Author Archives: srraadmin

Country’s first electric bus fleet to be ready by autumn

From The Argus

THE first fleet of electric buses in the country is almost ready to take to the roads after enough funds have been raised to complete the project.

The Big Lemon previously received Government funding and has now raised the £405,000 needed to add three new electric buses to its fleet, which serves the people of Brighton and Hove.

The company, which was founded in 2007, is expecting its fleet of six buses to be up and running by autumn after initial test runs are carried out along certain routes.

Tom Druitt, founder and CEO of The Big Lemon, said: “I am thrilled to bits that the money has been raised so quickly.

“We have had 128 investors in total. They have been investing anything from £100 to £20,000.

“We have asked people why they are investing and the most common response is because they see it as the way things should be going.

“It will be the first in the country. It is a small network but a great start.

“We are always looking at the next step.

“We run various other services as well and are keen to run all these on electric as well.

“We have got lots of plans and are looking at what kind of different services we can offer alongside the public bus routes.

“This includes potentially more effectively routed and on demand services.”

The zero-emissions buses, which are fitted with solar panels, will be able to serve the whole route planned by the company once the fleet is finished.

The company set up a bond offer to attract investment for the project last month and after raising the funds needed, it will now be looking to raise an additional £135,000 to fund an extra bus for the fleet.

The project has been aided by money gained through the Clean Bus Fund and the Low Emission Bus Scheme.

It has gained the support of Brighton and Hove City Council and the Department for Transport (DfT).

One of the buses in the current fleet was a retrofit funded by the Clean Bus Fund and the three new additions to the fleet will be 138kWh Optare Solo electric buses.

The company set about raising the money after being awarded £513,000 from the DfT’s Low Emission Bus scheme.

With high levels of air pollution in mind, the company wants every community across the country to have access to a similar scheme by 2030.

For more information about the project or to invest and help the company fund a seventh bus for the fleet, visit thebiglemon.com/electric.

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City prepares battle plans for war on waste

From Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

An inspiring mix of would-be waste warriors from supermarkets, academic institutions, charities and campaigning organisations were among those attending Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s recent roundtable on food waste – one of a series of roundtables being held this year as we lead the work on refreshing the city’s food strategy and aim to become the UK’s first gold Sustainable Food City.

We knew we were starting from a place of good intentions with food waste when we sent out the invites to our event. Our surveys this year aimed at the city’s businesses and residents had a big uptake, with hundreds of responses showing that there is an appetite to shift food provision to a model that minimises both food waste and single-use plastic.

However, seeing representatives from Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s alongside those from environmental group WRAP and ethical supermarket HISBE in the one room – all prepared to turn good intentions into action – brought the message home: food waste is not a side issue. It is increasingly recognised by all sections of our community.

Our surveys showed a clear majority of Brighton and Hove residents who responded want simple measures introduced to help them reduce the amount of food being binned, for example the availability of takeaway boxes in restaurants and small packs of food in supermarkets.

Food waste audit

A clear majority of business respondents want to tackle food and food packaging waste too, with three quarters saying they are interested in opening themselves up to a food waste audit which would track the quantity and composition of the food waste they produce and analyse why it was being thrown away.

Half the business respondents said they want more information on food waste collection options, and an impressive 40% are willing to take the plastic-free pledge.

This is all important because our city’s food waste problems are big and they are urgent. In Brighton and Hove, a whopping 30,000 tonnes of food a year is wasted by businesses, and 39,000 by households.

The round-table event (left) was held at zero-waste restaurant Silo and focused on developing practical actions aimed at reducing this huge food waste and packaging mountain. Other participants included representatives from the University of Brighton, University of Sussex contract caterers Compass Group, The council’s CityClean and events teams, as well as local wholesaler and bakery chain Real Patisserie.

 

The following were among the innovative actions considered in what was an amazingly fruitful morning for ideas:

  • Implementing a Brighton and Hove branded doggy-bag scheme to promote and make it easier for people to take away excess food ordered from cafes and restaurants.
  • Extending the use of paper ‘mushroom’ bags for bagging other vegetables in supermarkets.
  • Producing stickers or laminated posters to make it easier for restaurants/caterers to understand how they can donate to organisations in the surplus food network.

Next, we will consider all of these exciting ideas to determine which will prove both practical and most beneficial to go into a new five-year action plan, itself part of the overall review of the city’s 20-year food strategy, Spade to Spoon: Digging Deeper.

This strategy sets out how the city will work together to ensure good food is available for everyone, that issues such as obesity and food poverty are addressed and there is not excessive food waste. The sixth of the strategy’s nine aims states that: “Waste generated by the food system is reduced, redistributed, reused and recycled.”

Sustainable Development Goal

These local aspirations tie in with the much wider picture – in particular the Sustainable Development Goal food waste reduction target of 50% by 2030. In the UK, £2.5bn worth of food is currently thrown away annually by businesses. That amounts to £10,000 per outlet per year. What’s more, 75% of that food could have been eaten.

Vera Zakharov, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s Surplus Food Network Coordinator, who previously coordinated the city’s Love Food Hate Waste Campaign said: “It’s absolutely inspiring to see a broad range of stakeholders take this issue seriously. Food waste is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and is a symptom of a food system that devalues our natural resources and human effort.

“This roundtable event shows that we are ready to work together and change how food is used and valued in Brighton and Hove.”

Other roundtables being held as the food strategy is refreshed includes those on shared meals, food power, land, and healthy and sustainable diets. We’ll keep you updated as they take place.

Sign up for the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge and raise funds for your favourite charity

Andy Winter's Blog

We have opened registration for our unique cycling fundraiser taking place on July 1st 2018.  This year participants can fundraise for any charity of their choice, and I would encourage you to get a team together for your organisation.

BHT has teamed up with The Living Coast to create the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge comprising three exciting cycling experiences allowing for all levels of fitness.

BHT’s Around the World Cycle Challenge is a family friendly event taking place the Preston Park Velodrome. This challenge starts at 7am and runs throughout the day, with cyclists aiming to reach the combined target of 69,215 laps (equating to cycling 40,075km around the world) in just 12 hours! Laps can be completed in one session or over a number of sessions throughout the day and there are designated slots for families and club cyclists. Refreshments will be available throughout the day and there…

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Keeping rough sleepers alive over the winter, and throughout the year

Andy Winter's Blog

(This item first appeared in the Brighton and Hove Independent on Friday 23rd March 2018)

The worst of the winter weather is over, I hope. Rough sleeping is dangerous at any time of the year, but more so in severe weather.

The average life expectancy for a homeless man is 47 years, for a homeless woman it is just 43. Homeless people are 35 times more likely to take their own lives than the rest of the population, and 4 times more likely to die from unnatural causes.

In this day and age, in one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world, it is wrong that anyone is living on the streets. It is unforgivable that anyone should die there.

Yet people have and do die, but these deaths are, fortunately, not common. But one death is one death too many. There would have…

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Brighton and Hove Way – Mayor’s Charity Walk

Brighton & Hove Way – Mayor’s Charity Walk

Welcome
As April approaches we are getting into gear for the annual Mayor’s Charity Walk of the Brighton & Hove Way, which this year will be on Saturday 28th April. This a family-friendly event, for all abilities, so don’t be daunted, you are welcome to walk as much or as little of the route as you like. We are also looking for volunteer route marshals, who will help ensure everyone stays on the right track. So please sign up to take part and let us know if you can help out too.

Following our successful clean up of the Brighton & Hove Way in Stanmer Park, we will be heading over to Woodingdean on 14th April to tidy up the wheelchair accessible Woodingdean-Falmer Link section of our route.

And finally, your views are sought by Brighton & Hove City Council on the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan – a document which will shape investment in our local pathway network for years to come.

