We were elected to run Brighton and Hove on our manifesto.
It has been six months since Labour were elected to run Brighton and Hove on our manifesto “A City That Works For You”. Here’s what we have done so far to deliver on that manifesto.
We pledged to make our city a fairer place to live: we are spending £3 million to give 16,000 of the lowest income families in the city an 80% discount on their council tax. We said we would tackle the lack of affordable housing: we have pledged to build 2,000 truly affordable homes, protected from the right to buy.
We committed to eliminate youth unemployment: we have set up an employment and skills task force, and we are planning to establish an Apprenticeship Training Company across the City Region. We promised we would build 500 new council homes: planning permission has been given for a £14 million council housing scheme in Whitehawk.
We agreed to work to reduce the levels of rough sleeping in the city: we have our first lead councillor for homelessness, have signed a new partnership deal with charity St Mungo’s, and are holding the first homelessness summit in December. We told you we would establish a Fairness Commission to tackle poverty and inequality: the Fairness Commission is fully underway and will report next spring.
We pledged to provide discounted bus travel via credit union membership: the discount was announced by Brighton and Hove Buses and East Sussex Credit Union two weeks ago. We listened to residents who wanted us to prioritise rubbish collection, recycling and street cleaning: a whole range of measures were set out in our strategy published in July. We have also put in place new measures to tackle fly-tipping. Plans for a garden waste collection scheme are in hand.
We promised to sign the Time To Change Pledge to tackle mental health stigma and have a lead councillor for mental health: this was approved by heath and wellbeing board, the charter will be signed in the new year, and our lead councillor has been appointed and has got to work. We said we would work to reduce anti-social behaviour: we have begun consultation on public spaces protection orders to protect our parks and open spaces. We pledged to tackle environmental and infrastructure problems: we have set out plans to co-ordinate road works and improve air quality.
We told you we would help give every community a louder voice: in May we set up the neighbourhoods, communities and equalities committee that now leads that work. We promised to suspend and review the Valley Gardens scheme: it was our first act in office.
Extensive work is now underway to see if the scheme is viable. We undertook to deliver major projects on time and in budget: we are on the verge of announcing plans for a new arena, shopping centre and leisure centre, as well as plans to restore the historic Madeira Terraces. We are building a better Brighton and Hove.
Much more is in development, including work on making the private rented sector fairer. We face huge and unprecedented financial challenges in the budget process ahead, but we are determined to deliver on as many of our manifesto pledges as we can.