Argus Alerts – December 2022


Argus Alerts

For the last couple of years one of our members has been writing regular synopses of relevant news items published in The Argus to inform the committee of items of interest on a day to day basis.

As these form a useful historical record as well as being informative (and often include asides which are both pertinent and entertaining), we have decided to post them on the members’ page on the Brighton Society website exclusively for Society members.

Because they represent only the views of the author we make no claims about the accuracy or otherwise of the reports, but trust that the wider membership will find them as informative and entertaining as the committee have over the last 24 months.

The notes often include abbreviations.  The commonest of these are:

PMacC or Phelim C            Phelim Mac Cafferty (Green cllr, council leader)

ETS cttee                               Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee

P&R                                        Policy & Resources committee

TECC cttee                           Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee

LGA                                        Local Government Association



BADGE                                  Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers.
Friday 30

Cover, page 4  Pub plan for manor house. £150m scheme includes opening listed gardens. First look plans Moulsecoomb Place. House restored and converted to a pub. Several student halls demolished and four new accommodation blocks constructed for 566 students. A pub, community hub and social club in manor house and tithe barn. Event space with guest rooms. Listed gardens redeveloped and opened to public with “well-maintained” planting, places to sit and easily accessible pathways linking gardens with new buildings and restored heritage sites. Year round events program to bring local community together. Richard Upton, CEO of developer Cathedral, said intend to deliver exceptional sustainable lively and more accessible place, great benefit to local community and wider city. Feedback from local businesses, community groups and residents was crucial to help establish what would work on complex site, underused for many years, lot of local support for our proposals. Site was frequently visited by Prince Regent, had his own bedroom there. More student housing will help address 4,000 student bedroom shortfall and release affordable family homes in the city. Plans in. [We are not told what the net increase in student bedrooms will be once existing halls demolished.]
Page 6  Bus company puts £2 cap on all tickets. From Jan 1 to March 31, all B&H bus journeys as far as Tunbridge Wells. Part of government scheme. Aimed to take 2m car journeys off the road. Compass Travel and Big Lemon also taking part. 
Page 7  New college announces its founding principal. Ovingdean Hall, previously school for deaf children. To be Oxford International College Brighton, opening next September. Independent 6th form college for day pupils and boarders. [Sounds like university crammers]
Page 9  Council defends new bike hire company following bad reviews. Beryl, the company appointed, gets poor ratings on TrustPilot and GooglePlay. Score of under 2 stars, with 72% of the 47 reviews giving one star. Difficulties using the app, problems locking the bikes after use and still being charged after use. “Absolutely abysmal.”  Shocking experience. But Beryl says it has 4.5 star rating with App Store based on 3,200 reviews. Council is very confident. Beryl CEO Phil Ellis gives himself a rave review. 
Page 10  Argus Comment. Bus fare scheme welcome, should be cheaper prices all the time, and on the trains too. Obvious huge environmental benefit. Lots would travel by train along the coast if it was cheaper than a car. 
Thursday 29
Cover, page 2  Victory for the starlings. Overjoyed campaigners say record petition should save the murmurations. More than 118,000 signed petition calling on council to ban use of harmful chemicals on city’s downland estates and make concerted effort to reduce noise and light pollution. The city’s new Downland Estate Plan speaks consistently about transitioning to regenerative agriculture and away from toxic 20C farming systems. Also supports biodiversity, restoring chalk grassland habitats and protecting chalk aquifers. And restoring natural light in the estate by reducing light pollution.. Steve Geliot, one of co-founders of Save Our Starlings, says can all celebrate very positive progress. [Let’s hope someone tells the starlings]
Page 5  A league table – last of the year?  The city that never sleeps. Brighton has most night owls in UK with most late night takeaway ordering. So say Deliveroo. Leicester comes second. But only third when it comes to ordering sauces to go with the food. 
Page 7  Revealed, the city streets blighted by flytipping. More than 1300 incidents over the year, council told the Argus under an FOI request. Top ten worst were Regency Square, Kingsway, Saunders Park View, Ditchling Road, Ditchling Rise, Hollingbury Road, Preston Road, Whippingham Road, Bear Road and Bonchurch Road. In year to March 2021 fines totalled £343,000. Uses money to improve removal service and install CCTV. Leaving unwanted items on pavement in hope others will take it away or reuse it is flytipping. 
Page  10  Argus comment. Raise a toast for the salvation of our spectacular starlings. The Argus is pleased and heart-warmed. 
Page 12 Seafront pool reveals prices. Sea Lanes – initial offer of £45 pcm has sold out. Now, it’s £50 pcm for a 12 month contract, or rolling month by month it’s £55 pcm. No joining fee until next April, will then be £35. 
Wednesday 28
Cover, page 4  ‘Good value for money’  Council defends spending £25,000 on artwork for historic Madeira Terrace. Images of illuminated neon tube graffiti-like objects fixed to walls. Some have commented the money could have been put to better use. Council say it has “made a big difference to how that part of the seafront feels at night”.  It will attract more residents and visitors to the area over the winter months. It’s new low energy lighting! Designed to be reused over a five-year period during future phases of the Terrace restoration or elsewhere. So £5000 per year, really good value. [Plus summer storage, maintenance, installation costs, etc perhaps]  “It is now a well-accepted principle of urban design that public art contributes to a community’s identity, fosters community pride and a sense of belonging.” [Discuss.]
Page 6  Light relief section. Bizarre questions guests made to Travelodge staff.  Where is Brighton rock?  What time can we feed the stingrays in the Aquarium?  What time are The Lanes performing?  My son wants to DJ with Fatboy Slim, can you organise it?  Can you take my large amethyst crystal to the beach at 7am to be recharged by the sun? Can you arrange for my husband to have breakfast with The Seagulls? Do I need a passport to travel on the BA i360? What time does the i360 take off?  And a customer in London wanted to know if the London Eye could be changed to rotate anti-clockwise.
