In these austere times, it is the duty of every local authority to lead by example.
In these austere times, it is the duty of every local authority to lead by example and to ensure the hard-earned cash of council-taxpayers is spent wisely.
As I travel around our city, I see little evidence of this happening and it is obvious our administration is still living in an ideological bubble.
Scheme after lunatic scheme has been forced upon us, to the point where the city we all live in and love is barely recognisable. Many other madcap schemes are in the pipeline and one can only hope that very few more ideas are forced upon us before the next administration are voted in.
In the ideological world of our Green administration, the scheme on the drawing board must have looked really appealing - prior to it being acted out at the Seven Dials roundabout.
At quiet times, when there are half a dozen cars in view, I am the first to agree the aesthetics are much improved. Take a look, however, at peak times and it is a very different story. It is absolute chaos.
The new layout is unable to take the volume of traffic and, if ever there was a case for reverting to the original and accepting mistakes have been made, this is it.
The whole exercise has been a huge waste of public funds and the same people are proposing to mess with the Aquarium roundabout, as it was known when it was constructed in 1925. This was one of the first proper roundabouts in the country; it has served us well for the past 89 years and now there is talk of changing it by the very same people who have messed up at the Seven Dials.
Let's hope their time runs out before they are able to ruin this piece of our history in their attempt to move all of us along into dream world.
I have long wondered why common sense is in such short supply when it comes to council-backed grandiose schemes.
It is surely more important to get the basics right. We all try to impress on our offspring that we should look after the pennies. Therefore, why in real life do we struggle getting our elected representatives to suppress their egos and follow the same basic principals?
A case in point would be our footpath alongside Hove Lawns in the Kingsway. Many excellent events are held there on the lawns throughout the year, with the permission of our council. Apparently, however, the setting up of the events and the dismantling is unsupervised, because it is difficult to find a paving slab in the entire length of footpath that is not damaged.
Surely it is not beyond the wit of our council officers to appoint stewards at the expense of event organisers to ensure all vehicles access and exit via one point. Why should it be the council-taxpayer who picks up needless bills for repairs. If we have money to spare, then deal with the issue a different way and place bollards along the entire length between the cycle track and footpath - thus pleasing both cyclists and pedestrians alike. It really isn't rocket science.
Undoubtedly, the new arches by the I360 site are a vast improvement on what was there before. But please, let's not continually pat ourselves on the back while ignoring the shabby street furniture: the dire seafront toilet situation (with the exception of the new arches facility); The Beirut-look derelict phone boxes; and the urine-infested underpasses.
These are basics and should be dealt with as priority, if we have any money available at all.
Grandiose schemes should be shelved until we can afford them. All major schemes affecting the lives of our citizens should be subject to referendum and not simply forced upon us.
There is no doubt change can sometimes be for the better. But people need consulting before our monies are used for schemes that change all our lives for good. My view is that we will live to regret many of the decisions that have been made in recent years, especially as things get tougher in times to come.