Conservatives set out £15m plan to save Brighton’s heritage and boost tourism

Posted On 20 Feb 2021 at 1:17 pm

The Conservatives have published a £15 million plan to save Brighton’s “jewels in the crown” and boost not just local heritage but the tourism sector too.

Madeira Drive, the Saltdean Lido, Volk’s Electric Railway and the seafront railings and shelters form the focus of the spending plans outlined by Councillor Joe Miller.

The centrepiece is a proposal to spend £11.8 million on rapid and visible progress in Madeira Drive where the rundown terraces and dilapidated arches are closed.

Work has been taking place behind the scenes on the first phase of a restoration that will take years but Councillor Miller is one of a number of local politicians growing impatient for signs of progress.

He said: “Residents, heritage associations and the tourism sector want to see action from this council to restore our dilapidated heritage.

“Our iconic heritage sites have been left to decay for too long and our tourism sector is beginning to suffer.

“These proposals are all funded from savings identified in the budget and build on our proposals already announced.

“There is no reason why we cannot get moving on these projects immediately. They would provide a focus for the city post-covid, restore civic pride and create jobs.

“All they require is the support of the council at next Thursday’s budget.”

Councillor Miller, who speaks on finance for the Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council, has already worked with his opposite number from Labour, Councillor Daniel Yates, on modest changes that have won cross-party support, including from the Greens.

Now he wants fellow councillors to agree a further amendment to the council’s 2021-22 budget which is due to be agreed on Thursday (25 February) at the annual budget council meeting.

Councillor Miller said: “Work would be able to get under way immediately on restoration of Madeira Terraces, Saltdean Lido, Volk’s Railway and seafront railings and shelters if the Conservative proposals are agreed to.”

Councillor Joe Miller

He said that his plans took advantage of historically low interest rates, enabling the council to borrow sensibly.

And the budget amendments involved a second look at how councillors allocated sums that had already been identified – and so stuck to spending plan totals.

The overall budget likely to be agreed on Thursday totals just over £1 billion, with £221 million set aside for capital projects such as the Madeira Terraces.

The council would also be able to make use of community fundraising for three of the projects – the Madeira Terraces, the Saltdean Lido and Volk’s Railway.

Community groups and volunteers have raised millions in total for the restoration of assets that would otherwise be the council’s exclusive responsibility.

  1. Jonathan Simons Reply

    So after some fake news about Brighton going the way of Croydon when the Tories have full access to the reports and audits showing that the council has a clean bill of health, their latest brain wave is to…. borrow tons of money after criticising Croydon for it.

    Maybe if your government funded the council properly and actually did the reform of adult social care you promised years ago then there would be money to do this without your plan of irresponsible borrowing

  2. Chaz. Reply

    Forward looking proposals.
    All funded from savings identified in the budget and built on proposals already announced
    Meanwhile Simons and his Green Goons/Momentum Loons are still looking at how many people use bike lanes.
    Croydon? We will be lucky to rival Skidrow soon the way this lot work.

    • Jonathan Simons Reply

      I can’t stand momentum as i’ve made clear many times before. These proposals are not funded from proposals already announced – if you look on the tory website it’s a ton of borrowing they’re planning. So repeating exactly the mismanagement of labour croydon

  3. Greens Out Reply

    They may as well p155 in the wind. The illegal coalition of Greens and Labour will never let it pass.

    • Hove Guy Reply

      They need the money to pay for yet more unused, wasteful and expensive cycle lanes, as well as more useless vanity projects, including confusing and dangerous traffic alterations, as well as housing for the homeless, many of whom would prefer to live on the streets, rather than abiding by the regulations regarding drugs, alcohol and anti-social behaviour.

  4. Jon Reply

    What is the point of the Volks railway . It carries a few hundred people a day to the middle of nowhere , at 5MPH with views of the derelict terrace.
    The report on Madeira Drive and why it’s a 2KM dead zone says the main problems are a lack of access, there’s nothing there and the series of barriers separating people from the beach. Lines of parked cars, the road, high kerbs and the stupid Railway and railway fences.
    You could turn the stations into bars and sell the leases, remove the fences giving easy access to the beach and save £1000s
    It seems to be a sacred cow

    • Steve Reply

      How very dare you. Volks railway is very popular. It has a view of the sea and can be used to get to the Marina. It has the novelty of passing the nudist beach, it’s historic which is of interest to some and a more thrilling ride than the i360. It also brings a different character to that end of the seafront not being turned into yet another series of bars. Long live Volks.

  5. John Reply

    I’d hope this is a Conservative website pretending to be a balanced media outlet because if it’s not it’s shameful to just print a Conservative press release. There is no questioning or even comment on where this money comes from, what’s being cut or whether income targets are simply being raised beyond realistic levels. I have little doubt this is the usual Conservative wheeze of offering an amendment that they know other councillors will not support and then play the line “We tried to invest in your local area but Labour and Green blocked it!” We shall see…

    • Verity Reply

      Each of the parties gets airtime on this site from what I can see and tbh I thought it was, if anything, a bit left-leaning, but that may reflect the fact there are 2 left of centre parties (and presumably approx 2/3 of voters are therefore left of centre). Also, I think the Tory proposals look ok, but I’m not steeped in the minutiae of local party political bickering.

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