Page 8  Political parties gear up for battle ahead of local elections. May 2023. Three main parties vying for votes plus a group of independent candidates under the “Brighton and Hove Independents” umbrella. Bridget Fishleigh working hard to increase number of independents on council and says a number of candidates have been lined up. 
Page 11 Andy Winter. Irrelevant but still.  For several years wrote in the Argus about my New Year resolutions. Never received any feedback, so decided to write something silly – I am Type 2 diabetic, have had to cut out all sweet stuff and really miss lemon drizzle cake. Speculated on whether there are recipes for diabetic lemon drizzle cake. Inundated, biggest response have ever received, proved one thing, much more interest in food and cakes than in all more worthy pieces I have written. 
Page 12 Long wait for allotment. If want one, got to pay £18.24 admin charge to go onto the waiting list that can be 7 years long. All allotments in city currently full. Average waiting time 3/4 years, longer for smaller ones. Are 500 people on waiting list for Weald Avenue site in Hove. 
Your chance to sponsor a South Downs landmark. The Long Man of Wilmington needs restoration. Can sponsor it by buying a brick to be used in the design. Can then also help with the work if you want to. Needs 770 bricks and you’ll get a certificate – £30 for 12 months from Sussex Past website.
Saturday 24
Page 4  Theatre “will be back to original splendour”, bosses reassure people. Some concerned about what changes will entail. Façade will be replaced like for like. “We want to reassure everyone are no plans to close the Colonnade pub. We absolutely appreciate how important it is to local community. Undertaking a 12 month multi£££££ programme of rebuilding and restoration. Pub is integral part of theatre and the façade. Disruption to be minimised.”  Declined to give any further details. Tributes flowed in from customers. Manager bothered. 
Page 6  Anger grows over bus diversion for revamp.  More than 250 people have signed petition over buses being diverted along Upper North Street while work carried out in Western Road [We are not told whether the petition is pro or anti the diversion!] Retired doctor Gillian Durham not happy about “half a million” buses on Upper North Road. Air quality and increased traffic on narrow road. Wholly unreasonable, substantial health and safety issues, damage to heritage homes currently protected by 7.5 tonne weight limit. Consultation defective as did not include how council intended to implement the works. Those responding would have assumed two-way traffic would be managed in Western Road using temporary traffic lights. Was no reference to diversion on Upper North Street. She found a map which does not show Upper North Street or Montpelier Terrace. Are concerns about increased number of large vehicles in the Montpelier and Clifton Hill CA. Work has started, bus diversions due to start on 9 Jan.
New neon artwork unveiled on seafront. To “delight residents and visitors” over the winter months. Electric Garden at Madeira Terrace. Andy Doig inspired by plants that grow beneath the arches. Garden of sculpted glass tubes to echo and highlight the existing plant growth, will be lit 4.00pm-10.00pm every day. Made by hand from recycled glass. Commissioned by council, to form part of new art programme for terrace called Otherworlds. First phase to provide soft lighting to illuminate the area for the winter months. Will then be retained and used again. It is part of the first phase of the Madeira Terrace restoration project.
Page 8 Season of Goodwill to All Section:  Arrests after umbrella fight at shops.   OK, it was in Eastbourne, what can one expect. 
Thursday 22
Page 4  Late-night licence for new theatre cafe bar. Dome Studio Theatre bar can stay open till midnight. Police and council licensing officials objected, breached council’s own policy for busy centre where rules aimed at reducing crime and disorder. Area troubled by street drinkers. 800 incidents within 300 yards in one year. Licensing panel told will be no bar, expected to sit at table and order from waiter. Wanted a cafe licence, so people leaving a show can have a glass of wine without a full meal. Not a pub. Panel said were exceptional circumstances. Would be strong oversight by the Dome. Primarily a food-led operation and terms of lease stipulate this. Exceptional features of the applicants, charity activities etc etc and local support. 
Page 8  Anger over 5G mast plan for treasured green space. Triangle at junction of Loder and Balfour Roads, near schools, grass used by children. Many objections. Government says decisions should be made quickly because of importance of good digital connectivity and is no credible evidence of damage to human health. Many objectors want to save the green space, avoid street clutter and visual impact detriment. Do not industrialise residential areas. It’s not a grass verge it’s a small green space. [The Brighton Society planted a tree on one of the triangles of grass going up Balfour Road, I can’t remember if it was this junction or one of the others, I’ll check next time I go that way. We must ensure it is not damaged!]
Page 10 Letters. Why don’t cllrs find paid employment? – asks Eric Waters. Re comment by cllr Carmen Appich that “even city cllrs are using food banks” – no names. May be ones who complain that it is hard to manage on their cllr’s “pay” overlooking that allowances and expenses ranging from £13,000 to £46,000 pa are not intended to be “a living wage”. Position of cllr is a service and not a job. A better use of their time might be to find paid employment to boost taxpayers’ cash they receive, would allow food bank provisions to go to those who really are struggling and have no other income. 
Page 11 more letters.  Silent treatment – Spencer Carvil commiserates with Rita McCormack of Upper North Road worried about buses being routed along it. She has witnessed the silent treatment council uses to ignore complaints. Many schemes to obstruct, some causing safety issues, others just to close down roads for pedestrian areas to be installed. Only way is to vote them out before do any more damage.
Cover, page 4  Theatre bar in closure threat. Staff fear beloved pub will be lost in redevelopment. Colonnade in New Road, attached to the Theatre Royal. They say theatre has decided to throw them out, closing next June; Ambassador Theatre group say will be redeveloping the theatre building and “has no plans to close the Colonnade pub”. No further details given. Staff say plan is to incorporate the pub into a new front of house area. Built in 1806 – one of Brighton’s oldest. Unique and much loved. “Need us to close so they can do a poor job of serving more people at horrendously slow, poorly stocked and overpriced bars.” 

