Chatting to hundreds of residents across my ward of Hangleton and Knoll over the years, I have noticed a thin but consistent theme: many, but certainly not all, think they were ‘robbed’ in the ‘merger’ with Brighton.
Not disliking Brightonians, of course, they have noticed that, with the majority of Labour councillors hailing from Brighton, most of the ‘goodies’ over the last 20 years have been directed eastwards along the coast. As a future leader of the council, I will favour neither of the former boroughs, seeking to move forward as a unified city.
To assist in this Hangleton and Knoll may be able to help, as it has one of the last remaining undeveloped areas in the city: Toads Hole Valley. The planning guide suggests the area should be developed with a wide range of housing, office and business space, community facilities, shops and cafes, open space and a secondary school. Following Labour’s chaotic catchment disaster, we know an extra school is no longer required. So, along with my Hove Park colleagues, who have called for a clinic to be built in the area, and my fellow Hangleton and Knoll councillors, who are concerned about the fragile state of GP services, I am appealing to Labour to substitute the no-longer required school with a ‘Hospital for Hove’.
Thanks to the Conservative Government, the largest investment in Brighton is the multi-million pound Royal Sussex County Hospital development. This will give the city one of the finest teaching hospitals in the country. In the UK, somebody dies from cancer every four minutes, and the new techniques that are available to help fight this terrible disease, such as early diagnostic imaging, have been shown to improve patient outcomes.
Across the country Multidisciplinary Community Diagnostic Centres are being built that are giving GPs and patients faster and greatly improved cancer screening access to diagnostic services from within their communities. A diagnostic centre, as well as a GP hub and small A&E Unit, would be the perfect friendship-gift to Hove, and Portslade, and achieve some parity of health services with Brighton - let’s build a ‘Hospital for Hove’.
Tony Janio is the leader of the Conservatives on Brighton & Hove City Council.