Brighton suburb looks at becoming a village

Posted On 11 Apr 2015 at 5:53 pm
By Guy Wilson

Coldean residents are discussing the possibility of evolving from a Brighton suburb into an independent village.

Robin Berry, of Coldean Community Forum, said that the idea was supported by the majority of residents.

He said: “At its heart this issue is all about having and encouraging a positive community atmosphere here in Coldean.

“Many people think a change to village status would help improve that.”

Coldean - how the sign could look

How the Coldean welcome sign could read

Ruth Allsop, media officer for Brighton and Hove Council, said: “If there was sufficient support then an application can be made to the Secretary of State to gain a parish council. As for village status, I would assume something similar.”

Others public figures in Coldean have spoken out in favour of a change.

Councillor Christina Summers said: “There is a reignited desire to examine this issue but it will not be easy.

“It will need not only a significant input from residents but an elected member who will really lead on this and not be put off, blocked, swayed or undermined by the council, which of course is always adverse to any kind of risk.”

The vicar of St Mary Magdalen Church, Betsy Grey-Hammond, said: “Although I’ve only been in Coldean for nine months, I agree with the residents I’ve met and spoken to that being a village would bring a greater sense of identity to our community.”

Older residents recall a time when Coldean was referred to in passing as the village.

Reginald Neville, 73, a warden at St Mary Magdalen Church, said: “As one approaches Coldean from the top of the lane you can see the whole community set in the valley and surrounded by hills.

“It’s quite apart from the rest of Brighton and this certainly gives a village impression.”

Coldean Community Forum meets at the New Larches Café, Waldron Avenue, on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm. All residents are welcome to attend.

  1. David Walker Reply

    As a Green I strongly believe in devolution of power and influence as close to people and communities as possible.

    Options need to be explored for what it means for the community and whether this is technically the right route for Coldean. Also, methods of how to ensure everyone can be included will need to be considered.

    It’s great to see the community thinking of their future.

    David Walker
    Candidate for Hollingdean and Stanmer (including Coldean)

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    I once asked a public question on parish councils….

    They are A. Good. Thing. in my view. The whole political parties thing is old hat, morally corrupt and ruthlessly competitively about THEMSELVES and the power they can accrue to themselves and their paid-up membership. Their patronage is bought by donors and I for one think that the only way out of that morass of nastiness and ludicrousy is a system that by-passes party politics altogether – Parish councils.

    In London, would you believe, there are are areas with Parish Council status.

    With a Parish Council you can find people (hopefully people who do not belong to a political party of any kind)with various kinds of expertise who can be elected to that Council to provide the oversight that 99% of all political party chosen councillors do not have. All that most councillors offer is their membership and obedience to their chosen party line.

    Political party membership is often about creating a social life which means obey, support or lose your social life. I encountered that some years ago when the local Labour Party(when in power)decided to abolish the Private Sector Housing Forum because they could not control it or tolerate its members thinking for themselves and creating a direction they did not want to support.

    Parish Council! Go for it! Escape the evils of party politics! Parish Councils are ultimate localism.

  3. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Incomplete thought above. A former councillor from up north who had moved to the area and was part of the Private Sector Housing Forum (and a Labour Party member) swallowed her principles and hung back from helping the Forum fight off the wicked political take-over bid “because I depend on them for my social life”. I have never forgotten the shock of hearing someone say that. Support for bad policy and bad behaviour for fear of losing her social life. Unbelievable.

    That Private Sector Housing Forum was abolished by a Brighton & Hove City Council Labour Administration that wanted to control it’s direction and aims.

    A Parish Council of individuals chosen from the local community (must be resident) would give real focus on the area. Wish them luck.

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