A word on Oxfam – by Hove MP and former aid worker Peter Kyle

I’ve spoken a lot in the media these past few days because there’s a lot I wanted to say about aid and development. Most of you know that I was an aid worker myself for almost a decade, and then completed a doctorate on development at Sussex University. It’s something a care a lot about. From...
Posted On 13 Feb 2018

Opinion – 100 years of suffrage but there’s more to do

Today we marked 100 years since some women were given the right to vote and stand in parliamentary elections. This was a huge milestone that women suffered and died for. I am proud to have become the 419th female MP but we need to ensure that more women are able to take part in our democracy...

Opinion – Government must give us freedom and funding to build homes for Brighton and Hove

Few argue that Brighton and Hove needs more housing, the debate is usually about where to build it and how affordable it is. Another issue of course is how to pay for it. We have committed to build or at least start 500 new council homes by 2020 and we are on the way to doing that. Brooke Mead...

Opinion – Time to rethink how we protect our environment

Twenty seven years ago I marched with my father against a toxic waste incinerator being built by manufacturing firm Dupont. Among the many speeches, I can remember my epiphany: without taking action to change behaviour in giant corporations, our planet will not be rescued from climate change....

Opinion – Labour scaremongering ignores the real lesson: children are being better educated under the Conservatives

A couple of years ago a Labour Shadow Education Spokesperson claimed that the Conservative government had created a “vacuum” in education in an attempt to paint an image of an education system in decay. This was designed to scare parents about their children’s futures. The Conservative Party...
Posted On 19 Jan 2018

Opinion – Concrete signs of progress on seafront show confidence in Brighton and Hove

Regular readers of this column will know of my affection for our seafront and my belief that it is a key part of our economy and what makes Brighton and Hove the great place it is. One of our prime locations is the Aquarium Terraces opposite the Palace Pier at the gateway to Madeira Drive, home...

Opinion – Shaping a future for homes, jobs and growth in Brighton and Hove

How do we secure an economic future for Brighton and Hove, the city region and the south east? How do we create the environment in which businesses can grow? How do we build enough affordable homes so that the people working in those businesses can afford to live here? And how do we ensure our...

Opinion – Are Greens the only party protecting Brighton and Hove from fracking?

In the face of thousands of objections, this week West Sussex county councillors voted to allow “investigative drilling” near Balcombe village. Fossil-fuel firm Cuadrilla can now conduct invasive tests in the hunt for oil and gas reserves, laying the ground for fracking at the doorstep of...

Opinion – From budget battles to crowdfunding success and from building new homes to Albion’s promotion, it’s been quite a year!

In keeping with a chilly January, the year started with us announcing that the majority of parking charges in Brighton and Hove would be frozen for another year. Some of our target 500 new council homes were completed in Portslade and we put forward proposals for “Rail South”,...

Opinion – A colourful take on the political landscape in Brighton and Hove

For those of you becoming slightly irritated by the left-right, capitalism-socialism, May-Corbyn arguments, a note from me, as leader of the Conservatives in Brighton and Hove, regarding my personal views may be useful. There are two types of politician who can bring most to the current...
Posted On 24 Dec 2017

The present for care leavers in Brighton and Hove that offers hope for a better future

The festive season provides an opportunity to think about those less fortunate than ourselves. In the council chamber recently we discussed the children in our care. Councillors have a legal responsibility to act as ‘corporate parents’ to young people up to the age of 25, who for whatever...
Posted On 23 Dec 2017

Opinion – Our night shelter will help rough sleepers but it won’t end rough sleeping

This Sunday the council will be opening a winter night shelter for local rough sleepers at the Brighton Centre. This will provide a safe space for 30 local people over the coldest months of the year. Once warm and after a hot meal, they will be able to start to engage with our outreach workers...

Opinion – Now we have an industrial strategy, let’s make it work

Ideas and innovation are at the heart of the Industrial Strategy White Paper published by the government last week. A key aim is to turn the best ideas into jobs and growth and improved productivity. Locally the message was reinforced by Science Minister Jo Johnson – the youngest brother of...

Opinion – Brexit: Another fine mess

Laurel and Hardy may not have been anticipating Brexit when they coined the phrase “another fine mess you’ve gotten us into” but it neatly sums up the last few weeks. The Brexit economic impact assessments epitomise the chaos. First there was “excruciating detail” – then they...

Opinion: Public support has played a key part in saving the Madeira Terraces

We did it! Not just me and the council – but the community, the city, residents, businesses and organisations coming together to act to save a valued part of our local heritage. We hit the target for the Madeira Terraces crowdfunding campaign with more than 24 hours to spare and by a...

Opinion: Less doom and disaster – give us news without bias!

Recently published “wellbeing” data for the UK showed a significant improvement in life satisfaction and an overall increase in happiness. A few days later, as I sat watching the BBC News at 10 reporting on the Conservative budget, I genuinely thought I had accidentally tuned in to a Labour...
Posted On 02 Dec 2017

Opinion – Justice failing the young

Youth courts are retaining jurisdiction in ever more serious cases. The orthodox view is that youth courts are the right venue for under-18s. The 2017 Youth Sentencing Guideline states that “young people should be tried in the youth court” as it is “best designed to meet their specific needs”....
Posted On 02 Dec 2017

Opinion – Universal credit will make life worse not better in Brighton and Hove

When the independent chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board asks about the introduction of universal credit in Brighton and Hove, as he did this week, it’s hardly surprising that party politicians have questions. As a Labour councillor, I have questions and concerns. As the lead member...

We must do more to house local people

This week I saw what local government can do to meet the housing needs of local residents. At Kite Place in Whitehawk I visited new council homes that are a match for anything in the private sector. Energy efficient, broadband enabled new council homes for households who desperately need them,...

Opinion – ways to fix the housing crisis are being ignored

By Phélim Mac Cafferty One in 69 people in Brighton and Hove are homeless. Our city is ranked 20th of UK council areas for homelessness, surpassing many London boroughs. These are the alarming findings of a report from Shelter published this week. Life for people who have no place to call home...