Today I am announcing the creation of the City Innovation Challenge 2016, a competition to drive new ideas and solutions for Brighton and Hove.
Brighton and Hove is a city of immense talent and imagination, where new ideas and innovative responses to challenge are part of what makes us great.
As part of our Budget process, I’m launching a competition to bring in new ideas, innovation and solutions to the funding challenges we face. I’m looking for new ways to run services, keeping them going as our funding reduces. I’m looking for bold and creative suggestions as to how the city council can bring in new revenue to fund services and invest in our city and its communities.
How can we keep our parks clean and well maintained? How can we meet the rising demand in social care? How can we provide the services we all use but which the council no longer has the funding to provide? How can neighbourhoods, local companies, community organisations and others get involved in the future of local services?
It might be a co-operative, a resident-led group, sponsorship, a new partnership between local organisations, new business initiatives or a volunteer scheme. Or something no-one has thought of yet. We are already sharing services, setting up trusts, reshaping our council and what it does, making best use of our assets to bring in new revenue, and ways of cutting our costs. We are investing £6m in digital customer services that will bring the council and residents closer. But we need to go further.
There will be five prizes of £1,000 each depending on who is submitting an idea; one for young people either individually or in a group, one for individuals, one for the community and voluntary sector, one for council staff and one for businesses. We will invite submissions from January 4th, and the closing date will be in mid-February. Details will be published on the city council website http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk and prizes will be awarded at a ceremony later in the Spring. Awards will be funded by sponsorship.
So far we have secured sponsorship interest from Microsoft, the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton and Hove Buses, the University of Sussex, and Entrepreneurial Spark/Natwest.
I know that there is the talent, imagination and innovation in this city to overcome the challenges we face and find new ways of making Brighton and Hove better. Have a look at the issues we are facing on the council’s online Budget consultation, and over the next month get your thinking caps on!