Brighton and Hove Albion promoted – by mayor and councillors at town hall meeting – but crowd outside holds protest
Brighton and Hove Albion were promoted this afternoon (Thursday 6 April) by Mayor Pete West and councillors as they donned Seagulls shirts and scarves at a meeting at Brighton Town Hall.
— Caroline Penn (@ThePennyDrops) April 6, 2017
The Victorian council chamber became a sea of blue and white – even among the reds and greens – as members of all parties showed that they are united behind the Albion courtesy of Martin Perry, the former Albion chief executive.
There was a noisy crowd inside and outside the town hall – but it was nothing to do with football. They were there for a demo.
Four people climbed the outside wall of the town hall as part of a protest about new powers adopted by Brighton and Hove City Council to move groups out of parks. And security staff put the town hall into lockdown.
The new powers – public space protection orders (PSPOs) – prompted a protest in Bartholomew Square as well as jeering and heckling in the council chamber.
The orders took effect at the start of January and will be enforced from the start of April, the council said.
They target anti-social behaviour in 12 parks and open spaces and threaten fines of up to £1,000.
The measures are regarded by some as targeting travellers but the protesters fear that they will be used to move on or criminalise homeless people.
Green group convenor Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty described PSPOs as a blunt instrument and said that the council could and should use bylaws.
He agreed with protesters who said that they were concerned that the homeless could be targeted, adding: “It is not a crime not to have a home. It is a failure of society.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell, deputy leader of the council, said that they would be used proportionately but would not target any specific group.
They would be used to target anti-social behaviour and to protect public spaces and enable everyone to enjoy those spaces.
Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative opposition group, said that the new powers tackled problems that had been the source of many complaints. Travellers could use the new pitches at Horsdean, he said.
The protected spaces are
• Brighton and Hove seafront from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon, including the A259
• Greenway, near Brighton station
• Hollingbury Park
• Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Woodingdean
• Preston Park
• Rottingdean Recreation Ground
• Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park
• St Helen’s Park
• Stanmer Park
• Surrenden Field
• Wild Park
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