Page 5  i360 to default on latest loan repayment… again. £900,000 due this month not going to be paid. “Particularly challenging” last quarter of the year, declining visitors due to cost of living. All parties meeting to discuss it. Board of i360 in active discussions with senior council officers. Strong first half of year, paid £700,000. Numbers holding up better than others are, so when things get better things will get better [not exactly verbatim] 
Page 7  Hopes King could be at fountain ceremony.  Calls for King to be invited to switch on the Victoria Fountain, as he did when Prince of Wales in 1995. Cllr Carol Theobald thinks it would be “fitting”. Hope council will invite him. No commitments from any of the involved parties. 
Page 10 Letters. Proposals not thought through, says Rob Heale of Chatham Place. Proposed changes to Western Road, “Green” council administration fail to think through the consequences of traffic schemes, can have wider implications for people. Displacement of traffic, re-routing buses/taxis, issues for residential streets. Surely possible to do it with less disruption by adapting the existing crossing and road layout.  Parts can be done in stages without disruption. Improvements to layouts could be more limited and implemented in evenings. Access needs to be properly thought out. Should consider these issues, consult properly, minimise disruptions and use space imaginatively. Another traffic scheme that is likely to cause more problems than it sets out to achieve [Um… I think we know what he means.] Better to adapt what we have, and cheaper. 
A simple choice, says Eric Waters. Concern over garage development in Trafalgar Street. New occupants might complain about live music from pub next door. No sense to me – obvious that purchasers must either accept the fact or not take the risk of sleepless nights. Like moving to Brighton and complaining about seagulls, who have been here for 30 million years. Prince Albert pumping pints since 1860. Don’t like gulls? Don’t like noisy pubs? Don’t move to Brighton.
Page 11 View from the Greens. PMacC.  Local government settlement revealed this week. How much funding council will receive over next financial year from central govt. Down £2m.  No more “efficiencies”  to be made. Given only 2 months notice, due to chronic delays and chaos over the summer. Demand for services never higher. To force more cuts is a massive dereliction of responsibility. [More. Thurrock and Croydon declared bankrupt.]
Wednesday 21 

Page 8  Market Diner in Circus Street up for sale. Liquidators called in. Legendary for gut-busting fry-ups. It is hoped a new owner will keep it open.  Advertised as offering “no-frills home-cooked food to a huge range of customers”. Get it for £180,000 with “captive market” in the new development.
Garage next to listed pub goes on the market. Trafalgar Street. At centre of controversial plans to build shop units and holiday lets. £2m.  Next to Prince Albert, grade ll listed, with live music. Huge number of protests to planning application. 
Page 10 Letters. Fountain deserves to be properly restored to glory, says Eric Waters. Began pumping jets of water in 1846 but fell into sorry state. Restored in 1990 and in 1995 work completed and Prince Charles as president of the Fountain Society, unveiled a plaque. It lasted 147 years before needing first restoration, but after much money lavished on it by council and English Heritage, was out of action again 27 years later. Hopefully new work will last somewhat longer. 
Page 11 more letters. Weed issues – Spencer Carvil of Egginton Road. A few years back a TV documentary did a stimulation [!! I think he means simulation]  programme to see how long nature would take to reclaim a large city if abandoned. Surprising how quickly. Weeds begin the process, then dust and rain gather creating a new island of earth, grass takes hold followed by seeds of shrubs and trees. Grass cutting spreads weed seeds. Any farmer will tell you cannot allow weeds to grow as will cost you more in the end. Our Green Party marches on with stubborn arrogance, oblivious to why we need good house-keeping. Origins of weed problem were neglect and bad management following poor decisions. 
Tuesday 20 
Page 4  New improved bike share scheme on cards. Previous one scrapped for technical reasons. New deal agreed with micromobility provider Beryl. New fleet, at least 60% electric and more improvements. They seem to have a track record.
Page 8  Readers have their say on new pool’s prices. 350 readers voted in a poll. 70% too expensive, about 25% about right, 30 said would pay more. Sea Lanes say they want it to be sustainable. Have researched other facilities and have rising utility prices.
Page 10 Letters.  Grave concerns about “Green” council’s decision. Rita McCormack of Upper North Street very upset to have all eastward buses routed along Upper North Street for up to 2 years to allow upgrading Western Road. No consultation. Why so long? No consideration of effect on Regency houses in a CA. Pollution, vibration. Council has failed to answer meaningfully residents’ objections. Starting in early January. Clear plans fully formed by time we were notified in November. We urgently solicit support for vehement opposition particularly from conservation and heritage organisations and right thinking individuals in city that prides itself on its green credentials. 
What happens now? asks Laura King and Gary Ayling of Fs of B&H Cit.Action Gp  Re exodus of Labour cllrs not standing at next election, including 2 current leaders and 2 immediate past leaders. Of 20 elected last time, only 8 have not left party, been expelled or decided to stand down. The 20 signed a “coalition” with the Greens called the memorandum of understanding. Since then have voted together on every controversial policy. City has gone to ruin, seems to push through everything residents do not want. What next? With architects of “coalition” gone, will 8 remainers stick with it or walk away? Electors deserve to know before the election. FsofB&HCAG are against it, it was introduced undemocratically without voters’ prior knowledge and has had damaging impact on city and accountability. We formed our action group [does anyone know who they are? How many in group?]  primarily over Madeira Drive closure but now stand up for residents on many issues. All citizens should take a look at all the party manifestos before vote in next election to see if policies have changed, or will be more of the same. 
Monday 19 

