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...

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