OPINION

How the council is pouring your money down the drain

Posted On 18 Feb 2022 at 11:39 am

This budget, the chickens have come home to roost, with the costly impact of poor policy decisions made by councillors beginning to catch up with Brighton and Hove.

We’ve seen an increase in government grants this year and there should have been no shortfall.

However, a succession of policy blunders from Labour and the Greens have set the city back, turning a £10 million surplus last year into an £18 million budget black hole this year.

So how has the money been wasted?

Spacewords Brighton

During the past 12 months the council has had to spend huge sums bringing in private contractors to fix the mess that poorly thought through Labour/Green policies have created.

Private contractors have had to be brought in to clear weeds from the pavements across the city after the council banned pesticides without putting an alternative plan in place.

In addition, claims made against the council for pavement injuries are also running at their highest levels.

Contractors have also been taken on to repair council homes after the Labour/Green insourcing policy completely failed.

xmas collections

The council’s new internal housing repairs and maintenance team managed to accumulate a backlog of 8,800 council house repairs in just 18 months.

And there are almost 300 empty council houses currently sitting empty and awaiting repairs.

Private contractors were also called in to clear rubbish from the pavements and deal with rats after bin services failed once again.

In addition, huge sums have been thrown by councillors at resolving a number of industrial disputes.

But the impact on taxpayers was barely given a second thought by councillors making the decisions such as

  • the £2.287 million paid to resolve the housing repairs industrial dispute (another consequence of the Labour/Green housing coalition’s ill-advised housing repairs insourcing policy)
  • the range £4 million to £14 million bill – with the total yet to be revealed by the council – to resolve the bin strikes, with knock-on “equal pay” claims yet to be factored in

Unfortunately, it is the taxpayer who ultimately has to pay for this council’s policy failures, waste and mismanagement.

Next week the Greens and Labour plan to put up the council tax and fees and charges once again while reducing services in some areas.

The council has been throwing your taxpayers’ money down a sinkhole and now it has created a budget black hole for the city.

Our Conservative amendments to the budget will once again focus on the people’s priorities for this city.

Our proposals share your aims for a city that is well run, with decent services and that treats its heritage with respect.

Councillor Joe Miller leads on finance for the Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Silas Reply

    I find it astounding how, in the face of the incredible hypocrisy of flying to the COP summit, MacCafferty refused to resign. Yet all the Green councillors have flung their support behind him. Scandalous.

    • Alison G Reply

      What about the scandal of Hannah Clare signing up £500,000 of the council’s school budget money over 5 years on consultant’s critical race training in primary schools that made national paper headlines. I personally think this should have been an equally important resigning matter.

  2. Chaz. Reply

    In a normal world, this analysis would be shocking to residents.
    Sadly, nothing is surprising from the Green/Labour alliance.
    It is just a case of how much further will they run the city into the ground whilst blaming anyone other than themsleves?
    Bring on the local elections so we can vote adults back in.

    • Katy Reply

      By adults you mean party-loving tories, who danced and drank themselves stupid then tried to cover it up, whilst the rest of us isolated to protect the country. Not forgetting the £100 million that they have stripped from the council over recent years. Jog on!

      • Chaz. Reply

        Katy making her Green/Labour left-wing alliance deflection post.
        Again.
        I don’t actually and am very hopeful of the independents setting up in time.
        You might love the Green/Labour left-wing alliance, but many of us do not and are tired beyond belief at how they have trashed the city.

        • Stephanie J Reply

          Totally agree. I was really sad to hear from a young tradesman that had lived in Brighton all his life that he was going to be moving out of the City as he was tired of the demise of Brighton and the number of junkies here. He said he didn’t want to bring up his kids in the future here. I would be interested to know how much this soft touch, allow junkies to beg everywhere policy has cost the City. Not just in losing people like this and the tourism economy but also in terms of council tax expenditure and now the effect on falling school demand. These people have expensive complex needs and the council seems very willing to invite these types of people to the City. Shopping in the town centre is becoming increasingly unpleasant.

      • Hove Guy Reply

        Of course it was wrong and stupid of Boris and his cronies to have held illegal parties during the pandemic. However, that does not compare in any way with the disastrous mess that Green?Labour are continuing to make of Brighton & Hove, while blaming everybody else for their stupid arrogant mistakes. And they have the audacity to put up council tax, so once again the taxpayers are being held to ransom for their very expensive blunders.

      • Martin Burt Reply

        Katy
        An interesting post but isn’t anything to do with what happens here in Brighton. A good effort at deflecting from the incompetence of BHCC.
        People like you will blame cuts to funding by Government and quote figures, what you don’t do to is look at the additional funding that COUNCILS now keep, like business rates for example and other grants and funds.

        The councils get given a budget, the council allocate that budget.
        The problem is poor management.
        The council wants to reduce car use, great, they want to encourage other ways to travel, walking and cycling also great.
        Yet, despite that, they spent £5 million of putting in CAR PARKS at Stanmer Park, yes £5m.
        Not very Green, nor is that reducing car usage, £5M could have been better spent on basic things, like having our rubbish emptied EVERY week, Recycling, repairing broken street lamps, removing graffiti to list just a few.
        It’s easy to blame somebody else, the core problem is BHCC who have a history of incompetence, so please take those Green spectacles and wake up.

