Elections result: Labour emerge as largest party on Brighton and Hove City Council

Posted On 09 May 2015 at 7:03 pm

The Labour Party is the largest on Brighton and Hove City Council, winning 23 of the 54 seats in the local elections.

The Conservatives are the next largest party, with 20 seats, and the Greens have 11.

The voters spoke on Thursday (7 May) and today (Saturday 9 May), after a count lasting almost ten hours, their voice was heard.

Most of the Labour gains were at the expense of the Greens in wards such as Queen’s Park, Preston Park and Goldsmid.

Labour leader Councillor Warren Morgan said that the coming four years would be an immense challenge with more spending cuts promised by the incoming Conservative government at Westminster.

He promised to review the plans to remodel the road around the Old Steine and tackle transport, jobs and housing.

  1. feline1 Reply

    So basically it’s “No Overall Control”, same as it was in 2010.
    Labour are the largest single party, but if Tories and Greens gang up they can veto every single thing Labour what to do.
    What are Labour’s plan?
    Co-opt Greens into a whipped coalition? Or simply try to struggle on as a minority administration?

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Who cares – just celebrate the wonderful news – the nightmare of the past 4 years is finally over!

      • feline1 Reply

        But it’s exactly the same situation, if not worse: cuts coming down from Central Government on high whilst there’s No Overall Control on the council.
        Except this time the cuts will be harder and the lack of control greater!

  2. Kev Reply

    And thank our lucky stars the Tories aren’t the biggest party. One silver lining in a huge cloud of gloom set over the country for the next 5 years.

  3. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The Greens have swapped places/roles with Labour and because the Tories and Labour are neck and neck but for 3 votes, the Greens decide everything. They are able to dictate outcomes. Kingmakers with more power and influence than they had as the Administration when hostages to Labour decisions about support.

    They would be fools to go into coalition as they would end up as the LibDems did and Labour would destroy them.

    The Tories just have to sit like spiders in this web, waiting to pick off the flies.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Nice theory – just as when Labour were the smaller party on the council before and decided everything?

      Don’t you remember that the transport committee had 50% green party members as well as the chairman who had the casting vote so they could get anything through that they wanted?

      As with the previous 4 years there will be various committees and Labour, Conservative and Greens will have councillors on the various committees – if Labour and Conservatives have any sense they’ll give the Greens some committees where they can’t do much damage – perhaps the Children & Young People Committee or the Health & Wellbeing Board.

      Councils are not the same a Parliament where the SNP thought they would be the ‘King Makers’.

  4. Levent Reply

    Just when I was about to lose faith in the people of Brighton & Hove, they seemed to have learnt from this diabolical absurdity that is the Greens, and have voted them out. I never thought I’d be glad to see any form of socialists ever win, but given how appalling the Greens have been…HALLELUJAH!!!! We have our City Back!!!!!

  5. Brighton Reply

    Labour and the Tories will certainly gang up against the Greens here no doubt, both of them ran on the pretense that they would reverse everything the Greens had done in the pas few years.

  6. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    As I see it, Labour will crow (seagull?) for a couple of days and then the grim reality will hit them – especially the new and naturally enthusiastic councillors – about the position in which they find themselves: faced by enacting even worse Govt cuts than the Greens had to cope with.

    The Chief Executive said months ago that new councillors’ first task, on their first day, will be to attend hard-hitting Budget seminars. It will not be a time for debating the location of park benches – there will not be the funds for benches.

    I am also aghast to think that the hard-won external funding for such projects as the King Alfred and Valley Gardens will be thrown away.

    But my abiding fear is that Hove Library will be closed. The Library department proposed this as a way of meeting national austerity measures. I am rightly proud that Jason Kitcat, Geoffrey Bowden and I stood up against this. I still shudder to recall the morning that call came through in my sitting room. What’s more, such a measure was later proposed as an element of the “Freeze Budget” this year. I think it was the best thing I ever did: at Informal Chairs I spoke off the cuff for two minutes, felt my heart beating quicker as I did so, when sitting beside Press officer, and this awful Officer proposal was slung out.

