It’s been a busy week or so here at the city council, with a Local Government Peer Review, the agreements on expanding Greater Brighton and launching the Southern Accelerator, as well as preparations for the annual council meeting and the Albion celebrations.
The Peer Review was something I asked for, to benchmark where we are as a council and what we need to do over the coming months and years to do even better. We will publish the full report when we get it, but the initial findings were good. We are on the right track and all the right measures are in place to make good progress.
Next week marks two years since I was elected leader of the city council, and during the run-up to our annual meeting we will be publishing a list of the 100 positive things we have done since being elected, from new recycling bins to a thousand affordable homes and more. Look out for our Half Term Report: 10x10 on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Politics aside, I’d like to pay tribute to Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, the outgoing leader of the Conservative opposition, who is also standing down as a councillor in two years time. He has a unrivalled record of almost 50 years of public service which should be applauded.
Also this week John Lewis has taken the decision not to come to the city after all, which is a big disappointment. We’d put in a lot of work on making it happen, but it seems factors beyond our control were at play here.
We still have new shops coming to the new Hanningtons Lane and the proposed expansion of Churchill Square as well as Ikea just over the border in Lancing. I’m determined to build a strong economy in the city from which all residents feel the benefits.
I’m as excited as anyone ahead of the civic reception and seafront parade for the Albion, as well as the ceremony to award Freedom of the City to Tony Bloom and Chris Hughton a few days later. I’m hoping that if we can win at Aston Villa this weekend the team will have the Championship trophy to parade, sealing a fantastic season and putting Brighton and Hove on the global sporting map.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.