Phelim Mac Cafferty: Communities making changes in our city

Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty
Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty

In a testing week where despite my greatest objections, our exit from the European community has been triggered, it may seem appropriate to talk only about Brexit. I would prefer to focus on the rich community in my ward and across in Brighton and Hove.

As political talk centres on Britain ‘going it alone,’ our local communities are testament to values of cooperation and working together.

As a councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, I am honoured to represent some of the most fantastic communities who walk the extra mile for our city. They reaffirm Local Government Association research this week that eight in ten residents are positive about their local area.

A large part of a Councillor’s role is to help ensure that the Council is aware of what residents need and is doing what it can to support them. It’s important that we shine a light on some of this fantastic community work, as it shows how despite challenging circumstances, it is possible to bring about positive change.

Just a few weeks ago, residents and Councillors alike were out and about helping to remove graffiti and clear the neighbourhood of litter. In the last 9 months, Greens have been helping the community in Norfolk Square grapple with the issues facing them. This community has grown together since the introduction of a community composting scheme, supported by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. Working together, local residents have started to weed and plant. Councillors have supported the community to address anti-social behaviour too, raising concerns through Council structures and making representations to the Police and Crime Commissioner. After being put in touch with relevant council officers, the community has also successfully received a council grant to help make the square an inviting place for all.

Norfolk Square, like many of the other communities in my ward and throughout the city, assert the strength of community in Brighton and Hove. So hats off to the unsung heroes in my ward and city: they remind us that Brighton and Hove is a special place.

Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty is the convenor of the Green Group on Brighton & Hove City Council.