    In the corridor a few minutes later, an officer said to me, “well done for your passion, Chris”. Say what you like, I put a great deal of my life into these past four years – but I reckon those two minutes were the best thing I did.

    The Question remains: will Labour – unlike last time – now honour Hove’s great Library?

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Christopher – this really just shows how out of touch you were with the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.

      As Rolivan says, libraries are really a thing of the past – the only people that really want them are the librarians – otherwise a social centre with PCs and a café would provide much more sense.

      This and your only other ‘claim to fame’ of fighting Hove Park becoming an academy probably explains your previous seat was lost to a Labour councillor.

      So what are your plans for the future?

    • feline1 Reply

      You already confiscated the park benches because homeless people were sleeping on them, Chris, remember? #sighs

    • feline1 Reply

      Chris, you were living in a blithering middle-class fantasy world if you thought that keeping Hove library open was more important that people sleeping homeless on the streets or children being fed from foodbanks.
      Yes, it’s a nice to have, but being able to freely borrow a nice Maeve Binchy book is not much bloody use if you can’t actually afford to feed your kids or have nowhere to sleep.

      Might I suggest we look at saving costs by having the library staffed by volunteers? Farm the whole thing out into the third sector. Some fat cat can enjoy a sinecure with £120,000 a year as Director of the Hove Library Trust and people will still be able to borrow Maeve Binchy books, but it won’t be eating up precious public funds.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        You need to step back, pause and listen to what you sound like.

        Such blithe adjectives as “middle-class”.

        The fact is that libraries are democracy in action: a mingling of all these “classes” (as you term it).

        If anything, the middle classes whom you revile are those who, down the decades, have fomented social change. Very good talk about this in a pub after a hustings. But the tone of your comments suggests that you are not somebody up for such talk but are, alas,locked down into online, lonely rant.

        • Gerald Wiley Reply

          Christopher – please don’t take this the wrong way, but is there any chance you could talk in normal English using terms that normal people could understand?

          Such meaningless sound bites such as ‘libraries are democracy in action’ and ‘middle classes … have fomented social change’. And WTF is a ‘blithe adjective’?

          You attack others with their ‘pub talk’ but surely you must realise that your arrogant, pompous, superiority just puts peoples backs up? Or perhaps you don’t understand this!

          So precisely what is your plan for the future? It’s another 4 years to the next council election.

          • Christopher Hawtree

            What is “normal”? I like to think that everybody is different, not identical. Decrees about “normal” come perilously close to eugenics. As it happens, during the Election somebody – from Romania – so liked a word that I used – “telluric”, of the Earth – that we have made a short film. I described this chain of events at the last hustings, in Hangleton, and it got the best applause of the evening (say so myself).

        • feline1 Reply

          Chris, you’re talking a load of rubbish.
          If we do a demographic survey of the people using Hove Library, we will not find it full of bare-footed miners’ children who were forced to live in a t’bloody lake.
          Moreover, the 350 people sleeping rough on the streets of this city every night cannot AFFORD to go and have one of your jolly chats in the pub, spending £4.59 on a refreshing pint of artisan beer.
          The Green Party is supposed to be about saving the planet from ecological armageddon, not curating some kind of knitting club for people whose main financial worry is getting the best interest rate on their investment ISA.

  7. rolivan Reply

    Mr Hawtree,I think that Lending Libraries have reached the end of the road with the advent of the Internet,however Reference Libraries might have a longer shelf life until everything is downloaded.I think The Citys Housing Problem is a far bigger issue and more effort should have been directed in that direction although the Green Party did manage to House 35 people in Shipping Containers .

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Nothing exists in isolation. We need places in which people can live – from which they can venture forth and meet others rather than be in isolation.

      Libraries are great for this.

      Shipping Containers were not “Council” but Brighton Housing Trust – and those “Containers” are very much better than so much of the “private sector” housing.

