Tag Archives: Brighton and Hove City Council

Winter 2017 – Spring 2018 Healthwalks Programme

From Corinna Edwards-Colledge –

Hello all

As winter approaches it’s good to know that there are still over 50 Healthwalks and Active for Life sessions in the city every week to help you keep active, get out in the fresh air and meeting new people.  All our Brighton & Hove City Council Healthy Lifestyle Team walks and sessions are free or subsidised and on public transport links.  There are walks and activities for all ages and abilities across the city, all delivered by our fantastic team of coaches and Volunteer Healthwalk Leaders.  The new Winter Programme is out now, and is valid from tomorrow till 30 April 2018.  Click on the link below to download it, if you have any problems with this please let me know:

Best wishes & 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 |Twitter: @HealthwalksBH.

Facebook: brightonhovehealthwalks.

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Walk the Brighton & Hove Way this weekend!

From Corinna Edwards-Colledge

What our Healthwalk Leader, Maire, doesn’t know about the places to walk in Brighton & Hove isn’t worth knowing!  From this Friday she is leading walks over 4 days (from Friday 20th October to Monday 23rd October) to cover the  18 mile length of the Brighton & Hove Way which was opened by the mayor in April.  Here are the details if you’d like to join her:

East Side – West Side Walk:

Each walk will be 4-5 miles in length and starts at 10.45am: 

  • Friday 20th October – from Saltdean Library (Buses 12, 12a, 14, 14c, 27 & 47) to Castle Hill car park (Buses 2, 2a & 22)
  • Saturday 21st October – from Castle Hill car park (off B2123 Falmer Road at junction with Bexhill Rd.  Buses 2, 2a & 22) to Upper Lodges car park (Stanmer Park) (79 bus*)
  • Sunday 22nd October – from Stanmer Park Upper Lodges (79 bus*) to Patcham (Buses 5 & 5a)
  • Monday 23rd October – from the junction of Vale Avenu& Church Hill, Patcham (5 & 5a)  to Portslade.

Best wishes

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

Twitter: @HealthwalksBH  Facebook: brightonhovehealthwalks

New recycling bins are ‘unsuitable’ for some

From The Argus

Recycling bins wheeled out across the city have been called “totally unsuitable for certain streets” after residents complained or requested replacements.

Brighton and Hove city councillors have voiced the concerns of residents who think the 240 litre grey wheelie bins “look dreadful”, are blocking pavements and causing a hazard for disabled or elderly people and those using pushchairs.

Wish ward councillors Robert Nemeth and Garry Peltzer Dunn have written to Geoff Raw, the council’s chief executive, addressing problems with the bins faced by residents in the Poets’ Corner area of Hove.

Councillor Nemeth said: “We received many complaints about the new grey bins. Residents felt they just turned up out of the blue.

“The message was lost in communication. We knocked on around 800 doors and just over 50 per cent answered.

“Issues raised include them being too heavy, people having no front gardens to store bins and steps getting in the way, the general communication and administration of the bins behind the scenes, younger residents leaving bins on pavements and we received many complaints from mothers with buggies.”

Brighton and Hove City Council replaced stackable black plastic tubs for recycled waste with the large wheelie bins in June as part of a £1.1 million roll out, after trial schemes showed the larger bins increased recycling rates by four per cent.

Councillor Peltzer Dunn said: “People didn’t know what they were going to be getting so it was difficult to say they didn’t want it.

“We have heard comments from people saying that councils are only good for rubbish.

“It is not the majority but the minority who are concerned.”

The letter from both councillors states: “Houses on Stoneham Road, for example, are fronted by a narrow strip garden with waist-height walls along the pavement and knee-height walls along front paths.

“As the default bin is the larger size, tens of residents have requested a smaller replacement.

“Some residents have found it necessary to get rid of their grey wheelie bins entirely.

“We have had many reports of obstructions including one report from a disabled wheelchair user who had to turn around and go all the way back to the bottom of a street because her way was blocked entirely.”

Dick Page, ward councillor for Hanover and Elm Grove, said the “pavement clutter” causing obstructions was not just confined to Poets’ Corner.

About 45,000 bins have already been delivered out of the planned 60,000.

£300m plan to regenerate Preston Barracks approved

From The Argus

The £300 million transformation of a Georgian barracks site is set to go ahead after developers were given planning permission.

The University of Brighton proposal was unanimously approved by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee yesterday.

Developers U+I will carry out the work to regenerate Preston Barracks in Lewes Road and the university’s Moulsecoomb campus.

The regeneration of Preston Barracks is predicted to generate £500 million for the city economy and create around 1,500 jobs, according to the university’s vice chancellor Debra Humphris.

Plans for the site, which has been derelict for 20 years, include building 369 homes, 1,338 student bedrooms and a new home for the university’s business school before 2021.

Professor Humphris said: “The university has been part of the city for 150 years.

“This development will go a considerable way to reducing pressure on local housing and reduce the need for cars and travel.

“We are committed to improving sustainability. It will provide a stunning new gateway into the city.”

