Meeting tonight because Toads Hole Valley means jam today and jam tomorrow

A public meeting is taking place at 7.30pm today (Wednesday 1 December) at The Nevill pub to enable local residents to discuss their concerns about the Toads Hole Valley development. There are two main issues with the proposal for 880 new homes – roads and wildlife. Toads Hole Valley along with...
Posted On 01 Dec 2021

Is Brighton especially vulnerable to omicron?

The World Health Organisation, in the shape of the Council on the Economics of Health for All, believed in some fundamental truths: that health and the economy are interdependent and that health is in itself a key economic sector and critical to resilience and stability in economies worldwide....

Cancelled council meeting latest blow to local democracy

The decision not to resume last month’s abandoned full council meeting is the latest blow to local democracy in the city. Meetings of the full council of Brighton and Hove’s 54 councillors are important occasions, both for councillors and for members of the public. These meetings, among other...
Posted On 28 Nov 2021

Celebrating our incredible and resilient small businesses

This week I celebrated our incredible and resilient small businesses with the Small Business Saturday campaign roadshow which came to our city to shine a spotlight on our entrepreneurs and local businesses. Local business can sign up for free support and profile from Small Business Saturday and...

Forget Peppa Pig and beware the bill that will change health and care in Brighton and elsewhere

Much of the national media seemed to be distracted by Boris Johnson’s car crash “Brrmm, brrmm, eurgh, forgive me, Peppa Pig” speech to the CBI earlier this week. Less attention was given to the Health and Care Bill, which passed its third reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday (23...

Hollingbury community asks council to Keep Carden Thriving

Hollingbury is one of Brighton and Hove’s best kept secrets. It has some of the best views of the South Downs from Brighton and Hove. It has the beginnings of a new wood where you can already find rare wasp spiders – and it has one of the best schools in the area, Carden Primary, which was...

Work is under way to make roads safer and travel more affordable

Road safety and the future of how our bus services operate were among the items discussed on Tuesday (16 November) when the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee met. They were among several items discussed at length – and Labour councillors were pleased to support t...

Council caught treating drivers in Brighton as cash cows

The Conservatives have caught Brighton and Hove City Council treating unsuspecting drivers as cash cows. Our questions about the new “bus gates” – or bus lanes – in the revamped Valley Gardens brought to light the extraordinary number of fines being dished out to drivers. An astonishing 9,618...

Covid isn’t over – please think of the whole community

As a mental health nurse and a local councillor, I’m probably more able than most to have a good overall view of how covid and lockdowns have affected us over the last 20 months or so. The obvious one is not having been able to see family and friends for so long. This inevitably led to a lot of...

Winter is coming but benefits aren’t frozen – they’ve been cut

The economic fallout of the pandemic, Brexit and the fuel crisis is having a terrible impact across society, but particularly on poorer families and child poverty. Nationally, 2.5 million children are estimated to live in households experiencing food insecurity. This carries a huge human cost...

It’s time for the council to return to work

While much of the country is back to work, Brighton and Hove City Council continues to lag behind, with almost all its office staff still working from home. Hove Town Hall, which used to be the bustling heart of council activity for councillors and also point of service delivery for residents,...
Posted On 10 Nov 2021

As world leaders tackle climate change, here’s a glimpse of what’s happening locally

As world leaders assemble in Glasgow, I was reminded that I recently attended the Greater Brighton Economic Board’s virtual climate summit. It highlighted local projects already under way and pointed the way towards further local and national action ahead of COP26. We heard about the need to...

Bonfire bigotry lives on in Sussex – it’s time we took a stand

At a council meeting on Thursday 21 October, I put a question to Brighton and Hove’s Green administration asking them to condemn the continued practice of burning catholic effigies, displaying anti catholic slogans and other religious bigotry openly tolerated at Lewes and other bonfire events....
Posted On 04 Nov 2021

A ‘D’ for Denial, not Disclosure

At a full council meeting that was unfortunately cut short on Thursday 21 October, when asked about how the Green administration and the council were measuring climate transition risks and mitigating their impacts on the residents of the city, the leader of the council mounted an attack on...

Fine words in the budget – some borrowed from Labour – but who will foot the bill?

With the autumn budget announced this week by the Chancellor and the COP26 climate summit starting, the government continues to borrow Labour’s clothing in talking about “levelling up” and “building back better and greener” after covid. Which would be all very well, if only the figures matched...

