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.
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