Labour seeks to allay concerns as it prepares to scrap ‘neighbourhoods’ committee

The new Labour council leadership has sought to allay concerns about its commitment to the community and voluntary sector as it prepares to scrap the council’s “neighbourhoods” committee.

The Conservatives welcomed the proposal – with reservations – and the Greens were worried that the voices of the voluntary sector might not be heard.

The Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities and Equalities Committee was set up four years ago when Labour became the largest party on Brighton and Hove City Council.

Councillor Kate Knight, the Labour chair of the committee, said this afternoon (Monday 1 July) that the party wanted to scrap the committee to reduce duplication.

Much of the existing work will be carried out by a new committee resulting from a “merger” with the council’s Tourism, Development and Culture Committee.

The new merged committee was likely to be known as the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee.

Responsibility for rough sleeping would be given to the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee.

And oversight of major projects, such as redevelopment of the King Alfred, Brighton Waterfront and Preston Barracks, will switch from the Tourism, Development and Culture Committee and instead come under the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee.

Green councillor Steph Powell spelt out her party’s reservations.

Councillor Knight said that it was vital that the voice of the community and charity sector was heard and that the council was open to scrutiny.

Fellow Labour councillor Clare Moonan said that members of the committee had previously questioned its validity.

She said: “The work will still be there. It doesn’t matter which committee it goes to. There is still democratic oversight.

“Members of the third sector, community and equalities sector will still be invited to sit around the table.”

  1. Daniel Harris Reply

    Which members though? we need to see some of the new community champions who have real lived experience, just because you are a director doesn’t mean you have all the answers. I would like to see more public involvement from those with lived experience giving there voices in council. ATM they are restricted to asking questions and we all know this is like getting blood out of a stone for questions to be accepted.

    Agree withe the decision to scrap.

  2. Valerie Reply

    The Neighbourhoods Cttee never made much sense – especially when the last Labour Administration downgraded libraries by taking them out of Culture & shoving them into this cttee’s remit!

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    The Neighbourhoods Committee was established to give ex-councillor Daniel a position, and was essentially a talking shop with rambling “presentations” st the start (visitors reading out what is displayed on powerpoint pages, one instance of which went on for fifty minutes). These subjects are better handled by Committees with direct responsibility for whatever it might be.

  4. Marge Reply

    Responsibility for rough sleeping would be given to the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee. Yikes.. God help this city. Housing is the most dysfunctional and unaccountable department in the council. Full of jobs-worths who have been in posts for far, far too long and who are responsible for profligate waste of money and dubious interactions with the private sector. Needs a good clean out.

  5. Rolivan Reply

    Emma Daniel received over £22,000 Last year and Gill Mitchell £34,000 for doing what exactly?
    P.S spoke to a Councillor today about building homes truly affordable above existing single level shopping centre car parks.
    We keep hearing about the lack of space available yet there are vast amounts of Urban space not being utilised to their full potential.

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