Page 3  Repair work begins on historic fountain in city centre.  Victoria Fountain. To be completed in time for the coronation. Temporary work has been carried out to make it safe, but now it will be restored. It will be dismantled and refurbished off-site, then re-erected with intricate electrics and waterworks. A council spokesman says that the stones at the base of the fountain are not original to structure but are sedimentary rocks covered in a concrete slurry and will be reinstated once the fountain is back in situ.  
Page 5  Cheapest flat in Brighton, one room and bathroom 19sq.m. in St George’s Place sold at auction for £109,000
Page 8  Officials told: call the police in bike hangar row. Workers challenged by the public told to call police. Tories and Labour called for a detailed report on bike hangars at council meeting. Policy brought in “by the back door”. Zealous approach risked alienating those who would otherwise support “active travel”. Cllr Robert Nemeth said scheme had not had proper scrutiny. Unbeautiful objects springing up in inappropriate places. Transport cttee well used to debating controversial issues but cycle hangars haven’t had a proper public airing. Cons and Lab voted for a report to be presented to ETS cttee. 
Page 10  Argus comment. Restoring Victoria Fountain to it’s [Sic – ouch – shame] former glory. Repair of awkward and visible reminder of Leaning Tower of Brighton. Let’s hope new year will see work begin on Madeira Terraces so can be enjoyed again. Perhaps, combined with council’s efforts to crack down on graffiti, 2023 can be the year where everyone’s pride in the city can be fully restored, along with our historic monuments. 
Page 11 Letters please. Plea from the Argus for more readers to get in touch. Share your opinion. email with letter in the body of the email, not an attachment.
Page 12  Sea Lanes defends £45 a month membership deal.  Vox pop indignant. Unaffordable for average working public. It’s meant to be for everyone, especially local people, was looking forward to taking the grandchildren. Others said missing the point, it’s not a leisure pool for families, it’s the National Open Water swimming centre. People using facility may use it several times a week. Operators say it’s reasonable. Present price a special offer, will increase after 500 paid up.
Page 18  Housing budget expected to be £1m in the red… how did it happen? asks Con cllr Anne Meadows. Overspend revealed at P&R cttee after her request for a report last November was refused. “Green/Lab coalition have spent it on youth services, spending a lot in city centre but less in outlying areas where council estates are. How are young supposed to get into city centre to access new buildings and services?”  She also said the council was subsidising tenants in new properties from the rents paid by existing tenants, to ensure they pay only 27.5% rent compared with market rate, increasing incrementally, could be £1m this year, £2m next and so on. And paying over the odds for in-house services. “Perhaps tenants should know coalition is raiding their account for their own pet projects, don’t know what consequences for tenants will be. “
Saturday 17 
Page 11 Tory Talk. Steve Bell. A tale of two councils on tackling weeds.  Brighton banned weedkiller after lobbying by The Pesticide Action Network without a credible alternative. Two summers of weeds, pavements blocked, trip hazards and injured dogs. Three council staff employed to weed 900km of pavements – impossible. Trying to find contractors to do it manually at cost of ££££. Damages have had to be paid out for injuries. Failure in statutory duty. Long term cost of replacing broken paving stones yet to come. But in East Sx – were also lobbied – resisted – kept on with weedkiller whilst trialled other methods. They have 3,000km of pavements. Foam steam treatments – several advantages but needs 3 separate applications, 16 times more expensive. Non-starter. “Reactive call-outs” – council removes manually where is a health or safety risk or risk of damage to infrastructure. Volunteer scheme – we won’t spray your road if you agree to weed it yourself. Were provided with equipment and training. Decision is that it needs further study. Will carry on spraying pro tem. Brighton – knee jerk and poorly thought out, now behind the eight-ball. But ESxCC [could they be Tory led, I wonder?]have followed an evidence based approach, saving residents ££££ [but still using toxic chemicals]and “have set the scene for incremental improvements in the future”.  This is why Tories are much better than anyone else etc etc. 
Page 12  Tonnes of shingle moved to bolster flood defences. Two Olympic swimming pools worth of shingle excavated and moved to protect from flooding. From Shoreham Fort to eroded area at Lancing Beach Green. Part of Environment Agency’s work to protect properties from coastal flooding. 
Page 16  Results of new weedkiller trials to be assessed amid health fears.  The Argus’s report of what Steve Bell’s article is about – pretty much identical so won’t report it again. But lacking the political plug. They need further assessment of the long term impact of the schemes, and the hot summer slowed weed growth.
Friday 16  

