On Wednesday I visited Stanmer Park for a roundtable discussion with some of the organisations currently operating in the park and with council officers.
The discussion centred around how those organisations have survived the coronavirus pandemic and what they are looking for in the near-to-medium future.
We heard from the likes of Stanmer Organics, a co-operative of no fewer than 18 different organisations.
They grow organic food, make and teach things in nature, like stone carving and woodcraft, and create activities for people less able physically or mentally than other residents.
They even grow food and cook with refugees. Despite the devastating effects of covid, the organisations working at Stanmer Park have bounced back – and there is a discernible energy around the organisations delivering a whole variety of projects and courses.
I was struck by how much this organisation and its projects fits in with our council priorities around health and wellbeing.
Labour promised to deliver preventative programmes focused on public health, which include healthy eating and reducing social isolation, and both are being delivered brilliantly in this wonderful location.
Sadly, I’ve also had lots of less positive meetings recently, primarily with residents who are unhappy about the quality of services in the city.
From pavements overgrown with weeds, to poor parking services and delays in housing repairs, there appears to be a lack of attention paid to the basic services in our city by the council.
I hope that we can work constructively with the administration and officers to help to resolve some of these issues which are clearly very upsetting to residents and visitors alike.
In other news, I’m delighted that we welcomed the marathon back this year! How amazing to see thousands pf people back in our streets.
During the race, I spotted someone pushing a wheelbarrow as well as someone else dressed as a rhino.
I heard the cheers from our residents and visitors alike on the sidelines – and the street parties along the route were also very impressive.
Well done to the organisers for the clean-up operation, too. I walked along the seafront at 7pm and there was no evidence of any refuse.
Congratulations to all who took part in the marathon – and the 10k race too. You are all brilliant and I admire your efforts.
Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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