400 trespass incidents, of which almost 1,300 involved people aged 25 or younger.

In the coming weeks, under the banner of Operation Intruder, BTP officers will target trespassers at problematic locations around the country. Officers will carry out increased patrols in a bid to try to ward off would-be trespassers who either think the track is a place to hang out or commit vandalism.

BTP is enlisting the help of other police forces and the rail industry, including the use of helicopters, to report trespassers. BTP officers will also report any damage to railway property, such as broken fences, so it can be repaired, helping to stop people gaining access to the track.

Chief Inspector Tom Naughton said: “Children and young adults need to understand the dangers of the railway – that’s the message from British Transport Police as our officers spend the next two months targeting trespassers across the network.

“While taking trespassers through the courts remains open to BTP, the main focus of this campaign is prevention – stopping people getting on the track in the first place.

“Our officers have already visited a number of schools to warn children, face-to-face, of the dangers of straying onto the railway.

“We need parents to play their part, too – making children aware of how dangerous a place the railway can be.”

Three incidents last month highlight the dangers of playing on the line all too clearly:

In Warwickshire, a 16-year-old boy suffered serious burns at Rugby when he made contact with overhead power lines while playing with friends.
A train near Ilkeston in Derbyshire hit a concrete block on the track. Police believe it was put there by a group of children seen nearby. Luckily, no-one on the train was injured.

In Essex, BTP was alerted to three children dawdling on a crossing at Westcliffe-on-Sea. A BTP schools liaison officer has spoken to the children at their school.

Operation Intruder is launched at the same time as Network Rail begins working with ten Football League clubs and the Football League Trust on a series of sports activities to divert young people away from trespassing. For more information, please contact Kate Snowden, Network Rail press office. Tel; 020 3356 9530. E-mail: kate.snowden@networkrail.co.uk

Anyone for Pimms?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

‘Saturday 19th July saw over 450 people congregate at St. Margaret’s School, Ifield.

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The rain help off and the sun shone as they all came along for the first afternoon and evening of music and entertainment in a suitably named ‘Pimms and Proms’ event.  The day brought together members from across the school community, including pupils, parents, support staff, teachers, the office staff and assistant head teachers, to share in the buzz and excitement and have a time to socialise and relax.

Head Teacher Mark Sears told us “With the weather on our side, the bar was busy and the stage was rocking!  Two bands, a newly assembled choir and an upcoming female vocalist kindly supported this fundraising event, performing for free. They also helped us to raise a staggering £2,200, which is being put towards our forthcoming wetland project.

Thank you to all those who came and supported this amazing day!  Mark Sears – event organiser.”

There was plenty for the children to do with two bouncy castles, boat swings and tight rope walking….one Mum told us “my child ran off with some other children about an hour ago and I have not seen her since…it’s great! What a fantastic event.”

Along with Pimms and other cold drinks there were burgers an hot dogs for sale along with candyfloss and popcorn.

We popped along to and was very pleasantly surprised at the whole turn out, the bands and of course the delicious pimms which was on sale from the drinks tent. A well organised and successful entertaining event which we really look forward to attending again next year.

Crawley Amateur Boxing Club Awards 2014

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

MATARR WANDA and Tobiano Mancuso were the major winners at the Crawley Boxing Club annual awards day on Sunday in the presence of two of the clubs legends, WBO European Super-Featherweight champ Ben Jones and Bob Edgeworth.

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Wanda, who came so close to a place in the National Schoolboy Finals recently, walked off with a well deserved three, trophies, including the prestigious Paul Parsons Memorial Trophy as the Juniors Boxers Boxer of the Year.

Wanda appears to have the boxing world at his feet, under the watchful eye of his coach the veteran Paddy Harmey. Only the tightest of split decisions in the semi finals of the National championships robbed the Broadfield boxer of a place in the final. But the most knowledgeable of boxing brains at the Three Bridges based club are predicting a bright future in the sport for this outstanding teenager.

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In addition to the top award,Wanda also walked away with the Best Junior and Junior Captain cups, as voted for by his peers. As well as his own punishing training routine the talented Wanda also helps coach the clubs youngest boxers on a Saturday morning, the Nursery class.

