I thank Councillor Bell for his “three lessons” published on New Year’s Day. I am sure we will get to debate these in the council chamber as well as in these pages on many future occasions.
Sadly, much as I’d love to live in a bubble of our lovely city of Brighton and Hove, we have to put up with government legislation and – dare I say it – government austerity programmes and scandals.
So, yes, the Labour group will, occasionally, highlight national and even international issues – as central government decisions impact on us and we are part of a global economy and a global environment.
The trope about the Labour-Green “coalition” is getting really tired and worn now.
We in the Labour group would much prefer to work with the other political groups in the spirit of a “no overall control” council for the benefit of all our residents, rather than trot out the same old tired “you won’t let us play with you” tirades.
We are always open to dialogue but you must come and sit at the table with us first!
We agree that some basic services could be delivered better and we are committed to hold the Green administration to account over this, while we acknowledge that delivering services against a backdrop of government budget cuts to local authorities and the impact of a pandemic is not easy.
In-sourcing was not the cause of repairs backlogs. The housing service needs to be managed regardless of who delivers it, as is also the case with all the other services the council delivers, in-house and contracted out.
Privatisation is by no means the perfect solution to everything as the rail model has, sadly, proved.
So, yes, 2021 may have been an “annus horribilis” for this and many other councils – but we have much to look forward to including a great, vibrant city with a brilliant culture and hospitality sector, some fantastic, committed staff, and some committed and hardworking councillors from all political parties who really want Brighton and Hove City Council to benefit residents as much as it can. Happy new year!
Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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