        • Some Guy Reply

          That’s not strictly accurate: £5M is being spent to regenerate the park, and the car parking is only part of that. Also, given the sums involved, I’d much rather have a good park than graffiti removal: that’s property owners’ problem.

  3. Lisa Reply

    Maybe it’s time to take a look at the senior officers in BHCC. They do love their bright young project & programme managers & send them in to sort out these failing services. Unfortunately these bright young things have no actual experience of running those services & no interest in using the expertise of those who do. They set up endless projects to tinker round the edges, declare it a resounding success & change jobs quick before the chickens come home to roost.

  4. David St Hubbis Reply

    Meanwhile the Conservative government have stripped millions from every non conservative council whilst not recovering the Billions to their mates in fraudulent Covid contract.

    Jo Miller public withdraw your support from Boris and i will consider what you have to say!

    • Chaz. Reply

      Is it a coincidence that only left-wing councils waste money and can never balance budgets?
      Or is it just Brighton & Hove that the Green/Labour alliance has trashed?
      Hubris or what?

      Good governance starts with your own home.
      After all, you would not borrow from your neighbour to fund your lifestyle.
      Or would you?

      If the Green/Labour alliance cannot balance the budget, let them shut up shop and move on to trash somewhere else. Then we can have adults back.

  5. Peter Dant Reply

    A Conservative opinion piece in the B&H?

  6. Jason Reply

    Watermelons. Green on the outside, red inside. We don’t need their infantilised version of communism.

    Being disabled, I’m painfully aware that the pavements in Benfield Way resemble the worst kind of fairground ride due to roots of trees that have long since been felled.

    I’m bounced up, down and sideways whenever I have to use this particular road. This will eventually necessitate expensive repairs to my disability vehicle.

    Nearer to Foredown Tower, there is a road where brambles and other vegetation have been allowed to grow right across the pavement and into the road.

    Brighton has always been run by those who wouldn’t know how to organise a party in a brewery (polite version), and who waste resources on silly schemes and promoting wierdness while the town collapses around them.

    West pier.
    Madeira arches.
    Hippodrome.
    All those illuminated decorations that were once on the seafront shelters.

    What’s the purpose of councils if not to preserve the assets of the town?

    Where privately-owned attractions are concerned, have they never heard of compulsory purchase?

    CRT? The LIE that all White people are evil? NO! White people BUILT this town and others like it. We may not be perfect, but to pretend we’re born evil is the worst kind of racism, and to indoctrinate children with the same LIE is just EVIL.

    • Some Guy Reply

      That’s not what CRT is, just FYI.

      • Bel Reply

        You don’t need to be a raving white supremacist to worry about the sneaky way our teaching staff are being indoctrinated in Critical Race Theory. Just read what Manjeet Birk, one of its advocates, has to say about ‘diversity’ and ‘progressives’ being the problem.
        https://theconversation.com/critical-race-theory-diversity-is-not-the-solution-dismantling-white-supremacy-is-163398
        For ‘progressives’, read a broad tranche of the Green and Labour parties. In the eyes of many advocates of CRT, you and your well-meaning ways are a huge part the problem, as much as Conservatives or reactionaries.
        Manjeet Birk writes, ‘Diversity has become a way to appease the masses and occupy people like me, the critical race agitators so we chase diversity up the chain of command instead of demanding radical change. Instead of starting a revolution.’
        Funnily enough, I’m not sure I want teachers teaching my children we need a revolution. I’m with Jo Cox, who said we have ‘far more in common than that which divides us’.

  7. Patcham Guy Reply

    Totally agree with Stephanie J.
    Also it has to be said a lot of what is said, on this site is totally untrue, especially from the lefties, (Green/ Labour).
    However i have to say also the comment of spending £5M on Car Parking in Stanmer Park is not quite accurate either as most of it was spent on a restored walled garden and tree planting. We could certainly do with more of this in Brighton. While obviously some people do need help, it is the right order that most people should be able to make their way. We certainly should not be encouraging those who can’t to come here believing the council is a soft touch. Incidently the Conservatives have not been in power since the late 1980’s, so all complaints go to the others. I’ve lived in Brighton all my life so their is not much anyone can tell me about Brighton politics and the way that things have deterioated these last 30 years or so.

    • Chris Reply

      Lived her so long you forgot the Conservatives ran the council from 2007-2011…..I don’t remember things being any better under them either. Not enough school places at the time (and they were doing bugger all about it), and like Labour they kicked the can down the road on equal pay legislation regarding the bin men, which resulted in the recurring bin strikes.

  8. Patcham Guy Reply

    Sorry, but if my memory serves me correctly, although the conservatives may have had more councillors, they didn’t have overall control, the greens and labour (together) could and did out vote them.

    • Chris Reply

      Yes, you’re right they were in minority control of the council, just like every other council Brighton has had since 2003: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_and_Hove_City_Council_elections
      Can’t really bash Labour and the Greens for their actions but give the Conservatives a free pass when every council has had the same level of control for almost 20 years.

  9. Andrew Milford Reply

    https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/19995425.brighton-councillor-joe-miler-drink-driving-charge It would appear that former councillor Joe Miler is fighting a drink driving charge, hence his resignation. If he is prepared to drink and then get behind the wheel of a car, I am not sure I would trust his judgement on other issues…

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