And it was three of the boxers from that class who started proceedings off on Sunday with the clubs youngest starlet Harry Parsons, Ryan Exall and Jay Watkins first up to collect their awards. Exall also picked up the trophy as the Nursery class Boxers Boxer.

Senior boxer Mancuso picked up the Club Captain’s award as well as the Roger Pearce Points Cup, while team-mates Hayden Bulloch and James Verbeeton also grabbed a pair of gongs. One of Bulloch’s pieces of silverware was the Bob Edgeworth cup for overall Boxers Boxer, and the former ABA Kingpin made the trip back to Crawley to present the award himself.

There were also awards for Jamie Toone, Luke Breslin, Ronnie Stubbs, Manny Ali, Josh McFall, Byron Jones, Sher Khan and Rahees Ali as Crawley Boxing Club rounded off another superb season in its long and distinguished history.

‘KEEP YOUR SUMMER SOCIALISING FIRE SAFE’ URGE FIREFIGHTERS

Friday, July 18th, 2014

As the county enjoys a prolonged spell of hot weather firefighters in West Sussex are urging people to take a few simple steps to ensure their summer socialising stays safe from fire.

During the summer months dry ground and vegetation increases the risk of a fire in the open igniting or spreading out of control. Each year West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is called to extinguish dozens of blazes where BBQs or bonfires have got out of hand or cigarettes have been discarded carelessly.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Community Fire Safety Officer, Jackie Boyle, said:

“The long hot summer we all hoped for is here and we want to help make sure people enjoy it safely. Unfortunately, a moment of thoughtlessness or carelessness can put people’s lives, properties or wildlife at risk.

“We’ve already attended a number of fires in the last two months started by disposable BBQs either not being properly extinguished or the coals not properly discarded so whether you are barbequing at home or venturing out into the countryside, please don’t be complacent about the risk of fire.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following basic safety advice:

BBQs:

. Place your barbeque on clear level ground where it will not tip over.
. Use approved barbeque fuel or firelighters to light it, never petrol or paraffin.
. Keep barbeques away from the house, shed, fences, garden furniture or overhanging trees and shrubs.
. Don’t leave your barbeque unattended at any time.
. Empty any spent ash on to bare soil, not into a dustbin.
. If you are lighting a barbeque in the countryside or on the beach – check beforehand that it is an authorised area.
. When using a disposable barbeque make sure the coals are completely cold before throwing them away.
Bonfires:

. Build your bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees.
. Avoid having a bonfire in windy conditions – it increases the likelihood of the fire spreading out of control.
. Don’t leave your bonfire unattended or leave it to smoulder when you have finished – make sure it is fully extinguished.
. Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going – it can get out of control quickly.
. Don’t build it too big, and make sure it us stable

For more fire safety advice call the Community Fire Safety team on 01243 642879 or www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

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Dartford Crossing – temporary suspension of charges

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

As a result of an incident on the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing, the Highways Agency has temporarily suspended Charges northbound on the Crossing until further notice.

The decision was made at 4.30pm today (16th July) to help ease the particularly severe congestion which has built up as a result of the emergency and also to reduce the risk of minor collisions in queuing traffic.

We are doing all we possibly can to help keep traffic moving.

The incident, which happened at around 12.30 this afternoon, involved 4 HGVs. We are working hard with our contractors to reopen the west bore as soon as it is safe to do so, which requires approximately 70 metres of the carriageway to be resurfaced. The east bore remains open to traffic.

Issued by the Highways Agency.

CHT Travel News

Use Your Loaf Comes To Crawley

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ex chef comes to Crawley to open his very own sandwich bar.

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Graham Strong says that he enjoys giving some nice innovative fresh food to the local people of Crawley at a reasonable price.

Graham has been a chef for 22 years but is still completely hands on.

Graham told us “all our meat comes from Ashurstwood Farm. It’s all Sussex produce along with award winning sausage meat for our sausage rolls. All our cakes are home made. It’s the old saying ‘Use Your Loaf’, so you tell us what you want and we make it for you….everything is just £2.50. We use students from the college to support local employment at our events.

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Graham, the food director and owner of ‘Use Your Loaf’ based at Southgate Parade also has an event catering company called ‘Strong Flavours’ which looks after 14 West End theatres in London. They also do canopies for Lingfield Race Course.

