Leaders pay attention to risk and prepare for the future

Tuesday marked World Oceans Day, reminding us that the beach from Portslade to Saltdean and the English Channel are connected to the rest of the world. Our actions here have a global impact. It’s fitting that then that dozens joined the mayor’s “big beach tidy up” on Sunday, helping to remind...

It’s been a week when people in Brighton and Hove have shown how much they care

My week started on Sunday with the mayor’s big tidy up beach clean. It was good to see so many people out and helping. Thanks to all our residents as well as the mayor and consort, the councillors and officers who took part and those who helped organise this. It was really good to see everyone...

Government refuses to take action needed to prevent evictions

The government last week rejected a recommendation that it should develop a specific financial package to support tenants with rent arrears attributable to the pandemic. I have supported a call for a loan fund, as recommended by the Resolution Foundation and supported by the National...
Posted On 08 Jun 2021

Evidence suggests that it’s a ‘Green’ council in name only

In September 2019 Friends of the Earth ranked every council in England and Wales on the basis of their performance on climate change. After eight years of Green and Labour administrations in Brighton and Hove, how did our city do? Here are the results … Friends of the Earth ranked Brighton and...
Posted On 06 Jun 2021

Championing our city and the people who call it home

The bank holiday weekend coincided with brilliant weather, the end of the Brighton Festival and the start of the Brighton Fringe – and a return to a programme of arts, culture and music events. It also saw hundreds flock to our city to experience the best of what Brighton and Hove has to offer....

Brighton and Hove’s recovery from covid measures needs to go more swimmingly

Like many, I learnt to swim in public pools and have always used them as an affordable outing for family fun and fitness. I have seen how many people depend on our pools: the elderly, those with disabilities, and children and families. Sadly, our facilities are ageing, and one of our two...

Why did the council allow City in Bloom to fold?

It’s the start of summer and tourist towns across our country are putting their best foot forward with public flower displays and City in Bloom competitions in a bid to attract tourists, help local businesses and foster civic pride. This, however, is sadly not the case in Brighton and Hove...

Work continues to support our city, environment and economy

After a difficult year, I know residents and businesses want to see our city looking and feeling its best. Keeping our city clean is about providing a warm welcome to visitors while preventing waste washing into our seas and damaging our precious environment. On top of litter picks and...

From remembering George Floyd to planning for our future

On Tuesday (25 May) some of my fellow Labour councillors and I took part in a vigil at The Level, commemorating the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, organised by Black Lives Matter. The 9 minute 29 second silence, marking the duration of police kneeling on George’s neck, was very powerful,...

Our communities deserve better than a ‘wait and see’ approach on new variants

As many venues and businesses in Brighton and Hove reopen again after a terribly difficult year, my thanks go to the many of you working hard to ensure reopening can happen in a covid-safe way. Preparations to welcome visitors are ongoing and council teams and community volunteers have been out...

New opposition leaders spell out their aims

We are privileged to be leading the official opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council – and we are looking forward to working with the Labour team to promote our values. Our priority is providing constructive and effective opposition. In this “no overall control” council, it’s crucial we...

Babes in the Wood perjury trial: Johnson’s lies caused real pain and undermined justice itself

Anyone listening to Jennifer Johnson’s account of her torrid life at the hands of double child murderer Russell Bishop could not have been untouched by an existence few endure. By any account, he was a monster in the home as well as when he attacked and murdered Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway...

A time to step back and say thank you

This is my last Brighton and Hove News column as leader of the opposition ahead of me handing over at Annual Council on Thursday 20 May. It’s been a real honour to have led the city I call home, both as leader of the council and the opposition. I want to thank everyone who has supported me in...

No one should have to die to make a living

This week I wanted to use my column to pay tribute to our key workers, who have been an incredible source of strength and inspiration through this difficult past year. Their bravery and tireless hard work has kept our city and country going through the pandemic. Friday 28 April marked...

Let’s build on the progress in our collective effort to beat covid

I am pleased to share brilliant news this week about our collective efforts to bring down covid-19 in our city. At the time of writing, data tells us there are currently zero reported cases of covid-19 among the over 60s in Brighton and Hove. There are still cases in other age groups and I am...

