Brighton New council priorities

See this Argus article: New council leader spells out his party’s priorities, from the article:

  • Review Labour’s plans for a rapid transport bus system while re-examining the monorail project
  • Revisit the controversial school lottery scheme which has divided the city
  • Push for underground car parks in new developments to ensure extra homes do not add pressure to the already overstretched road network, and
  • Concentrate on delivering less congestion by removing build-outs while putting plans for a park and ride on the back burner.

OK. Council Tax, sounds good but what will need to be cut (unless we can find savings, or the increase in the number of homes brings about a big enough increase to sustain things).

Monorail, very little on the web, seems to be between Palace pier and Marina, the same route as the Volks railway, sounds fine, but hardly the saviour of city wide transport problems.

School lottery. No real view, I respect the council for making a tough decision and not being shy of a radical and new approach (which they must have known would get a bad press), it stops those with money buying a place at a good school then it is a step towards equality for all, though have no real problem with a new council wanting to review such a controversial decision.

‘Removing build-outs’? I’m presuming this means no more extensions to buildings, I’m not sure. And if so, not sure this is the answer to problems. He does say they are not anti-development nor anti-progress, which is good, but the proof is in the pudding. And it has been shown with the last council that strong planning controls and vision (albeit through specialist urban planning contractors) can lead to great regeneration of areas (such as the New England Quarter, Jubilee library area), I hope this continues, rather than just allowing the higher bidder to do what they want, as if often the case in so many towns.

My thoughts: We have a successful city with a great reputation (cultural, vibrant, alternative, anything-goes, party, arty, rich&poor) which we need to keep and build on, we need to redevelop key sites such as the marina, Brighton centre and King Alfred being ambitious, daring and original, and thinking about how these developments provide space and interconnect with adjacent areas. And we need to attract companies to set up base in the town, with some bias I suggest blue chip, web/tech companies are ideally suited to the city and attract those with a high disposal-able income, same is true for law and financial firms. Finally, if there is one negative aspect of Brighton, it can look dirty at times, and work needs to continue to clean it up.