Monthly Archives: February 2017

Shelter for homeless gathering momentum

From The Argus


Campaigners and organisations in the city have come together to offer support to a new night shelter for rough sleepers.

It was recently revealed that the former police headquarters Sussex House, in Crowhurst Road, Brighton, has been offered up by developer Simon Lambor, of Matsim Properties, as a night shelter.

M&S Food in Hollingbury has now pledged to offer food from the store to those using the shelter when it opens.

Craig Taylor, store manager of M&S Carden Avenue food hall, said: “I think this is a great idea and a welcome one to the local community.

“I would like to offer my support for the plan and would also like to let the public know that as part of our Plan A commitment we donate our products that are in date but going out of date that day to local charities, therefore reducing waste going into bins.”

Dex Allen Fire Associates, based near Polegate, has offered to carry out a fire risk assessment of the building and The Big Lemon and Brighton and Hove Buses are offering free bus travel for homeless people to the shelter.

Brighton Housing Trust and St Mungo’s are putting together a proposal for the management of the shelter, including support to help people move to a life away from the streets.

Tom Druitt, a Green Party councillor who suggested the council should open its unused buildings as night shelters, has been helping to co-ordinate the project.

He said: “We are planning an eight-week pilot project and have identified that we will need approximately £30,000 to prepare and operate the shelter over that period.

“We are calling on anyone with fundraising experience or funds available to support us to get in touch.”

Residents have also offered their services to help decorate, clean and provide fridges, freezers and cookers so the shelter can feed people and the project can run smoothly.

Cllr Tracey Hill’s handout on checking and reporting HMOs

From London Road Area Local Action Team

At yesterday’s meeting there was a lot of interest in the good regulation and good behaviour of HMO residents and letting agents. Cllr Tracey Hill’s handout on checking and reporting HMOs…

Source: Cllr Tracey Hill’s handout on checking and reporting HMOs #Brighton

Gardening and cooking group for people with dementia and their carers


The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership are looking for more participants to join our cookery and gardening activities for people with mild and moderate dementia and their carers.

Our cookery groups run for five weeks, and every session involves cooking and eating a meal as a group. Spending time sharing and preparing a meal can be a fun, sociable activity to bring back happy memories of the past or previous knowledge.

Our weekly gardening sessions provide a gentle, regular activity with a friendly group and a chance to build confidence. Gardening is a wonderful activity to help improve wellbeing, get outdoors and take time to notice nature.  There is a heated indoor space on site for tea breaks and in case of poor weather.

The weekly gardening group runs from 28th February to November 2017. The next 5-week cookery groups start on 16th February (Ebenezer Church, Central Brighton) and 30th March (The Bevy, East Brighton).  Please contact Jess Crocker, Harvest Manager to sign-up or find out more on 01273 431700 or go to our website:

Parks face threat of decline with severe consequences

From Fields In Trust


Last week was an important one for those of us interested in the UK’s parks and green spaces.

On Saturday the long-awaited report from the Parliamentary Communities and Local Government Committee’s Public parks inquiry was published, setting out a series of recommendations for government and calling for clear leadership of the sector.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC Breakfast TV and Sky News to respond to the report and champion our parks and playing fields. The report came just days after the publication of the Housing White Paper which could open the door to increased housing development on recreational land. We will be monitoring these policy developments over the forthcoming months and publishing our own research findings.

The CLG Committee’s report recommends recognising the wider value of parks to contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities; our new research report focussed on Centenary Park, Rugby illustrates, in microcosm, the value that access to green space provides for communities across the UK.

Read our response to the Public parks inquiry report.

Also this month, our ezine highlights some funding opportunities that may be available for green space community projects and shares information about the Great British Spring Clean, a campaign we are supporting.

Remember, between ezine updates you can keep in touch with Fields in Trust via social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

December 2016 Reported Crime Statistics

Sussex Police have released the latest reported crime statistics for December 2016, the latest figures available.

Click on the map for detailed information.


