Brighton and Hove seafront railings paint job costs £650k

Posted On 20 Oct 2016 at 4:10 pm

The cost of painting the seafront railings has topped £650,000 over the past seven years, according to Brighton and Hove City Council.

The figures were revealed in response to a series of questions from Councillor Robert Nemeth who urged council bosses not to forget Hove.

Council Nemeth said: “The seafront in my own ward, Wish, has been particularly neglected in recent years, just as the Madeira Terraces have been on the other side of town.

“If the future of the seafront generally is to be sustainable then no area can be forgotten. Deterioration is rapid under harsh maritime conditions after all.”

Hove seafront railings

Hove seafront railings

Councillor Nemeth asked how much had been spent painting and maintaining the railings in Hove at a recent council committee meeting.

Councillor Alan Robins, who chairs the Economic Development and Culture Committee, said: “Within the last seven years works have been undertaken at different points totalling over £100,000.”

When Councillor Nemeth asked for more details about the spending on railings in Hove compared with Brighton, he was told that £61,000 was spent on Hove seafront in 2011-12 and £46,786 two years earlier in 2009-10.

The £107,786 was part of a total bill for the seafront in Brighton and Hove totalling more than £650,000 over the seven years from 2009-16.

Councillor Nemeth said: “I have sought to build a full picture of exactly how the Hove seafront is being maintained so that the mistakes of the past are not forgotten.

“Through a series of written and oral questions at committee, and a number of ‘freedom of information’ requests, it is clearly the case that problems are being stored up for the future.

Councillor Robert Nemeth

Councillor Robert Nemeth

“The railings aren’t being painted properly and the chairman of the Economic Development and Culture Committee has refused to recognise the problem despise the clear implications for tourism and heritage.

“My message is simply that Hove and Portslade must not be forgotten once again. If a proper plan is to be discussed then it must include all of the seafront.

“If Hove’s railings are not included in the plan, what else is being forgotten?”

The Hove councillor asked Councillor Robins whether he would write to his colleague Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee about the condition of the seafront railings in Hove.

Councillor Robins replied: “It is not necessary to write to the chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, as the need for considerable investment in seafront infrastructure was considered by the cross party Seafront Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel (chaired by Councillor Mitchell).

“A key recommendation of that panel was the development of a Seafront Investment Plan to identify potential options to achieve a sustainable seafront.

“Maintenance of the railings takes place when possible within available resources and the prioritisation of other maintenance requirements.

“Within the last seven years works (in Hove) have been undertaken at different points totalling over £100,000.”

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    How WEIRD that Labour cllrs need to stall and ‘think about’ what to do. You buy paint and a brush and slap it on. Simple. And the cost quoted looks a fairly straighforward ripoff. Spending on useless officers to organise strategies and plans is buffoonery.

    The Labour Administration has money to spend on painting silly murals on council estates (like the hge Clarendon & Ellen ones) but cannot routinely maintain and paint seafront railings. What does that say about the Labour Administration? It says they are totally out of their depth and squandering income of frivolities that nobody even WANTS – fiddling while Rome burns kind of thing.

    • Warren O Reply

      I think you forget that Labour have only run the council for just over a year. Only one of the 7 years of paint spending was done under Labour. Most of the time, and presumably spending, was under the Green and depending on the exact timing, possibly when the Conservatives last ran the council.

      So perhaps it says more about the wasteful spending by the Greens. Let’s see what Labour have to say about how they can more effectively and efficiently spend money on sea-front railings and not criticising them for the past spending of a different party.

      One thing to note as well, is that I’m aware of at least one community group who has volunteered to painted some of the sea front railings in Hove over the last 7 years too. I bet that cost is not included in these figures.

  2. Rolivan Reply

    The Greens spent hardly any money on painting except the last month in office.I think I would be right in saying only the Seaward side at Hove Prom was painted.The most I have ever seen is 2 workers and one overseer along by the i360 a couple of years ago.

  3. RobinB Reply

    Oh dear, it’s looking like a dog’s dinner… I can see the railings will need to be wire brushed down and repaired then rust coated…

  4. David Flack Reply

    The problem is, when they do occasionally put some paint on them (god knows how they managed to spend 650k), they get a man in a van to slap some cheap trade gloss over all the existing layers of rust and paint (I’ve watched it being done). What’s needed is to strip them back to bare metal and use a proper marine paint system with a long term strategy. If you look closely at the Hove railings, each panel was designed to be removable for maintenance. Over the years they’ve been painted in situe and now need a major re-furbishment. It’s another case of long term council neglect coming back to bite us. Great news that our Cllr Robert Nemeth is on the case!

  5. Angus barrett Reply

    The trouble is that contracts are won fir council work then second and sometimes third handed down so the actual workers are paid a Pittenweem and do careless work !
    Stop the hand me down apprach and make the contractors who win the work DO IT !

  6. Mark Beaumont Reply

    Once rejuvenated, Have a look at coating regularly (twice yearly ) with a full salt and water resistant translucent coating . My company make this

  7. Robert Sandrine Reply

    You could employ 2 hard working Poles who would 8 hours a day as opposed to our 3/4 hours a day talking and drinking tea typical British workers.The Council could pay them 20k plus a year each and they would have the painting done in a year.You could also employ them to paint our filthy seafront shelters.

  8. Carmel Reply

    Get the pay back team to strip and paint the railing.Its time that community take pride in it’s city.

  9. Simon Reply

    David is right. It should be done properly. Also broken chairs & rusted shelters add to a bland dismal asphalt wasteland. Nice to see some glimmer of art in a snowdog sculpture. A thing of beauty amongst so much ugliness.

    On return from Vancouver I am so disgusted and ashamed of our ugly seafront. Ours looks like a communist weapons test site. Lopushansky would love it!

  10. Mr winchester Reply

    My wife and myself often walk from the lagoon to the West Pier,the shelters and railings are in a disgusting condition, what visitors must think I can only imagine.The work if any is planned needs to be done correctly not just a quick paint over.

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