Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Argus Council Tax debate

The potential for the country’s first ever Council Tax referendum in Brighton and Hove has sparked great debate locally and nationally.

The Argus is giving you the chance to put your questions to those making key decisions for the city. It is hosting The Argus Council Tax Debate at Hove Town Hall from 7pm next Thursday, February 6 to give residents the chance to question the city’s political leaders.

Council leader Jason Kitcat, Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald and Labour leader Warren Morgan will all be attending the debate and will answer the questions put to them about the budget.

The decision earlier this month by the Green administration to propose a 4.75% Council Tax rise which automatically sparked the prospect of a referendum was immediately rejected by political opponents.

For the full article click here.

20 mph Update

Following a special meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) Committee of the Council in December 2013 (the papers from which can be viewed here) revised proposals for the Phase 2 area are now being advertised for consultation.

The orders will be advertised until 14th February and can be found on the Council website at:   (reference TRO-3 (a-k)-2014). Anyone can respond to the orders either in support or to object and it is possible in a given response to support some aspects but oppose others. All submissions must quote the specific order number(s) they relate to and be made in writing by 14th February 2014 either to or in hard copy to:

Executive Director Environment, Development & Housing,
Brighton & Hove City Council,
Parking Infrastructure,
Hove Town Hall (room 323)
Norton Road,

The revised proposals for Preston Area:

Ditchling Road (north of Fiveways), and the A23 London Road to retain their current limits.

Ditchling Road south of Fiveways to reduce to 20mph ( NB this reduction is actually listed in the proposals for Hollingdean – Area 6 as it is the boundary road between these areas).

Surrenden Road, Preston Drove and Stanford Avenue to retain their existing limits as a result of an amendment proposed by Councillor Mitchell on behalf of the Labour & Co-Operative Group, supported by the Conservative Group.

All other roads in this area to be reduced to 20mph.

If you have any questions contact:

Emma Sheridan
Principal Transport planner
Tel: 01273 293862

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Brighton to Seaford line

From Elspeth Broady of DRARA:

Brighton to Seaford Railway Line Celebrations

The line opened in 1864, although our local station was not built until 1877. To celebrate the 150th anniversary, a number of events are planned along the line for Saturday 7th June  It would be good to be part of these celebrations and have as many local people involved as possible.

Informal meeting to discuss this: drop by the Signalman between 5.45 – 6.45 on Thursday 6th February.

DRARA reps will be there …  ANY ideas would be good. If you have any photos of the station or our area from various points in the past, do bring them along! Come along if you have reminiscences of the station … e.g. anybody else remember Somersby, the large tabby cat who used to greet passengers in the 1990s?

If you’d like to be involved, or have some ideas, but cannot come to the meeting, do get in touch – write to

Initial ideas are:

  • A street party in and around the station and Shaftesbury Place focusing on a shared lunch – and some activities with a railway theme.
  • ‘The station and us’: Exhibition boards around the station, based on photos, some background research and reminiscences, depicting events in the history of the station and our area, e.g. pre-1900, 1900-1918, 1918-1945, 1945-1970s, 1980s to now .
  • We’ve started collecting photographs, we’ve got some reminiscences – I’m sure there’s more out there. Printed posters could then be displayed permanently at the station, and audio files linked to our website.
  • A short guided walk around the area, focusing on historical elements linked to our railway history.
  • more ideas needed!

Alarm Company Targeting Residents

Over the last two to three weeks, police have received numerous reports from concerned members of the public about a company cold calling residents and offering alarm or security services. The company or companies in question offer the free installation of an alarm box, often claiming that the resident has been selected at random for a free box normally costing thousands of pounds. They may claim affiliation to the police and that they are working with police as a result of issues with police response times. The sales staff are generally quite pushy and will state that they have a member of staff in the area who will attend shortly and fit the box. Once the ‘free’ box is fitted, residents may then find themselves paying high monthly rates for remote monitoring of the equipment.

These companies have no affiliation to the police and our advice is to refuse the services of any companies that cold call via the telephone or in person.

Any such incidents should be reported to police and/or trading standards

Brighton and Hove Neighbourhood Policing Team

National Neighbourhood Watch Evaluation Survey 2014

Dear Colleagues

National Neighbourhood Watch Evaluation Survey 2014

The main aims of Neighbourhood Watch are to prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime, and improve safety. That means that whilst combatting crime is the core aim, Neighbourhood Watch also helps out in other important ways that help protect our communities, such as during and after emergencies.

Neighbourhood Watch is active in many parts of Sussex, and operates in close partnership with Sussex Police. In order to evaluate the Neighbourhood Watch movement across England and Wales, members of the public across Sussex are invited to participate in the latest national Neighbourhood Watch Evaluation Survey.

The aim of the survey is to help assess the perceived level of impact and effectiveness of the movement as a whole, from a range of sources, including Neighbourhood Watch members and co-ordinators, local police, the general public and Community Safety Partnerships. The results will be used in conjunction with previous findings to help formulate a comprehensive national research report.

