The Weekly Review
In the Headlines
This week the citizens of Brighton and Hove learnt that a league table, carried out by Enjoytravel.com, places Brighton as UK’s most diverse city. This was done by a grading on age diversity and the number of independent shops, the number of professions in area, the number of entertainment venues, also language diversity and the number of fast food chains. Brighton crushed all competition, and left them miles behind us. In second place was Reading. Enjoytravel says that “Students, creatives and artists alike have taken to Brighton for years and with so much going on it’s not hard to see why.”
The Beachbuoy webpage, which is part of Southern Water’s site, that alerts users when there has been a storm overflow to a bathing area, has been criticised because of the new way it indicates an excrement discharge hazard. Previously an automatic red cross would appear on the page if any overflow occurred. The criticism seems to focus on this website statement:
If the outfall is 5km out to sea, and the release was short and the tidal conditions meant there could be no impact on a bathing water, we no longer turn the bathing water icon red (the outfall icon will remain red to indicate a release).
In September Southern water made significant changes to the way Beachbuoy works; here is their summary:
Previously, if any of the outfalls associated with a bathing water released in storm conditions, this would have triggered a status change of the bathing water icon. The status changed regardless of whether there would be an impact
to bathing water quality. Many Beachbuoy users told us they would like to better understand if the release would actually impact bathing waters or not.
Going forward Beachbuoy will take the location of the outfall, the tidal conditions and release duration into account to determine whether bathing water will be affected. But importantly storm overflow releases will still be indicated on the map (bathing water pop up) and in the history table. This document provides an outline of how we use coastal modelling. It explains how we calculate the influence of the tide to establish whether a bathing water is impacted by an outfall release for particular tidal conditions. It also illustrates the new user interface enhancements and explains how they work.
Here’s the caveat: Please note: Southern Water can’t make any safety recommendations for water users. Beachbuoy is simply a release reporting tool – users are advised to use their own discretion when entering the water.
So, we would advise keeping your mouth shut, that is when you’re in the water of course.
Why don’t the water companies clean up their act? One reason why this practice will continue for the foreseeable future was highlighted in a podcast, The Rest is Politics. Rory Stewart, a co-presenter with Alastair Campbell, talked about his time in government when he asked the Treasury why we can’t do something about the country’s antiquated sewage system. The reply he got back was that it would cost in the region of 360 – 600 billion pounds to change the Victorian water and sewage system from flowing in the same pipes.
So, we’ll probably be swimming with the turds for a long time yet.
More info for the bathers at:
The new University of Brighton bridge over the Lewes Road keeps traffic flowing and students safe. Some people have moaned that it will be a men’s toilet on Friday and Saturday nights, what about the other five nights of the week? Some have said that It was designed to bring “a sense of renewal and excitement to the area”. This comment must surely include the Preston Barracks site.
The bridge has absolutely no aesthetic quality, and the site as a whole is a visual mess. Oh well, in the city of the blind …
The Grade 2 listed Madeira Shelter Hall Lift, (within Concorde 2) is going to be restored and brought into line with modern standards. We’ll wait and see how this term translates in reality.
Also, there’s a proposed new lift, by the Royal Crescent steps on the Madeira Terraces; this has not been welcomed by the council’s Conservation Advisory Group (CAG), and a large number of people on Facebook. Shame on those who proposed this new lift, which is totally out of keeping with this area. One of the objections, by Purcell Architects, to a more traditional style roof, was that “The traditional roof form is at odds with the sharper, contemporary detailing of the brick shaft below.” Might it not be that the flat roof form is at odds with the character of the Grade II* listed Madeira Terraces it is part of.
The council’s application, written by Purcell Architects, informs us that:
“Although a significant intervention in the historic structure in its own right, the intervention is justified by the pedestrian access improvements it will provide to the terrace and the businesses in the area; reduce the known issue of severance, and improve access for people with limited mobility or with small children.”
How it is used is not the matter here. There is no justification for imposing yet another unsympathetic, ugly structure into the public realm. Is the council blind to the negative visual impact this and other inappropriate structures are having on the city? Have a new lift, make it functional, but ensure it is in keeping with the Terraces.