OPINION

The council can no longer ignore Kendal Court

Posted On 29 Dec 2021 at 2:19 pm

Brighton and Hove City Council has failed to address serious issues at its housing facility at Kendal Court, Newhaven, and needs to start listening before further tragedy unfolds.

Under a policy of the council’s Green-Labour Housing Coalition, Brighton and Hove has been placing its homeless people in out of city accommodation, including at Kendal Court and in Eastbourne.

This policy has been highly controversial, as it has removed homeless from their support communities and sadly there has been many deaths including suicides, with another before Christmas.

Many homeless charities do not support the council’s approach and there has been an independent report from Healthwatch East Sussex published this year – Returning to Kendal Court – outlining the serious issues.

Spacewords Brighton

The situation at Kendal Court has become so bad that this month the BBC conducted its own investigation and report into the tragic events unfolding, which featured on the 6 o’clock news.

Brighton and Hove City Council now faces legal action from East Sussex County Council who are wanting to stop any further tragedies.

Still, however, the Brighton and Hove City Council is not listening and will not even discuss the matter.

The Conservatives have had a notice of motion listed for debate on Kendal Court since October but our item has not been allowed to be discussed because the council has cancelled two full council meetings in a row.

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Our motion directs Brighton and Hove City Council to take emergency action to ensure homeless people and rough sleepers placed in accommodation by the council have proper 24-hour support to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

After all, the council has received over £21 million from the government during the pandemic to support homeless people and rough sleepers in the city and should be doing better in the housing services it provides.

Now we will have to wait until February at the earliest to have this heard but the council may cancel this meeting also.

With the Greens and Labour having a coalition on housing policy, the Conservatives are the only party providing opposition and scrutiny on housing issues. When we are prevented from having matters debated, the city is left with no scrutiny on housing matters.

The council leadership simply must get a grip and start holding its meetings otherwise important matters such as this cannot be addressed.

Councillor Mary Mears speaks for the Conservative group on housing on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Owen Owen Reply

    So let me get this right in my head. The Conservatives were responsible for the biggest reduction in funding for social services, councils, police, mental health and every service there is. The result has been more people with complex needs out on the streets. Caroline Lucas (Green) then welcomed them all to come to Brighton. Those two parties are then critical of Labour’s efforts to house these individuals with limited finances and housing providers charging a fortune.

  2. Geoff Wells Reply

    Brighton and Hove Green and Labour-run coalition Council have always encouraged the worlds homeless people to this once clean and proud city, only to find they cannot cope with the problems they have created.
    The blame for those poor souls that have been treated so badly must rest with those city councilors that have seen fit to push them on to other councils door steps.
    So much for making this a city of sanctuary! Hang your heads in shame and resign.

  3. Jennifer T Reply

    I wonder what the statistics are for deaths out of 54 drug addicts placed in Brighton and not Newhaven. Also of these people how many people had long-term connections to Brighton e.g. 10 years or more and if not why this gives them the right to be housed in a tourism city which has an acute housing issue and where housing is very expensive unlike in many other areas of the country.

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