Greens come out fighting over Labour threat to Valley Gardens scheme in Brighton

Posted On 11 May 2015 at 8:44 pm

The Greens have urged Labour not to risk losing millions of pounds of external funding for a major project in the heart of Brighton.

The party warned that Brighton’s reputation as “can do” city was also in jeopardy if Labour scuppered the Valley Gardens scheme.

Councillor Pete West, who chaired the Brighton and Hove City Council Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee until the local elections last week, spoke out today (Monday 11 May).

The proposed Valley Gardens southern section

The proposed Valley Gardens southern section

Councillor Pete West, who held his seat in St Peter’s and North Laine ward, said: “We successfully secured £14 million of external funds, from the Local Enterprise Partnership, to deliver this important project which has involved over two years of development and design work, been agreed at numerous committee meetings and is almost ready to go ahead.

“Our business case for the scheme was applauded as ‘robust and fit for purpose’ while offering ‘very high value for money’, promising an estimated £40 million worth of benefits over 20 years.

“This includes benefits from improved health, shorter journey times, less pollution, better business links, improved retail frontages, new housing and offices, training and tourism.

“Labour’s proposal to scupper this would not only mean the loss of this opportunity but risk Brighton and Hove’s reputation with funders as a reliable and ‘can-do’ city.

“£8 million is already allocated for the first phases and if the project is delayed or scrapped the money will be reallocated to projects elsewhere in the south east.

“Labour is being hasty and taking a risky and ill-thought position that is not in the interests of this city and I hope they will reconsider.”

His riposte came after Labour leader Councillor Warren Morgan, who heads the largest group on the new council, said that the project should be suspended while a review takes place.

He and his colleagues have concerns about the new road layout being proposed and what would it do for congestion and air pollution levels.

Outline plans have been agreed. Councillor Morgan is expected to receive an early briefing on the subject as the new council prepares for its first meeting on Thursday next week (21 May).

  1. Tim Bennett Reply

    Typical populist please the whitevanman nonsense from Morgan

  2. John sandys Reply

    This scheme would turn valley gardens into a huge fume filled car park, the most llooney Greene scheme ever!

  3. Hjarrs Reply

    The Pavillions has sat on the edge of a poorly used park, sliced up by busy roads, for generations. Valley Gardens area is nothing more than a glorified roundabout.

    The Valley Gardens scheme would return the Pavillions to an appropriate setting and provide an asset for generations to come, encouraging use by locals and making the city more attractive for visitors.

    What a terrible, backwards step it would be to hold our city back by refusing £14 million of government funding and making a mockery of the city’s reputation.

    Don’t let Labour allow our city to stagnate.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      But unlike the arrogant greens imposing their extreme anti-motorist pro-bike ideology, at least Labour have listened to residents ad seem to be taking a more pragmatic, and IMHO, more sensible approach.

      And BTW – don’t forget your loathsome greens are now the |THIR| largest party, and we don’t care what they or their supporters think anymore – you lost – it’s not YOUR city anymore!

      • Hjarrs Reply

        That’s funny, your Conservative Party backed it. Oh yes, and didn’t it go through a long consultation process with the public? I believe it did.

        Looks like a lot of the city is “arrogant and extremist anti-car” then, particularly those that live in and use the area, unlike amateur scientists that live in Portslade and come into town once in a blue moon.

        Good to see you can get the bile flowing so early in the morning.

        • Gerald Wiley Reply

          Ah – a ‘green party consultation process’- that oxymoron!

          I remember those days when your paymasters decided what they were going to do anyway and then ignored the results of consultations if they disagreed with them.

          And who, precisely were consulted? Cycling pressure groups, bus companies, taxi firms – what about residents, visitors, businesses and motorists? They just had your master plan IMPOSED upon them.

          You’re not trying to change history again are you?

          The greens really WERE (and it seems still are) a wholly wretched despicable party.

  4. bendub Reply

    Disappointed already by Labour. I really didn’t think they scupper this project. The Greens didn’t get everything right at all when they where in administration but this scheme needs to go ahead.

  5. Hjarrs Reply

    Particularly = unlike

  6. rolivan Reply

    It has gone through a long process because the planners have decided to change the layout on the East side reducing traffic from 2 lanes in each direction to 1 lane,why the need to change oh that’s right ,something about trees again well they were there all of the time ,why not get things done right the first time rather than trying to sneak things through.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      And why was the East Side reduced from 2 to 1 lanes? To pander to the anti-motorist pro-cyclist groups, and as you say, to protect the trees for tree-sitter (and now green councillor!) Tom Druitt.

      I’m all for redevelopment and improving the area – but as usual the loathsome greens wanted to impose their ideology on us.

      Let’s see what a review of the ‘Valley Garden’ plans from a more realistic and pragmatic and non-ideological ‘anti-motorist’ viewpoint brings. It might even encourage enough visitors to go on the i360.

      Good thing the greens are now the minority party, and if the rest of the councillors could forget about party politics and concern themselves what is good for residents, businesses and visitors then we can safely relegate these arrogant buffoons to the annals of history where they firmly belong.

  7. Clive Reply

    As far as I can see this scheme will humanize a traffic-blighted area, improve the environment and help tourism. I’d like to know Labour’s reasons for not going ahead with it.

    I was a great sceptic about the Seven Dials scheme but it’s hard to find anyone living in the area who doesn’t now regard it as positive progress.

  8. Heather Reply

    Labour are foolish to abandon the scheme. Refusing £14 million because of what, to keep an extra lane of traffic?! The car users I know, including myself, are shocked by this news and we hope that public pressure will change councillors minds.

    Making the area pedestrian friendly is going to be a welcome move from the majority of residence as currently the overcrowded pavements are not fit for our city.

    It’s curious that it was in fact Labour who originally proposed the idea, the Greens who ran with it and the Conservatives who backed and still back it.

    Labour seem to me reactionary and pandering to a very vocal minority of drivers.

  9. Andy Rant Reply

    Morgan was pandering to populist opinions or argus trolls in his objection to this scheme. Thevarea has long been under used with many empty commercial buildings. This area should be a popular thoroughfare used by residents and tourists alike. When will people realise that the days of free run Jeremy Clarkson rev-up rodneys are over. Carbon monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide, asthma abd not getting off your arse enough is ruining our nations health. Ask Warren Morgan!He will have to give back 14 million at the start of 5 years of savage tory cuts! Only a fool would do that.

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