Cover, Pages 4,5 Minister slams Southern Water. Poor performer warned it ‘must up its game’.  Long article by Water Minister Rebecca Pow about Southern Water’s poor performance. It is under-performing in ten of the 12 metrics measured in the Ofwat report. Chief Exec Lawrence Godsen says they have a new majority investor, and have improvement plans.
Page 6  Hidden gem added to National Heritage list. 1920s sunken garden at White Lodge in Roedean, designed by Lutyens, has been added to Historic England’s national heritage list. In 2015 the house was recognised by the city council for its architectural and historical interest [Does that mean Local Listing?]  
Page 9  Calls for stricter regime to save protected trees from being axed. Cllr Bridget Fishleigh asking for a report for EST cttee to ensure the council’s enforcement policy is clear when trees covered by a TPO are removed without consent. If protected, is a criminal offence to cut it down or damage it. Can be a big fine, up to £20,000 in Magistrates Court, unlimited in Crown Court. To include guidance for residents and developers, and on rules about replacement trees on private land. Have been sites where protected and mature trees removed or damaged where developers plan to build. Three sites in Ovingdean. Station Approach, Falmer.  She’s been told council prefers to negotiate rather than use the courts. Appreciate there are evidential and public interests tests to be met. This motion aims to give council officers a clear direction that this soft-touch approach is no longer acceptable. 
Page 10 Letters  What exactly is he doing for tourism in the city?  Asks Mark Williams of Brighton. After reading about Geoff Raw’s value, looked at other executive directors, assistant directors and heads of departments employed. Staggering. And the pay scales… Pick one – Mark Fisher, the assistant director of culture, tourism and sport. What does the head of tourism achieve? Pool Valley coach station desolate, walk from station greeted by beggars, graffiti and litter. Public toilets closed or disgusting. Friendly easy road system in and out of city? Done best to restrict and frustrate movement of road users except buses, bikes and taxis. Tail-backs from bus and cycle lanes. Bus gates to trap visitors unfamiliar with roads. Most expensive parking outside London. Look at Old Steine gardens, even fountain doesn’t work. A Tourist Information Office? What place with tourism as a major factor doesn’t have one – Brighton. Why paying him over £80,000 pa to promote tourism? 
Argus Comment. Southern Water. Quotes large chunk of Lawrence Godsen’s various promises, for the record. They always say they’re sorry, hope they don’t have to say it again. Quick search shows they said sorry in September this year, January 2020, September and August 2019 and several other times. 
Page 18  Developer slammed for its ‘measly’ approach.  Plans for development of St Dunstans. Indep. cllr Bridget Fishleigh took aim at developer, the James Taylor Group, for obligation to include affordable housing. Another cllr said developer expected a profit of £7m on the £35m scheme. Project to be delayed for further talks to try to obtain a better deal on affordable housing. She blasted them at the S.Downs Nat. Park Authority’s planning cttee. Knew when bought it what requirement was. Price they paid should have reflected it and included in business plan. If overpaid, or reconfiguring interior more expensive, that’s their problem. Measly £500,000 affordable housing contribution, with a possible additional £500,000 is less than what one of the largest flats will fetch. Clear breach of policy. Half should be affordable. They say none. Cllr Fishleigh also asked for none to be sold as second homes or holiday lets, but cttee told that was not possible. Cttee voted six votes to five in favour of more talks with developer about affordable housing. Delegated power to grant given to the chair of the cttee and the director of planning following talks. 
The committee unanimously granted listed building consent  for internal alterations for Ian Fraser House in Greenways, Ovingdean, to be luxury flats. 
Thursday 15
Page 2 No to flats plan on site of pub.  Montpelier Inn, Montpelier Place. Developer wanted to convert to 5 flats and maisonettes. Refused, not enough evidence it has been marketed as a pub robustly enough. Been on market for 8 months with little interest but this not enough to comply with council policy. Had a chequered past as a pub. Neighbours support development plans
Page 5  Seven Labour councillors to stand down in May. Carmen Appich, Nancy Platts, John Allcock, Chris Henry, Daniel Yates, Robert McIntosh and Clare Moonan. Almost half the group. Robert McIntosh was elected only last May, in Rottingdean Coastal. He is being treated for cancer. 
Page 12  Fears for patients over removal of bus shelter. Shelter outside Royal Sx Cty Hosp.  Being removed from east-bound side of road to replace one already removed from outside the Eye Hospital, as that side of the road is more used. [?Is Kemp Town steadily depopulating? The disparity is huge – 1000+ a day go west and only 160 go east – must be some obvious explanation] Temporary shelters are being used, borrowed from elsewhere, as no budget for new ones. Cllr Platts says it is bizarre. Got a multi-million pound new hospital but can’t afford a bus shelter. Hope someone may contribute. 
Wednesday 14  

Page 8 No proper scrutiny over cycle hangars – says cllr Robert Nemeth. He plans to call for a report so the scheme can be debated in open and transparent manner. It was set up using council’s budget process rather than a policy committee as would usually be the case.  So scheme avoided scrutiny of financial legal and equality issues and numerous other related matters. Says has been public frustration and unfavourable national press coverage. Follows a public Q asking for details from Laura King of the Fs of B&H Cit. Act. Gp [them again]She asked  the ETS cttee about the legality and promotion of the process last month. Cllr Steve Davis, co-chair, said were promoted correctly through the council, local press, police, emergency services, Road Haulage Assoc and Freight Transport Assoc. [So there.] Funding was agreed in Feb 2021. Hangar locations were published on the Traffic Regulation Orders page of council’s website. Notices posted on streets. 
Page 12  Nancy Platts says she will not stand again in next local elections. 
Monday 12
Page 4  Labour win landslide victory. Wish Ward. Win from Cons. Labour now has 16 on council, Greens 20, Cons 11. Seven independents.  34.2% turnout
Page 10 Letters. Chuck out the i360 says Colin Beard of Goldstone Crescent.  Reminded debt is now more than £47m and by June 23 a further £1.5m due. Amused council will leave no stone unturned (said twice) as have plenty of stones to turn over to make sure taxpayers not out of pocket. Also said that council working to recoup all monies lent to i360 who apparently have a robust plan, not needing near £500,000 of sponsorship. Why such stupid statements made? No chance that these things will happen. Debt will always be increasing and soon be £50m and beyond. Chuck it out and stark talking about alternatives if we have any. 
What does he do? asks Serena Evans of Hove. Re “lesser spotted” city CEO and how he earns more than PM. Can do internet search to find out what Rishi Sunak doing. When search Geoff Raw find an opinion piece on climate change dated 22 Oct 2022, that’s all. What does he do to earn salary? Could be working from home from the Bahamas as far as we are concerned. What leadership has this man ever shown in addressing real issues of city and what we pay council tax for. Some councils offer libraries, community centres and churches as “warm banks” , Mr Raw more concerned about climate change than his own citizens surviving the winter. His City of Sanctuary residents need 24 hour toilets, not closed facilities.
Page 29  Details of savings and cuts set to be published. Push for budget transparency prompted cllrs to agree that full details of reasons for future cuts and savings must be published before the budget debate early next year. P&R cttee discuss budget shortfall. Will be discussed on Feb 9th
Saturday 10
Page 6  £87m council homes scheme homes delayed. Moulsecoomb Hub North, on site of empty Moulsecoomb hub for social workers etc. Was to have been decided on Wednesday, but “There is a slight delay while we resolve a technical detail relating to Southern Water.”  Now aiming for January. A report to the meeting said “no comments” were received from Southern Water. In fact there were lots seemingly not fully noted by the planning department. The section in its planning application on “sustainable drainage” was said to be acceptable.
Page 8 i360 could default on next loan repayment. Fears have been raised … apparently by the Labour group on the council, about the potential of a “major default” on the payment due at the end of this month. A council spokesman said:  “Working hard to recoup etc etc. Councillors from all three parties met a member of the board on Monday to review a revived five-year business plan. Will consider these proposals and a range of options at future P&R cttee meeting. All decisions must be focused on ensuring best outcome for residents. Will work closely with all political parties and stakeholders. Still one of most popular visitor attractions and contributes positively to local economy. Conditions particularly challenging right now.”  i360 was contacted for comment.
Page 9 Development plans spark fears for future of much-loved pub. The Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street. Plans for 9 shops and 2 AirBnBs next to it could put future in doubt. Noise complaints from live music could force it to close. Grade ll listed. Bedrooms too close. After a last minute plea from the music promoter 6 hours before deadline for objections, 1000 objections racked up on planning applications site [!! that’s the way to do it, get him in as a consultant on the Gas Works] Site is owned by Camping’s Luxury Coaches with currently a dilapidated garage on it. 
Page 11 online Debate. i360 default. Is there anywhere in the world that would buy it?;  When has it ever met a loan?; Could? – who is pretending it won’t – could have reinstated West Pier for the money this turkey has cost – time to cut losses and ditch the iSore now – turn it into a new water sports club with toilets, lockers and changing rooms for all – pole cut down in sections and sold for scrap;  Feared? – to sane people it was a foregone conclusion;  Q to be asked is What is cheapest and quickest way to get rid of this financial anchor?
Tory Talk – Steve Bell.  Better financial management is urgently needed. Article on grants paid by central gov. to Council for homelessness – a lot. Many calling for scrutiny and accountability. Homelessness charities concerned not being spent effectively. Council dodging scrutiny of its expenditure and not prioritising much needed audit. Then on to the large sum of developer “contributions held” currently sitting unspent. Could be about £23.5m. Supposed to be spent for benefit of community specifically to assist with infrastructure to reduce impact of new development. Concerning it is unspent, is council managing flow of contributions in a timely manner? 
Page 18 Councillors in renewed bid to balance books. P&R cttee asked for a list of actions that each department is taking to bring its spending under control. Finance chief Nigel Manvell says it’s surprising in all the circs the deficit isn’t larger. Is a very significant level of vacancies in the council many due to recruitment difficulties. Increase fees and charges. Reduce concessionary bus fares? Everyone blames everyone else. 
Friday 9    

