What difference would Jeremy Corbyn make to Brighton and Hove if he became PM?

I find myself chatting about political conferences, yet soon move on to the subject of just why people join political parties. It doesn’t take long to spot that, although I am in a discussion with a young entrepreneur, they are a fan of Jeremy Corbyn. Desperate not to pay...

Find out what it’s really like to run Brighton and Hove

To judge from my inbox, responses at community meetings, online message boards, Facebook, Twitter and the myriad other forms of communication, there are a lot of people who have strong views about how councillors (including the leader of the council) could do things better. The good news is...

It’s time for tough love not warm words to help Brighton’s rough sleepers

I want to acknowledge the contribution of the hundreds of volunteers, community groups such as Off the Fence, Sussex Homeless Support and the Churches Network, various donors and fundraisers, and those in employment, who go over and above what is required, particularly at BHCC, BHT and ...

Party conferences are over but the need to listen continues

Party conference season is coming to an end (thankfully, some may say). Political activists will no doubt have been enthused by the plans and discussions at their own conferences and emboldened by those which took part at the other conferences. However, this will mean very little to most...

It’s Black History Month – and we still need to root out racism where we find it

There could perhaps be no more sobering a reminder of the importance of Black History Month than looking at the treatment of the UK’s Windrush generation. Invited here to rebuild Britain after the Second World War as citizens of the British Commonwealth, yet as long-standing residents they’ve...

A tribunal undercut by settlement is good news – but a far less costly case would have been better

Shula Rich made rather a mess of the facts in her opinion piece on the independent tribunal to resolve the payment dispute between the council and leaseholders on the Bristol Estate. The article continues the hail of misrepresentation, accusation and rumour around this case. It’s time to set...

Cranes give us a glimpse of Brighton and Hove’s future

There are a lot of cranes about these days. I think most people moving around the city – and certainly those communities most affected – would recognise that there is progress being made to deliver the housing, work, learning and public spaces that this city so desperately needs. Whether it is...

Will you gamble at the local elections in Brighton and Hove next May?

With only 216 days remaining until the local elections, the pre-election “silly season” is upon us. This year, however, things are somewhat different. Nationally, stalwart MP Frank Field has resigned from the Parliamentary Labour Party and a former Labour Home Secretary has called...
Posted On 28 Sep 2018

A costly case against Brighton leaseholders – but tribunal undercut by settlement

Brighton and Hove City Council’s legal advisers made a complete mess of their tribunal case this week against 39 leaseholders on the Bristol Estate. Many leaseholders were still going through the disputes procedure but the council went to a tribunal anyway. The idea was to get a decision on the...

Rubbish problems highlight need to reset council’s ‘dysfunctional’ relationships

A former colleague’s Avatar is just not suitable. The dilemma, therefore, is do I tell them, and risk creating a rift, or stay silent, allowing them to continue with their embarrassing choice. A similar dilemma rests upon my shoulders regarding the Local Government Association (LGA) “Corporate...
Posted On 15 Sep 2018

Politics and the power of a thank you

As a city we are very lucky that we still have a very wide range of council services available for residents, even if at times the quality of services falls below what we would like to provide. These services depend on thousands of council staff, as well as staffing across schools, but staff,...

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...