Tony Bloom and Chris Hughton: Freedom of Brighton and Hove

FreedomMr Mayor, Brighton and Hove Albion is part of this city’s history, it is part of the fabric of this place, it is so important to so many in this place as the sea of blue and white that washed over Hove Lawns last Sunday showed to the world.

It is four years since this council awarded Dick Knight the Freedom of the City in recognition of his role in saving Brighton and Hove Albion.

Twenty years ago, just as this council was coming into existence, so our football club teetered on the edge of going out of existence. A club founded in 1901, a club that was the first body to unite our two towns, a club my family has supported for almost a century.

A club that is valued so highly by so many, across generations, across every part of our community. The Albion, as we saw on the last day at the Goldstone, in the demonstrations for a new stadium, in the fans on the pitch a month ago, and in the thousands on the seafront at the weekend, transcends mere fixtures and statistics. It is an emotion which binds us.

Today Brighton and Hove Albion has once again joined the top flight of English football, is in the Premier League for the first time, and in just three months will emerge on to the global sporting stage. That is down to the club and the team led by the two men we, on behalf of the people of the City of Brighton and Hove, meet to honour today.

It is fitting that it is exactly eight years ago today that Mr Tony Bloom took over as Chairman of Brighton and Hove Albion. The gratitude of tens of thousands of Brighton and Hove Albion fans goes to him, a man whose family is steeped in the club, a man whose support of the club has been unparalleled not just in financial terms, but in heart and soul as well.

He is that rare thing in football, an owner and investor who is also a loyal, diehard, lifelong fan. No-one can doubt, seeing him celebrate goals, victories and promotion home and away, not just from the directors box but from the terraces alongside the travelling supporters, just what the club means to him. The millions he has invested in the team will now reap the rewards, for the club, for the fans and for this city.

Promotion, profile, pride. Premier League.

After almost winning promotion to the Premier League at the first few attempts following the move to the fantastic American Express Community Stadium, in December 2014 it seemed our opportunity had slipped away and relegation threatened.

The appointment of Mr Chris Hughton, a football professional of the highest calibre, with an illustrious career as a player at Spurs and for the Republic of Ireland, and as a manager at Newcastle behind him, heralded a return to success.

Under his inspired leadership the Albion have won an astonishing 50% of their games, coming agonisingly close to promotion last season, but this year making it certain with three games to spare.

For me no moment this season summed up what he inspires in his players more than the team lifting Antony Knockaerts shirt aloft following the death of his father. His calm, confident and determined leadership is an inspiration to all in sport and beyond.

His contribution to the sport and success at every level has won him a long list of awards. In March Football’s “Black List” recognised his achievements in coaching, a week after he won coach of the year at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. He has been awarded Championship Manager of the Month nine times, more than any other manager.

He was League Managers Association Manager of the Year in 2010 and 2016. He holds two FA Cup winners medals, a UEFA cup winners medal, and two Championship promotion honours.

It is my honour as Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, and my pleasure as a lifelong Albion fan, to propose that Tony Bloom and Chris Hughton are awarded the Freedom of the City of Brighton and Hove today.

In making this award we recognise the achievement of everyone associated with the club, from the board to the backroom staff, the players and coaches, the sponsors and Albion In The Community, and of course the fans who stuck with the team, who fought for survival and the new home at Falmer that Tony Bloom and Martin Perry delivered.

Together, we are Brighton and Hove Albion, and we are on our way to the Premier League.

On Sunday tens of thousands cheered and applauded Tony Bloom, Chris Hughton and the team from one side of the city to the other, on a day none of us who were there will forget.

Today Mr Mayor I move that we honour the Albion’s Premier League success by awarding these leaders, these heroes of our football club, the Freedom of the City of Brighton and Hove.


10×10: our half-term report

ManifestoFrontTwo years ago this week I was elected to lead the city council, alongside an excellent team of councillors who are working hard like me to make a difference.

We promised “a council that works for you”, and we’ve worked quietly and persistently to get the basics right, to do what you expect from your council.

This week new communal bins are appearing on our streets, joining the smart compactor bins introduced last year. Garden waste brown bins have been hugely popular. Soon new wheeled recycling bins, already well received in Portslade and Hangleton, will arrive on doorsteps to further boost our recycling rates.

We are investing £7m in better street lighting. We are halfway to building 500 new council homes, and work on 1000 affordable homes begins soon.

We’ve protected our Royal Pavilion from cuts and will save the Madeira Terraces. Our libraries are all still open and for longer hours. Our family of schools continues to improve.

We are protecting the vulnerable in the city, with a new ethical care charter, with millions more being spent on care for children, older people, people with disabilities and those tackling chronic health issues.

We’ve stopped cuts to domestic violence services. We’ve made tackling mental health stigma and rough sleeping top priorities. We’ve invested in our credit union, and last week abolished child funeral charges and council tax charges for care leavers.

Our city economy has to benefit everyone, not just a few. Last month I launched the Southern Accelerator to win investment in infrastructure. We got our target of 1000 new apprenticeships two years early. We are drawing in billions of pounds of investment into our seafront and elsewhere. We have made significant  improvements to our planning service.