Influencing the debate about effluent

Let’s spend a moment talking about sewage and broken promises. During those tortured debates about Brexit, the single thing that used to frustrate me to the point of unbridled frustration was when ministers used to make a claim that you just knew was impossible or they had no intention of...
Posted On 27 Oct 2021

Bin strike shows how Greens still have serious lessons to learn

I am very pleased that a deal has been struck to end the bin strike. After weeks of rubbish and recycling piling up in the streets, with residents suffering, it was a relief all round that a resolution to the dispute was finally found. I have been open about the fact that the dispute never...

We have to get the housing repairs service right for our tenants

We must address concerns raised by residents about serious failures in the council housing repairs service. And we must acknowledge that more effort needs to go into working in a way that delivers the absolute best service that we can for council tenants. That means making sure that our...

Bin strike raises key issues beyond the immediate deal

I would like to raise several key issues which I’ve certainly struggled with in the run-up to, and throughout, this unfortunate process of resolving the bin strike – not least in last week’s seven-hour meeting. I would like to start by saying that while I am weary of the GMB union, which of...

David Amess, death threats and being accessible as an MP

I went back to my office in Parliament after an emotional day in the Commons on Monday. I’d sat and listened to the MPs who knew David Amess best talk about their friendship and his character. It was a lovely moment when the Prime Minister announced city status for Southend. Then the main...
Posted On 21 Oct 2021

What the Brighton and Hove bin strike really reveals about local politics

In an opinion piece on Tuesday (19 October), Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth purported to explain the underlying politics of the recent industrial action by Cityclean HGV drivers. The strike by GMB members did indeed reveal a lot about the politics and economics of our city, and the...

The politics behind the bin strike in Brighton and Hove

With Brighton and Hove residents continuing to face piles of rubbish even as the official element of the bin strike draws to an end, many residents want answers about what was behind the dispute. It will be no surprise to residents that the Green Party is unable to communicate with those who...

Strikes like this are the result of failure – it must end without further delay

Our bins are overflowing, our streets are a mess. Worse, it’s not the first time this has happened in recent years. I want you to know in no uncertain terms that I find this situation as appalling as you do. Even though I have no control over our local services because things like refuse...
Posted On 15 Oct 2021

Labour injects a sense of urgency to end the bin strike

Prior to the special Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday, I visited the picket line at the Hollingdean depot to talk to some of the drivers who have been striking. I was struck by the pride they take in their work and their willingness to get on with the job and clear the city...

Strike needs to be resolved now along with deep-rooted problems at Cityclean

I have been contacted by constituents about the current bin strikes and the impact they are having in the city. Like them, I am concerned that it hasn’t been possible for Brighton and Hove City Council and the GMB, the trade union who represent Cityclean staff, to reach a workable way forward...

Openness is crucial to win back public trust

It should be obvious that public trust is of the utmost importance. Yet when I was Home Secretary it was clear that levels of trust, particularly among some sectors of society, weren’t where they should be. That is why I introduced measures to improve transparency, and key among them was the...
Posted On 13 Oct 2021

Women and girls do not receive the protection they need nor the justice they deserve

We heard the great news last week that my office has been awarded nearly £1 million to tackle violence against women and girls in the latest round of the government’s Safer Streets funding scheme. The events of the past few weeks have brought the epidemic of violence against women into sharp...
Posted On 12 Oct 2021

Talks continue to settle the strike by bin lorry drivers

I know many residents are keen to understand what progress is being made on the bin dispute. Talks are ongoing and at a sensitive stage so I can’t say everything just yet sadly. For the past few weeks, council management have been meeting with GMB representatives and have made an offer to...

Only Labour has the vision to fix the care crisis

Why is adult social care so important? Ultimately, we are living longer. By 2050, 24.8 per cent of the population will be aged 65+ according to the ONS, that’s up from 10.8 per cent in 1950. Also, over half of adult social care is now given to those of working age. That’s thousands upon...

Improving outcomes from Old Steine to Western Esplanade

I met a resident who walked me around Old Steine last week. He pointed out lots of issues which we surely need to address as a city. They include graffiti on the side of businesses, lack of lighting, problems with commercial refuse bins and a glut of unused or broken phone boxes. I will take...

We will tackle problem landlords and speak up for renters

The big issue at the council this week has been the plight of private renters across the city and the extraordinary row that blew up between the Green administration and community union Acorn over landlord licensing. Over a third of residents in Brighton and Hove live in private rented...