You are invited to take part in this short survey by clicking on the link below. If you have a website or you use social media such as Facebook or Twitter please feel free to use it to spread the word.

Non Members Survey (general public) –

Access to surveys is also available via the Our Watch website (please click here). The surveys will close at 5pm on Friday 31st January 2014.

A separate message is being sent to Neighbourhood Watch, local police and Community Safety Partnerships. It is therefore possible that some people may receive a similar request from another source, in which case please accept our apologies in advance.

For more information about Neighbourhood Watch please contact your local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) by phone on 101 or email , or visit

Thank you for you kind co-operation.

Best Regards

John Wright MBE


Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation

Mobile: 07917 385213

Business: 01444 247368



Have your say on improvements in London Road

This month the council will be inviting people to talk about how to improve the environment of one of Brighton & Hove’s busiest roads.

From 13 January people living and working in the London Road area will be asked for their ideas on what they would like to see improved. A team from the council will be surveying people in the area on 22 January and there will also be an opportunity to take part online at until 7 February.

For the first time the council will be trialling a new text screen for people to text about their favourite features and places in London Road.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport at Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “This is a transport-based initiative to improve the general environment of London Road. The views of those taking part will inform the first stages of the design process and help us create proposals that reflect what people would like to see.

“This is an exciting time for London Road with many positive changes taking place. We are keen to see what else we can do to complement these improvements and help ensure the future prosperity of this much loved local shopping area.”

London Road is one of the main routes into central Brighton and includes a busy shopping centre, The Level park, the City College campus and two of the city’s most imposing churches – St Peter’s and St Bartholomew’s.

The area is being regenerated, with major schemes such as the redevelopment of the Open Market, the former Co-Op store, and Block J in the New England Quarter. The Level park was completely restored last year, environmental improvements are planned for the Ann Street/Providence Place area and business projects are underway at New England House and through the London Road Portas pilot. In December City College also received planning permission to redevelop and improve its facilities.

Parking charges frozen for second year

From today’s Argus:

Parking charges are to be frozen in the coming year – with some tariffs even falling.

After netting £18.36 million in parking revenue in 2012/13, Brighton and Hove City Council has announced it will freeze the majority of its rates for the second year running.

As an added boost to motorists, some of its tariffs in multi-storeys will be reduced – despite inflation running at 2.5%.

However, it still means those parking on the street in the city centre will pay £3.50 an hour and up to £20 for a day on the seafront.

Green councillor Ian Davey, the authority’s lead member for transport, said: “The last parking charge increases were agreed three years ago in order to help manage demand, cut traffic volumes in the city centre and encourage people to visit under-used car parks and areas where there is greater capacity.

“Since then parking charges have been frozen, and we have also been flexible with the current pricing, adjusting some tariffs at the request of residents and traders.”

The plan, which will be voted on by the council’s transport committee on Tuesday, includes lower tariffs at Regency Square and London Road car parks. It means weekend prices at both will be the same as weekday rates.

In Regency Square, which locals report is widely underused despite a wider £4.2 million revamp, this is a saving of £2 on one, two, four and 24-hour stays and £1 for nine hours.

After a technical fault at its car parks, the local authority is also proposing to combine its evening (£4.50) and night rates (£5).

This means people can leave their vehicles in The Lanes, London Road, Regency Square and Trafalgar Street car parks from 6pm to 11am for £9.50.

Opposition councillors said they supported the freeze on the majority of tariffs.

Conservative councillor Graham Cox said it had only been agreed with “reluctance and a lot of resistance” by the Green administration.

He added: “There is still a need to change the perception that Brighton and Hove is a council which rips visitors off. For that reason we would like to see the council go further, with targeted reductions at under-used car parks.”

Coun. Cox also called on the local authority to reduce the “excessive” cost of resident permits, which are £120 a year.

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “Having caused uproar with their massive parking price hikes, we welcome the freeze and the few price reductions offered. However, we feel there is still room for the Green administration to offer greater flexibility within the charging structure to ensure local shopping areas are supported.”

Residents boycott Ditchling Road service station

From today’s Argus:

Householders have vowed to boycott a petrol station after its owners “snubbed” requests to clean up their act.

Despite pleas from locals, the owners of the BP garage in Ditchling Road, Brighton, have refused to smarten up the dilapidated exterior of the garage shop, claiming they cannot afford it.

Andrew Haig, 68, of the Round Hill Society, wrote to MRH Retail, which owns the site, to suggest this work be carried out while the forecourt was being renovated in the summer.

However, the reply from Paul Williams, of MRH, said it was “an overhead that we cannot afford with no return presentable”.

Mr Haig said: “I think their response is a disgrace.

“Basically they are saying that they have no obligation to the local environment unless there is an immediate financial return.

“I for one will be buying my petrol elsewhere. I wouldn’t blame others for doing the same.”

Ward councillor Pete West said: “Residents in Ditchling Road work very hard to maintain the appearance of their own properties.

“This building however is a real mess and letting the side down badly. The service station and shop serve the local area, so I can’t understand the attitude of the owners toward their neighbours and customers.”