Page 4  New £13m seafront park unanimously approved. Most of cost covered by government grant from Levelling Up fund, plus “contributions” from developers. Plus £300,000 from money set aside to refurbish public toilets [!! Yeah!!  That should cover a lot of toilets.] Rest to be borrowed. Are still concerns about height of sports hub, understand will be sensitively designed, says Cllr Appich (Lab) New sports facilities much needed. Spokesperson from Aurum block of flats concerned about noise from “sand sports” and effect on Sackville Gardens CA. A 3.6m high steel fence with 6m floodlights on until 10pm is unsuitable for this location. Had pushed for alternative location next to events space where not overlooked – rejected. Officers say fence is at lower level so “less prominent”. Alternative site next to bowls club which sand sports might damage. Lab cllr Moonan concerned about conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on new unrestricted pathways. Cyclists banned from footpaths crossing Western Lawns but know from experience it is ignored. New east-west pathways weave in and out and might put people off. Have much casework about how dangerous it is for pedestrians along the seafront – scooter can do up to 30mph. Officials said signs and painted alerts on ground alert cyclists. Green cllr Sue Shanks (Gr) concerned about affordability of tennis and padel tennis courts. Publicly owned so prices not to be prohibitive. 
Page 5  Decision time for homes plan at landmark.  Redevelopment of St Dunstans at Ovingdean. [No plans or pretty architects drawings on show]  Plans went before South Downs National Park Authority’s Planning Committee yesterday. James Taylor Group want 64 homes with cinema, gym and swimming pool for residents only. Indep cllr Bridget Fishleigh worried about no affordable housing. Nat Park’s policy is for at least half to be affordable in schemes of more than 11 homes. If can’t afford any, then is wrong plan, go back to drawing board. Should be a policy that none sold as second homes. Need to ensure that local people don’t have to put down deposits of tens of thousands of pounds to reserve a property when need to sell present home first. And should be a developer contribution to area. The Nat Park authority has asked for affordable housing contribution of £500,000 and for a review so that half of any additional sale proceeds in excess of £535 per sq.ft. help fund affordable housing to a max of £500,000. James Taylor group say can’t provide affordable housing because of the high costs associated with conversion of large listed building – will preserve its future. There were 4 letters of objection and 6 “neutral comments” which are not viewable on the website. There was a request for the gym and pool to be open to public. 
Page 10 Letter  Cars v Buses – Spencer Carvil of Egginton Road. “Make public transport cheaper if you want more customers.” Council estates were built on outskirts for those with large families and probably not cars. Waiting time for a bus was 30 mins, now its 10 mins. And have night buses. Cheaper to go to Lewes by train unless got a family, when it’s cheaper by car. Parking permits were Gordon Brown’s way of paying for pensioner bus passes and subsidising buses. If come away from owning cars, how many more buses needed? How would road system cope? More jams, narrow bus lanes clogged. How will council find money when no need for parking permits? Won’t be able to subsidise the bus company – Oh yes, higher fares. 
Thursday 8
Page 6  Montpelier Inn, Montpelier Place, closed December 2020. Application to convert to housing. Recommended for refusal in spite of local support. Plenty of pubs around and this one was problematical. Need housing. No explanation of why officers opposing it. 
Page 10 Letters.  Chief executive needs to earn his very large salary, says Adam Pride of Foredown Drive. Agree with letter querying why he’s paid so much. Argus letters full of complaints blaming all parties but it is the council officers and staff that have to implement councillors’ policies. Unenviable task but who is ultimately responsible? The almost invisible Geoff Raw. He should come clean and say why7 pavements not weeded etc while still paid salary most can only dream of, for doing very little to improve the city. 
Common sense? asks name and address supplied. Aerial photo of Sea Lanes development, excellent view, hope it will regenerate neglected area. What was conspicuous by absence was lack of cyclists or joggers visible in vast aerial view of area. Perhaps time cycle lane removed back to previous sensibly sized and located position, and parking reinstated given council needs the funds. Common and commercial sense but will the bicycle clip wearing green eco warriors see that? Doubt it. 
Short of money? asks Anne Williams of Fourth Avenue [She should be made the city’s Loo Tsar]  Read with dismay that more public loos may be permanently closed. Then read that a relationship is envisaged with council as a puppet of central government [ ??]  I emailed my MP about effect of toilet closures on disabled and got an automated reply. Emailed again and have not heard back. Are Labour and Green MPs in city in cahoots with the council so they don’t oppose any of their policies. Given are renovating area around Hove Lagoon, how short of money are they? And Christmas lights must be costing a fortune. 
Page 12  Planter vote a win for people power. The Rottingdean planter saga.  The parish council has called for it to be removed for a year to assess the impact on air quality. Now has to go to ETS cttee in the New Year.
Page 16  Wish by-election. Full page for Labour candidate. Aldrington wharf “ludicrous”. Ripping communities apart. Rebuild council house stock. Public loos appalling, support building a new block on seafront.
Wednesday 7
Cover, page 5  Whale seen off Brighton beach. It was a humpback. Off shore by the Marina, 40-50 ft long. Has been hanging around Dover for a couple of weeks, now heading west so back on track. Very unusual. 
Was migrating and should have come down the west coast but apparently deflected down the east coast. 
Page 8  Weeds pose danger to residents this winter, says Labour candidate for Wish Ward by-election. Over growing weeks dislodging paving stones. Right to stop spraying with poisonous chemicals but need an alternative. Vote is on Thursday. She gets about two-thirds of a page half of which is image of weeds.
Page 9  Public have say on updated plan for empty gasworks site. Comments coming in. “Revised plans are are in and the place fits well and looks great. Green space improved, buildings smaller to satisfy Arundel Street, and height at rear lowered for flats on Roedean Road. No doubt the NIMBY boomerati will say not enough as well as providing a range of completely new nonsense issues they have. In reality they want the entire build binned and a few early 20C two up two down terraces built instead, obviously not appropriate for a city with growing population and lack of build out land”.  “Sadly updated proposals have only improved slightly. Overall heights are still much too high and looks like a concrete jungle.”  Some felt developer had taken feedback from first public consultation on. “Developer went away, redesigned the project with comments of public in mind, and has returned with an excellent set of plans. Brighton has very few areas where new developments can be built. This is a brown field site, totally unused in prime location and is an eyesore. Tremendous need for more affordable housing vastly outweighs the concerns of local residents.”  “Far too high, they should be no higher than six floors in this area. Seven to 12 storeys is ridiculous. It is a heritage area on boarder (sic) of a National Park and current infrastructure cannot support that many new homes.”  Concerns over insufficient parking – 178 places for 565 homes – and effect on Kemp Town and Roedean. [Same image shown of site from inland looking to sea with no heritage buildings included]
Page 19  full page for Lib Dem candidate for Wish Ward. Synergy scheme is a gross over development. Max of 8 storeys permitted in zone. City should use its brownfield sites for development of innovative housing co-ops. Renovate or rescue derelict buildings. And should be more loos. [Whoever wins, they had better make good on their promises of more loos]
Tuesday 6
Page 10 Letters  Fat cat high pay, says G E Keyes of Fs of B&H Cit. Act. Group [these people are very vocal]  PM gets paid £164k pa. Geoff Raw, CEO of city council, gets £165k pa. How is running city tougher than running the whole country? If cuts needed, start with Mr Raw and any other council far cat on more than £100k.
Page 16  Wish Ward by-election. UKIP candidate gets a full page. [They are all being asked a set of Qs by the Argus] On Synergy – Major decisions should be subject to binding referendums if people demand it. On the petition of 5% of local electorate within 3 months, major planning and local service decisions should be subject to democratic vote of affected residents. [There’s a thought]  She’s also pro loos.
Page 23  New Circus Street housing scheme scoops fifth award. Best Architectural Design award at the SE Construction Awards 2022. It recognises projects which have been designed in sympathy with their local environment, are innovative, fit for purpose and completed in previous year. 
Also, in same article, the national Architects’ Journal Awards 2022 gave Valley Gardens highly commended in Landscape and Public Realm category, runners up for the award. “Delivered a massive amount on a small budget.”  “The overall impact and scale of this project is huge. It’s a project of exceptional value to the user and to the city.”  Said a judge.  PMacC was delighted – awards for Circus Street coming in thick and fast.
Monday 5    