Stand up for local democracy on Thursday 6 May

Our Conservative group of councillors is alarmed at the erosion of democracy in the city we have seen over the last two years under the Labour-Green council. Residents’ petitions and deputations have been refused to be heard by the council for the first time any of our Conservatives have seen –...
Posted On 03 May 2021

Green jobs are crucial to carbon-neutral future while boosting post-pandemic economy recovery

Green Jobs Action Day took place on Wednesday 24 March. I took part in a short film interview with Green New Deal UK, joining the sea of voices calling for a greener and sustainable future. Green jobs are jobs that help us move to a post-carbon economy and a fairer society. We need a lot of...

Safer and healthier streets for Hanover and Tarner

The city’s first liveable neighbourhood pilot was given the go-ahead last June, following a request by local community group Hanover Action. The group took its proposal to the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee. The main purpose of the scheme will be to stop outside...

A greener recovery must stay in our sights

The low covid-19 rates in our city in recent weeks are a testament to the steps that people are continuing to take, day in and day out, to keep virus transmission low. After a year of restrictions, it has been wonderful to see so many people continue to enjoy the city. I am also clear that the...

Joy at reopening tempered by need to make seafront safer

I felt a real sense of joy running along the seafront recently as I watched people opening up their businesses and others arriving to meet friends for a morning coffee in the sunshine. So much so, that I felt inspired to run further and see what else was happening by the beach. Turning back at...

Cleaner beaches crucial to our fragile sea

This past week I’ve been thrilled to see the city reopen safely, with some of our vital retail, hospitality and culture venues able to reopen, much to the relief of many employed in these sectors. It has been wonderful to see so many people enjoying the city again, with more visitors over a...

As lockdown eases, it’s the perfect time to get involved

This week marked an exciting time for all of us, as the city begins opening back up. Lockdown has been tough but we can now all look forward to more outdoor activities, live entertainment and meeting with friends and family in gardens and outdoor spaces. Acclaimed poet, playwright and...

Supporting our city despite flaws in the government’s ‘roadmap’

Last week marked United Nations World Health Day, with a call for governments across the world to act to eliminate covid-19 health inequalities. Yet in the same week, the Conservative government announced proposals that once again failed to tackle the deepening inequality caused by the pandemic...

Say hasta la vista to safe hols as border farce threatens NHS vaccine success

The effectiveness of the ongoing national vaccination programme is a tribute to the NHS and its current army of volunteers. The success of the programme is, however, being jeopardised by inadequate and chaotic border controls. Since the hotel and home quarantining system was introduced on...

Labour is pushing for genuinely affordable homes – and dignity for the homeless

There was another full council meeting on Thursday 25 March and here are some of the highlights. Labour councillors submitted a range of questions raising concerns on behalf of residents on issues such as affordable housing, safety on Madeira Drive, the vaccination rollout, green spaces, cycle...

Easter – a joyful sign of hope for the future

The Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner quoted the Song of Solomon in his Easter sermon at Chichester Cathedral today (Sunday 4 April) – as well as a much more recent song, by Katie Melua. Here is the full text of his homily … Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be. But, “where...

A year of coronavirus lessons, thanks and a plea

Being a year on from the first lockdown gives pause for reflection and I want to start by offering my condolences to those who have lost loved ones to Covid. As council leader at the time, I vividly recall the various stages of the pandemic. As a council we shifted into emergency mode. My most...

Greens back better attitude to homeless encouraged by ‘bill of rights’

Brighton and Hove City Council has become one of the first to formally adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights as embodying the city’s aspirations for its treatment of homeless people. The ethos of a “bill of rights” for homeless people – recognising their dignity and need for equality – is embedded...

The fight for women’s rights goes on

Issues affecting women have been under a lot of focus this Women’s History Month, with the celebration of International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March quickly turning to collective grief over the tragic killing of Sarah Everard, which combined with fury over the anti-democratic measures in the...

Homeless Bill of Rights would place council in conflict with police

Labour and the Greens’ proposal for a city-wide Homeless Bill of Rights would do little to help the homeless and instead put the council in direct conflict with Sussex Police. This policy would provide a right to beg across every geographical part of Brighton and Hove while also making it...

