Even though the dust needs to settle and I need to reflect on the last five years (not wasted) I think people in the city should understand what Brighton and Hoe City Council – officers and members – have done.
They have denied the city a new leisure centre to replace the one that is simply a disgrace.
They have denied the city some incredible community spaces and of course turned away nearly 600 new homes that would have included a fantastic mix of affordable, private rental and private sales.
Why did they do that? I firmly am of the opinion that it was NOT about the legal position of changing Crest for Legal and General (L&G). In my mind, that was a misdirection.
I firmly believe it is because they want 100 per cent housing on the King Alfred site. I truly believe that to be the case.
Why else would they have let another development fail, the sixth in 50 years.
After winning the bid back in 2016 the political environment in our city, and indeed in the country, changed for the worst. Suddenly I found myself facing two different sides of the same coin.
On my left were the officers and members. Too many were too left wing, with no financial ability, no entrepreneurialism and no vision.
Too many were self-serving and without any real feel and giving precious little thought – to the community spirit and community needs of Brighton and Hove.
On my right were the housebuilders who proved themselves to be capitalists in the extreme. They were all about the numbers and the profits and had no interest at all in community.
And in the middle we sat, trying to bring the left to the middle and the right to middle and doing all we could to get compromise from both.
I thought we could do that. I genuinely believed that we could temper their extreme views. But it seems I was naïve in that.
All that aside, I would still always put myself forward in life and take on projects that I feel are important and perhaps impossible. That’s what life is for.
We should not sit on the fence and watch it. We should jump in and fight for what we want.
Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose – but we should give it a go nonetheless and I do not regret the last five years.
I am bitterly disappointment but not bitter. In this instance the real loser is the city as the council officers and members have passed up a golden opportunity to serve the community instead of themselves. And they should hang their heads in shame.
Rob Starr is the co-founder of the Starr Trust.