Assurances over Valley Gardens have been given by the council

There have been numerous letters in recent days and weeks in local papers about the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme. I have been reported as saying that reassurances needed to be given in writing on five key areas. These areas were 1) egress from Madeira Drive 2) additional tree planting on Kemp...

A blue plaque for suffragist Clementina Black

Next time you’re in Ship Street, look above the FatFace shop and you’ll see a commemorative blue plaque dedicated to Clementina Black. Clementina was a suffragist, writer, trade unionist and social reformer. She was born at 45 Ship Street in 1853. In 1886, Clementina became secretary of the...

Valley Gardens presents a significant opportunity to move towards a more sustainable city

Situated in the heart of the city, the historic Old Steine was once a place where residents and visitors would flock to – famous for its promenade, open green space and the ornate Victoria Fountain. Over the years, the development of well-intentioned traffic infrastructure has led to the area...

Boris Johnson is botching Brexit and making a mess of politics by forgetting the proper role of Parliament

I said just over a week ago that Parliament would rise to meet whatever Boris Johnson threw at it … and we did! Some people say that this is undemocratic but it’s quite the opposite. It’s Parliament doing its job of standing up to a bullying and irresponsible executive. Parliament has done this...
Posted On 09 Sep 2019

New funding may be a cynical ploy but we will spend it wisely

Finally, we get an announcement on some desperately needed new money for adult social care. The Chancellor Sajid Javid has in fact showered us with funding promises, from schools to the NHS and police. But we can all see that it is no coincidence this comes alongside a call for a general...

Why we face a ‘no deal’ Brexit

There has been much talk about a “no deal” Brexit – not only in Parliament but also reported in the local and social media. Indeed, even our three MPs in Brighton and Hove have spoken consistently on this subject, written media articles and some have even been on protests about it and pointed...
Posted On 06 Sep 2019

No deal puts peace in jeopardy

I’ve been talking to many people in Ireland while I’ve been here this summer. Many are unsurprisingly very anxious about the direct impact of a “no deal” Brexit on jobs and opportunities and the substantial threat to peace. Never mind any of the other disturbing aspects of this week’s serious...

Why an incoming Labour government needs to suspend the ‘right to buy’

I was really pleased on Tuesday to welcome new tenants to new homes in Kensington Street alongside Councillor David Gibson from the Green Party. These are really good quality homes that anyone would be pleased to live in. And homes that we are proud that the council built. They meet high energy...

Boots to walk away from much-needed branch in Brighton

Boots the chemist is closing its branch in London Road, Brighton, on Friday 20 September. The decrepit building that Boots shares with the Co-op food store is due for demolition. Customers and staff were reassured that while the Co-op would return to the replacement building, Boots would move...
Posted On 24 Aug 2019

The price of driving is more than the cost to our planet

What motivates you more – cash or climate change? Or to put it another way, if you have a car, what would persuade you to give it up and use public transport, walk or cycle instead? It is a question I put to a car driver recently who told me he was concerned about the environment. He was quick...

Giving money to beggars won’t help the real homeless

There has been much comment in recent days about organised street begging being linked to trafficking and all the awful pitfalls which come with this type of criminal activity. Although this has been highlighted in the local media, I do not believe that enough is being done to inform residents...
Posted On 23 Aug 2019

A lot of benefits to having an allotment

It’s National Allotments Week so I have been digging around to find out more about our activity in Brighton, Hove and Portslade. Chatting to Jane, a site rep on one of the council’s 37 allotment sites, I asked what she thought were the main benefits of having a local allotment. She said it’s...

Brighton i360 bosses should answer questions in public about the ups and downs

The i360’s board need to come before residents to give an account of why they are putting taxpayers at risk of picking up the bill for the debts of their failing business. This is what I told the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee at its most recent meeting because I believe that...
Posted On 09 Aug 2019

Community spaces should be run by local people for the good of the community

I popped into the Resource Centre in Tilbury Place this week to say hello to the team and spent a happy hour learning more about the services they offer to local community groups. With more than 40 years of experience, it’s an inspiring place full of “can do” people and the most wonderful...

Celebrating 100 years of council housing

Selling off council housing was a big mistake. As more people exercised their “right to buy” under Thatcher, the stock of council housing dwindled, taking away the safety net for individuals and families who could not afford either to rent privately or own their own home. People who are...

Why it’s vital to block a bad Boris Brexit

As a newly elected councillor in Hove I used my first ever speech at the full council meeting this week to make it clear to the chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, Geoff Raw, that our city needs a robust contingency plan for the terrifying eventually of a no-deal Boris Brexit. I...
Posted On 28 Jul 2019

It’s great that young people care about climate change but we cannot back strikes in school time

We fully support the young people’s concerns about climate change and their wish to demonstrate. But we can, in no way, endorse their actions in leaving school without permission to strike. As a council we would be failing in our duty of care if we endorsed this action. Parents have a right to...

A new dawn

In my last article I laid out a number of issues that the new Prime Minister would have to address. I was encouraged to hear these mentioned not only when the Boris Johnson delivered a speech from the steps of Downing Street but also during his statement of “Priorities for the Government” to...
Posted On 26 Jul 2019

If Boris Johnson really wants to unite our country, here’s what he should do

As your recently elected council leader, I’m excited about leading our council to face the challenges of climate change, the housing and homelessness crisis and austerity, while promoting equality in our city – but government policy has been a major obstacle in front of us. We now have a new...

Depressed by the election of Boris Johnson? Don’t despair, organise

At noon yesterday, MP Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities asked her Facebook followers, “is it too early to have a stiff drink?” Her question poignantly captures how depressed I felt about a piece of news I had heard only a few minutes before her post. Over...