A bitter budget pill to swallow

Last week, I wrote about the improvements to the city’s budget that Labour were able to secure at the budget council meeting in February by working constructively and cross-party in the best interests of the city. By putting positive outcomes above party politics, we were able to work...

A government roadmap is not the only route to success for our city

With the next stage of the government “roadmap” on Monday 29 March, planning continues to ensure our city continues to safely manage the pandemic. Preparations continue for what a government easing of restrictions may mean with a plan being published next week to cautiously begin reopening....

Independent councillor urges people outside politics to stand in by-elections

With by-elections looming, people living in Hollingdean, Coldean, North Moulsecoomb, Stanmer, Hollingbury, Stanmer Heights and Patcham face a tricky choice. A local Labour party that retains a strong Momentum influence and was forced to hand back the reins of power last summer after an...

Why public trust in Brighton and Hove City Council has collapsed

Faith in Brighton and Hove City Council’s ruling councillors appears to have plummeted to an all-time low. A residents’ petition of no confidence in the council, which attracted more than 4,400 signatures, was presented to the recent meeting of the full council. So why has public trust in the...

We need to trust the experts on cycling

When deciding on the future of our city’s streets, it’s tempting to rely on what we’ve seen and heard on the street and on social media. But we can’t plan transport policy on the basis of anecdote. We need to trust the experts. After all, you wouldn’t want a heart surgeon fixing a burst pipe or...

We’re being taken for a ride over the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane

Active travel is the way forward for much of this city and pursuing such an aim is the right thing to do. So why would getting rid of the Old Shoreham cycle lane help with that? We were told back in May 2020 that the cycle lane was “temporary”. Officers and councillors would monitor its usage...
Posted On 13 Mar 2021

Labour’s budget measures showed our constructive and collaborative approach

At the budget council meeting last month, Labour were able to strengthen the council’s budget for the year ahead and secure some big wins for our residents. We were pleased the Greens used Labour’s progressive, balanced budget from last year as a base for their budget this year. We welcomed...

A green recovery is in sight – if we keep infections down

This week many of us welcome news that the much-loved Brighton Festival will take place in May. Adapting to the new circumstances that the pandemic has forced on to the arts and creative sector, the festival will go ahead in a different way – changed to ensure online, and where possible,...

Residents suffer in the absence of proper opposition

Can you think of any official opposition in the history of the United Kingdom’s democracy that would have consistently and actively voted to restrict the amount of time that it had to ask questions of the executive that it was supposed to be opposing? It would be hard to imagine why any...

Share your views about how we can ‘Build Back Better’

I’m sure we all welcomed the news announced by the government last week regarding a route out of lockdown. The vaccine rollout is going well thanks to the hard work of the NHS, key workers and volunteers. As long as we remain vigilant in driving down covid-19 transmission, seeing friends and...

Council peddled false claim about Old Shoreham Road cycle lane – and here’s why

For months, by carefully worded responses and moving at glacial speed, data about the cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road has not been forthcoming from the council. However, in recent weeks, through the council being forced by “freedom of information” (FoI) requests to provide answers, three things...
Posted On 04 Mar 2021

Fairtrade Fortnight offers people in Brighton and Hove the chance to make a difference

We are in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight when thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow the ingredients that make up our food and drinks, mine gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes – people who are often...

We need action, not more talk on budget night

Whenever you talk to fellow residents in Brighton and Hove the issues that come up invariably relate to the poor state of the city – the litter, overflowing bins, fly tipping at green spots or road signs which have faded away. Most cities around the country have councils that spend their time...
Posted On 25 Feb 2021

What the Uber court ruling means – a personal view

What does the Uber court ruling mean and why does it matter? The following is a mix of facts and opinion and includes the difference between local cab companies and Uber. It seeks to explains the different working models and the position that Uber is in now and which way it may operate...

A budget for recovery

Our budget proposals go before council next Thursday (25 February). The approach at the heart of our budget plans is critical: our city’s recovery. After a tough year I know each and every one of us is keen to ensure our city can thrive once again. So many have faced immeasurable loss from the...