November 2016 December 2016
All crime 81 53
Anti-social behaviour 20 16
Bicycle theft 5 1
Burglary 3 6
Criminal damage and arson 12 5
Drugs 2 0
Other crime 1 1
Other theft 3 1
Possession of weapons 0 0
Public order 3 1
Robbery 1 0
Shoplifting 0 0
Theft from the person 0 0
Vehicle crime 12 10
Violence and sexual offences 19 12

Please visit for more information including outcomes for these crimes and contact information for your local policing team.

Slow worms could halt railway allotments development

From Brighton & Hove News

A developer’s plans to squeeze a terrace of four homes onto old railway allotments in Brighton is being stalled by the question of whether or not there are slow worms living there.



People living near the patch of land, which backs onto the Open House pub’s garden on Springfield Road, say they were horrified when the new owner of the site, Brighton Housing Developments, cleared it before Christmas.

Planning permission was given on appeal in 2014 to build four houses on the site – subject to the snakelike reptiles being moved to a new home.

But this runs out in March, and John Blackburn-Panteli, director of Brighton Housing Developments which bought the plot in December last year, has now submitted a survey which states that no slow worms live on the site, so no relocation is needed.

However, county ecologist Kate Cole says the survey was done during periods of frosty nights, which could have triggered the slow worms’ hibernation period and account for none being found.

A petition to save the allotments from development has now been signed by more than 400 people. Clare Tyler, who started it, said: “The old railway allotments between Springfield Road and London Road station, home to a wealth of wildlife and a much-loved conservation area in the heart of the city, have been destroyed.

“Much to our dismay, a developer recently bought the land with planning permission, and hastily chopped down all the woodland just before Christmas without any prior notice to the local residents or the community and plans to build four houses, immediately beside the rail track and Open House pub.

“The community are fighting this, and we will continue to fight. The piece of land was an oasis of woodland, shrubbery and wildlife.

“Now it’s a barren site – we hope it can be saved, and at the very least, we want the developers to strictly adhere to all conditions going forward- and the slow worms saved!”

Click here for the full story.

Government paying Govia Thameslink £38m for ‘disastrous’ performance

From Brighton & Hove News

The Department for Transport (DfT) is paying £38 million to train company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) despite “disastrous outcomes” over the past year.

The payment is flagged up in a critical report by the House of Commons Transport Committee which spells out shortcomings in the official handling of railway franchises.

The cross-party committee of MPs said that the DfT had “failed to take responsibility for some of the failings in handling the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise”.

Louise Ellman, who chairs the committee, said: “The government has serious lessons to learn from the management of the TSGN franchise.

“Our committee exposed serious deficiencies in the department’s monitoring and enforcement of this franchise which has already led to a change of policy on performance reporting.

“This can only help to hold serially underperforming operators like GTR to proper account.

“If GTR is officially found to be in breach of contract – and the committee is still pushing ministers for an answer on this – the Department for Transport should consider restructuring the franchise.”

Click here for the full story.

Brighton given £17m funding towards two key projects

From Brighton & Hove News

The government has said that it will put £17 million towards two key projects in Brighton, using money from the Local Growth Fund.

The two schemes are the proposed conference centre and arena at Black Rock and the new Bio Innovation Centre being planned by Sussex University.

The money accounts for more than a quarter of the £66 million allocated to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area which stretches from Croydon via Crawley to Chichester and Newhaven.

The Greater Brighton Economic Board co-ordinated the local bids including the two projects championed by Brighton and Hove City Council which have garnered £17.6 million between them.

The board said that £12.1 million would go towards the Black Rock part of the £540 million Brighton Waterfront project.

The Brighton Waterfront project involves extending the Churchill Square shopping centre down to the seafront. The Brighton Centre will close and a conference centre and arena will be built at Black Rock instead.

The Bio Innovation Centre has been awarded £5.5 million to act as a business incubator for new life sciences projects. It will be housed in the £99 million new Life Sciences Building planned for the Sussex University campus at Falmer. The building is expected to be granted planning permission on Wednesday (8 February) in a meeting at Hove Town Hall.