The designs have undergone months of public consultation resulting in a number of objections. Among them are questions over the project’s viability, air pollution created by increased car parking and traffic, transport and congestion, lack of affordable housing and the effect it will have on Saunders Park View and Coombe Road residents.

During the meeting yesterday, Rebecca Barkaway, a member of the Coombe Road Area Local Action Team, said: “We are being transformed into the university’s campus.

“In an area that is already overwhelmed by a student community this just seems a step too far.

“We want to see investment in local provisions.

“We believe the 369 non-student houses should have a covenant placed on them so they don’t become HMOs.

“We also want to see money spent on improving the Saunders Park area.”

Environmental campaign group Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) objected to the proposed increase in parking across the development.

The group argued it would lead to increased traffic and air pollution. The group claimed that if built the development would keep air pollution levels above the legal limit.

More than 400 responses were received supporting the development before the meeting.

The original proposal was revised to include 19 additional homes, a reduction in the height of certain buildings, additional community facilities and a transport plan.

A new pedestrian bridge across Lewes Road will be built as well as new squares and crossings which are designed to improve pedestrian access.

Cycle docks and more than 1,000 cycle parking spaces are included in the plans, as well as 30 spaces for bicycles used as part of the city’s new bike hire scheme.

In March, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner requested more money to cover the cost of more officers and staff set up costs, investment in IT operations, additional vehicles and the cost of supporting additional officers, as a result of the proposed development.

Andy Taylor, who represented the commissioner at the meeting, repeated the submission for £217,336 to fund the cost of extra policing to accompany the development.

The planning committee agreed not to support the request for more money to fund extra policing.

Richard Upton, deputy chief executive of U+I, said: “This is a major milestone for the Preston Barracks project, one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration projects to have been brought forward in Brighton for a number of years.

“We have the opportunity to transform this area of Brighton, which has been derelict for 20 years and deliver a huge number of benefits to the local community and the wider city.

“Our Circus Street project is also moving forward at great pace, regenerating another important part of the city.

“We will deliver world class, imaginative urban design on each project, building on the bohemian audacity of the Prince Regent and leaving a lasting legacy that befits such an inspirational city.”

School catchment area consultation starts

From The Argus

School Catchment Map

Parents dismayed at the prospect of shrinking catchment areas for popular schools are considering moving house for the sake of their children’s education.

Changes being discussed next week may mean pupils starting secondary education in 2019 are no longer eligible for the school their parents had expected them to start at.

In some cases parents The Argus spoke to said they had moved homes to be in a certain school’s catchment area.

On Monday, Brighton and Hove City Council’s Children, Young People and Skills committee will debate catchment area changes proposed by a cross-party working committee. Councillors are expected to approve the plans to go to a public consultation this autumn.

The changes are necessary in part because the opening of an anticipated secondary free school has been delayed.

A bulge in the school-age population is making popular schools in the centre of the city, especially Dorothy Stringer and Varndean, increasingly oversubscribed while outlying schools have more capacity.

The changes will affect children starting Year 7 in 2019 and take into account factors including accessibility and whether children have older siblings at a school. They are anticipated to only last for two years.

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is expected to open the Brighton and Hove Academy at the Brighton General Hospital site in September 2019, although the school will operate without a catchment area in its first year.

The changes affect four main geographical areas. In the west of the city, part of the Hove Park / Blatchington Mill catchment area (map above, purple) will instead feed into the Portslade Aldridge Brighton Academy.

In the north, the bright green area switches from the Stringer/Varndean catchment to Patcham High.

In the centre, the two dark green strips will change from Stringer/Varndean to Hove Park/Blatchington.

And in Elm Grove, the area coloured fuchsia on the map is also removed from Stringer/Varndean and instead pupils will be most likely to head to Longhill School.

A statement issued jointly by committee chairman Councillor Dan Chapman, Labour, and committee opposition spokeswoman Councillor Vanessa Brown, Conservative, reads: “We want to be able to offer families greater clarity about which secondary school their child may go to. Our catchment area based system has largely served the city well since it was introduced in 2008. However, increases in secondary pupil numbers mean some catchment areas no longer have enough places for each child in their area.

“Until the new school opens we need to make light-touch temporary adjustments to our catchment areas to make things work better. Whatever proposals are put forward by the forthcoming committee will be subject to extensive public consultation before a final decision is made in the New Year.”

The city’s two secondary faith schools, Cardinal Newman and King’s, have their own admissions arrangements and are not affected by these proposals.

Ruth Sharma is a full time mum whose house in Hartington Road, Brighton, is in the very centre of the patch fated to switch from Stringer/Varndean to Longhill. She moved to the property with her husband six years ago in part because of its location in the sought-after catchment area.

Her son Zac is currently in year five at Elm Grove school so would be one of only two years of schoolchildren directly affected by the proposal should it be approved at council and by the subsequent public consultation.

Mrs Sharma said: “That’s really bad news, it’s very disappointing. Dorothy Stringer is great, but my opinion of Longhill is that it’s not great and the new school, well it’ll be new. And it’ll be quite a long way away.

“We thought about moving out of the area but we decided to stay because we’re in the right catchment area for the schools.

