As is traditional at this time of year I’ve decided to spend an entire column moaning about the weather!
Seriously though it’s important for us all to recognise that as a city by the sea we are all ‘wrapped up’ in the travel and tourism effects that periods of good weather can have. With long periods of hot weather some services (such as grass cutting) might have a small respite but increased visitor numbers and the lack of rain can put additional pressures on those who work long hours to keep the city looking at its best. But certainly the recent spell of very hot weather put enormous strain on the city’s appearance and as a result I have been answering many questions and concerns about the ‘state of the city’.
Similarly that extra pressure on our city services means that the level of service we expect as residents also have been under stress. As a council we must do better to make our core city services more resilient to these expected weather fluctuations.
Luckily unlike some authorities across the country – where frontline services are under extreme threat – we have been making strong plans for investment despite the government funding cuts. We will be looking in-depth at securing greater levels of investment and improved service delivery in City Clean as part of the next few months work leading up to the budget in February 2019.
As residents we are also subject to the impacts of poor summer weather too with flooding caused by sudden rainfall and low visitor numbers being just as much of an issue for our communities, our city’s economy, and my inbox over the last few days. Being a forward-looking council does mean developing plans to meet every eventuality – including unexpectedly good (and bad) weather. This isn’t only about responding to these issues when they suddenly occur but also developing longer term plans and working with partners to be able to deliver these. Having sufficient water supply, appropriate drainage, effective transport links as well as our own council services being ‘up to the job’ are crucial for the future of our city’s reputation as a place to live, work and grow. We are working hard to play our part – whatever the weather.
Daniel Yates is the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.