A Green future for Brighton and Hove

On Thursday 2 May, Brighton and Hove residents will have the opportunity to say who they want to represent them on the city council. The elections take place against Brexit chaos and the climate emergency while Tory austerity continues to fail our communities, with our city losing £1 in ever...

Labour stands ready to deliver for the many not the few in Brighton and Hove

This city is facing a series of huge challenges over the coming years. To protect the most crucial roles of the NHS and the council, while facing £100 million of Tory funding cuts, we have to update the delivery of all 700 council services to make them fit for the 21st century. Global climate...

Put it to the people

I woke up on the morning of Friday 24 June 2016 shocked and devastated by the result of the Brexit Referendum. Like the 69 per cent of our city and the 81 per cent of voters in Preston Park – the ward I am proud to represent – I voted Remain, as I did in the first Referendum, back in 1975....

Only our compromise can break the Brexit impasse because the people deserve a final say on any deal

When we go back to our constituencies, it’s sometimes hard to explain to people what happens in Westminster because, in all honesty, it doesn’t always make sense. Try telling someone how Steven Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, could speak in favour of a motion on Thursday night only to vote...

Beware the horror film scenario at the Brighton and Hove local elections in May

If you, like me, scream at the next victim in a horror film – “Don’t go outside into the dark! You know what will happen!” – you will know it never ends well. We have seen the spectacle of MPs resigning from the Labour Party, citing anti-semitic abuse and hijacking by the hard left and claiming...
Posted On 16 Mar 2019

Let the battle of manifesto ideas begin

As council leader my focus is on delivering on the promises the Labour candidates made at the last city council elections in 2015. The promises that candidates make on the doorstep, or in the press, are something that most politicians I know, and of all party allegiances, take very seriously....

Brighton General Hospital plans threaten biggest local colony of endangered swifts

Plans to build homes on the Brighton General Hospital site pose a threat to what is believed to be the biggest and oldest colony of endangered swifts in Brighton and Hove. Housing is needed but it does not have be at the expense of birds like swifts which are such a wonderful element of our...
Posted On 08 Mar 2019

International Women’s Day reminds of what has been achieved and how much remains to be done

We will once again celebrate International Women’s Day this week – and with events across the city, we are reminded of the rich struggle for women’s equality in Brighton and Hove. Marking the centenary of some women first being granted the right to vote, I was honoured to attend the unveiling...

Conservatives wrestle with convention but Labour retains confidence and control

This week our Labour minority administration faced its biggest test in the last four years. Having lost one councillor to the Tory Party and having seen two others go independent, we were put in the unenviable position of a challenge from the Tory group who are now marginally bigger than our...

Conservatives offer an alternative budget for a new administration

What a week! This Thursday (28 February), Brighton and Hove City Council should have set the budget for the coming year. But as this article went to print, I didn’t know if the Labour, Green or, as I hope, Conservative budget has set the tone for the next 12 months. We have also learned what a...
Posted On 01 Mar 2019

A week is a long time – even in local politics!

Oh what a long time a week is in politics – even local politics! In the fortnight since I last wrote there have been so many changes that it is difficult to know where to start. My Labour minority administration has seen the loss of two longstanding councillors (one to the Tories if you can...

Labour short-changes our city’s communities once again

This Labour council has been consumed by division: former leader Warren Morgan was ousted last year, Caroline Penn quit in protest, the city’s Children and Young People Committee has had three chairs in as many years – and this week the chair of the Housing and New Homes Committee Anne Meadows...

A pledge to build more homes in Brighton and Hove

One hundred years ago, 80 per cent of the British rented their homes, almost all from private landlords. Standards were poor until the 1919 Housing Act provided subsidies for local authorities to build the first real council houses. Housebuilding peaked at 350,000 a year in the 1930s but soon...
Posted On 16 Feb 2019

Budget highlights the challenge of deciding spending priorities

As a Labour minority administration we are heading into the busiest part of our year. With final budget setting meetings just weeks away, we have to hope that our proposals, after months of work, can meet with the approval of a majority on the council. Given that this is an election year, this...

A City Plan to design and build a better Brighton and Hove

This week Green Councillors have published our response to the city’s blueprint for development, City Plan Part Two. This plan builds on the strategic vision in City Plan Part One and sets out what sort of built environment we want in the future. As important is how the city preserves and...

Homelessness cannot be solved by a single council – but here’s what we are doing

There has been a lot of questioning of the number of rough sleepers in the city of late. People say we are counting in the wrong way or we looked in the wrong places. This is a smokescreen for those wanting to undermine the efforts being made and distracts from two inescapable truths. Firstly,...

A Tory passion for quality of life

It has been quite hectic since the start of the new year and, following on from the excesses of the holiday period, I determined to increase the frequency of my yoga practice and generally exercise “a bit more’”. So, the news that taking part in physical activity is known to give...
Posted On 02 Feb 2019

It’s like Groundhog Day over Brexit

I made a number of announcements last week – it’s part of the job sometimes. Often these are not particularly party political or even decisions that have been made by councillors. Nevertheless I frequently have to announce things that may be good news or bad news for some or all people...

Changes to Valley Gardens will be good for cyclists and pedestrians- now let’s get on with it

The Valley Gardens project offers an opportunity to better connect many central green spaces with their surroundings and to create a more pleasant city centre. At present, many of these areas feel cut off and are little used by residents or visitors unless there is an event on. The project will...
Posted On 31 Jan 2019

Events held in Brighton and Hove can pay back to our communities and environment

This week Brighton and Hove City Council will discuss a petition calling on event organisers to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2020. Over 3,450 people have signed this petition – sending a clear message that residents want to see lasting change in how events are managed in our...