Lessons from our past can help shape our future

It was an honour last weekend to attend the annual interfaith memorial service for Indian Army soldiers killed in First World War, which is held at the Chattri, high up on the Downs overlooking our city. As a place, the Chattri is both beautiful and serene, acting as a reminder of the...

One year on from Grenfell: why housing regulation is still needed

One year on from the horrors of the Grenfell Tower Fire and the public inquiry has shown us the grief faced by those who have been left behind. Relatives and friends of the 72 people lost to the fire have paid moving tributes – a harrowing reminder of the unacceptable loss of life on that day....

Why I rebelled on the latest Brexit vote by Peter Kyle

On Thursday (14 June) I voted against the government and my own party in the Commons to support Britain retaining membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) if we leave the European Union (EU). I want to tell you why. There are some people who just want us to leave every single part of the...
Posted On 16 Jun 2018

Naked Bike Ride has nothing to do with female empowerment

It’s deeply irritating that every year we are treated to the fiction that the self-indulgent attention-fest that is the Naked Bike Ride is in some way related to environmental politics and road safety. However, the notion that this year – the centenary year of the first women...
Posted On 10 Jun 2018

Join us in reaching out to tackle loneliness and isolation

We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and neighbourly city and many people work hard together to tackle any issues that might undermine that. This now includes acting against social isolation and loneliness, which although less talked about can have as great a negative impact on our health as...

Now is not the time for Brighton and Hove to give socialism a chance

I write currently sandwiched between Białowieża, one of Europe’s last primeval forests, and the Biebrza marshes, one of Europe’s most important wetlands. A wonderful sanctuary for wildlife, the area hosts wild bison, lynx, wolves and other exotic creatures. I am in north eastern Poland. These...
Posted On 09 Jun 2018

Brighton and Hove’s Green councillors prepare for the future

Once again the Conservative government is talking the talk but not walking the walk on the environment with a 25 year environment “plan” that won’t commit the country to any action until 2030. At the same time as feigning concern for our green spaces, new government proposals mean it will soon...

Bank holidays give Brighton a boost so they should mean business as usual

As a city where visitors and tourism are a key part of our economy, we have always known that sunny bank holidays are a major boost. However, we are also a city where residents want to enjoy the best that the city has to offer too. So we should never be surprised when our beaches are full, our...

Opinion – Listening will help us learn to do better

Several parts of the press have suggested that by becoming leader of the city council last week I have taken on a poisoned chalice. Others have suggested that I must be a glutton for punishment. To be fair I can partially see their point but I view this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to...

Brighton and Hove’s most vulnerable community groups need help when they hit tough times

Just two weeks ago one of the city’s most important community centres, the Bridge, in Moulsecoomb, closed down due to lack of funding. Offering back-to-work support and literacy programmes for adults it was able to support people we as a council or the other authorities couldn’t. Its work...

Partnership, not potshots, is the key to facing city’s challenges

In a city where collaboration and partnership have very strong roots I’m very proud to have been elected as leader of the city council. It’s an amazing honour to have the confidence of my fellow councillors, especially when the city faces so many challenges over the next few years. I will...

Why I disagree with the call by former chief constable Paul Whitehouse for the legalisation of drugs

The former Chief Constable of Sussex, Paul Whitehouse, has called for the legalisation of drugs including heroin, cocaine and cannabis. I fundamentally disagree with him on two counts: first is the practical case. The illegality of drugs make them less accessible and therefore, for many, less...
Posted On 17 May 2018

As temporary custodians of Brighton and Hove, it’s our job to enhance the inheritance we hand on

This is my last column for Brighton and Hove News as leader of the city council before I hand over to Councillor Dan Yates on Thursday 17 May. It’s been an enormous privilege to lead the city over the past three years and the Labour and Co-operative group of councillors for the last five....

The Conservative fight back has begun

The results of the recent local elections, where Labour added a few councillors but crucially lost control of more councils than they gained, led me ponder just what makes a party electable. I concluded that we are still operating in the shadow of two powerful Prime Ministers: Margaret Thatcher...
Posted On 11 May 2018

Hove MP makes the case for votes at 16 as his bill goes before Parliament tomorrow

A strange tone surrounds the debate about giving 16 and 17 year olds the vote. It’s pretty incongruous to a middle-aged bloke like me so God knows what it’s like through the eyes of young people’s themselves. Whenever you mention the idea, politicians who spend most of their time on TV saying...
Posted On 10 May 2018
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Anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s death reminds us the fight against racism continues

We commemorated the murder of Stephen Lawrence on Sunday 22 April. Stephen was only a few years older than me and as a teenager the injustice of his case and death had a huge impact. While as a student I campaigned for my students’ union to be renamed the Stephen Lawrence building, attending...

A first week spent laying the foundations for the year ahead

It’s been quite a busy week meeting people and thanking people for their kind words. Meanwhile the vast schedule of meetings on the horizon gradually draws nearer and nearer. The first major meeting will of course be the annual meeting of the full council on Thursday 17 May when the mayor for...

Together we can achieve more for Brighton and Hove than we can alone

At the start of this week my fellow Labour councillors chose me to take on the leadership of the minority administration on Brighton and Hove City Council. After five years of Warren Morgan’s leadership this will mean a significant change to the council and obviously a big change for me...

Making Greater Brighton genuinely greater

It’s been nearly a year since I took on the role of chairman of the Greater Brighton Economic Board which means it is a good time to look back and reflect on what has been delivered in the last 12 months. When I took up the role on the rotating annual basis, I made clear that the time was right...
Posted On 19 Apr 2018

Hove MP spells out Syrian dilemma

The last fortnight has been really tough. I’ve been watching and reading the news from Syria like most people but as Parliament has been in recess I’ve missed the chance to track down experts, consult colleagues and hunt down ministers to get answers to the many questions swirling around my...
Posted On 16 Apr 2018