OPINION

Weather warning we must respond to – and sporting choices we can make

Posted On 26 Nov 2022 at 4:40 pm

It’s a common stereotype that we Brits love talking about the weather so I’m sorry for starting my column this week by doing just that.

But the unusually warm weather we’ve had throughout October and November combined with the extreme rainfall over the last few weeks is of serious concern.

No longer can we simply say that climate change is coming – it is well and truly here. Brighton and Hove City Council staff are doing their best to catch up on flooded areas and are looking into ways we can prevent flooding in future.

And in the long term, we are continuing to act on tackling the climate crisis.

The solutions to the climate crisis are many. I’ve been really inspired by the action of our city’s schools which you can read about on our new website ourcityourworld.co.uk.

We’re also acting on air quality and the latest figures showing a reduction in pollution on North Street are really encouraging.

Next week councillors are being asked to approve the City Downland Estate Plan which is a real step forward towards ensuring the protection of our downland and aquifer for generations to come.

The meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee last week showed that if you want climate action, you must vote Green.

Labour and Tory councillors joined together to block further action on air quality, pavement parking and cycle parking.

This comes alongside previous combined votes to delay the introduction of food waste collections and, notably, rip out the cycle lane on the Old Shoreham Road.

Acting on our climate crisis isn’t a choice – it’s a necessity – but Labour and Tory councillors seem to be unaware of the urgency needed and incapable of taking the necessary action.

The weather we’ve had is so unfamiliar for November, I almost can’t believe we are now well and truly in the Christmas Season.

The lights have been switched on at the Palmeira Square Christmas Tree by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Lizzie Deane.

This tree is in my ward and my thanks go to city council staff and volunteers who make it happen every year.

Brighton and Hove mayor Lizzie Deane switched on the Christmas tree lights in Palmeira Square, Hove, yesterday watched by her consort Henry Bruce, council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty and deputy leader Hannah Allbrooke

The second year of the Christmas Festival also started last week. While I know last year attracted some complaints and concerns, I really love that we have a Christmas Festival in the city.

On Thursday (1 December) a tree in Jubilee Square will go up, which is being organised by Martlets, our local hospice, and will be a space for families to remember their loved ones lost.

In that very spot, a vigil was held last Sunday (20 November) on the Trans Day of Remembrance. The hate directed towards trans people, especially trans women, troubles me.

I was really pleased to see this week that the Health, Overview and Scrutiny Committee has continued the conversation on trans healthcare in the city. It follows a joint letter that Councillor Steph Powell and I presented to the committee in April.

A further update on the proposed Sussex Gender Service will be presented at the committee’s next meeting in January which I hope will address some of the concerns outlined by the trans community, including the Clare Project, about the project so far.

We are now a few days into the World Cup, with England held to a draw by the USA last night. I am a football fan, and really loved that we had multiple chances to see our brilliant Lionesses in the city earlier this year.

Ella Toone scores for England at the Amex – Picture by Adam Davy / PA

Since the Euros, I’ve become one of many thousands who have chosen to continue that support for women’s football, and I now hold a season ticket for Brighton and Hove Albion Women.

But I cannot in good conscience participate in the men’s World Cup this year due to the human rights abuses of the government of Qatar.

Instead of celebrating the World Cup, I’ll be supporting women’s and grassroots men’s football closer to home – and I wish Albion’s women the best of luck in their Conti Cup game tomorrow (Sunday 27 November).

One of those human rights issues in Qatar is the treatment of women. Amnesty report that women in Qatar need permission from men to make key life decisions, including to marry, study abroad on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad until certain ages and receive some forms of reproductive healthcare.

We also sadly know that the World Cup can bring an increase in violence towards women. A Lancaster University study in 2014 showed that reports of domestic violence increased by 26 per cent when the national team won or drew, and by 38 per cent when the team lost.

It is an important reminder for us, particularly as yesterday (Friday 25 November) was the UN Day for the elimination of violence against women, that more needs to be done to make women feel safe both in the UK and across the world.

Councillor Hannah Allbrooke is the Green deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    Lets just look at this statement: ”Labour and Tory councillors joined together to block further action on air quality, pavement parking and cycle parking”.

    They, (Labour/ Conservatives), prevented ONE cycle hanger being installed on street which is nearly all houses and not required. They asked to look at the alternatives to verge parking in Elm Grove which seems sensible these verges were tarmaced in for parking if removed these cars potentially could drive around further looking for spaces causing more pollution. But don’t worry Labour were happy to be silent on the loss of blue badge parking in Gardner Street so you got that discrinatory action through, (although its now known that not all Greens supported that perhaps Cllr Clare was one and is too ashamed to admit it).

    And this statement:
    ”This comes alongside previous combined votes to delay the introduction of food waste collections and, notably, rip out the cycle lane on the Old Shoreham Road”.

    We should have food waste collection ridiculous that we do not but the OSR cycle lane? The last user figures showed a reversal in actual cycling and as there was NO pollution monitoring of the scheme neither side can suggest if it was less or more Green without any factual data.

    Not all Green measures actually can be better for the environment.

  2. Brighton Resident Reply

    Interesting selection of points here. Designed to represent the Greens as a party of inclusion. A party who cares.

    Do you know that disabled women are far more likely to experience violence?

    Do you know what women often do to protect themselves from unsafe environments? Including streets after dark or public transport? They use cars.

    Do you know what disabled people often do to access anywhere outside of their own homes? They use cars.

    Do you know what the ETS decided to do at the meeting described in this article?

    Did they decide to install accessible EV charging? So people who need to use cars can reduce climate impact? No. Did they decide to take steps to make our public spaces and public transport safer for women? No. Did they do anything to support and include the many disabled residents and visitors in the city? (Noting also that trans people are significantly more likely to be disabled). No.

    The green councillors all voted to exclude disabled people from Gardner street and trap a disabled resident in their home every day.

    Thank goodness that next year we get the chance to vote out these Green Tories.

  3. Patrick Miller Reply

    Lol nice how she drones on about labour/conservatives ganging up on poor defenceless greens when she neglects to say since the greens took over from labour its been a green/labour coalition

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