From diversity and inclusion to budgets and recovery, Labour keeps its focus

February marks LGBTQ+ History Month. This year’s theme is “Body, Mind, Spirit” and the aim is to raise awareness and promote equality and diversity in both education and wider society by increasing the visibility of LGBTQ+ people and celebrating their lives, experiences and history. I’m pleased...

Recovery from the pandemic must consider our children and young people

This week is the half-term holiday but, for most families in our city, the situation is far from normal. Children and young people are increasingly affected by the pandemic. This month started with children’s mental health week, reminding us about the hidden cost of covid-19 on the wellbeing of...

A pandemic pay rise for council officers would hit our residents hard

Labour and the Greens’ proposal for a pay rise for council officers would hit frontline services hard and come at a cost to residents in the city while also increasing the pay inequality. Labour and Green councillors put forward the proposal at a pre-budget meeting of the Policy and Resources...
Posted On 13 Feb 2021

Unions are more important than ever

We are living in unparalleled times and along with the tragic loss of life and damage to health, we’ve also seen the huge risk the pandemic poses to workers’ jobs, pay, safety and conditions. That is why trade unions are more important than ever and I am supporting #HeartUnions week, which...

Whatever happened to local TV, the BBC asked. Brighton has the answer …

The BBC has run a piece on local TV on its website and, I’m glad to say, accepted that Latest TV in Brighton is a success story. It wasn’t so keen on other parts of the local media jigsaw and even had a go at BBC cuts! In Brighton we are lucky that we have diverse media and we would encourage...
Posted On 09 Feb 2021

Labour is facing two ways – and residents are noticing

Brighton and Hove News recently reported on a vote at Brighton and Hove City Council to put up the price of parking for residents. The report – Councillors criticise ‘extortionate’ parking charge increases before voting them through – said: “The ruling Greens voted for the higher charges and...

Our city can thrive again if we focus on a sustainable recovery from this pandemic

The sustained efforts of Brighton and Hove residents mean our covid-19 rates are starting to drop. In the seven days up to Friday 22 January, there were 40 per cent fewer new cases than in the previous week and our city now has a lower rate than the average for England and for the south east....

Labour’s constructive opposition achieves positive outcomes for all

At full council last week, Labour councillors tabled questions to hold the administration to account on issues such as food supplies, parking, educational outcomes, bin collections, rough sleeping, low traffic neighbourhoods and more. I raised the scourge of drug abuse, drug dealing and...

What was so wrong with asking for value for money?

So, I’ve been called “Trump-like” by colleagues on Brighton and Hove City Council who refused to acknowledge and support the basic premise of value for money. It was amazing how quickly colleagues in the Labour and Green coalition rose to their virtual feet at full council last week to explain...

Covid jabs at the Brighton Centre? Everybody knows it’s how we bring the music back

Grey heads everywhere. In fact, there have not been so many grey heads in the Brighton Centre since the Leonard Cohen concert in November 2008. I think I recognised some of them at the weekend when I went for my first AstraZeneca jab. It was a good experience. I followed the yellow-footstep...

Conservative claims about wasted money don’t add up and here’s why …

The Conservatives proposed a motion on value for money savings at the meeting of the full council last week. My Green colleagues and I are all in favour of value for money but this motion could not be taken seriously. It only serves to show us, yet again, either that the Conservatives do not...
Posted On 01 Feb 2021

Another week, another £1.32 million wasted by our council

Last week was just another week at Brighton and Hove City Council with more taxpayers’ money thrown out the window to deal with the (un) expected consequences of Labour and the Greens’ ideological policy decisions. This time it was revealed that the council would be required to spend an...
Posted On 31 Jan 2021

A year of covid-19 and lessons must be learned

As we approach early February 2021 amid another national lockdown, it is staggering to recall it is almost a full year ago that the first case of covid-19 became known in our city. There is no doubt that our lives have changed dramatically following the rapid acceleration of the covid-19...

