A year of coronavirus lessons, thanks and a plea

Posted On 02 Apr 2021 at 2:24 pm

Being a year on from the first lockdown gives pause for reflection and I want to start by offering my condolences to those who have lost loved ones to Covid.

As council leader at the time, I vividly recall the various stages of the pandemic.

As a council we shifted into emergency mode. My most shocking recollection was a meeting where we had to talk about setting up a field hospital at the Brighton Centre, securing additional mortuary space and more body bags.

With a lockdown imminent, panic-buying began, with pictures of empty shelves seen all over social media.

I urged the council to write to supermarket managers asking them to take action to stop people stockpiling.

Local shops and communities became the heroes of the hour as they began co-ordinating a grassroots response. They secured food for the vulnerable and organised volunteers to deliver it.

Meanwhile, the weather was getting warmer and I spent several days doing back-to-back interviews as the “Killjoy Councillor” telling everyone not to come to Brighton and Hove.

I spoke to the police about turning people back from Brighton station. But still they came. Social distancing was pretty much being ignored as our beaches filled up.

It became obvious many simply did not understand how serious this was. I called for powers to introduce a local lockdown but the government refused.

Many councillors visited businesses to ensure they were receiving government support but some were falling through the gaps.

The grant scheme was vastly oversubscribed and local enterprises were hit when government refused our pleas to transfer money from another funding pot to help them survive.

The pandemic highlighted the inequalities in our city, devastating lives and livelihoods. It also showed the best of our city, with a huge voluntary effort by our communities to support one another.

The people we must thank the most are the NHS, who have been there for us 24/7. NHS staff have risked their lives to be by our side when we need them.

Please support them in the future and back their claim for a decent pay rise so they are properly rewarded for their hard work.

We don’t want to find ourselves here again so please book your vaccine when it’s your turn. Don’t let Covid take back control.

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

  1. Hendra Reply

    Off you pop, Nancy.

    Remember to take your Momentum nutter friends with you…

  2. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    I can’t believe she is still dispensing platitudes and home homilies and getting a platform on this website as if she is somehow relevant, which she isn’t and never has been. Did I read, or maybe imagine, that she was stepping down as Labour leader, apparently to concentrate on some kind of business, whatever that may be, but no doubt it will fail just the same as her failed efforts to be a somebody somewhere or anywhere (and B&H absolutely did not deserve her constant failures).

    She talks a lot but has never delivered anything good for the residents. Goodbye, Nancy, and very good riddance.

    • Hove Guy Reply

      Yes, good riddance to very bad rubbish. It’s a bit like having some of it chucked out, but there is still an awful lot more of it, attracting all kinds of vermin to the city, that needs to go, before we can get some sanity back on the council.

  3. Nathan Adler Reply

    I certainly will not miss Nancy’s inane opinion piece which addresses everything except the controversy in the city. Where was the piece about the RISE scandal? Where was the piece about the Home to School Transport Fiasco? When has Nancy ever said anything about the Old Shoreham Road Cycle lane? All of these major issues have been driven by members of the public rather than the ‘Opposition’ Party and that is why Cllr Platts your term as leader will be deemed a failure.

  4. Greens (and all of them) Out Reply

    More empty inane words from possibly the joint first (of three) ‘leaders’ of this shambolic pile of toss. Bye bye Nancy. Off you go.

    Good luck with your ‘business’. You clearly have not a clue how a business works so ‘luck’ will be everything.

    and thanks a bunch for leaving us with yet even more inept morons in ‘charge’. Great job. I’m sure you’re proud of what you’ve not achieved.

  5. Truth to Phelims and other furry animals Reply

    She runs a PR company called The Campaign Machine. More importantly her working in Jeremy Corbins parliamentary office after she lost in the election seems more damning although she bailed after 18 months. For those interested, https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/07534215/filing-history

  6. Jean Reply

    Oh dear, it looks as though a few from the plethora of deranged Argus commenters have yet more time on their hands. And I doubt any of them have faced the challenges of trying to run an organisation anywhere near as big and complex as the Council, and certainly not while having to deal with a crisis as difficult as Covid. Not forgetting how in normal times there are three political parties, with their different take on things, the divisions in each party which often reflect the over-sized egos as much as the policy differences, and an officer cadre which nods along while doing its own thing regardless. All things considered, she didn’t do so bad once she’d extricated herself from Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Could have been better. Each of us, if we looked in the mirror, could probably in hindsight see where we could have done better, and possibly even how. Let her go on her way with thanks and good wishes and without the petty insults.

    • Platitudes Reply

      A fitting tribute to her year as leader of the council, surely Brighton and Hove must erect a statue: ‘ All things considered, she didn’t do so bad once she’d extricated herself from Jeremy Corbyn’s office.’

  7. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Thank you Truth to Phelims etc. Is that really what the ‘growing and successful’ business is (and yes, I have looked it up via the link)? And is it the only business? If so, it’s not exactly of much use to the average resident of B&H, or anywhere else, I suggest. I had thought the business might involve an actual tangible and useful product for citizens, but apparently not.

    And, Jean, with respect for your opinion, and I hope you will have equal respect for mine, Ms Platts was totally out of her depth long before the Covid crisis and, had she been honest with herself and not so deluded with her political dogma, would have recognised that she was a failure at everything she tried to do in this City and she should have got out entirely before she did any more damage. If you run a company with shareholders etc, which is a fair enough analogy with a council/voters, and you’re no good at it, then you get sacked. Incidentally, she has apparently not said she will stand down as a councillor (as opposed to ‘leader’ of the Labour Group, when she is actually a member and mouthpiece of the Green/Labour coalition that is now mismanaging the City), so it seems that she will still be a presence on the Council at least until the next local elections – and beyond?

    Anyone with half a grain of common-sense and conscience would not have gone to work for Corbyn in the first place, especially for as long as she did. The fact that she took the job at all illustrates how deluded she was. Maybe she did realise that eventually, but too late.

    Being well-meaning, or even nice (and I don’t know that she is either of those, but will give her a large benefit of the doubt) is not anywhere near a qualification for leading a City Council – or for becoming an MP, which she has unsuccessfully tried to do twice.

    Not all of us comment on the abysmal Argus rag – some of us have rather more intelligence. I agree that quite a few who comment on the Argus site are stupid, ignorant and/or deranged. Yes, you do get a very few people on this site who sound like Argus people, but I for one am not one of them. I just want this City run by someone effective and competent, whoever they may be, and we don’t have anyone like that, unfortunately.

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