Graham said “we recently did breakfast canapes for Prince Charles and Prince William. We also made 225 canopies for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber as he is in London reopening his theatre show CATS.”

After working with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for three years, It was suggested by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for Graham to open his own catering company in order to become his personal caterer. Graham told us “it just snowballed from there with us now looking after the 14 West End Theatres.”

Graham said “we are very happy to be back in Crawley supplying to the public. We get allot of builders in who love the breakfast bap. They can have whatever they want and it is still only £2.50. With our catering company ‘Strong Flavours’ we also do events such as weddings, christenings etc.”

Use Your Loaf

Graham and his staff will be in town at the weekend handing out flyers so please support them and take one or pop along.

Graham has kindly offered to donate canapes to Crawley Happy Times’ 5th Birthday Bash on the 16th August, so if you want to test out how good the food is, please come along.

We would like to thank Graham for speaking to us and wish him all the success in the future.

The Pride Of Crawley, Phil Hayes

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Phil Hayes is our very own legend and is loved by many. Phil thought he was coming for a charity day down at the Cherry Lane Adventure Playground on Saturday 12th July, but he was very wrong.

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Phil is nearly hitting the ripe old age of 80 and even though he officially retired from the Play Services a few years back, Phil still dons his uniform and helps the children across Ifield Road in his role as a lollypop man since 2008. In this role Phil lives up to his usual happy reputation by calling all the children by name, even knowing most of the parents by first name too.

Phil Haynes June 2013 taken by Janice Warrens daughter

Along with Howie Payne, Phil is a volunteer for the Gateway Club which meets every Tuesday evening. The Gateway Club is a specialist organisation that caters for people with learning and physical disabilities between the ages of 16 and 60.  Click here to see more about Gateway.

When we spoke to Phil back in 2009 he said “I find the volunteer work I do really rewarding and fulfilling. I have always been involved in groups. After I played for Millwall I worked for Crawley Borough Council in the play service organising all the adventure playgrounds in the town. I have also been a football coach, helped out with netball clubs and even table tennis clubs. Anything that anyone needs help with really.”

Video of the day:

Sabrina Ebanks Thornback & Tania Thornback, the event organisers told us “Phil Hayes is a massive corner stone of the Crawley community and I think it’s about time we all got together and let him know just how much he’s loved by us all, and has influenced generation after generation of people in and around this area. We were thinking that the obvious choice of venue to hold the amount of people that attended, would be Cherry Lane Adventure Playground. It was a great day and we are all really happy that Phil has been recognised for all the work he does, and continues to do.”

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Boxer Ben Jones paid tribute to Phil saying “if you do not know Phil then you did not grow up in Crawley”. This is probably one of the best ways of describing Phil and we could not agree more. Phil has been a part of, be it big or small, the lives of most children in Crawley for many many years.

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The Mayor Cllr Brenda Smith and her husband Jim attended the event. They insisted on driving themselves instead of being chauffeured so they could spend the rest of the day celebrating with Phil whom they have been friends with for many years.

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Many have suggested nominating Phil Hayes for the Pride Of Britain Awards this year. If you feel, like us and many many others that Phil deserves such recognition, please nominate Phil by clicking here. We have entered Phil into both the Lifetime Achievement and Special Recognition categories. Entries must be received by midnight on Friday 15th August 2014.

Pictures of the day:

Amazing Community Effort On Behalf Of Our Local Parks

Monday, July 14th, 2014

People from Bewbush were delighted to welcome youngsters into an upgraded play area on Saturday 12th July after managing the project on behalf of their community.

Two years ago the council announced it was to close most of the playgrounds in Bewbush, saying they were now unfit for purpose. Sam Bouglas was very upset about this decision and took it upon herself to start a huge campaign to stop this from happening or to encourage the council to improve the parks that existed. With help from good friends, Toby Shaw from the Community Development Team of Crawley Council and various other councillors, Sam made it happen!

We spoke to Sam Bouglas:

The newly elected Mayor Brenda Smith attended and told everyone how wonderful she felt the park was.

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The Panel took decisions on all aspects of the project, agreeing the final design in May which features four new pieces of equipment and safety surfacing.

