It has been six months since Labour were elected to run Brighton and Hove on our manifesto “A City That Works For You”. Here’s what we have done so far to deliver on that manifesto:
- Make our city a fairer place to live: we are spending £3 million to give 16,000 of the lowest income families in the city an 80% discount on their Council Tax.
- Tackle the lack of affordable housing: we have pledged to build two thousand truly affordable homes, protected from the right to buy.
- Eliminate youth unemployment: we have set up an Employment and Skills Task Force, and we are planning to establish an Apprenticeship Training Company across the City Region.
- Build 500 new council homes: planning permission has been given for a £14 million council housing scheme in Whitehawk.
- Work to reduce the levels of rough sleeping in the city: we have our first Lead Councillor for Homelessness, have signed a new partnership deal with charity St Mungo’s, and are holding the first homelessness summit in December.
- Establish a Fairness Commission to tackle poverty and inequality: the Fairness Commission is fully underway and will report next Spring.
- Provide discounted bus travel via credit union membership: the discount was announced by Brighton and Hove Buses and East Sussex Credit Union last week.
- Investigate options for tackling domestic violence: a new £1.1 million contract was signed in the summer.
- Prioritise rubbish collection, recycling and street cleaning: a whole range of measures were set out in our strategy published in July. We have also put in place new measures to tackle fly-tipping. Plans for a garden waste collection scheme are in hand.
- Sign the Time To Change Pledge to tackle mental health stigma and have a Lead Councillor For Mental Health: approved by Heath and Wellbeing Board, the Charter will be signed in the New Year, and our Lead Councillor has been appointed and has got to work.
- Reduce anti-social behaviour: we have begun consultation on Public Spaces Protection Orders to protect our parks and open spaces.
- Tackle environmental and infrastructure problems: we have set out plans to co-ordinate roadworks and improve air quality.
- Suspend and review the Valley Gardens scheme: our first act in office. Extensive work is now underway to see if the scheme is viable.
- Deliver major projects: we are on the verge of announcing plans for a new arena, shopping centre and leisure centre, as well as plans to restore the historic Madeira Terraces. We are building a better Brighton and Hove.
- Help give every community a louder voice: in May we set up the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee
Much more is in development, including work on making the private rented sector fairer. We face huge financial challenges in the Budget process ahead, but we are determined to deliver on as many of our manifesto pledges as we can.