Monthly Archives: April 2017

Concerns over secrecy surrounding arena at Black Rock

From The Argus

Black Rock

Conservationists have raised concerns about the secrecy surrounding one of the largest development projects in the city’s history.

The Regency Society has called for more information to be made public about the £540 million Waterfront project for Brighton, saying they are concerned plans to build a new 10,000-capacity arena could be set in concrete before the city gets a say.

The civic group has warned the plans to also expand Churchill Square could see the “lively heart” of the city’s independent shops threatened by “a large, monolithic shopping centre”.

Brighton and Hove City Council directors said the authority was in negotiations with Standard Life Investments over a “complex land swap” but has committed to full engagement when talks have concluded.

It is planned to demolish the Brighton Centre and Kingswest cinema to expand Churchill Square shopping centre and fund a new “world-class” conference and events centre at Black Rock.

Architects WilkinsonEyre, who designed the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the London Olympics’ basketball arena as well as drawing up initial designs for the Madeira Terraces, are developing a masterplan for the scheme, expected to create 2,000 jobs and bring £4.6 million annually for the public purse.

Initial council timelines had anticipated public consultation to start around now to allow a planning application to be submitted next year.

In February the council was granted £12 million from Coast to Capital LEP towards the cost of redeveloping Black Rock which has been derelict for 30 years.

Regency Society chairman Roger Hinton said the major project could have serious repercussions for the city but residents and amenity groups have received minimal details.

The group is concerned about access to an expanded Churchill Square and the arena which is 2.5 miles from the city’s main railway station.

Mr Hinton said: “We are worried that a major deal is about to be struck which could make huge changes to our city. We are disappointed so little effort is being made to consult with interest groups and local people to ensure we share the council’s vision.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “I know the charge is sometimes made the council is too secretive. We want to engage with people as much as possible but obviously we have always got the concerns around the need to negotiate properly and privately with people without doing it in the full glare of publicity where things get taken out of context.

“It is balance that we have to strike and hopefully we are getting it right.”

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February 2017 Reported Crime Statistics

Sussex Police have released the latest reported crime statistics for February 2017, the latest figures available.

Click on the map for detailed information.

Here is a brief summary of the crime information for the past two months:

January 2017 February 2017
All crime 52 51
Anti-social behaviour 9 16
Bicycle theft 3 0
Burglary 4 2
Criminal damage and arson 1 5
Drugs 2 3
Other crime 2 0
Other theft 6 5
Possession of weapons 2 0
Public order 3 5
Robbery 0 2
Shoplifting 0 1
Theft from the person 0 0
Vehicle crime 9 3
Violence and sexual offences 11 9

Please visit https://www.police.uk/shape/AnxkDj/ for more information including outcomes for these crimes and contact information for your local policing team.

Council calls for cash to save our seafront

From The Argus

Madeira Terraces regeneration

Businesses and residents will be asked to dig deep for the £23 million restoration of the Madeira Terraces as the council aims to bounce back from its funding blow.

Local talent will be “harnessed” to find solutions to restore Brighton’s crumbling seafront arches which have been propped up by scaffolding for almost two years.

Council leader Warren Morgan said he would “not give up” despite the council’s failure to attract £4 million Government funding earlier this month.

A four-point proposal is now being promoted to save the Grade II listed terraces involving crowdfunding, lottery funding, involving local talent and finding “meanwhile” and “pop-up” projects to keep Madeira Drive busy and create income ahead of a full restoration.

The council will look to match an initial £4 million of funding to carry out restoration to a third of the half-mile long terraces which could then create investment to help complete the rest of the structure.

Under the crowdfunding plan, corporate sponsors, tourist organisations and residents will be asked to help with initial support – already expressed from Brighton and Hove Albion and Brighton and Hove Buses.

Councillor Morgan said the scheme could be “a modern twist” on the Victorian public subscription model which initially funded the terraces’ creation and construction over seven years in the 1890s.

The authority is also preparing a bid to the Heritage Lottery’s Enterprise Fund in June among possible public funding streams while the Public Works Loan Board, which supplied £36.2 million for the construction of the i360, is also being considered to part fund the project.

The council has also been invited to reapply for the Coastal Communities Fund later this year.

Local Government Minister Sajid Javid said the council’s application had failed to meet the requirements lacking significant design work, planning submission and match funding along with a considerable wait until January 2019 before work would begin.

The Lockwood Project, named after terraces designer Phillip Cawston Lockwood, was unveiled last year and proposes up to 50 glass-fronted pods for businesses, cafes and shops.

Cllr Morgan said: “Our fight to save this iconic structure continues unabated.

“We can’t do this alone and we know people are keen to help renovate this historic landmark in our city.

“We will harness the city’s energy, creativity and affection for the terraces to get the project off the ground. At the same time we will leave no stone unturned, seeking every possible avenue of funding from Government and other sources.

“We want to inspire private and corporate investors to join us in saving a nationally important structure on one of the world’s most recognisable seafronts by the much-loved pebble beach. I’m not giving up on this. We’re determined to find a way of funding the restoration of the terraces.”

Under the plans, a seafront investment team combining economic bodies, hotels, tourist attractions and civic groups will meet later this month for the first time to develop “a collaborative way forward”. There have been calls for greater unity to tackle the major infrastructure project following the failed funding bid.