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14-year-old Billy Lewis from Bewbush who was part of the panel, said: “It was great to be given this responsibility and carry-out this work on behalf of Bewbush people. I’m pleased with the choices we made and I thank Crawley Council for giving us the opportunity to do it.”

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Cllr Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, added: “it’s fantastic to see the community get involved like this, it’s exactly the kind of involvement we want to see more of across the town. By letting local people make the choices, we’re making sure they get what they want and I think this will really help to instil pride in their areas.”

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Fast Acting Shaun Carr Is A Local Hero

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Today was not just another day for Shaun Carr and a family of five.

This morning at around 8:55am Shaun Carr was walking down Mowbray Drive after dropping the children to school when he smelt smoke coming from somewhere nearby. Shaun looked around and noticed smoke pouring from a window of a ground floor flat to the left of him.

Shaun Carr

Shaun instantly ran to the window and started banging on it to alert anyone who might have been asleep in the flat. Shaun told us he was shouting and banging on the window for a while but there was no response which made him think there may not be anyone inside….but he did not give up trying. The smoke was so thick and black he could not see anything or anyone in the flat. He then decided to try the front door. He went around to the front of the flats where luckily the communal door was open. Shaun went straight to the door where the smoke was coming from and tried to kick it in.

Shaun told us “I tried to kick the door in but I couldn’t. Someone on the next level had heard the commotion and came out to see what was going on so I shouted to them that there was a fire and they had to get out. It was then that is struck me that there were probably other people in the flats too so I ran to each door banging as hard as I could. While I was doing this I called the emergency services. They were already aware of the fire, which is good as I didn’t know the name of the flats. By the time I had reached the top I heard someone say that the man from the ground floor flat had come out so I ran down to see if he was ok. The man was covered in black soot and was panicking. He was shouting that his wife and children were in the flat. He insisted on going back in to get them. I followed him up a ladder to an open window and just as he stepped inside a neighbour informed me the children had left with their mum to go to school so were not in the flat. I shouted to the man and he came back out. He was still very confused and kept asking about his wife and children.”

By this time the neighbours from the houses nearby had come out to help. Shaun told us “myself and another lady sat with the man from the flat and did our best to keep him sat upright and awake. He had taken in allot of smoke and laying down would not have been good for him. We waited until the emergency services arrived who then took over, treating the man with oxygen. He was taken by ambulance to East Surrey Hospital. There was quite a few people and of course police and various emergency services around by this time so I left and went into town.”

Shaun lives in Bewbush with his wife Rachel and works for Metrobus. Before leaving the scene, Shaun calmly called his work to let them know the road was closed advising buses should take an alternative route.

His wife Rachel told us she was so proud of her husband. Rachel said “Shaun has saved a family from loosing their father and husband and for that I could not be more proud of him.”

Our interview with Shaun Carr and Gus Falkingham:

We also spoke to Gus Falkingham who lives in the flat opposite on the ground floor. Gus told us “the man is a hero! If it had not been for him I would have never known about it until it was too late. I didn’t smell anything or hear anything. Once I am settled in front of my TV that’s it for me. When he knocked on my door I had no idea up until then. As soon as I opened my door, the smoke hit me. It had filled the stairway and grabbed you by the throat. The man was risking his life just to make us all aware. I care for an elderly lady and had time to get her out, but if that man had not knocked when he did, I am not sure that would have been possible.  I personally would like to thank him for his quick thinking and fast actions in getting us all out.” Gus told us the names of his neighbours are Max and Kelly.

We do not have confirmation on the condition of Max as yet. We wish him a speedy recovery. Our condolences go out to them for the loss of their dog Bullseye who sadly passed away shortly after being rescued from the flat.

This incident just reiterates how important it is to have a fitted working smoke alarm. Unfortunately this family did not have one. If they had, they may have had much more notice to evacuate than they did this morning. Here is a link to a report sent to us today by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. Please read and share with your friends.

London Road Reopens…..at last!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The London Road has been closed in both directions then partially since the 10th April after a large hole appeared after a burst water pipe.

a23

Yesterday (7th July) the road finally reopened.

Thames Water apologise for any inconvenience caused.

They wrote “the A23 between the Fleming Way and Lowfield Heath roundabouts is now fully reopen. Both lanes in both directions. It reopened yesterday.”