Monthly Archives: August 2014

Plans to transform Corn Exchange unveiled

From Brighton & Hove News:

Plans to revamp Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre have been unveiled.

Corn ExchangeThe Brighton Dome has applied to demolish an existing single storey link building between the two and build a new three storey infill in its place.

This would house new foyers, bars, a box office, toilets, production space, public stairs and lifts.

The Corn Exchange will get new retractable seating beneath new balcony and replacement roof coverings.

The Studio Theatre will be given new side balconies, a lift, fire escape stairs and dressing rooms.

The existing cafe will also be opened up to New Road and the Royal Pavilion gardens.

The full plans can be seen here.

Petition for network of free public drinking fountains

From Brighton& Hove News:

A councillor has started a petition asking for a network of free public drinking fountains to be provided throughout Brighton and Hove.

Ben Duncan, who was elected as a Green councillor but sits as an independent on Brighton and Hove City Council, started the petition on the website.

Councillor Duncan, who represents Queen’s Park, included a reference to his own ward in the petition.

It reads: “We the undersigned ask Brighton and Hove City Council and Southern Water to provide free clean drinking water, through a network of public drinking fountains, at parks and open spaces, including in shopping areas and near beaches, throughout the city.

“Such provision will, of course, be costly, but the benefits to residents and visitors to the city will be immeasurable, in savings on purchases of bottled water or alternative drinks, reduction in waste bottles (the cost of disposal or recycling of which is currently borne by the council) – and in terms of public health.

“It would also lower the city’s impact on the environment in line with the council’s corporate aim of making Brighton and Hove a ‘One Planet City’, in keeping with the UN Urban Biosphere status it was granted earlier this year.

“Immediate steps could be taken towards the aim of providing a full network of water fountains, such as the requirement that all licensed premises provide free tap water to all, the provision of reusable water bottles to all the city’s schoolchildren, and the connection of those facilities already in existence, such as the historic water fountain in Queen’s Park.”

To see or sign the petition, click here.

Boost for community gardening

From The Argus:

NEW community gardens are set to spring up after a community project received a funding boost.

The National Lottery has announced £500,000 worth of funding for a three-year project by Brighton and Hove Food Partnership aimed at getting more vulnerable people in the city to benefit from community food growing.

Sharing the Harvest will see the Food Partnership teaming up with local partner organisations to help set-up and run gardens in new spaces such as hostels, refuges and day centres.

Volunteers at existing gardens will also receive assistance to develop new skills and look to support more vulnerable people to take part. The project is designed to support people with learning disabilities or those with experience of homelessness, mental health issues, abuse and addiction to improve their health and wellbeing at community gardens. The Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund project will start in October this year.

Brighton Elm Trees Update

On Wednesday 20th August 2014, John Tucker, Director of Woodland Creation for the UK Woodland Trust and Geraint Richards, Head Forester for Duchy of Cornwall visited Rob in Brighton for a tour of some of the significant Elm trees in the city and to discuss the Brighton and Hove Elm Disease Control Programme.

Click here for full report.

Vogue Gyratory road and cycle works start again

From The Argus:

The next phase of road works on one of the city’s busiest carriageways is expected to start today, Monday 18th August.

The northbound carriageway of Brighton’s Upper Lewes Road will be temporarily closed at the Lewes Road junction as part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s plans to improve safety of the Vogue Gyratory.

The works initially began on July 14, where a single lane on the northbound carriageway was closed to facilitate footway works in the centre of the gyratory.

Phase two of the project is expected to start today, which will see the introduction of temporary pedestrian crossings and, at times, the reduction of the northbound carriageway to a single lane.

The initial proposals for the Vogue Gyratory were developed as part of the authority’s Lewes Road Improvement Scheme.

The project will see priority green signals created for cyclists at traffic lights, providing a three-second head start to reduce traffic conflict.

The creation of a continuous two-meter wide northbound cycle lane through the gyratory system is designed to increase drivers’ awareness of cyclists.

Cyclist Matthew Easterbrook, a lecturer of psychology at the University of Sussex, welcomed the improvements.

He said: “Cycling out of town along the Gyratory is just a disaster waiting to happen at the moment – cars, buses and lorries force you to squeeze up dangerously close to the curb as you set off from the traffic lights before you have to cycle across three lanes of traffic.

“It’s not much better for the motorists either.

“They have to change lanes within about 50 meters or risk going completely the wrong way.

“It’s understandable that drivers get annoyed with cyclists blocking their way, and understandable why a lot of potential cyclists forego their ride to work because of the dangers around the Gyratory. “I am looking forward to a safer and less dangerous journey to work, and expect that it’ll really help improve cycle numbers in Brighton.”

The scheme also aims to make improvements for traffic flow by replacing traffic signal equipment using up-to-date technology and replacing the road surface and clarity of road markings.

When asked about the work’s effect on local businesses, a Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The location of the Upper Lewes Road closure is not in front of businesses or residences which means that access to both can be maintained.

“The council has been working with the local businesses to ensure that their deliveries can take place during the works.”

Station Tea Party

Friday 22nd August 2014, 3.00 pm – Station tea party with our group of young volunteers – all welcome.

