The last couple of weeks have exposed me to why the British public are losing, or have lost, faith with many of their politicians. For over a decade the council debated the future of the Royal Pavilion and City Museums, and a report identifying the benefits of moving them into a trust was produced.
This January, councillors decided that the Brighton Dome & Festival should manage the new organisation, but it became clear that the staff were unhappy.
The transfer was delayed until July to allow further staff consultations, but then a rather opaque decision-making process, agreed with The Trades Unions and presumably sanctioned by The Labour Administration, led to another delay.
If the trust is not established by 1 July, this, as well as being potentially illegal, makes a mockery of decision making within the council. After complaining remorselessly, I was pleased when councillors were requested, last Thursday, to legalise this situation.
With no time-limit mentioned, however, the workforce would have been left in a state of limbo: the Conservatives could not support this. We successfully proposed amendments that revoked the move to the Festival and Dome, asked for a serious look at moving to a stand alone trust by the end of the year and, crucially, consult further with the workforce and trades unions to reduce the unbearable uncertainty.
Accused, as I have been, that these moves have an anti- union bias, I simply point out that my father was a GMB Shop Steward who maintained that he was in the union to help and protect the workers he represented. Let’s hear no more on this please.
We have seen a local Labour leader fall out with his own party over anti-Semitism, some shocking reports of death threats causing at least one local Labour councillor to not seek re-election, and now some backroom dodgy deal over the future of the Pavilion.
A rotten whiff is at the heart of the current Labour administration and, with all of us needing our city’s services delivered smoothly, I am afraid that it will be another 11 months before the residents of Brighton and Hove are able to purge this Labour rottenness from our political system.