Many are struggling and we’re trying to help

Across the board, public sector workers have worked tirelessly on the front line. They have led the fight against covid-19, working long hours, dealing with stressful conditions and even putting their own lives on the line for local residents. That’s why we were so disappointed to see the...

Be the light in the darkness on Holocaust Memorial Day

On Holocaust Memorial Day we remember the six million Jews, the tens of thousands of disabled, Gypsy-Roma, LGBTQIA+ persons and many others who were murdered under the Nazi regime. Each year when we remember, we cannot fail to be profoundly moved by the testimonies of the survivors, now sadly...

Actions to prevent covid will help our stretched NHS and public services

This week I was asked how we in the city can support our local NHS. The question came as covid-19 admissions to our city’s hospitals have risen since the end of the last lockdown. The new, much more contagious strain of the virus has seen the number of cases balloon locally. Hospital inpatients...

Join the conversation about tackling climate change in Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove’s Climate Assembly has published its recommendations for how our city could meet our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Taking all action to be carbon net-zero by 2030 was a central pledge of Labour’s 2019 local manifesto and we have worked collaboratively with other...

We must stop Brighton and Hove from going bust and becoming Croydon by sea

The Greens and Labour risk bankrupting Brighton and Hove and turning it into the next Croydon if they keep up their recent pattern of financial decisions. Labour-led Croydon council recently declared effective bankruptcy by issuing what is known as a “section 114 legal notice”. Its auditors...
Posted On 16 Jan 2021

To fight the new strain, stay at home

A little over a week into the latest lockdown and there is no question that the new strain of covid-19 is having a huge impact. Every age group – and every neighbourhood- in our city is affected. This new covid-19 strain is far more contagious and it shows in our data. In the seven days up to...

Coronavirus vaccine offers hope and here’s what to do

I know the news of another national lockdown was difficult to hear when so many had tried hard for so long to suppress the virus and stop transmission. I really feel for everyone who is sick or has a family member who is sick and for those risking their lives daily to look after people in our...

We need to stay strong, work together and protect each other

Since February 2020, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller has been leading Operation Apollo, Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s covid-19 response. He is also chair of the Sussex Resilience Forum, a multi-agency partnership including local authorities, emergency services, the NHS, volunteers and...
Posted On 13 Jan 2021

The government ‘white paper’ on planning spells disaster for affordable housing in Brighton and Hove

Before Christmas I was pleased to second a motion calling on the government to increase affordable housing quotas for new developments and to withdraw their new “developers charter” planning white paper. To their shame Brighton and Hove Tories refused to support our calls for affordable homes,...
Posted On 13 Jan 2021

We all need to be involved in shaping the recovery in Brighton and Hove

The global pandemic has affected everyone and every area of our lives. Nothing has stayed normal and no one has escaped the impact. The recovery process needs planning and discussion and Labour councillors stand ready to help. Children have missed out on their education. In some of the more...

Toads Hole Valley plans remain a cause for concern

In the next few months, Brighton and Hove City Council is expected to consider granting planning permission for the huge Toads Hole Valley development. With a population of around 3,500 people, workplaces for 1,800 and a 900-pupil school, the development will increase traffic on local Hove...
Posted On 08 Jan 2021

New year knighthood for Sir Peter Field is a well-deserved and fitting honour

Brighton-born Peter Field deserves congratulations for his well-merited knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. Sir Peter is one of a number of people from Brighton and Hove and the surrounding area to have been recognised for their long and distinguished service, dedication and...
Posted On 07 Jan 2021

For animals, fireworks can be more a source of fear than fun

Animal welfare is an issue that many of us care deeply about. I’m proud it was a Labour government that introduced the hunting ban and that we’ve consistently presented strong policies to strengthen animal welfare. Locally, we gained support for motions to ban the sale of fur on council-owned...