Vulnerable seats leave our local politicians in for a bumpy ride

The next council elections are just over 18 months away and already we are seeing some ambitious councillors have started their campaign. This is understandable as it building up to be one of the hardest fought local political battles we’ve had for some time. For a project I’ve been working on,...
Posted On 19 Sep 2021

Assisted Suicide Bill raises serious questions

There has been much coverage of the Assisted Suicide Bill, currently making its way through the House of Lords. It is important that we take action to challenge this proposed legislation. It is also vital that we affirm our support for the best possible end-of-life care, including spiritual and...

Residents at wits’ ends with council inaction on Old Steine Gardens

Residents living in the heart of Brighton are the end of their tether with the council, which is failing to get on top of the continuing issues of tents and anti-social behaviour in the Old Steine Gardens and not maintaining the area. The Old Steine Gardens, with the stunning 1846 Victoria...
Posted On 18 Sep 2021

An organic recovery to learn from

On Wednesday I visited Stanmer Park for a roundtable discussion with some of the organisations currently operating in the park and with council officers. The discussion centred around how those organisations have survived the coronavirus pandemic and what they are looking for in the...

We all deserve genuine social care reform for dignity as we age

The promises emblazoned on the side of a bus claimed £350 million a week would be delivered to the NHS – but instead the Conservative government has delivered nothing but chaos. A disastrous EU exit, a failed response to the pandemic plus a decade of cuts has created a perfect storm. From...

We need urgent action on water

I’m in touch with South Coast Sirens, a fantastic local group of year-round sea swimmers dedicated to making our coastal seas permanently free from pollution and sewage spills. The group was set up by sea users in response to serious health and safety implications for human and marine life of...

Young people deserve support and investment

We know the last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for young people – so we’re working incredibly hard to support them. Whether that’s through challenging the government’s response to covid-19 in our schools or by opening a youth employment hub to connect young people to jobs, we want...

A case for investment and community wealth-building

Summer is over and it’s been a mixed bag of weather and issues! We’ve received lots of comments and complaints about weeds, refuse and recycling services and parking – all of which we’re taking very seriously and escalating with officers. In the meantime, we’re also trying to implement...

Government must do more to help councils help settle refugees

Much has been written both nationally and locally about the terrifying situation unfolding in Afghanistan and what responsibility the UK should take for the chaotic scenes there and the desperate plight of thousands of vulnerable women, children and locals who worked in various capacities for...

There are alternatives to Brighton and Hove’s pesticide ban

At the Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK), we were disappointed to read recent articles in the national press attacking Brighton and Hove City Council for their ban on urban pesticides. These articles completely ignore the human health benefits of ending pesticide use in urban areas such as...
Posted On 25 Aug 2021

It’s time to grasp the nettle as weeds overrun our city

You may have seen the BBC news report on the problem of pavement weeds throughout Brighton, Hove and Portslade. The issue has also been covered by a number of national and local newspapers and websites, with jibes about rewilding the streets and the war of the weeds. Some reports mentioned a...

After the debacle in Kabul, we need to fix our failed refugee system and refocus our foreign policy

Watching the scenes at Kabul airport this week left me and many others with feelings of overwhelming grief and anger – grief for the millions of Afghan women and girls in particular who were promised a brighter future and the opportunity to learn, work and pursue their dreams and anger that the...

Britain will be judged not by its words but by its deeds over Afghanistan

Twenty years of presence in Afghanistan and I, like many, have known young men and women who gave their youth, their time and their lives to Afghanistan. My friend from university is still there, in the EU mission, trying to sort things out. Another friend, who I had drinks with only last...

Lessons from an innovative project – and residents’ feedback

Last week the “Back on Track” project – aimed at the children of alcoholic parents – held an exhibition in the Brighton Fishing Museum. Learn more about the project here – and more about the museum here. Back on Track has been a two-and-a-half-year Innovation Fund project with funding from the...

After a testing year, our young people deserve a brighter future

In what has been another hugely challenging year for Brighton and Hove’s young people, their families and teachers, I want to celebrate the incredible achievements of students in our city receiving their results. The impact of the covid-19 pandemic on young people, families and schools has been...

The need for safety is being ignored

You know that feeling when people are talking about you but won’t talk to you? This is what it’s like for many of the people who cycle around Brighton and Hove. Bricycles represents everyone who cycles in our city – and the thousands more who would like to cycle but don’t as they don’t feel...