“But this could move the needle, we could even think about moving out of the area because of this.”

By law admissions arrangements have to be agreed 18 months in advance, meaning decisions on 2019 admissions need to be made by early 2018.

IT DOMINATES SCHOOL GATE CONVERSATIONS

THERE are a lot of slightly negative buzzwords used to describe the middle-class parents found at the school gates of Elm Grove Primary and behind the well-maintained doors of the hills of Hanover.

“Sharp-elbowed” is one, “yummy mummies” another.

Really all these pointed comments mean is that, like all of us in our own way, this a community which puts its children first.

And in an area where a modest three-bedroom terrace sells for more than half a million pounds, these parents have invested heavily in maximising their children’s chances of going to the best schools.

But now, changes to catchment areas which will affect children starting secondary school in 2019 and 2020 are in danger of leaving the morning’s muesli spilled all over the kitchen floor.

The plans have been submitted by a cross-party working group of the Brighton and Hove City Council’s young people education and skills committee and seek to solve the problem of oversubscription of good schools in the centre of the city while a new secondary school which will alleviate overcrowding is created.

The plans, if approved on Monday and passed by public consultation, would move this neighbourhood from the Dorothy Stringer and Varndean catchment to the Longhill catchment.

Dorothy Stringer and Varndean were both rated “good” by Ofsted in their latest inspection.

Indeed, Dorothy Stringer was even listed by society magazine Tatler as one of the top 20 most desirable state schools in the country. Earlier this year the magazine wrote: “It’s not only the ‘coolest’ but also the ‘best in town’.”

To the east, Longhill School was told it “required improvement” by inspectors.

The difference is not lost on parents of school-age children.

Anna Challacombe, 40, is a vegan yoga mat designer who is currently renting a property for herself and her three young children in Eastern Road, having searched without success to find a suitable location in Hanover.

She said: “I’m thinking of moving to Hanover but this will definitely affect my decision.”

She has been eyeing the relocation with the express intention of moving her ten-year-old son and six-year-old twins from the Longhill to the Stringer/Varndean catchment areas.

She said: “I had better make sure I move to the right area. If I moved now I’d be really conscious of where I’d be looking to rent or buy.

“Rental values will be affected and it’s hard enough already.

“The area you want is going to be smaller. It’s going to be harder and more expensive for me to find somewhere. All the people who would be looking across the road will be looking over here.”

Ruth Sharma, a Hartington Road resident whose son may be directly affected by the changes, said: “It’s not great, is it. That’s really bad news, it’s very disappointing.”

She moved to the street six years ago, choosing the location because its place in the catchment area of sought-after schools.

She explained: “We thought about moving out of the area but we decided to stay because we’re in the right catchment area for the schools. But this could move the needle, we could even think about moving out of the area because of this. This could tip the balance.”

Tamlyn Smithers, a supply teacher at Brighton College, has a seven-year-old son at Elm Grove.

They live in the area designated for the Stringer/Longhill change but she is not yet concerned. She said: “Schools have reputations but by the time he goes there’ll be a different head teacher, hopefully there’ll be a different government. There are people wondering whether we should we move, should we be trying to move? But I’m not considering that yet. I’m going to try and wait and see the lay of the land for my boy.”

She said conversations at the school gate had been dominated by talk of the proposals. She said: “This is affecting friends of mine with older kids. People have been really concerned. With what we pay to live here, it’s a nice area with nice schools, but that doesn’t mean we have no social conscience about everyone else’s quality of life.”

Streets Ahead

Bike rental scheme to launch on 1 September

From The Argus

Brighton’s bike rental scheme will launch on September 1.

A total of 450 bikes will be stationed around the city for the start of the month at 30 docking stations.

A further 20 stations are still to be built.

The scheme, which is officially titled BTN BikeShare, has cost £1.45 million with Brighton and Hove City Council contributing £290,000.

To use the bikes customers will have to sign up via the official app or online – with registration already open.

The bicycles will cost the equivalent of 3p per minute to use, but there is a minimum of £1 per journey, meaning that an hour’s ride on the bike will cost £1.80.

Regular users can also get a year’s subscription for £72. However, this does not allow unlimited cycling and only allows the use of the bikes for one hour every day for the year.

The scheme is being operated by a company called Hourbike.

Owner Tim Caswell, said: “The scheme will be a very positive addition to the city, and has already largely been embraced by the community. We have seen how successful our bike share schemes have been in Reading, Oxford, and Liverpool – and these are cities that don’t have the same green credentials as Brighton and Hove, or the same bike technology.”

Speaking to The Argus, he added: “There’s a real buzz about Brighton and Hove and we are incredibly excited to be launching here”.

The majority of the docking stations are along the seafront, up towards the station and then further out towards the universities.

The bikes, which are designed by Social Bicyles (SoBi), are sponsored by Life Water UK. They feature a locking and GPS system meaning that cyclists will not have to find a docking hub to lock them up.

Among the groups to back the scheme is Coast to Capital.

Chief executive Jonathan Sharrock said: “The scheme will deliver a multitude of environmental and health benefits, create new jobs and provide an excellent green transport option.”