Messing up the Christmas message – and why it matters in the time of covid

Normally when government passes a law the message is, “obey it.” But not for this government. They’ve gone to the trouble to create detailed laws about how we’re to behave this Christmas yet the message is, “don’t follow the law.” But who to follow? Because the Prime Minister, the Home...
Posted On 25 Dec 2020

At our hospice I see hope this Christmas

The Martlets Hospice has got such a good reputation in Brighton and Hove – and it is a wonderful place. Sadly, I lost my wife there back in 2014. I ended up going to work there full time as a facilities maintenance guy and supervisor and have worked there through the pandemic. I’ve seen some...
Posted On 25 Dec 2020

Navigating difficult waters – the view from Shoreham Port

What appealed to me most about the chance to join the team at Shoreham was the port’s status as a trust. Unlike the corporates I had worked for previously, any profits made are reinvested in maintaining the port for everyone’s benefit. This ethos gives the place a great atmosphere and also...
Posted On 25 Dec 2020

Proper political opposition puts residents’ interests first

Last week your Labour councillors brought forward a range of positive measures to improve things in our city at full council. Former Labour councillor Emma Daniel presented a petition aimed at reducing the cost of school uniforms. Emma did great work on trying to poverty-proof our schools when...

Brexit deal welcome – but it’s still a poor second to being a member of the EU

We welcome the announcement of an imminent Brexit deal and that pragmatism has prevailed over populist clamour. Nevertheless, no Brexit deal, however good the terms and conditions, can ever be as beneficial as membership of the European Union. So it still represents a hit on the economy which...

A Christmas Carol – as it might be staged at Hove Town Hall

The year is 1843. Charles Dickens is visiting Brighton and Hove – Hove actually. He looks through the council window – an advent or Zoom window if you like – to look at the political scene. What does he see? A candle? An angel? No, it’s a bedroom. The Mayor is isolating in bed. He’s down to his...

Dog track protests do nothing to stop racing but the abuse upsets blameless neighbours

Personally, I am not a lover of greyhound racing. I have not been to the track in Nevill Road, Hove, for many years. And even then, I only went because there was a charity event that I wanted to support. A large number of worthwhile charity events have always been held at the stadium. It is a...

From food poverty to animal welfare, your emails and letters help keep councillors in touch

It is always worth writing to your local councillors because you want to support a campaign even if it is a standard email via one of the many petition sites. We like to hear from you and to know what is important to you. Such emails have prompted us into action over the past few months...

How a ‘coalition’ deal hurt Brighton and Hove in 2020

The furtive coalition arrangement between the Greens and Labour, revealed in an exclusive report by Brighton and Hove News, has already undermined faith in democracy in the city. As articulated by the Conservative whip, to have a party hold itself up as the city’s official opposition while at...
Posted On 17 Dec 2020

Covid testing in Brighton and Hove’s secondary schools needs staffing and funding

The government needs to confirm funding arrangements for the covid-19 testing programme in secondary schools due to start next month. I wrote to the government last month calling for schools to have regular access to rapid testing. So I welcome the fact that they have finally recognised the...

Coronavirus has caused huge damage – and now the vaccine offer us hope

As Christmas draws nearer, the news that covid vaccines are beginning their rollout in earnest is hugely welcome. At last we can see an end in sight. I know everybody has had to make some really tough sacrifices this year, from following lockdown restrictions and staying indoors to not spending...

Why growing numbers of disabled people are cycling – and what stops more from joining them

Cycling is booming, as it’s a cheap, socially distanced way of getting around that’s fun and gives you exercise. Great if you’re young and athletic, but what if you’re older, disabled or have health problems? According to disabled cycling charity Wheels For Wellbeing, increasing numbers of...

Labour should not claim opposition wages while in a coalition

The revelations that were published in Brighton and Hove News last week – that Labour and the Greens have been jointly running Brighton and Hove City Council in accordance with an extensive written agreement deliberately kept secret from the public – are an incredibly serious matter of public...

Conservatives have been providing the opposition and scrutiny the city deserves

Opposition and scrutiny are essential parts of the democratic process. They are duties that residents rightly expect are carried out on their behalf by their elected councillors. On Brighton and Hove City Council, the Conservative group is the only group providing this opposition and scrutiny...
Posted On 06 Dec 2020

Chancellor’s response to coronavirus is a bitter pill for council tax payers

At the start of the pandemic, the government told councils to do whatever it takes to combat the virus – and we were promised full compensation. This is what we were hoping would be included in the Chancellor’s spending review. Unfortunately, the government has not delivered. There were some...