Despite the huge challenges of cuts to our funding, the spiraling costs of social care, and Brexit, we are delivering. Our auditors say we are delivering good value for money, and the recent Local Government Association review said that firm foundations are in place so we can now  progress quickly.

These are just some of the 100 positive things we’ve achieved in two years, and we will be listing them in batches of ten over the next two weeks on Facebook, Twitter and our website.

We won’t let up in the next two, there is much more to do. Soon we will announce new plans for our third year in office. I hope that after that time you will put your trust in us again to keep getting the basics right, protecting the vulnerable and growing our economy for everyone.


10×10: Here are our one hundred achievements:

First 10

  1. Building 57 council homes at Kite Place
  2. Rolling out wheeled bin recycling
  3. New life for Shelter Hall
  4. Setting 1000 apprenticeships challenge
  5. New trust for Royal Pavilion & Museums
  6. Investing in “smart” street lighting
  7. New Brighton and Hove Communities fund
  8. Fighting HIV
  9. Improving the Planning service
  10. Campaigning to help rough sleepers


Second 10

  1. Rescue plan for Madeira Terraces
  2. Care Leavers Trust Fund agreed$
  3. Signing up to the Ethical Care Charter
  4. Rent Smart partnership for private tenants
  5. Council’s value for money rating improves$
  6. Litter patrols begin
  7. Credit union strengthened
  8. Libraries hours extended
  9. Child burial fees removed
  10. Big Conversation on city parks


Third 10

  1. Freedom of the City for Bloom and Hughton
  2. Affordable homes joint venture delivers 1000 homes
  3. New communal bins
  4. City in top 30 for primary schools
  5. Preston Park velodrome restored
  6. Fairness Commission work completed
  7. City to gain new “Lane”
  8. Time to Change pledge signed
  9. £12m boost for Waterfront arena project
  10. Rough Sleeping Strategy agreed


Fourth 10

  1. City Plan agreed
  2. Action to Poverty Proof the School Day$
  3. National tourism event Explore GB hosted
  4. Care leavers to be exempted from council tax$
  5. Motor Neurone Disease Charter signed
  6. Council begins commercial waste collection
  7. Amnesty returns 6 homes
  8. Office move saves £2m
  9. Fuel poverty tackled
  10. Support services shared to save money:


Fifth 10

  1. 45 extra care flats opening in July
  2. Garden waste collection service introduced
  3. £18m improvement plan for Pavilion Estate
  4. Pilot for reducing holiday costs
  5. Direction of travel for adult social care agreed$$
  6. Residents to get online access to services
  7. “Southern accelerator” for city region
  8. Tackling anti-social behaviour
  9. Zip wire given the go ahead
  10. Parking meters go contactless


Sixth 10

  1. New Volunteering Policy and Action Plan$
  2. Meeting the challenge of social care costs$20170215114506_011422_0042857_Generlafundreport.docx.pdf4
  3. Seafront swimming pool on the way
  4. Enforcement action taken against HMOs
  5. LGBT schools support rated best in the country:
  6. Transport team awarded top prize
  7. Helping child refugees
  8. “Crime not to care” campaign is great success
  9. Creating new council temporary accommodation$
  10. Planning application in for Preston Barracks


Seventh 10

  1. 93% of city schools now good or outstanding
  2. Tourists give high rating to city
  3. Fairer housing allocation process
  4. Big Belly Bins introduced
  5. Support for British Sign Language Charter$
  6. Textile recycling boosts communities
  7. Lead Member for Mental Health is first for council
  8. Civic Centre vision for Brighton Town Hall
  9. Rail South proposal to help commuters
  10. Air quality improves


Eighth 10

  1. £2.5m funding for homelessness prevention
  2. Recycling up
  3. CAMHS plan agreed
  4. Supporting carers$
  5. Funding for Saltdean library also helps Lido project
  6. Domestic Violence funding protected$20170215114508_010289_0042863_Appendix6CombinedISFPSPRG090217.docx.pdf75
  7. Building blocks in place says LGA review
  8. Think tank for the city
  9. Bike Share arriving soon
  10. Improving procurement$20170215114508_010289_0042863_Appendix6CombinedISFPSPRG090217.docx.pdf84



Ninth 10

  1. City-wide council homes programme shortlisted for award
  2. New street sweepers
  3. Patient transport back on track
  4. Free wifi
  5. More in-house fostering saves £350k in agency placements$
  6. Most parking charges frozen
  7. Fortnightly residents e-newsletter begins
  8. Park improvements
  9. I am Whole mental health campaign supported
  10. Free swimming for under 16s


Tenth 10

  1. Restoring Stanmer Park
  2. SEN nurseries are outstanding
  3. Food poverty action plan wins award$
  4. “Let’s get you home” campaign supported$
  5. £1 billion seafront investment plan$
  6. Action for refugees
  7. King Alfred given go-ahead
  8. Support for social prescribing and befriending
  9. Smart tech to manage city traffic flow$
  10. £2m management savings$20170215114506_011422_0042857_Generlafundreport.docx.pdf54