Fridays are when I get out and about in my ward. Sometimes you can find me at the foodbank in Craven Vale or whizzing around on the bus meeting people in their homes or in cafés to hear about their ideas to improve their local area or listening to problems that need fixing.
I often do estate visits. These are when I go around one of the local estates in East Brighton with residents, who let me know what issues they are facing, be that anything from a broken lift to weeds growing in the gutter, and I’ll take these issues back to council officers and get them sorted.
Last week I did one of my estate visits around Craven Vale. The issues that have come up in the past that we’ve sorted include unblocking drains, mending broken downpipes and resolving damp, clearing fly-tipping, repairing fencing and repointing brickwork.
Residents supported tidy up days and word went round that things are getting done.
Now residents are telling me they feel more proud of their patch and are creating colourful mini gardens around the edges of each block.
Alan, the secretary of the community association, told me that more people are getting involved and taking on responsibility for different projects.
This includes wildflower meadows, bee keeping and creating a community workshop.
All these activities create lively, thriving communities, where people look out for one another and are proud of their neighbourhood.
I think it’s really important that everyone is able to take pride in where they live. That’s why I’m really keen for residents to let their ward councillors know about any issues they are facing so we can get them sorted as soon as possible.
Likewise, I think we should all, as residents of Brighton and Hove, do our best to look after our streets and be considerate neighbours.
We want to be proud of how our streets look and of our area, and we want people who visit our city to be impressed with what they see.
That’s why my administration is currently running a public consultation on the graffiti that we unfortunately find across our city.
As things stand, the council only has the power to remove graffiti from council-owned buildings.
What we’re asking residents is – should private business and property owners be doing more to remove graffiti from privately owned land, and should we as a council be doing more to encourage this, or should we charge private property owners for us to provide them with the service of graffiti removal?
I’m really keen to hear your views on this. To find the consultation online, click here.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.