Universal basic income: a Green dystopian vision?

Let me paint two pictures of universal basic income: one dystopian and one utopian. But which is which? The first scenario – everyone receives £1,200 a month (can you live on anything less in Brighton?) on top of their current benefits. Everyone can then negotiate confidently with their boss...

Build back better with a universal basic income

The immediate shockwaves of the coronavirus pandemic were profound, with the government locking down the country and putting together an unprecedented package of economic and financial support. But even though millions of people received support, millions of others have been excluded from help...

Noisy neighbours, nuisances and bad behaviour can’t be ignored forever

The council has taken its eye off the ball on crime and anti-social behaviour. Make no mistake – crime and antisocial behaviour is a big issue for the residents of this city and one which we are contacted regularly about by our constituents. Whether it is graffiti, housing, the tents in public...
Posted On 28 Nov 2020

Our communities deserve a brighter future

As we approach the last week of this latest lockdown, I want to thank everyone in our city. A few weeks ago I wrote about how we can pull together and stick together. Thanks to the fantastic local efforts, the figures shows some real improvement and tell us the number of confirmed covid-19...

Have your say about the council – you could even win a prize

One of the most positive aspects I noticed about lockdown the first time around was how active and engaged people were getting with how their city is run and how decisions are made. I’m a big believer in participatory democracy. I want people to be as involved as possible in the decision-making...

A city of sanctuary or dispenser of rough justice to licensed fall guy?

I am a resident of Tivoli Crescent and I attended and spoke at the licensing panel hearing for Tivoli Food and Wine on Monday 9 November. Eight days later the panel published its decision to revoke the license banning Awarah Shikha from selling alcohol and tobacco on grounds that he used the...

As ‘anti-racist’ politicians selectively plunder our past, here’s the truth about Brighton’s attitude to the transatlantic slave trade

When drawing from academic work that traces forgotten histories, we can learn much about Brighton’s past. But as we build a picture of the town 200 years ago we should strive for accuracy – and remember the extraordinary part played by its people. Brighton was an abolition town. Archive copies...
Posted On 22 Nov 2020

The importance of tourism to Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove is a seaside tourism-based economy and the jobs of many rely on the city projecting a tourist-friendly image. Direct tourism accounts for around 14 per cent of all employment, equivalent to 21,000 direct jobs in the local economy. It also accounts for a spending injection of...
Posted On 21 Nov 2020

Cash in on the good work of the credit union

Money is the cause of much worry and stress for people and businesses, particularly now. And money-saving experts advise us to regularly review your suppliers of gas, electricity, mobile phone and TV packages but how many of us actually make the time to do that? Take a look at USwitch and...

Car-free living should be standard – not luxury

A massive £2.4 million of government money has been awarded to Brighton and Hove to make walking and cycling easier and safer. According to a recent YouGov poll, many Brits intend to use their car more after the pandemic than before, so it’s more important than ever that people have alternative...
Posted On 18 Nov 2020

Councillors should work together – not make unfair personal attacks on the mayor

It seems like a lifetime ago when we were in Hove Town Hall for council meetings, with the local press and residents watching on from the gallery. Unfortunately, the last full council meeting was marred by a nasty personal attack made by the Conservatives on our mayor. What makes the attack...

As another lockdown looms we need to pull together

Off the back of a rushed announcement last Saturday, the nation is now entering a second lockdown. The impact of this cannot be underestimated and I share the feelings of frustration and concern that I know so many have expressed in the last week. However, I do know this: our fantastic...

Time is short to prevent a catastrophic all-out strike

The council is running out of time to prevent an all-out strike that could potentially hit several important services during lockdown. The ongoing dispute between Brighton and Hove City Council and the GMB union is linked to the insourcing of the housing repairs and maintenance service. It has...
Posted On 04 Nov 2020

A ‘circuit-breaker’ is needed but so is locally run covid test and trace

While the need for a “circuit-breaker” has never been clearer, the decision by Conservative government ministers to hand over management of testing in our community to private, for-profit providers has been disastrous. To give a sense of the scale of the argument, while profit-making companies...