OPINION

Our focus must remain on getting the essentials right

Posted On 17 Feb 2022 at 2:06 pm

At the most recent meeting of the full council, your Labour councillors moved motions to improve basic council services and tackle the housing crisis.

At a time when people’s pockets are being hit worse than at any time in recent memory off the back of the pandemic, the ongoing cost of living crisis and hikes to energy bills and national insurance, we must do all we can as a council to support those struggling to get by.

That’s why Labour is seeking to address the housing crisis – and not just by pushing for more affordable homes rather than second homes.

Labour is also by pushing for landlord licensing and an ethical lettings agency to support those in the private rental sector – and we’re pleased to see funds allocated for all these projects in the upcoming council budget.

Spacewords Brighton

We will be bringing forward our own amendments at the Budget Council meeting next week that will seek to support those struggling to get by, tackle disadvantage and restore council services.

As a local councillor, my inbox is often filled with residents rightly angry about basic council services failing to deliver.

These include missed refuse, recycling and garden waste collections, overgrown weeds, graffiti and litter on our streets, beaches and parks, the mismanagement of parking permits and the general maintenance, upkeep and cleanliness of our city.

We know that our council staff are working tirelessly and diligently – and we commend them for their efforts.

xmas collections

We also know that the ongoing pandemic is presenting real challenges and that residents are suffering the consequences of over a decade of government cuts to public services.

Nonetheless, residents are right to expect improvements to the delivery of basic council services and that’s why we took a motion to the last council meeting seeking cross-party efforts to provide solutions to these systemic issues.

As a result, councillors and residents will now be able to scrutinise regular reports on the council’s performance in waste and refuse collection, parking permits and street cleanliness.

We will be examining these reports closely and working with members of all parties and none to improve the delivery of basic services.

Looking ahead to the Budget Council meeting, Labour will be focused on the key priorities in our manifesto and the corporate plan.

These include tackling disadvantage and supporting those struggling to get by, restoring basic council services, combating the climate crisis and fostering a healthy, active city.

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

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