A group of young volunteers will be giving our station underpass a make-over during the week of 18 – 22 August as part of a link-up between National Citizen Service, Albion in the Community, Southern Rail and London Road Station Partnership.

They’ll be organising a tea party at the station for the neighbourhood – cakes, tea, coffee, soft drinks – to celebrate the end of their volunteering week and to unveil their creative work in and around the station. All neighbours welcome, but please let us know you’re coming:

Operation Magpie: New initiative launched to prevent burglaries across Sussex

12 August 2014

Residents living near burglary victims are to be visited by police to help them avoid becoming a target.

From August, officers and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers across the county will visit people living close to the scenes of break-ins within days of the crime to warn them about what has happened, show them how they can make sure their home is secure and gather information that could help catch offenders.

The tactic has been trialled in Hove where a dramatic reduction in burglaries in the area has followed and is now being rolled out across the force.

It is part of Operation Magpie, Sussex Police’s crackdown on burglary across the county.

Inspector Nick Dias said: “Burglars try to maximise the amount they get from their crime while minimising the time they have to find looking for a house to break into and the chance of them being caught.

“By warning local people when there has been a burglary we cannot only reduce the chance of them becoming a victim but also force the offender to take more of a risk to commit crime.

“That means the burglar may move to an area they do not know well so they are more likely to leave evidence behind at the scene or to be caught in the act.

“Everyone can help us tackle burglary in Sussex by taking every step possible to keep their home secure. Simple measures like double-locking your front door and using window locks have been proven to be effective deterrents against offenders.

“Also, every burglar we take off the streets means fewer victims of burglary so we would encourage members of the community to contact us if they see anyone acting suspiciously in their area. We can all work together to make Sussex a no-go area for burglars.”

During the 24-week trial in Hove from August 2013, the number of burglaries fell by 51% compared to the same period a year earlier – a drop from 263 to 120.

Across the rest of the force the number of burglaries fell by 21% during the same period.

In Hove, 90% of people visited said they were more likely to report suspicious behaviour to the police after the trial and 70% increased their home security following a visit from police.

The county’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has welcomed the initiative, which maximises face-to-face contact between the public, the police and community volunteers.

She said: “I know burglary is a concern for local people, not least because it has a deep, personal impact on victims.

“I am pleased to see Sussex Police using innovative crime-fighting techniques that help catch burglars and sees officers working with Neighbourhood Watch to advise the public on how they can protect their property.

“I urge residents to follow this advice to help avoid being affected by burglary.

“I will continue to keep a watchful eye on how the police are tackling this issue.”

John Wright, the chair of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, said: “The main aims of Neighbourhood Watch are to prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime and improve safety. It’s about people looking out for each other, crossing barriers of age, race and class to create strong cohesive communities that benefit everyone.

“Neighbourhood Watch acts as the eyes and ears of the community. As a result it has been shown that Neighbourhood Watch areas are far less likely to be targeted by criminals.

“Neighbourhood Watch has been involved in Operation Magpie since it started. I am delighted that we are taking an active part to help our partners in Sussex Police in keeping our homes and streets safe; places where crime cannot flourish, with communities that care.”

If you have any information about burglaries, please call 101 or email

For crime prevention advice visit

If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.

To join Neighbourhood Watch please visit or speak to your local neighbourhood policing team.


Vogue Gyratory Transport Improvement Works Update

Dear all,

Please find attached Vogue Gyratory Works Update – Phase 2 from the transport planning team at Brighton and Hove City Council outlining the next phase of the construction works at the Vogue Gyratory.

Please note that Phase Two will start on the 18th August and therefore it is important that you read the letter as this may affect the way you travel in this area during the works.

If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Stacey Amey

Principal Transport Planner

Brighton & Hove City Council

Tel: 01273 290219

Weather Warning for Sunday 10th.

From The Argus:

Weather warnings have been issued as Sussex braces itself for tropical storm Bertha.

The Met Office yesterday increased the likeliness of Bertha hitting the south coast from 30% to 60%.

Downpours on Sunday could see three-quarters of the average rainfall for August fall in just one day.

Laura Young, a spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: “The worst case we are looking at on Sunday is 60mph gusts of winds and 50mm of rain. Bertha will interact with the Atlantic and bring with it some strong winds and rain.”

She said Bertha looks relatively benign at the moment but is likely to get more intense as it approaches the Channel, although the severity of the storm is still to be determined.

On Sunday 50mm of rain is forecast to fall. The average rainfall for the whole of August is 69mm.

The Met Office told The Argus that, because of the time of year, there is more likely to be flooding. The volume of foliage on trees during summer means high winds have “something to grab hold of”, increasing the chance of trees being uprooted compared with the winter. In addition, experts warned that previously hard, dry ground cannot absorb a downpour, with water likely to divert to drains instead of through the earth.

Sunday’s weather has been given a yellow warning by the Met Office advising people to be prepared – the same level that saw three weeks’ rain fall in one hour on July 28, dramatically flooding Patcham.

The Environment Agency said heavy rain may lead to surface water flooding and has advised people to regularly check the flood risk situation over the next 48 hours.