Debate is a healthy part of life in Brighton and Hove

Cllr Daniel Yates, Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council
Cllr Daniel Yates, Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council

Party conference season is coming to an end (thankfully some may say). Political activists will no doubt have been enthused by the plans and discussions at their own conferences, and emboldened by those which took part at the other conferences.

However, this will mean very little 
to most residents – until our city council elections next May, or a general election is called. But the impact of party politics should not be underestimated. In a city where no single political party holds control, we often need cross party support to ensure that important decisions for the future of the city are made sensibly and in good time. For residents, businesses and partners across the city what matters most is that changes within the city make sense and make the city a better place to live, work and grow. We politicians have to listen to a broader voice than simply our own supporters. We must continue to work hard to bring together the range of voices and stakeholders that will help to put in place the very best suggestions and ideas.

Unfortunately in some cases, well in many cases actually, there is no single solution that everyone will be happy with. This week the council has started to publicise the initial designs for the third stage of the Valley Gardens project. Improving traffic flow, reducing collisions at an accident blackspot, enhancing public spaces in the centre of the city and better sustainable travel solutions all seem like benefits that everyone can sign up to. The reality is that, as with most things, the devil is 
in the detail. Some may be concerned at the new routes for buses and new stopping points, others may worry about journey times, residents may not be happy to see the Aquarium roundabout removed in favour of a T junction at 
the Palace Pier.

Yes, one thing is clear. Investment creates change. Change creates debate. And debate is a healthy part of the life and future of our city. I look forward to all points of view being thoroughly debated in the community, through 
the consultation to come and through our local media.

Cllr Daniel Yates is the Leader of the Labour Group on Brighton & Hove City Council