Council’s cycle lane chief steps down

Posted On 18 Sep 2020 at 11:33 am

The councillor at the eye of the storm over road closures and new cycle lanes in Brighton and Hove has stepped down from chairing the committee responsible for overseeing the policy.

Councillor Pete West

Pete West will also be replaced on the committee by a colleague as the Green administration starts assessing feedback over a raft of changes started before his party took over from Labour.

Both the Greens and Labour have defended the principle behind the temporary cycle lanes, saying that the Conservative government handed councils money to encourage people to walk and cycle more.

Despite his resignation from the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor West will continue to serve his ward and will move to a seat on another council committee.

He shared the chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee with Councillor Amy Heley who will now become the sole chair.

The party said: “Green councillors would like to thank Councillor Pete West for his role as joint chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee (ETS).

“Councillor West has stood aside from the role as joint chair and Councillor Amy Heley will now take on the role in full.”

Councillor West said: “It has been an honour to serve as joint chair of the ETS Committee, alongside such a capable team.

“From ‘school streets’ to ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’, the ETS Committee has a key role in supporting our communities – and the work set in train to date will be important in enhancing our city and our environment.

“I remain both a councillor for St Peter’s and North Laine ward and a member of the Green administration on Brighton and Hove City Council.

“I would like to thank council officers for their support both in my time as opposition lead and official transport spokesperson.”

Councillor Heley said: “I want to publicly thank Councillor West for his work so far. It has been a pleasure to jointly chair the committee with him, especially in light of the short period of time within which Greens took charge of running the council.

“I look forward to progressing the ambitious programme of work on environment and transport being led by our Green administration, which was put firmly on the council’s agenda back when Councillor West was the opposition lead for ETS.

“Pete has laid a solid foundation for incredible transport improvements in our city and I look forward to continuing this work on safer streets, cleaner air and our plans to help the city reach carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Councillor Elaine Hills will take Councillor West’s seat on the ETS Committee, and said: “I would like to echo my colleagues’ comments and thank Councillor West for his outstanding service to the city as a former member of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

“As the councillor responsible for progressing the ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ pilot requested by residents in my own ward of Hanover and Elm Grove, I am acutely aware of the hard work needed to achieve the city’s cross-party goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.

“I am also committed to taking forward the ambition of a Green New Deal that I spoke about when first elected.

“This plan focuses on providing the environmental benefits and long-term jobs that our city needs now more than ever in the face of covid-19.

“I look forward to working more closely on the ETS portfolio and to supporting our capable team.”

Councillor West will now take a seat on the council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

  1. Ken Norman Reply

    It will be interesting to see what he tries to do on HOSC!

  2. Max Reply

    Now that the Labour Party has changed its position statement and acknowledged active travel, there should be swift agreement to accept more money from central Government and quickly make the roads safer for everybody. Delays would not only jeopardise getting the cash but also, but also keep vulnerable road users in danger.

  3. Paul J Williams Reply

    So a 24 year old who can’t drive and wants a car free city by 2023 is now the chair of the ETS?
    Still disastrous news for the good people of Brighton and Hove.
    They need to get some disabled citizens and independent business owners on that committee. Otherwise it’s just an echo chamber which does zip to represent the views of genuine tax paying Brighton and Hove citizens.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Wise up, there! You cannot put “imdependent business owners” on a Committee. There is the matter of being Elected by residents in a ward.

  4. Rolivan Reply

    Apparently Cllr West said that he was stepping down due to pressures outside of the Council and yet he is going to become a member of another Committee,so what is the real reason?

  5. Max Reply

    The good and genuine tax-paying people of Brighton & Hove know that 9% of disabled people cycle every week and another 13% cycle occasionally. Of those who don’t yet cycle, 31% would like to if the roads were safer.
    The good and genuine tax-paying people of Brighton & Hove know it is very expensive to maintain roads for heavy traffic and they know that less traffic reduces the dangers of getting injured on the roads.
    The good and genuine tax-paying people of Brighton & Hove know public transport is now restricted by Covid-19 so many more have to walk or cycle.
    The good and genuine tax-paying people of Brighton & Hove ignore ageist slights because everybody, young and old, want safer roads for everybody.

  6. kevin Kingston Reply

    Valley gardens looks fantastic – a big well done to mark prior and his team at the city council – as always one step ahead

  7. Nathan Adler Reply

    An interesting development but I think Cllr West although he always claimed ‘he was listening’, was incredibly intransigent and short sighted. Yes we all want safer streets BUT these must be properly planned and consulted on so that everyone feels invested in them. Listening to a select few lobby groups and not widening who you are listening too has lead us to the current ‘hot mess’. Any transport policy needs to involve all users and then we can make progress.

  8. Greg Hewitt Reply

    What is strange is that in some areas of Brighton there are already existing cycle lanes that are off-road, why build another cycle lane next to them on-road??

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