There have been numerous letters in recent days and weeks in local papers about the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme.
I have been reported as saying that reassurances needed to be given in writing on five key areas.
These areas were 1) egress from Madeira Drive 2) additional tree planting on Kemp Town side 3) bus stops on the Kemp Town side 4) access for event organisers 5) bike lane alignment at both Old Steine and by the Palace Pier to move away from pedestrians and events.
Yesterday the council wrote to me addressing the five key areas, stating that they would incorporate all these points in the next design phase and making clear that the safety compromise was to improve the economic impact of the scheme.
I said all along that with written assurances, the funding should be granted with those points as conditions.
I also note that councillors have set out their views in the media on safety at the Palace Pier roundabout which I quite agree needs to be improved.
The proposed scheme is a compromise. It’s not the very safest but it is a great deal safer than the current arrangement.
It is right that the community and the local MP push for the council to improve the details of the design but it would be irresponsible for councillors or MPs to suggest that the £6 million not be given to the city at all.
This money cannot be spent on any other project and has the potential to greatly improve our local area through Valley Gardens Phase 3.
With this in mind and following assurances by the council on the five areas set out above, I have written to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) outlining my support for the principle of the scheme and urging them to approve the funding.
I hope that the LEP will support our city’s continued growth with this grant and that the community and council can work together to get the detail right.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle is the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown.