Graffiti Case Study – how Chichester dealt with its graffiti problem

From The Brighton Society

Almost three years ago, Chichester District Council invited the Brighton Society to meet the Council’s Community Development Officer to see what lessons could be learnt from Chichester’s experience of dealing with its graffiti problem.

Chichester Council’s campaign against graffiti began over fifteen years ago in response to quite severe graffiti problems in the Pallant Conservation Area. The Chief Executive at the time was very keen that the problem be addressed, and with strong support from the Councillors, provided a sufficiently adequate budget to make a start on dealing with the issue.

Their success can be judged by the evident embarrassment of our host that he was unable to find many examples of graffiti to show us in central Chichester.  Of the few we did see, three had been intentionally left as examples of acceptable graffiti – see a couple of examples below.

….he was unable to find many examples…..these had been intentionally left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full story.

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Valley Gardens roadworks to cause traffic ‘chaos’

From The Argus

An artist’s impression of the Valley Gardens scheme

Every southbound car entering Brighton’s central avenue will be squeezed into a single lane of traffic this summer. Two years of roadworks to redesign traffic flow and pedestrian access around Valley Gardens will begin as early as June.

The decision to start digging up one of the busiest roads in the city during the tourist season was criticised by tourism experts, traders, residents’ groups, public transport pressure groups, taxi companies and unions. Critics have predicted “chaos” and “gridlock” and raised the spectre of tailbacks radiating far beyond the centre of the city. The council said disruption would be mitigated wherever possible.

Meanwhile the roadworks surrounding the Shelter Hall development at the foot of West Street will not finish this summer as planned but will continue until at least next autumn. That development is now projected to cost twice its original £10 million budget, and the council is working on ways to come up with extra money from its own tight resources as well as from central Government.

On Tuesday 6th February, a meeting of the Greater Brighton Economic Board confirmed work on the £11 million Valley Gardens scheme would begin in June, although yesterday a Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said it “hoped” to start work on the highway “towards the end of summer”.

The first phase of the scheme will include closure of one of the two southbound lanes of traffic on the eastern side of Victoria Gardens from near St Peter’s Church. The Valley Gardens development seeks to open up the several, underused green spaces in the centre of the city from St Peter’s Church down to Old Steine.

At present the route is a one way system with two lanes running north, and two south. Once the redevelopment is complete, private vehicles will be restricted to the east of the gardens, with one lane northbound and one lane southbound. On the west, a much quieter road will carry just buses and taxis, northbound and southbound. Extra crossings, extra cycle lanes, and extensive planting and landscaping will make the area easier to access and enjoy on foot.

Yesterday the council said work and diversions would be well publicised and the main route would only occasionally be subject to complete closure.

Anne Ackord, who runs the Palace Pier and speaks for the Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance, said: “Summer is never the best time to start any disruption. We need to get people in to the city, and we know parking is a problem as it is, so you don’t want anything to get in the way of the best possible summer. At the pier, we’re doing refurbishment work and maintenance now, because it’s winter and it’s quiet. We wouldn’t schedule anything to start later than Easter, because then you damage business.”

Adam Chinnery, chairman of the Seafront Traders Association, said: “It seems very odd, when we get massive domestic tourism that comes right down that road in the summer. And we don’t get nearly as much during the winter. It would seem a lot better to do this kind of project in the winter.”

Steve Percy, chairman of the People’s Parking Protest, said: “It’s going to be an absolute nightmare. I fail to see why Valley Gardens is going to start at the beginning of the tourist season when in fact it should have been started at the end of the season. That’s just common sense.”

Peter Elvidge, secretary of Brighton Area Buswatch, said: “It’s absolutely not the right time of year. “It’s going to be chaos I imagine. The Valley Gardens scheme is going to narrow the road down to a single lane through the roadworks, which will cause huge traffic jams and that will spread throughout the city.”

John Streeter, of Streamline Taxis, said: “I can see this scheme backfiring big time. There’s going to be major tailbacks coming into the city. Summer weekends are very busy and this will have a major impact.”

GMB union branch secretary Mark Turner said: “That’s not very clever timing really is it? That’s the beginning of the summer season, it’s the most important for the city and we’re going to cause major disruption to traffic. It’ll be bad for local businesses – we’ll be saying ‘come to Brighton and be gridlocked’.”

Not everyone was so negative. Theatre Royal manager John Baldock said: “Whenever you did it it’s going to upset somebody. Anything that can improve the city is a good thing, it’s never going to be painless.”

The scheme – originally a Green idea – has cross-party support so opposition politicians have focused on whether the Labour administration will make it happen efficiently.

Green Party spokesman Councillor Pete West said: “My concern is the Labour administration can’t deliver this competently – their project management is not good.

“Once they’ve started digging up, they need to complete within the shortest timeframe to minimise disruption.” 

Conservative Party spokesman Councillor Lee Wares said: “It is essential the Labour administration carefully co-ordinate the construction phases to avoid interrupting all the events our city holds. With Shelter Hall now over-running by a year it is crucial that Labour don’t take their eye off the ball because if they do, it will be a disaster for the city.”

Labour Councillor Alan Robins, the administration’s lead member for tourism, said: “I knew it was going to start, I didn’t know the start date.”

Later in a council statement he said: “Brighton and Hove attracts up to 11 million visitors a year and our marketing activity already encourages visitors to come by train or use other forms of public transport, where possible, as we know that car travel is a major contributor to congestion and poor air quality.”

The Valley Gardens scheme is expected to take around two years.

Progress update – Springfield Road trees – February 2018

Many thanks once again to all those who donated to our campaign to preserve, protect and replace Springfield Road trees. It was a marvellous effort and no doubt those involved are wondering what happens now – so here is an update.

Since our crowdfunding campaign successfully closed we have been in close contact with the Council’s arboriculturalists who are checking which trees already need to be replaced, and assessing which trees are in danger. These sites once formally identified will therefore be preserved, we are assured, even if it takes a long while before actual replacement happens. The process will however be slow, as dead tree sites need in due course to be ‘ground out’ and we are told ordering trees happens at least a year in advance. For each site we will make the financial contribution from the funds raised as planned. It is possible we may see some replanting next spring, we are hoping for that, and certainly no later than the season after.

Looking longer term there has been much discussion about protecting our new trees when they arrive. All ideas are welcome, and Councillor Littman and residents are in discussion about how best to make sure saplings are not damaged by vehicles. All ideas are welcome.

When more is known, it will be posted as a further update on this site. Thank you once again to everyone who supported this.

Reported Crime Statistics December 2017

Sussex Police have released reported crime statistics for December 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:

November 2017 December 2017
All crime 57 67
Anti-social behaviour 14 18
Bicycle theft 2 1
Burglary 4 4
Criminal damage and arson 7 11
Drugs 2 1
Other crime 1 0
Other theft 4 6
Possession of weapons 0 0
Public order 3 2
Robbery 0 1
Shoplifting 0 0
Theft from the person 0 0
Vehicle crime 6 6
Violence and sexual offences 14 17

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

Happy New Year Fixsters!

Brighton Repair Café

Well, we are back and we are ready to help you learn how to repair your stuff!

We have a new venue for our January event… the wonderful Hanover Centre on Southover Street in Hanover.

We are trying out an earlier time of 10:30-12:30 so come and join us for some morning fixing.

We will be darning, sewing, glueing and opening up those broken electricals to see if they can be fixed too.

See you there Brighton!

BRCflyerHanvoverJAN18

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Stanmer Park Woodland Management and Protection

From BJOURNAL

Via: Dominic Alves (flickr)

 Stanmer Park’s woods are a great place to enjoy informal recreation but they are in poor condition.

The council has produced a plan to protect the woodland for the long term benefit of the city and is inviting the public to comment.

Find out more and make comments.

Public information sessions will be held on Thursday February 1 and Saturday 3 February 2018 at Stanmer Tea Rooms from 9am to midday.

The draft Woodland Management Plan has been produced by an independent forestry consultant on behalf of the council’s parks projects team.

Before submitting plans to the Forestry Commission, we are seeking the views of interested parties, including park users and residents. The council is hoping to submit the plan for approval by March 2018.

Via: Katariina Järvinen (flickr)

The draft plan sets out how the woodland can be managed over the next 10 years to

  • Maintain and preserve open access.
  • Build resilience against Ash Dieback and other diseases and ensure existing woodland cover is maintained.
  • Increase biodiversity and protect nationally and locally rare flora and fauna.
  • Produce semi commercial timber extraction of coppice products, wood fuel and timber.

The plan is also supporting the Stanmer Restoration Project HLF application by:

  • Protecting historical, archaeological, and environmental elements on the estate.
  • Providing related activities such as rural skills, forest schools and wood based produce.
  • Increasing the city’s offer for volunteering work such as coppicing, pollarding, scrub clearing and general woodland management practices.

Managing the woodland is an important part of the Stanmer Park Restoration project, a joint initiative between Brighton & Hove City Council, Plumpton College and South Downs National Park Authority and funded  by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) .

The plan can also be viewed in full on request at Hollingdean Depot Learning and Resource Centre (please contact the parks projects team 01273 294737 to arrange) and will be available at the Stanmer Tea rooms sessions.

The consultation closes on 12th February 2018.

Via: Dominic Alves (flickr)

Owners of polluting vehicles to pay more for parking permits

From Brighton & Hove News

People who own vehicles with higher emissions will have to pay 25% more for resident, business and traders parking permits under new charges set to come in this April.

Brighton and Hove City Council officers have recommended that there is no increase for standard permits – but permits for vehicles with more than 166g/km will go up by 25%, while the threshold for a low emissions 50% reduction will drop from 110g/km to 100g/km.

Click here for the full story.