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby has called for cross-party cooperation to save the structure.

He said: “I am more than happy to work with the council, councillors and MPs from all parties to help save the Madeira Terraces which are such an important part of Brighton Kemp Town. Now is not the time to play party politics but to come together and work on addressing the concerns about the project and come up with a new bid.”

Free swimming for children to continue

From The Argus –

Free swimming sessions are set to continue at the Prince Regent Swimming Complex

Thousands of children and teenagers can continue to enjoy free swimming.

Brighton and Hove City Council is one of only a few local authorities in the country to offer the service.

The Government introduced the scheme for all councils in 2009 but stopped funding it in 2010.

However the city has kept it going, with the council investing £108,000 a year.

It works in partnership with Freedom Leisure to offer the facility for people under 16 who live in the city.

The scheme continues to be popular with more than 23,000 people registered on to it.

Between last April and March, there were 44,000 free swimming sessions.

Chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee Alan Robins said: “I am delighted that the free swimming sessions are continuing for another year.

“A healthy lifestyle is important and swimming is a fun way to encourage children to take part in physical activity.

“Living in a seaside city also means that swimming is not only an enjoyable activity but a life-saving skill.”

Free swimming is part of a range of sports and activities available in the city which are available to help encourage children to get healthy and reduce obesity.

Figures published by the National Child Measurement Programme show 19.8 per cent of reception and 26.1 per cent of ten and 11-year-olds in Brighton and Hove are overweight or obese.

This is lower than the average for England, which is 22.1 per cent and 34.2 per cent respectively.

However health bosses want to reduce numbers even further and believe offering free swimming is a good way to help with this.

Dealing with the health effects caused by being severely overweight costs the NHS in Sussex about £460 million a year.

The council works with Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Albion in the Community, and Freedom Leisure to help people boost their activities and have a healthy diet.

The aim is to prevent obesity happening in the first place by focusing on the whole family rather than just the children.

This includes giving parents the skills to have the awareness and information they need to make healthy food choices.

Children are also given lessons on the subject at school.

Brighton and Hove also has a SugarSmart campaign, which works to raise awareness of the hidden sugar levels in food.

It also encourages businesses to add a sugar-levy to food in a bid to encourage people to cut down.

The campaign has been backed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Plans for £4.5m swimming complex could be submitted within weeks

From The Argus  –

The Sea Lanes 50 metre swimming pool proposed for Madeira Drive, Brighton.

Plans to bring a 50 metre swimming pool to Brighton seafront will go ahead despite this week’s funding blow to the Madeira Terraces regeneration.

SwimTrek’s Simon Murie told The Argus that plans for the £4.5 million swimming attraction could be submitted within weeks with a potential opening in the summer of 2019.

Mr Murie said the failed bid was a blow to his own project but the venue would not “stand or fall” on the wider redevelopment of the east Brighton seafront.

The council is still reeling from learning on Monday the Government had rejected their bid for the £4 million needed to kick start its £23 million regeneration of the crumbling Victorian arches.

The Sea Lanes swimming pool and Madeira Terraces seafront have both been promoted as important jigsaw pieces in the council’s £1 billion seafront.

The proposed pool, half a mile east of the Brighton Palace Pier at the site of the former Peter Pan’s Playground, would be promoted as a national centre for open water swimming.

It would include a 50 metre eight-lane pool, changing rooms, showers, sauna, studios for training, exercise and yoga, therapy rooms, a café/restaurant, shops, offices, a function room, bike hire and lockers.

Behind the project, financed by private investment, are developers Copsemill Properties and SwimTrek, the UK’s biggest open-water swimming operator.

Open-water swimming coaches Swimmergy and architects We Like Today are also involved.

Mr Murie said the project team was in discussion with the council about a reduction in height of proposed buildings.

Last summer Historic England raised concerns about the “overall amount, height and density” of the Sea Lanes scheme as well as questioning how it would not impact on both the Madeira Terraces regeneration and Saltdean Lido, which is due to open at the end of May.

Mr Murie said: “Obviously the news on the terraces was not great, we were hoping the redevelopment of the terraces would put us in a better position.

“We are keen to hear from the council what is the plan for the terraces going forward and hopefully we will be part of the wider plan.

“But it doesn’t stand or fall with the terraces redevelopment.

“If things don’t happen quickly with the terraces we think we will be able to be a standalone attraction like Yellowave.

“I think Sea Lanes is a unique product, a 50 metre pool that is so desperately needed.

“There is a real shortage of pool facilities in Brighton.”

April Healthwalks

From Corinna Edwards-Colledge –

The new Spring/Summer programme will be out on the first of May.  We are changing the print schedule of our programme to Autumn/Winter: November – April, and Spring/Summer: May – October.  This is so that we can mail out the Get Active programme with the TAKEPART programme  in the summer, saving us (and you the taxpayer!) a considerable amount of money in postage.  That means for this year there is a month gap in April without a programme – so I’ve attached a mini programme, just for this month, which includes regular and special walks.

Happy Walking!

Corinna

Active for Life Manager

Healthy Lifestyles Team, Public Health

Brighton & Hove City Council, Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton BN1 1JE

01273 292564  www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/healthwalks

TW: @HealthwalksBH FB: brightonhovehealthwalks