The Labour Administration on the City Council has come into office at the most challenging time for local councils for decades, and we have made clear from the start that we will not shy away from tackling the issues of funding, infrastructure, jobs, homes and schools that face us as a city. We have in our first 100 days laid the foundations for the next four years, alongside some practical actions that we hope will see benefiting residents and neighbourhoods straight away.
Getting the basics right; cleaning up our city: We’ve begun or Big Summer Cleanup to get the city and our neighbourhoods looking cleaner: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/press-release/council-spearheads-big-summer-clean In addition we have set out in our CityClean strategy how we are going to improve refuse and recycling services, bring in income to support the service, and take action on fly-tipping.
A fairer and more prosperous city: We’ve set up our Fairness Commission to tackle poverty and inequality in Brighton and Hove, making sure we all work to ensure our city’s economic success is shared by all. It will launch in the coming few weeks.
Keeping the city moving: We have intervened to keep a vital local bus service going: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/press-release/council-steps-keep-bus-route-running and we will be undertaking a strategic review of all services and transport to see how we can ensure traffic keeps flowing, people can get to work and to the services they need.
Building the homes the city needs: We have approved a £14m new 57 home council housing scheme in Whitehawk and five more in Ardingly Street, and seen the opening of over 40 Extra Care Housing flats at Brooke Mead in Albion Street. 12 new housing association family homes are starting on site in Portslade and Hangleton.
Keeping people safe from harm: We have approved a new service for domestic violence and violence against women and girls, putting trusted local services doing vital work on a more secure footing: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/press-release/new-domestic-violence-abuse-rape-sexual-violence-abuse-service-unveiled
Changing services and planning ahead: We have set out a four year Budget strategy, ending the annual shaving of services and pledging a fundamental review that will strive to direct what we do at achieving the best results for the city with vastly reduced funding from Government. Painful decisions lie ahead but we will consult and plan ahead so that there is clarity for everyone in how things are going to change.
Giving young people a better start: We have set out plans to create an apprenticeship training company to help small businesses take on apprentices and give our young people the start on rewarding careers that they need. We have put in place an action plan to improve children’s services across the board approved, including new priorities to focus on the most vulnerable.
Getting a grip on changes to our roads: We have taken urgent action to review the major proposals for roads and public spaces in Valley Gardens scheme, which would reduce road space from St Peter’s to the Aquarium roundabout and create a new park over the next five years and at a cost of several million pounds.
Taking action to protect our open spaces: We have begun consulting on the use of new powers to better protect the city’s open spaces from repeat trespass and anti-social behaviour.
Changing the council to get the job done: We have set up the new Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee to ensure that every street and every community is engaged and involved with what the council and our partner organisations do, and to deliver change across the board. Lead councillors have been charged with responsibilities on Mental Health, Private Rented Sector Housing and Homelessness, and we have brought together the key areas of Education and Skills under one lead councillor. We have set up a new Procurement Board to ensure value for money, social value, well managed procurement process on new contracts.
In The Next 100 Days we will:
- Launch our Fairness Commission
- Set about becoming a Co-operative Council to help redesign our services in an accountable and democratic way
- Get agreement on a new King Alfred, a new arena at Black Rock and the expansion of Churchill Square, all with new housing, jobs and public amenities included.
- Bring forward outline plans to save Madeira Terrace, and press for the restoration of the Aquarium Terraces.
- Announce proposals from the reviews of Youth and Children’s Centre services.
- Publish a New City Employment and Skills Plan, putting local business in the driving seat under a new task force.
- Start work on the regulation of the Private Rented Sector, making it more accountable and giving better protection to tenants, refresh our Student Housing Strategy and develop new policies on housing allocation and temporary accommodation.
- Hold a summit on tackling homelessness, bringing together everyone working on the issue to co-ordinate efforts.
- Begin work to secure vital seafront infrastructure at the West St junction with Kings Road.
- Continue work with Brighton University on setting up a new secondary school.
- Seek to get the best deal devolution deal possible, working with neighbouring councils and putting a strong case to Government.
- Make appointments to the council’s senior officer team to ensure stability and vision in delivering the changes needed.
- Plans to build truly affordable homes far in excess of our 500 new council homes target are in the pipeline.
Change will take time, and we will not do it all, but we have set the foundations for a council that does all it can to challenge poverty and inequality, a council that work for every resident and every neighbourhood.