Brighton and Hove needs strong leadership. After four years of bitter division amongst the Greens, four years of Tory drift and over a decade of minority control, our city needs a council with a clear vision and a majority to deliver it.
There are huge challenges ahead, one that I and the Labour team are keen to get to grips with. We need more affordable homes and more good quality council housing, and action to tackle unscrupulous landlords and rip off letting agent fees. We need to help lift families out of poverty, with 45% of kids living in poverty in my ward and thousands in the city using foodbanks, it’s a scandal no-one should ignore. We need to deliver new projects like Black Rock and the King Alfred, on time and in budget, with new jobs, homes and facilities as part of the deal. With people like Martin Perry in my team of candidates, I know we can make it happen if you give us the chance.
We need more apprenticeships, more secure jobs and an end to zero hour contracts. We need good schools in every neighbourhood, and neighbourhoods that have the power to make their communities stronger and safer. We need a transport network that works for everyone, and a freeze on parking charges. Most of all we need basic refuse and street cleaning services that get the job done and get us back on track to recycling more of our waste. None of this will be easy given the cuts we face, so electing a majority administration to do it is vital.
Labour topped the poll in last May’s elections in the city, and is in second place in almost every Green held-ward. We are the main challenger in most Tory-held wards too. The Greens won’t hold on to power and the city can’t afford another do-nothing Tory council, or a deadlocked three-way split between the parties.
Labour has new ideas and new approaches based on our values of co-operation and fairness. We won’t just represent the city centre like the Greens, or the suburbs and villages like the Conservatives, but every street and every community from Portslade to Patcham to Saltdean. Everyone should share in the prosperity we enjoy from our unique economic, cultural, tourist and leisure position.
Brighton and Hove needs a majority Labour council delivering decent services we all pay for, a plan for our city’s future, and hope for those struggling to afford to eat and find a home. On May 7th you can elect a council that works for you by voting for your local Labour candidates. As Labour leader John Smith said the night before he died; “A chance to serve; that’s all we ask.”
This is the full text of an article published in The Argus, 22nd April.