It’s now time to unite and move on

The growing climate emergency has always been at the front of our minds and it remains ever more so today. Recent floods in Germany, Turkey, Italy and China and wildfires raging in Europe surely focus our attention to this issue. It appears that UK government thinking has now moved from...

Prompt and proper investment in young people is vital for our future

Congratulations to all students in the city who received A level results on Tuesday. Well done to you and your teachers for pulling out all the stops and working creatively through the challenges of the pandemic. Worryingly, the divide between private and state schools in achieving top A-level...

Championing our city so we thrive into the future

I often champion our city’s unique sense of community, diversity and creativity – but don’t take it from me. The UK Tech Cluster Group – a national organisation representing UK tech businesses – has described Brighton and Hove as a place “where tomorrow’s ground-breaking creative technology...

Proper planning needed in health, wellbeing and care to get things right

July was a very busy month here at the council. The month started with a meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee, where I successfully brought a Labour group amendment to utilise the budget underspend on a number of initiatives. These included the electric vehicle car share pilot, a...

Instead of vile rhetoric, care for vulnerable children must be the Home Office priority

As reported in the past week, we learned that in a shocking example of bad practice, the Home Office placed unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the city overnight, without prior discussion with myself, council officials, or Brighton and Hove’s communities or voluntary groups. All of the...

Labour is working for a lasting freedom from covid-19

Monday 19 July was billed as England’s “freedom day”, signalling Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s conquest of the covid-19 virus. It was to be his virus victory day when he would “summon the spirit of Churchill” in a speech to be given at “an historic venue” associated with the wartime leader....

Old Shoreham Road changes could be catalyst for proper cycle lanes in Brighton and Hove

The controversy surrounding cycle lanes along Old Shoreham Road – and now their removal – could paradoxically become a massive turning point for cycling in the city. The debate is now properly out there with the city’s people. It is no longer just in the domain of a select few council peeps and...
Posted On 30 Jul 2021

How the Home Office dumped 60 refugee children in Hove

Last weekend I got a call saying the Home Office had hired a hotel in Hove and in two hours’ time 60 unaccompanied child refugees were being placed there. Almost no questions I had were answered because the Home Office simply didn’t know the answers – they were in a shambolic panic. Before I go...
Posted On 29 Jul 2021

Cycle lanes made the headlines but councillors have been busy with other issues too

It’s been a very busy week for your councillors. We had a council meeting last week where we bestowed the Freedom of the City award on Sir Peter Field and key workers. We then discussed a number of important issues, including better bus services, park and ride, electric car share, improving pay...

Labour promised to listen on cycle lanes – and we have

We are keen to ensure there is more “active travel” infrastructure built around the city, that’s why we implemented a number of temporary measures including cycle lanes. However, we have always been clear that residents must be the drivers of any transport changes and their opinions must be...

Coalition kept quiet about their ‘D’ on climate change

Last year Brighton and Hove News broke the news that since the 2019 local elections, Labour and the Greens have been running Brighton and Hove City Council according to an extensive written “coalition” agreement called the Memorandum of Understanding. According to the text of the memorandum,...

Labour is abandoning its climate change manifesto commitments with calls to scrap cycle lane

In May 2019, both Labour and Green parties went to the electorate with bold, visionary manifestos centred around action to tackle the climate emergency. Labour’s manifesto declared: “Our current generation has to seriously address the issue of global climate change. To fail to confront this...

It’s more vital than ever to measure air pollution

During last week’s full council committee meeting, Councillor Bridget Fishleigh called for greater investment in air quality monitoring in Brighton and Hove, but why do we need it? Ella Kissi-Adoo-Debrah, a nine-year-old girl from London, died as a result of an asthma attack caused by air...
Posted On 20 Jul 2021

Old Shoreham Road cycle lane didn’t increase congestion

The council’s monitoring report on temporary cycle lanes on the A259 seafront and A270 Old Shoreham Road is out. There’s masses of data, both from the consultation held earlier this year and from traffic monitoring. There has been no decrease in average traffic speed alongside the...

Euro 2020 – The worst and the best

Over the past few weeks, the beautiful game has given us a taste of the worst and the best of the human condition. We have seen hatred and bigotry from the jingoistic fans who booed through opposition national anthems and at our team taking the knee – a minority, but a seemingly ever-present...