Page 4  Seafront’s new swimming pool is taking shape. On target for expected opening date next spring. 
Page 6  Art display opens up shut historic building.  The Hippodrome. Do Not Obstruct, a contemporary art gallery holds exhibitions in lesser seen areas of city. Last October, was in the cab run under the railway station. Up to 50 artists expected for Hippodrome’s Palm Court this weekend. “We’ve been knocking down walls, putting some floorboards in, if anything, we’ve been contributing to the restoration. Might be the last time to see the Palm Court as a relic. Wonderful opportunity before it’s renovated.” Says organisers Kirsteen and Graham. Open 1000 to 2000 on Saturday and from 1100 to 1700 on Sunday. 
Page 9  £500m hospital site to be named after city’s first female GP.  Louisa Martindale Building, home to 30 wards and departments. Felt she was a truly deserving figure. One of many suggestions. 
Page 12  Wish Ward by-election. Labour candidate gets half a page. She supports Extinction Rebellion. 
Page 16  Wish Ward by-election. Green candidate gets a full page. Critical of Synergy scheme at Aldrington Wharf. Overbearing and far too high. Wants the NPPF reformed.  Also pro toilets. 
Pages 18-19  Double spread for The Argus Camera Club images. Snaps inspired by our street art theme. “There is a big choice of good street art to photograph in these parts.”  The images include graffiti.  “We loved the picture taken round the back of London Road, by Katie Doney.” [Its a huge mural of the Simpsons, ugly and threatening (I think). ]
Saturday 3
Page 2 Name and shame rule-breaking councillors,  suggests Green cllr Sue Shanks at meeting of audit and standards cttee. Report citing 5 outstanding complaints where the cllr involved had not provided a response. What’s the point of a standards panel if no sanction? – asked cllr Anne Meadows. Lawyer Victoria Simpson said law required council to have a standards regime for complaints. “It doesn’t have strong visible teeth that would make people sit up and take notice …most cllrs do respond some don’t …There is censure in the publicity and the power of the council to not appoint a member to public bodies.”  Cllr Daniel Yates suggested barring members from representing the council on outside bodies that have their own standards regime if don’t comply with council’s.  The lawyer said not aware of any council that published names next to complaints before they went before a panel, because of risk of malicious politically motivated complaints. Question about cost of investigating complaints – answer not reported. Request for report to include breakdown of how many times cllrs had not responded to complaints. To go to full cttee in January. 
This is most godless city in England. Census data says more than half people in city (55.2%) reported having no religion, highest in England. But Caerphilly has 56.7% atheists. Hanover region has two-thirds of people reporting no religion with 68.1% atheist, with West Blatchington at other end with 42.1%. Less than a third of population describes itself as Christian – 30.9%. Tower Hamlets lowest with 22.3%.  Rottingdean and Saltdean are 44.9% Christian. 
Page 6  Weeding on footpaths has been a total failure.  Says Tory candidate for Wish ward by-election. Full page for him.  He is anti the Synergy development at Aldrington Wharf and pro toilets. 
Page 11 online Debate. Gas Works updated scheme.  High quality Berekley Homes – forget the talk and sign off tomorrow;  Look like something out of Russia, has architect been watching too much of the cube on TV – block it !;  Put not your faith in computer-aided imagery!;  Looks horribly like Lewes Road student accommodation – could they not find a better architect?;  Any infrastructure upgrades supporting this proposal, new GP surgery, upgraded sewage disposal, extra school places?;  Ghastly – this is where the coastal plain finally gives way to high chalk Downland – there is a wonderful sense of place and history, which this would obliterate. [Good comment]
Friday 2    