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      Alas most new housing is pretty shoe-box stuff which reduces the amount of possessions people can accumulate. Those with very challenged incomes and those who like books, or the very many who are not internet skilled or minded (LOADS refusing that)and who also live in small places need lending libraries as a way of accessing lots of books.

      • feline1 Reply

        Valerie, genuine suggestion: now that Chris’ political career is over, why don’t you and him try setting up a “Hove Library Trust” to transition Hove Library to the third sector when it’s inevitable closure comes due to Tory cuts from London?
        It’s the only real way out for such assets (see also British Waterways > Canal & River Trust).
        Just don’t look to the West Pier Trust for a role model 😉

  8. Elliott Reply

    Absolutely amazing news – greens lost more than half their seats which is clear evidence the people of Brighton and hove were sick of them. The protest vote of 2010 was hugely damaging to this city… And after 5 years of hurt and pain the greens are finally gone. im sure there are a few hangovers this morning from last nights celebrations…

  9. Hjarrs Reply

    The 2011 local election was apparently the “one to lose”. Sit back and watch the Greens destroy the budget and themselves and cut, cut, cut! Lots of Green seats with small majorities and a 2015 vote at the same time as the GE – the end of the Green Party!. It didn’t quite work out like that fortunately for the city and unfortunately for Labour.

    The minority Green administration balanced the budget and worked well to find efficiencies. Some inevitable cuts, but tiny in comparison with Labour and Conservative authorities up and down the country. Hundreds of Libraries have closed (some of the comments about Libraries being a thing of the past above are frankly laughable) in B&H we opened 2! Hundreds (thousands?) of childrens centres have closed, non in our city. The Green minority council even managed to lever in £100 million+ in external funding to renew infrastructure. Allowances issues sorted, though at the cost of recycling rates and strikes, pollution is down across almost all areas of the city, the local economy has grown tremendously, cycling and bus use is up, visitor numbers up. Not the stuff of failure. Lets also not forget that the opposition’s oft played “chaos” for the motorist is the inevitable disruprution of the road system being renewed and the building works across the city in the last 4 years stand in stark contrast to how little was achieved in the previous 10 years.

    Roll on to 2015, this really is the election to lose! The efficiencies have largely been realised and we have the most extreme and partisan party in power in our life times determined to cut local authority budgets by even more than in the last parliament.

    I hope that Labour can work hard to protect the poorest, but lets face it, Warren Morgan and councillors have already pinned their colours to the mast when voting with the Tories to raise council tax for the poorest householders in the city. You don’t want to be poor under a Labour council!

    Personally, I think that the Greens should not go into coalition with Labour, but work to support sensible policies that are in the interests of our city.

    Labour now has a lot of marginal seats to the Greens with a rapidly declining activist base, a party nationally in total chaos and facing delivering devestating cuts. Cancelling the Valley Gardens project and handing millions in grants back to the funding agencies (destroying the city’s credibility in the process) will see the local Labour Party derided and will be fine starting point for a Green return. As the moaners would say roll on May 2019!

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Still living in your ‘green tinted’ dream world?

      Who really cares what the Greens want – they came third and you spent the most part of the last 4 years denigrating Labour, so why would they want you as part of a coalition now?

      You didn’t want them when you were the largest party, so why would they want you now?

      Just shows how desperate you and the greens are to hold on to power – rather than accepting that the residents of the city told you that you have failed and are now the party of yesterday.

      Perhaps time for you to find a new paymaster?

  10. mike barrett Reply

    Why do greens call their kids “guys”,as in come on “guys”lets all get our cycle helmets and go for a cycle in the toxic fumes that the greens have done nothing about in the five years they have been in charge .

  11. Helsbels Reply

    The majority of the people in Brighton & Hove have spoken…the Greens are unpopular (despite their remonstrations to the contrary) and if they had any humility at all, they would accept the peoples’ decisions with grace. In my opinion, they’ve done far more harm than good with their utopian vision…it simply doesn’t work in the real world when we don’t all live in the city centre. May I politely suggest that the Greens get on their bikes, use the cycle lanes and make their way into the world the majority of the people and our city live in!

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