OPINION

Cycle lanes made the headlines but councillors have been busy with other issues too

Posted On 23 Jul 2021 at 2:51 pm

It’s been a very busy week for your councillors. We had a council meeting last week where we bestowed the Freedom of the City award on Sir Peter Field and key workers.

Sir Peter Field

We then discussed a number of important issues, including better bus services, park and ride, electric car share, improving pay for teachers, women’s safety, as well as investing in community wealth and making our city a better place by tackling weeds and supporting the tidy up teams. And much more.

On Wednesday (21 July), we had a long and thorough debate about active travel and the future of the temporary cycle lanes.

We supported extending most cycle lane schemes. But we voted to remove the temporary lanes in Old Shoreham Road in favour of identifying a viable alternative local route.

The Climate Assembly was clear on consulting residents and they have been loud and clear. Let’s all work together on tackling the climate crisis and finding a better route for these lanes.

On Thursday we discussed recovery from the pandemic. Let’s hope that we can recover safely.

Labour will be calling on all businesses to continue the recovery with caution including social distancing, sanitising, regular testing and mask wearing.

We’re launching a campaign today for covid-safe public spaces – and you can sign our pledge here.

It is good to see the city, our beaches and our open spaces buzzing with people in this good weather but please take care and take your litter home with you if you can’t find a bin.

Councillor Amanda Evans and I visited the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership this week. We had a look round the community kitchen and talked about the many strands of activity the food partnership manages.

The partnership’s work ranges from developing food strategy to providing direct assistance for those suffering from food poverty, to composting and everything in between.

We were very concerned to learn about the many households still experiencing food poverty in our city.

We are excited about their communal cookery activities which can have so many benefits including team and confidence building. You can find out more here.

Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Ian Reply
  2. Ybb3 Reply

    All this is well and good but what about the issues that are consistently skirted by Councillors of all political affiliations?

    I’m far more interested in the ramifications of this: https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2021/07/21/coalition-kept-quiet-about-their-d-on-climate-change/

    It’s an opinion piece by a Conservative (a party which which I have massive issues given their blatant and repeated ‘one rule for us and the other for everyone else’ actions) but in terms of this specific issue it does raise some questions that I think should be answered.

    Personally I do approve of the removal of the cycle lane on the Old Shoreham Road as I’ve seen first hand the chaos it causes (not to mention a few near misses) not to mention it being a non-viable route for many at certain times of day as a result but equally I don’t think that it’s likely that any residents along any given road will approve a cycle lane.

    That notwithstanding as a reasonable bloke I understand and acknowledge the importance of climate-related matters and with regards to the Carbon Disclosure Project, which is obviously related to cycle lanes in some form, I find it beggars belief that BAHCC have been paying membership fees for 6 years without declaring any of the results for Brighton & Hove. For the Greens especially, it is a spectacular failure given how broadly it sits atop their entire reason for existing in the first place.

    I’m a non-politically-active chap who grumbles along with the rest of ’em about the council and votes as best they can accordingly but frankly I’m rather feeling out of viable options at this point and I’m starting to get riled to the point I’m bothering to post this.

    The Greens have, to me, demonstrated a concerning lack of competence and integrity when it comes to local government, and both Labour and Conservative seem more preoccupied with squabbling than anything else.

    From the (September 2020 document) https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/documents/s157999
    /FOOTPRINT%20proposal%20to%20TECC%20v1.1.pdf

    Caroline Lucas: “We are pleased to offer our support for the proposed Footprint Conference in 2021. We welcome the idea of the Footprint Conference in Hove.”

    Peter Kyle: “With our ambitious local environmental target of a zero carbon footprint by 2030, the built environment poses an enormous challenge in achieving this. So an educational conference which can provide a roadmap to achieving this is to be embraced.”

    To the lot of you political folks, here’s a direct message from a floating random voter who for the first time in decades is annoyed enough to write some serious thoughts down on a local media website:

    I’m sick to the back teeth of clichés such as “fairer city”, “sustainable future” and so forth. You people keep yakking away, mostly it seems at each other, and every single one of you focussed more on your party political objectives than the real problem here which is a crowded, if small, dense city where traffic is a major problem in pretty much every way imaginable.

    It needs to be addressed practically, not verbally, and you need to start paying attention to the people who live in B&H and less to your own political gains. If I see another opinion piece routinely bashing the Other Parties without addressing some of the legitimate issues with your own (which you ALL have) I think I’m going to throw up.

    I doubt proper co-operation is not going to happen. I don’t see enough maturity of thinking in any of you to achieve it. I for one am absolutely sick to the back teeth with all of you and at this point consider this, and most any likely successive, council a failed administration.

    I’ve got no axe to grind politically; I’m basically happy with anyone who doesn’t make a mess of things. To me that seems reasonable but I don’t feel as if I have any viable options in the next election to avoid same.

    I hope I’m proved wrong going forwards but I don’t live in hope.

  3. Ybb3 Reply

    Correction: I said “I doubt proper co-operation is not going to happen” … I meant to say “I doubt proper co-operation is going to happen”. I’d have edited the post if I could!

    • Chris Reply

      Ybb3 – I think you sum up what a considerable number of people think about local government – cut the political point scoring and just do what’s best for the city, town, village, wherever you are. The problem is not limited to Brighton & Hove.

      Regarding Brighton & Hove, how about giving serious, practical, thought to improving the place – set aside budget for painting, repairing, street weeding, etc. Clean the chewing gum off the pavements, clamp down hard on begging, street sleeping, travellers. Sort out refuse, recycling, garden waste collections. I read there’s a proposal to improve the cycle lanes between Castle Square and St Peter’s Church – you’ve only just finished work on that area.

      I expect the real power is held by the council officers who will fob off the councillors (Yes Minister, anybody remember it) but get in there, ask questions of councillors, residents and council officers. Did you really become councillors just to be political?

      • Nathan Adler Reply

        An intelligent post Chris with measured points. Too much power does lay with officers and some departments need to take a good had look at themselves and do what is best for the City and not perpetuate their own personal agendas.

      • Some Guy Reply

        Strange as it might seem, not everybody agrees that weeds, gum, and harassing the homeless are the key duties of a local council.
        I’d much rather we were redesigning streets and looking toward the future, for one. Admittedly, there’s a case to be made that the current council aren’t doing that WELL, but that doesn’t mean they should stop doing it at all.

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