Page 4  Topping out ceremony at 800-home scheme. Moda at Sackville Road trading estate. Highest point reached. Foundations of all blocks completed and construction of steps up to main entrance started. In January landscaping work will begin. First residents to move in second half of 2023. Tony Brooks, MD of Moda Living, said “… seeing the views from the top of our tallest building really takes your breath away. Hove is a beautiful part of Sussex and we’re extremely proud to be a step closer to bringing these much needed rental homes to Hove … “
Page 11 Letters  Reopen the loos says Anne Williams of Fourth Avenue [our new Loo Czar?]  Council has received £9.5m as a levelling up grant, no reason why public toilets on seafront cannot be re-opened. 
Too much building, says John Gander of Telscombe Cliffs. Amount of building in Argus area beggars belief. If all car parks are full, and every supermarket till is queueing down the aisles, population is too great for the area. Knock on effect in schools, dentists, doctors and hospitals. Have been told a lot of social housing is being sold to associations in London. They will send the socially disruptive. Speak from experience. Have moved from 4 London boroughs because of  destruction of communities and standards. Hope this is prevented before too late for this great area. Decent citizens move away and devaluation spreads. 
Thursday 1
Page 2  Average house prices in city rose by average of more than £3000 in September, average price in city now £449,535. Increase since July 0.8%. In last 12 months up 14.2%.  All kinds of properties increased. Is far above the UK average.
Page 7  Hard to ignore the football section. Rebin Rob of Meds Barbers in Western Road, asked to fly out to Qatar to ensure players are looking their best after gaining an impressive reputation among Brighton players. He’s been assigned the Welsh team (bad luck) and the Iranian team (not sure). He’s enjoying himself.
Page 9  Job losses and cuts to services loom as council tries to fill gap. Council trying to bridge budget gap – £54m over next four years. 24 full time jobs at risk and 38 unfilled jobs “deleted” – proposal. The council blames it on high inflation, week economy, cost-of-living crises and real-term gov. funding cuts. Cuts proposed to Youth Arts programme and “expensive external residential placements” for disabled children. More public toilets may close – Oh No – and charging for busy ones. Limited library hours. Children’s late fines brought back at 15p a day capped at £3.75. To P&R cttee today. As well as funding services, council must pay back £6m into reserves over 10 years after money used to “financially smooth” effects of Covid. Commercial property portfolio also affected, is geared towards retail, and suffers from changing shopping habits. Assumes council tax will go up 4.99%. Fees and charges also expected to increase. 
Page 10 Letters.  Cats and Covid… no point to these limited surveys, says Eric Waters. Surveys stated 350,000 cats caught Covid, on survey of 0.02% of cat population. And that 32m people pushed to brink by cost of living crisis based on 0.04% of adult UK population, and gave the top 10 reasons why people won’t buy electric cars on 0.006% of people in UK holding full driving licences. What is the point when surveys so tiny. Should we disregard every report starting with “A recent survey revealed” ?  
Please clean up, says G Upton of address supplied. New 5G mast installed at the Grenadier in Hangleton and within 24 hours street furniture was covered in graffiti. Will the council be pursuing the installation company to clean off the graffiti?
Pavement parking – Spencer Carvil says is an unresolvable issue. Forefathers did not know what was to come, council has no vision or ability to find a solution unless can make money from it. So many homes have no garages, so many narrow roads and council wants to put in obstacles to deter ownership of cars. Added to “them and us” trouble between cyclist and motorist. Car owners being persecuted by council over-taxing on parking. No attempt made to use that money to ease parking problem.
Page 39 Job opportunities. Want to live and work in paradise?  Conch Charters, of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, wants an operations manager for about $55,000 pa. Must love yachts. And be dynamic. Scan the code to apply – sorry, present level of technology does not permit inclusion of this.