Mayor’s Walk 2018 – Saturday 28th April
Join the Mayor’s Charity Walk 2018, and follow in the footsteps of the hundreds of people who enjoyed tredding-in the Brighton & Hove Way last year. Help raise funds for the Mayor Mo Marsh’s Famous Five* chosen charities, Emmaus or another favourite charity of your choice. You are welcome to walk as much or as little of this stunning 19-mile downland pathway as you like – the route includes a section suitable for people with reduced mobility. Starting on Saltdean seafront, experience the best of The Living Coast UN designated Biosphere while passing through Falmer, Stanmer and the Chattri. We will finish in North Portslade, hopefully in time for tea hosted by Emmaus.
This family-friendly event aims to bringing together all our diverse communities. We encourage support for the named charities, however if you wish to benefit another favourite charity please select the “All Mayor’s Charities” option when registering. Adults £6, children free, dogs welcome on a short lead – follow this link to register.
This event is supported by Brighton & Hove Way Association, Emmaus Brighton, Healthwalks Brighton Hove and City Parks (Brighton & Hove City Council).
You’ll also find links to this event at our websites, www.brightonandhoveway.org.uk and www.riseuk.org.uk
Please also Like and Share the event on Facebook.

*The Mayor’s Famous Five charities are: Albion in the Community, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, Martlets Hospice, RISE UK and The Sussex Heart Charity.

Mayor’s Walk Tidy Up – Sunday 14th April
In readiness for the Mayoral Charity Walk on 28 April, the Brighton & Hove Way Association will be working with the City Park’s Tidy Up Team on Saturday 14 April to litter-pick the Woodingdean – Falmer Link Route shared path which runs parallel to the Falmer Road. Please come along to lend a hand, spectacular views guaranteed. A City Park’s Ranger will be on hand with all the gear. 10:00 till 12:00, meet at Bexhill Road car park on the edge of Woodingdean. Well served from central Brighton by the Brighton & Hove Buses No. 22. Alight at Downs Hotel and walk the short distance up Falmer Road or take a tour of Woodingdean and get off at Bexhill Road.
To sign up, please take one of our FREE tickets at Eventbrite and we’ll know to expect you and can stay in touch.
To find out more about how to volunteer with the Tidy Up Team, follow links at www.brightonandhoveway.org.uk.

Have your say on rights of way
Countryside access affects a wide range of people including local residents and visitors to the area. Walking and riding contributes to peoples’ well-being and helps reduce congestion and pollution. The city council is responsible for maintaining around 159km of public rights of way all over the city, and has recently published a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) setting out its 10 year plan.

Now local people are invited to have their say. The Rights of Way public consultation asks those with an interest in the countryside what they think of the council’s proposals to manage paths around the city. The Plan sets out how the council is planning to improve provision for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and those with mobility issues. Proposals also include plans to create more opportunities for volunteering and explore new funding sources.

To see a copy of the Brighton & Hove Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2017 – 2027 and take part in the consultation visit the Rights of Way pages at: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/rightsofway
The consultation closes on 18th May.

Keep in touch
If you haven’t discovered our new Brighton and Hove Way website please take a look and pass on the address. You will find info about our project to establish the Brighton & Hove Way as a recognised way-marked pathway; as well as maps of the route, links to our friends, and how to get involved. You can also keep in touch with the latest news through our Facebook Page.

Your support needed
We always welcome new supporters of the Brighton and Hove Way. If you are happy to receive the occasional email from us about Brighton & Hove Way please email brightonandhoveway@gmail.com saying “I support the B&H Way, and I’m happy to receive your occasional emails”, or complete the Contact Us form at www.brightonandhoveway.org.uk and Like us on Facebook.

Thank you for your support,

Pete West
Chair of Brighton & Hove Way Association
brightonandhoveway@gmail.com
www.brightonandhoveway.org.uk
www.facebook.com/brightonandhoveway/

Reported Crime Statistics January 2018

Sussex Police have released reported crime statistics for January 2018, 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:

December 2017 January 2018
All crime 67 69
Anti-social behaviour 18 13
Bicycle theft 1 4
Burglary 4 4
Criminal damage and arson 11 9
Drugs 1 2
Other crime 0 2
Other theft 6 4
Possession of weapons 0 0
Public order 2 5
Robbery 1 1
Shoplifting 0 1
Theft from the person 0 1
Vehicle crime 6 4
Violence and sexual offences 17 19

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