Last week I wrote about many of the positive achievements we have made in Brighton and Hove over the past 12 months.
This week I want to look ahead to a few of the positive things happening in 2017. During the first half of 2017 more than 60,000 homes will get a new wheelie bin to replace their recycling black boxes. We will press ahead with our programme of building 1,500 new homes that people can afford, with 57 new homes at Kite Place in Whitehawk completed in the autumn, and 45 new flats for people with dementia at Brooke Mead in Albion Street ready in the summer. Our joint venture delivering a thousand “Living Wage” homes will get under way quickly. Public Space Protection Orders will help tackle unauthorised encampments and anti-social behaviour in our parks.
We are committed to restoring our heritage and growing our economy so that everyone in the city benefits. In January we complete the second stage of our bid for £4m of government money to start the restoration of the Madeira Terraces, and work will begin on the multi-million pound restoration of the Royal Pavilion Estate, prior to it becoming a trust.
During 2017 the new Shelter Hall will emerge from behind the hoardings, and we expect to make significant progress towards extending Churchill Square to the seafront, building a new concert and conference arena at Black Rock and other major projects including Preston Barracks and the King Alfred.
In January we will start negotiations with government on devolution for Greater Brighton, giving us the ability to build more homes, deliver more training and jobs, and we will grow and strengthen our relationship with Gatwick Airport.
In turn we will devolve service design down to local neighbourhoods, bringing residents and public services together to better meet your needs. Our online services will improve too. There are some new events coming to the city, including “Explore GB”, Visit Britain’s flagship travel and tourism showcase and the British Science Festival.
So have a very Happy Christmas and let’s look forward to 2017 with hope and determination for a better city.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.