The summer kicked off in July with the launch of the Madeira Terraces crowdfunding campaign, and the successful sale of Kings House.
One hundred more new homes were given the go-ahead, the popular bike share scheme was launched and work began on the Circus Street project. An extra £100,000 was put into the city’s parks, and £50,000 on work to tackle domestic violence.
August saw the launch of our ‘Streets Ahead’ campaign to reduce litter, and our ‘Make Change Count’ campaign to help rough sleepers. We signed the Small Business Charter, joined the Fast Track Cities initiative on HIV, and our schools saw great exam results again.
A busy September included the go-ahead for the Preston Barracks scheme and the joint housing venture with Hyde to build 1,000 truly affordable homes.
Action on HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) through planning enforcement began, work on Mile Oak playground started, a new A&E at the Royal Sussex County Hospital was approved, funding to buy back council homes sold under Right to Buy was agreed, and £150,000 went into saving supported bus routes.
In October a big improvement in our recycling rate was revealed, and the new swimming pool on Madeira Drive was given the go ahead.
November saw work begin on yet more council homes in Hollingbury, the launch of our new million pound children’s fund, and calls for fair pay for public sector staff and fair funding from Government. The Madeira Terraces crowdfunding campaign hit its target, raising over £450,000 from residents and businesses.
In December we held the first Rent Smart conference to improve the private rented sector, saw a big improvement in our planning service recognised, and almost 60 new council homes at Kite Place were finished. We opened our shelter for rough sleepers, and the city tracker poll revealed that resident satisfaction with the council is at a five-year high.
This has been our 2017; thanks to council staff, residents and partner organisations who have helped us achieve so much. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.
For Warren Morgan’s year in review – part one, click here.