Agenda Item 125(b)


Brighton & Hove City Council


Subject:                                   Questions

Date of Meeting:                   20 January 2021

Report of:                               Executive Lead Officer for Strategy, Governance & Law

Contact Officer: Name:      Shaun Hughes                             Tel: 01273 293059

                                   E-mail: shaun.hughes@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Wards Affected: All               






1.1            To receive any questions submitted to Democratic Services.


2.               RECOMMENDATIONS:


2.2            That the Committee responds to the questions.


3.               Questions:

3.1          Barry Hughes

In 2019 four blocks on the Sylvan Hall Estate received S20 Notices of major works, including new roofs and rainwater goods. I now find that a number of elements originally specified have not been done or completed as required.


As I am limited to 100 words, I will concentrate on just one aspect. The specification states: ‘The sizing of both gutters and downpipes will match the existing original as a minimum.’


The new rainwater goods are a smaller size than the original and consequently cannot cope with moderate rainfall. Can these gutters and downpipes be replaced and who will pay?


3.2          Cathy Archer


There are 2 areas of land at Kemptown Gasworks owned by the council.


It is suggested that these 2 areas of land be sold to the land developers.


If 2 tranches of land of these dimensions were combined in some way, there would be enough land to provide social or genuinely affordable housing in an area that needs more of this.


Does the committee agree?


3.3              David Thomas


SWEP and flexibility.


After a public campaign, in February 2018 the council agreed that in addition to the triggers for opening SWEP there would be a flexible approach, based on common sense and empathy for the homeless. Last winter it was accordingly open on a number of occasions when the triggers were not met.


This winter the promise of flexibility is gone from the website, from all official utterances so far, and from the description of SWEP opening on pages 178-79 of your reports pack.


When was the decision made to drop this, who by, and for what reason? 


3.4              Daniel Harris

In a recent report into Youth Homelessness the Albert Kennedy Trust reports that:

‘LGBT young people are more likely to find themselves homeless than their non LGBT peers, comprising up to 24% of the youth homeless population.

Whilst homeless, they are significantly more likely to experience targeted violence, sexual exploitation, substance misuse, and physical & mental health problems than other homeless youth.’

I have over the years struggled to get Vulnerable LGBT Clients housed by this council with many being fobbed off. The LGBT liaison role was scrapped. They are often placed into disgusting living conditions and many revert to taking drugs and participating in escorting and other dangerous activities due to loneliness and the lack of tailored support, sadly some have died.

We are a city of sanctuary!

When will the council commit to a feasibility study / report into purchasing / providing a specific Homelessness Accommodation exclusively for our younger LGBT Community?


3.5              Jim Deans


Councillors, Sussex Homeless Support and virtually every other charity in England including Shelter & Crisis are calling for immediate homeless support, First Night! support.


We have been asking for years for a community support shelter which would also act as triage. Councillors 100% supported this after Councillor Druitt raise this to you all. It will save lives and finance why have you and the community been ignored.


3.6              Dave Croydon


Following the meeting between the Interim Executive Director for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities and members of the B&H Housing Coalition on Wed 15 July 2020, would the Council please report on the status of the actions we agreed at the meeting?


3.7              Charles Harrison


This relates to agenda item 129 - Update on Sustainability Measures for New Homes.

I note that the report section 5 states ‘The community has not been engaged in this process’.

Meetings on Sustainability Measures were hosted by the Council with a group of independent and experienced construction professionals on 8 Jan, 10 June and 1 July, following a request from the 13 Nov 2019 Housing Committee.

Unfortunately, BHCC do not appear to have encouraged any further engagement on this important topic since July last year.

Why is the Council not supporting the Councillors’ commitment to engage with experts from the Community who offer to provide pro-bono independent advice and support in the Council’s objectives?