Don’t celebrate too soon on cycle lanes: Labour may yet abstain again

Brighton and Hove News reports that Labour, which introduced the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane in May last year, have now said they are against it. The Remove the A270 Cycle Lane group has celebrated the news and their spokesperson Rob Arbery has gone as far as issuing a public statement...

The route to more active travel relies on listening to residents

You have heard from me a couple of times before and you have certainly read opinion pieces from cycling lobby groups but at last the electorate and residents along the western end of the Old Shoreham Road have been heard, those who are most affected by any decision. It is that all our group has...
Posted On 12 Jul 2021

Could ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ be the answer?

Could “20-minute neighbourhoods” be the answer? Of course, there’s no simple answer to that. You’d have to understand the problem first. And have a strong understanding of how our lives are affected by the infrastructure and investment that exists within a 20-minute return walk of home with...

A little extra cash can go along way

We had a very interesting Policy and Resources Committee meeting last week when the Labour group’s “asks” to invest underspends from the previous year were agreed by all three parties as a way forward to move ahead with our Corporate Plan. They included a focus on park and ride, asking for a...

Cycle lanes future should not be decided by just three councillors

On Tuesday 21 July, just three councillors – one from each of the three parties that are represented on Brighton and Hove City Council – are to decide all of the big cycle lane questions that have divided residents locally over the past year. A meeting that should take hours is to be compressed...

We’re on your side, Labour leader tells tenants

With over 8,200 people on the housing waiting list in Brighton and Hove and increasing house prices and rents, we are desperate for more affordable homes to be built in the right places in the city. However, according to a parliamentary Select Committee, the Tory government’s proposed...

Covid vaccine rates have nothing to do with how someone votes

Councillor Samer Bagaeen could have listed any number of reasons why covid vaccine take up is lower in wards like Brunswick and St Peter’s and North Laine than it is in wards like Patcham and Rottingdean. A more transient population, higher levels of poverty, a higher proportion of harder to...

The race-tinted lens – ‘critical race theory’ is our council’s latest folly

Is Brighton dripping in racism? There seem to be two parallel realities. The first offers a snapshot of a vibrant, diverse population approaching 300,000 of us (and that’s before we add the countless visitors who come here on holiday or to work). Characterising this reality as gripped ...
Posted On 27 Jun 2021

Greens must attend to vaccination uptake problem in their wards

This week the Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas played her latest hand of pandemic politics. In a parliamentary question Ms Lucas attacked the government over vaccines, referring to the efforts of the minister as “shameful, incompetent, a failure and disaster”. She said that the government’s...

Let’s keep going until we are all safe

Brighton and Hove now has covid-19 rates above the national average, as the far more transmissible delta variant continues to take hold here and across the country. An increase in cases of covid-19 is a cause for concern for all of us, particularly for those who are yet to receive their...

The value of a co-operative approach

I am writing this on the fourth national Windrush Day, dedicated to honouring, educating and inspiring future generations about the contribution to this country of the Windrush generation. Sadly, it took a huge scandal involving forced deportations and denial of human rights, such as...

Will republican Greens let Brighton celebrate Platinum Jubilee?

Next year, over the course of a four-day bank holiday weekend in early June, the country will celebrate an historic moment as we mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Local authorities across the country have been encouraged to take part in events to mark this once in a lifetime occasion,...
Posted On 22 Jun 2021

Climate debate warrants critical thinking not ‘progressive’ indoctrination

The history of local government and when councils became political (ie, comprised representatives of different political parties) is a discussion for another time. However, in its simplest form, I understand the role of councils today to be “to provide and maintain public services”. In that...

Working together to face our city’s challenges

This week we face the reality of a rise in covid-19 cases and all that this means for Brighton and Hove. Cases linked to the delta variant are now doubling every 11 days. Sadly, the UK has now reported the highest daily total of new covid-19 cases since February and a further nine...

Support the Brighton community that offers a lesson to us all

I am proud of the “family of schools” in Brighton and Hove that support each other to develop and improve, with further council support and guidance. This structure has been key in the success we have seen across the city. This year, Ofsted rated 61 out of 68 council-maintained schools in the...

Patcham stays green and pleasant – why not elsewhere?

Isn’t it wonderful to see so many people coming back to Brighton and Hove? But Brighton and Hove has more to offer than shops and a beach. If you already want to get away from the madding crowds, come to Patcham Old Village. There you can enjoy a cream tea in a village setting, sneak into the...

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...