Monthly Archives: July 2016

Drug arrests at the Level

London Road Area Local Action Team

From Insp Brian McCarthy by email:

Level policing update – 28th July 2016
OpERATION Bolero

Five males were arrested on the level for conspiring to supply Class B Drugs. This has occurred in the skate park area one of which is wanted on warrant in London for failing to appear. Class B and Class A Drugs were found at the scene and on some of the males. This has occurred at a time when children are on school holidays. Post arrest users of the skate Park have thanked police for the arrests commenting that it has been creating a bad atmosphere in the park.

One male is still in custody the others have all been bailed pending further enquiries.

——– thanks for working to keep the Level a safe place for young people, families and the whole community P.W.

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Libraries Extra – open when we’re closed

From Sally McMahon
Head of Libraries & Information Services

On 1 August 2016 we’re launching a new, flexible service, giving you extra choice to access your local library.  By upgrading to a free Libraries Extra Membership Card, you will be able to use your library, even outside of staffed hours.

This will mean that most libraries will now be available seven days a week, doubling the amount of opening hours across the city.  Extra support will be available in libraries including a dedicated helpline, self-service kiosk, CCTV, and assistance from volunteers on some days.

We need to make changes to staffed open hours, so we can continue to provide city-wide libraries at a time of reducing budgets.  By becoming a Libraries Extra member you will have more freedom and flexibility to use your local library.

Please note that your local library may have changed its opening hours so please check the new times before your next visit.

Existing members will need to bring your current library membership card and one other proof of ID to the library to upgrade your card to Libraries Extra.

To find out more about the new service, how to become a member, or check out changes to library open hours, please visit brighton-hove.gov.uk/libraries

 A leaflet with the new opening hours can be found here.

Want to get in touch?

Email us libraries@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Call us 01273 290800
Find us on facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityLibraries
Follow us on twitter.com/BHLibraries.

Southern Railway conductors announce plans for a five day strike

From The Argus

Conductors on Southern Railway will walk out on strike for five days in a row over the future of their roles.

Members of the RMT Union will strike from 0001 on Monday August 8th to 2359 on Friday August 12th.

It follows proposals from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the company which owns Southern, to change the role of the conductor which will remove the responsibility of closing the doors of the train.

The doors would instead be closed by the train’s driver using the CCTV system fitted to the outside of the train.

Southern is planning to implement changes to the role of conductors on August 21.

Services have suffered delays and cancellations for several weeks because of the conductors’ dispute and staff shortages blamed on high levels of sickness.

On July 11 the rail company cut 341 journeys a day from its timetable to enable it to operate a “robust” service.

The Argus revealed earlier this month that GTR is not considered to be in breach of its franchise agreement according to the Department for Transport.

The RMT said it had offered a three-month pause to industrial action if the company agreed to suspend its proposals for driver-operated doors and allow talks to take place.

“That request has been kicked back in our faces,” said a union spokesman.

“The union wrote to new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling asking for direct talks after he said it was a priority to sort out the chaos on Southern. That letter has been ignored.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of Govia Thameslink and the Government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern.

“Our fight is with the company and the Government who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers and we cannot sit back while jobs and safety are compromised on these dangerously overcrowded trains.

“It is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are looking to bully through the extension of DOO and the attack on the guards set for 21st August. They should wake up and get round the table now as an urgent priority.”

Govia Thameslink Railway chief operating officer Dyan Crowther said: “It is unacceptable that passengers are being made to suffer five days of disruption all because the RMT is refusing to accept necessary change.

“We are offering all our onboard staff a job, as valued members of our future operation, with no reduction in salary.

“We value the work of our staff, who are trying their best to deliver service levels that passengers expect.

“The sooner we can introduce the essential modernisation that our railways desperately need, the sooner we can stop the RMT from holding passengers to ransom.

“Contrary to the RMT’s accusation, we have always been open to talks and remain so.

“Only this week we spoke with the General Secretary Mick Cash about further talks and he has been unwilling to enter into discussion.”

Parking chiefs to look into alternative ways to pay

From Brighton & Hove News

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Council chiefs are to look again at how drivers pay for parking after Conservative and Green councillors joined forces in response to a petition.

The petition called for scratchcard parking vouchers to be brought back after complaints about the switch to pay-by-phone parking machines.

The vouchers were scrapped by the Conservatives in 2008 on cost grounds.

Some people, such as those with arthritis or hearing difficulties, find the new system hard to use while others have complained about mobile phone signal problems.

Pay-by-phone parking machines were first brought in three years ago when Brighton and Hove City Council had almost 1,200 on-street parking machines that took cash.

More than 300 cash parking machines have been removed, taking the total remaining down to 800. And the number is to fall to just 150 by next March when the new £1 coin comes into circulation.

For the full story click here.

Travellers move into new £2.3m permanent site

From The ArgusimgID75186593.jpg.gallery

The first residents have now moved in to the city’s new £2.3 million permanent traveller site.

Work on Brighton and Hove City Council‘s permanent traveller site at Horsdean has been completed with the first families moving in last week.

Leading councillors in the Labour administration said the opening of the permanent site and the imminent reopening of the adjacent temporary site would help the council deal more effectively with unauthorised encampments.

But opposition councillors have warned that the 21 pitch transit site might not be sufficient during the busy summer leaving the city back at square one.

The reopening of the transit site will make it easier for police and council officials to use powers to move on travellers from parks and other green spaces.

New Public Space Protection Orders allowing for the swifter removal of encampments from 12 sites across the city, agreed by councillors earlier this month, are not likely to be active until the end of the year.

The delay to the introduction of the powers, the first time nationally the PSPOs have been used in connection with travellers, will allow council officers to receive training and for signs to be placed around affected areas.

The newly-opened permanent traveller site has 12 pitches with space for a static caravan and other vehicles with a kitchen, bathroom and lounge in an adjoining amenity block.

The site also includes a management building for the council’s traveller liaison team.

The pitches have all been allocated to traveller families with a local link, many who previously occupied spaces on the transit site.

Residents will sign a lease and pay rent of between £80 and £96 a week depending on the size of their pitch as well as council tax and other bills.

The project has cost £2.3 million with the majority of funding coming from the Government with costs rising by more than £600,000 because of the site’s proximity to the city’s water table and inflation in building costs.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “We are pleased that work on our permanent traveller site at St Michael’s Way, Horsdean, is now complete and we have welcomed the first families.

“Freeing up the transit pitches will help the council to deal with unauthorised encampments in the city.”

Conservative councillor Lee Wares said: “Once the transit site is reopened then police will be able again to use their powers under section 62 if there is space and there will be no excuses not to use it.

“But if we have lots of travelling families in the city between now and Christmas, and the transit site is full, we will be back to where we were before.”

Rough Sleeping in Brighton and Hove: Support from Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Andy Winter's Blog

Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, with Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp (right) and me, at the launch of the Brighton and Hove Rough Sleeping Strategy Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, with Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp (right) and me, at the launch of the Brighton and Hove Rough Sleeping Strategy

Tuesday (19th July 2016) saw the launch of the Brighton and Hove Rough Sleeping Strategy.  You can read the strategy here. The aim of the strategy is to ensure that nobody has to sleep rough on the streets of Brighton and Hove by 2020. 

At the launch was the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne.  In her weekly email, she spoke about the launch and the work she is doing to help tackle homelessness.  I have taken the liberty of reproducing it in full:

“It is a shocking statistic – the average age that rough sleepers die is just 47 years old. That is why this week I was proud to pledge my support for Brighton & Hove’s Rough Sleeping Strategy…

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