OPINION

Councillors should work together – not make unfair personal attacks on the mayor

Posted On 10 Nov 2020 at 8:05 am

It seems like a lifetime ago when we were in Hove Town Hall for council meetings, with the local press and residents watching on from the gallery.

Unfortunately, the last full council meeting was marred by a nasty personal attack made by the Conservatives on our mayor.

What makes the attack particularly unfair is that the mayor is apolitical and unable to respond.

Councillor Alan Robins has lived in Portslade all his life and is immensely proud to be mayor and he doesn’t deserve this. Past mayors will know how this works, of course.

The Conservatives were upset that petitions, generated from their own website, were ruled out of being debated at full council on Thursday 22 October for legal and constitutional reasons.

The cynical Tory attack included a nasty threat behind the scenes that if the mayor did not do what they wanted, they would call a vote of no confidence.

On a more positive note, Labour brought forward a range of exciting proposals that gained support and we worked with the Greens on some new and positive ideas.

And that’s what being on the council should be about – co-operation and collaboration in the best interests of our city.

We introduced the concept of “20-minute neighbourhoods”. Twenty minutes is based on research that looked at how far people were prepared to walk to meet most of their daily needs. The answer was about 10 minutes each way.

Imagine if, in that radius, you had access to diverse affordable housing, local schools, health facilities, green spaces, employment, diverse shops, safe walking and cycling routes, sports and recreational facilities – everything you need for a genuine community.

That’s what we want for all our residents.

We also worked with the Green group on tackling modern slavery, divesting pension funds away from fossil fuels, standing against harassment, lobbying government on affordable housing and exploring building more beach huts and chalets to raise funds for the restoration of the Madeira Terraces.

On a day when the Tories wanted to debase our politics and make personal attacks, progressive parties chose to work together to get results for our residents.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Ian Chisnall Reply

    This is very disturbing, we need a Council that will work together under these very difficult provision and with the challenge of a lack of overall majority that has been the case for 2 decades.

  2. Nathan Adler Reply

    Yes working with the Greens is good for some things BUT you are the official party of opposition and should be there as a check and balance on the administration. We simply are not seeing that challenge and that is not healthy for the city. Streets closed, cycle lanes installed with NO challenge, (seriously is Cllr Wilkinson actually a Green in disguise). It’s all too cosy which sells Labour voters short.

    • Max Reply

      In the only example cited by Nathan Adler, Cllr Wilkinson and his colleagues have actually succeeded in providing checks and balances. It was they who introduced the amendment to the Environment Transport & Sustainability Committee meeting in September to mandate public consultations on pop-up cycle lanes. Public consultations are the pinnacle of checks and balances.
      As for 20 minute neighbourhoods – yes, let’s have them. Anything that supports active travel during and after this pandemic has got to be good for the city and its residents.

      • Nathan Adler Reply

        Max, Labour and Greens voted on every decision together at ETS and CYP not once did Labour call out a decision. Where is your so called consultation on tranche 1 of the Old Shoreham road Cycle lane? – The answer is there is not one Cllr Gary (Green in disguise) Wilkninson didn’t even ask for one. The only potential consultations are on tranche 2 and the LA don’t even have that funding yet.Labour played lip service to residents and nothing else. Simply a lame opposition – and many Labour members/ voters (myself included) are fed up with this capitulation.

  3. Max Reply

    They have the funding for Tranche 2 so consultations can begin about giving more choice to more people for safer ways to travel.
    As for repeatedly casting a slur on a named councillor, isn’t that what Nancy Platts is condemning?

  4. Dan Reply

    There is real choice & our city could be so much more – look elsewhere when casting your vote than Green/Red

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