This week I will let you have some insights into my postbag.
This extract from an email I received this week illustrates very well the frustrations of a group of residents who are, sadly, by no means alone.
The email said: “For months now, the collection of waste and recyclables has been unpredictable, with overflowing bins of decaying food waste and rubbish left on the streets as easy picking for urban foxes, with litter consequently scattered to the four winds.
“Undoubtedly, there is an associated health hazard. Elderly and frail residents are having to cart their bins to the larger bins in frustration. There is simmering frustration among residents at this complete breakdown of service.
“The second issue relates to absence of any perceptible or meaningful effort to clean the streets’ gutters or weed the pavements.
“Weeds have taken over and leaves and litter block the road gullies. On many pavements these are now so large as to constitute trip hazards. Why has this been allowed to happen? Does anyone care?
“The council should be embarrassed and ashamed. Where is the pride in our city?”
This hits the nail on the head exactly. Where, indeed, is the pride, when this Green administration can’t even get the basics right?
I have today raised this (again) at the most senior level in the council and I hope that this, combined with the promise of residents to send emails every week the problem persist, will put enough pressure on to ensure we can finally get something done.
As councillors, we all understand that councils are underfunded and understaffed. However, residents are right to expect us to at least deliver basic services effectively and efficiently.
It is not right to expect ratepaying residents to watch their bins go unemptied and their streets go uncleaned.
Our residents deserve a better delivery of these services and a better level of communication whenever issues arise.
Elsewhere in the mailbag this week, I have also heard about people using tealights and camping gas to light their homes at night and cook meals.
Please be careful. If you are concerned about a friend or a neighbour, please refer them for a home safety visit from our East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who can offer free smoke alarms and visits to eligible households across the city.
For further information or to arrange a visit, please contact their Community Safety Team free of charge on 0800 1777069 or make a request online by completing a Home Safety Visit Request form.
Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.