Phelim Mac Cafferty: Our city needs more than empty words

Councillor MacCafferty
Councillor MacCafferty

This week’s council meeting once again saw residents petition the council for action on single-use plastics.

Greens continue to push the council to tackle this unnecessary waste.

While Labour has been quick to support such calls, their track record offers little reassurance.

If you had seen the quantity of plastic bottles used last weekend during the Marathon, you’ll understand why in the autumn Greens proposed that organisers avoid single-use plastics as a condition of their event permission.

Labour voted against. They also opposed the introduction of a fee to cover the cost of the environmental damage caused by events. Hardly action on single-use plastics.

During the harsh winter months Green councillors called for year-round accommodation for rough sleepers. Labour agreed, but away from the public glare of a council meeting, the project was killed off.

Labour has acknowledged the benefits of cycling and supported our call for joined-up cycle routes and greater investment in cycling. That was nine months ago, we are still waiting for any action.

It is a year since Labour backed Green plans to tackle poor air quality, like enforcing idling offences and preventing diesel vehicles entering the highest polluted areas of the city yet they’ve done neither.

Despite supporting our call for a ban on glyphosates – a pesticide classified by the World Health Organisations as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ – there is no evidence anything has been done by Labour.

Our city deserves more than these empty promises.

Greens will continue to push for improvements to the city and the lives of residents.

Take one look at the skyline and it’s easy to see what we’ve done already- a rich legacy of projects handed to Labour: cranes working on projects given planning consent under the Green council like the new hospital, Hannington Lane or new housing at Circus Street, as well as the first council housing built in a generation.

Greens are a strong team and we know how to get things done.

Contrast that with Labour: tired, divided, out of ideas and even failing to deliver on the very stuff they’ve agreed to do.

Phelim Mac Cafferty is the convenor of the Greens on Brighton and Hove City Council.