We need more jobs for people living in our city and I am determined to deliver them.
One way of doing this is to work with other local authorities across the region through our local enterprise partnership (LEP) which is called Coast to Capital.
Coast to Capital is a business-led partnership between local authorities and businesses. It also includes representatives from our charities, colleges and universities.
As leader of the council, I represent our city on the board. I attend meetings and speak up to secure support and investment for Brighton and Hove.
Recent meetings have focused on the development of a local industrial strategy. We want to understand how our local economy works and what opportunities exist to create new jobs, support our local businesses and increase productivity.
The research phase of this work has thrown up some interesting facts about the region. While Brighton and Hove has a strong economy, there is room to improve our productivity which is lower than the national average.
Perhaps most interestingly, we have a higher proportion of people of retirement age than the national average and a lower than average proportion of people aged 21 to 39.
I’ve thrown all these facts at you because it strikes me that this research paints a picture of a lost generation of working age people – leading to the notable productivity gap – and it would appear this is down to high housing and rental prices driving young people out of the area.
This is a really worrying trend. We need jobs growth in Brighton and Hove and the wider region and we need to nurture our innovators of the future. We can’t allow our young workers to be forced out because they can’t to afford to live in our city.
That’s why I’m working with other local authorities to call upon the government to provide us with more powers to tackle the lack of affordable housing we have on offer locally.
Coast to Capital is currently running a consultation on our local industrial strategy which delves further into all this and seeks to come up with solutions to these problems.
If this interests you, you’ve still got time to contribute to the consultation which closes on Thursday (31 October). To take part, click here.
We’ve got a missing generation in our area and this is impacting on our economy, our productivity and our jobs.
We desperately need the powers to make it affordable to live here in Brighton and Hove.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.