Crawley is set to have up to 57% of Crawley’s 94,000 employment base unemployed or furloughed according to predictions from the Centre for Cities. (Government needs to wake up! – Crawley Labour Party) And current figures show that we are well on the way to these levels of unemployment, levels never before experienced in Crawley.
In January 2021 8.3% of Crawley workforce were claiming benefits. This is an increase from February 2020 of 4070 claimants – a 209% increase to a new total of 6020. This rate is higher than all neighbouring authorities including Horsham, Mid-Sussex, Reigate & Banstead and Brighton. Crawley is ranked 35th highest out of 380 local authority areas. We also have 25,800 local residents on furlough currently.
But we have not been waiting for this crisis to happen. In fact, in June 2020 your Labour led Council formed a ‘Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce’ (CERT for short). This has brought business, political and cultural leaders together into one group that includes representatives from Gatwick Airport, the Coast 2 Capital LEP, Manor Royal and Town Centre Business Districts, small business leaders, Crawley’s MP and senior WSCC representatives, DWP and other state organisations, local education leaders, as well as people from the Arts, Cultural and Leisure industries.
As part of the formation of the CERT we have developed an economic recovery plan that sets out an approach to rebuilding key parts of our economy including activity to combat climate change and develop Green industry in Crawley as well as encouraging new businesses to come to Crawley. We will publish more information about this shortly but if you can’t wait all of the details are here: Crawley Economic Recovery Task Force and Town Deal Board | Crawley GOV
We recognise that unemployment is now the number one issue for many people in Crawley and are determined to take action to help solve it. Cllr Peter Smith
We continue to challenge Government to deliver on its promises for Crawley, by fully funding the costs of Covid-19 incurred by Crawley, as it promised, and to help us to deliver a build ‘forward better’ recovery for Crawley. This is the only way that we can deliver Crawley jobs for Crawley people as quickly as possible – we are determined to succeed in this aim.
Cllr Peter Smith
Ifield and Ifield West
Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development