Pride should have no place for prejudice of any sort

Observing the Pride march this year in all its splendour from the top of a bus for first time (a dodgy knee prevented me from marching), as we approached Preston Park I was alerted by a fellow passenger that a group of youngsters, who had been happy to engage enthusiastically for a short while,...
Posted On 17 Aug 2018

Come rain or shine we must prepare for all eventualities

As is traditional at this time of year I’ve decided to spend an entire column moaning about the weather! Seriously though, it’s important for us all to recognise that as a city by the sea we are all “wrapped up” in the travel and tourism effects that periods of good weather can have. With long...

With local elections looming in Brighton and Hove, let the battle of ideas commence

I consider myself very lucky to be part of a leadership team that has time and again demonstrated its ability to think outside the box and find solutions to the city’s twin problems of increasing expectations and reducing central government funding. However, this shouldn’t be a significant...

The reality of austerity Britain is being felt closer to home

Further to Northamptonshire County Council declaring itself bankrupt in February this year, the macabre reality of Tory austerity has come to knock on a door much closer to home. Last week East Sussex County Council became the latest to declare a financial crisis. It comes as one in ten local...

Keep markets free – though bring in rules where needed

A couple of weeks ago at a full council meeting we heard a deputation concerning the mass release of balloons and lanterns. While this practice can appear harmless, we heard that beaches in Europe are littered with thousands of deflated balloons – many from this country – and that the practice...
Posted On 11 Aug 2018

Tragic toll of drug deaths is rising but in Brighton there is hope of recovery

Drug-related deaths, tragically, are increasing across England, up to 10,348 last year from 9,306 two years earlier, an 11 per cent increase. Brighton and Hove is witnessing something similar, with deaths up 15 per cent in two years, to 96 fatalities. Behind these bare statistics are men and...
Posted On 10 Aug 2018

We should be proud of Brighton Pride despite the challenges

Well that was quite a Pride weekend! Reading some of the media stories you’d be forgiven for thinking our city was overtaken by thousands of people intent of pulling our city to pieces … so let me just say a few words about what it was like from the inside looking out, rather than the outside...
Posted On 07 Aug 2018

Pride in our Pride

Britney is coming! That’s was the cry that went round a lot of residents a few months ago when the headline act for this year’s Pride was announced. Now I might be showing my age preferences a little but I was more impressed with the announcement of Nile Rodgers for the Sunday but hey ho – I’ve...

Forty years of the rainbow flag – why we still need to wear the symbol with pride

Next weekend marks one of the biggest in the city’s calendar as we come together to celebrate our LGBT community for Pride. As we did for Trans Pride on Saturday 21 July, Greens will once again march with all those who stand together for equality and liberation. This year is also the 40th...

Piano lessons proved key for novice politician

Every time I walk past the piano in Brighton railway station I smile. It makes me so happy for lots of reasons. It was four years ago that I put it there and the story behind it is quite funny and taught me a lot of lessons about politics. I had only been a political candidate for a short time,...
Posted On 02 Aug 2018

What I said to Sussex University students on graduation day

Sometimes things happen that make you stop for a moment and think. I’ve just had one of those moments. I had to apply three times to Sussex University before they accepted me as a student. Yesterday, 14 years after I graduated, I got to address their graduation as guest of honour. I’ve attended...
Posted On 29 Jul 2018

TV hub setback highlighted much to make us proud

Our city has always had a reputation as a vibrant, creative, beautiful and welcoming place – well before it even became a city. With so many businesses and residents working within the creative industries, and our local educational institutions also supporting the development of such careers,...

Voting for the Momentum slate will destroy Labour in Brighton and Hove

Recent days have seen the news emerge that Momentum is attempting to deselect all existing Labour councillors in Brighton and Hove, with the exception of one. Of course this comes as little surprise, following, as it does, the vicious attacks against the previous council leader and the...

Failing train service sparks new political signals

Like many regular Brighton to London commuters, the rail breakdown on Monday 2 July will live long in my memory. I was angry at the time and I am almost as grumpy now having asked a series of written questions of the government and had platitudes and zero information in response. It was the day...

Greater Brighton relies on working with our partners

I spend a lot of my time working on partnerships (I may have mentioned this once or twice already) and with partners on trying to deliver the services, infrastructure and growth that will meet the needs of our city for future generations. One strong example of the benefits of this approach to...

Brighton and Hove is at risk from a political earthquake

Feeling weary? Tears in your eyes about the state of our nation? I will dry them all. I’m on your side. When times appear rough, and friends can’t be found, I would like to provide a bridge over our current troubled waters. It is clear that Britain stands, like a colossus, astride...
Posted On 20 Jul 2018

Our council and city will pay the price for Brexit uncertainty

This week has been an unedifying fiasco for all in politics: a government in chaos, the official opposition sitting on the fence. With less than eight months until the proposed “exit” date from the European Union, we are no clearer about what it will mean for our city, residents or the country....

Learning fast and focusing on housing

It’s just under two months since I was elected to become the leader of the council and it’s fair to say that it has been an enormous learning curve for me. I’m not a career politician, and many of the complex relationships that the council depends on both with staff and partners are delicate...

Decisions – you’ve got know when to hold them, and know when to fold them

Councillors aren’t always right. This might come as a shock to some (although many people tell me we are never right), but as ordinary residents ourselves we can’t always foresee the impact of particular decisions. The council decided some months ago as part of its ongoing funding crisis to...

Let’s build a Hospital for Hove

Birthdays are so good – they should happen every year! But with increasing age, asking for presents can become tedious. So when great auntie asks for some ideas on WhatsApp, I would like to suggest a fun game to play. Investigate, via Google, who shares your birthday. My wife shares her Great...
Posted On 06 Jul 2018