A period of not more than fifteen minutes shall be allowed at each ordinary meeting for questions submitted by a member of the public.


The question will be answered without discussion. The person who asked the question may ask one relevant supplementary question, which shall be put and answered without discussion. The person to whom a question, or supplementary question, has been put may decline to answer it. 


The following written questions have been received from members of the public:


1.         Peter Crowhurst

On 12 June 2020, this committee claimed on the Council website that Georgian Brighton and Hove was ‘built on the sugar trade and enslavement’. At the last meeting of this committee a report was submitted saying that the city’s wealth has connections to the slave trade. Neither I, nor Dr Sue Berry, who has researched Brighton’s early history, and is the author of the seminal book on ‘Georgian Brighton’, have discovered any evidence to substantiate the notion that this city was built on slave money. What credible historical evidence does the Council have to support these claims?


2.         Emma Andrews

As I am sure every councillor and officer is now aware. Sussex Ice Rink has submitted a detailed pre-proposal requesting consent of use of the unused land next to the King Alfred. 


The King Alfred site belongs to the public and all we have is a clandestine King Alfred project board making executive decisions with little or no public involvement. The time for playing email pinball between departments is over and we demand positive transparent action and for the project to be judged on its own merit and in the spirit, it was intended.


What objections are there to this temporary facility testing the demand for an ice-skating industry in the city, on unused public land, and putting the feasibility argument to bed with a real time tangible pilot scheme once and for all. Has the council got anything to lose?

3.         Roy Pennington

The Beach Chalet report, appendix 4 (page 195 survey results) omits and redacted the information-box on Question 4 (which gives respondents opportunity to make comments).


Why did officers not summarise those comments or many letters sent?


4.         Anna Slater Bennison

Regarding the new duties of local authorities under Domestic Abuse Bill, the government has said “local authorities should use the expertise and knowledge of local and national specialist domestic abuse services to support in identifying and understanding the level and types of needs” and “Services commissioned under the new duty should meet Government and the domestic abuse sector quality standards – which include a commitment that support in safe accommodation should be provided in single-gender settings. This means providing specific services for women.”  


Can Brighton & Hove Council guarantee and show they are making full use of specialist expertise available in the city? 


5.         Ali Ceesay

In point 3.4 the OSPCC was allocated £50,000 by MHCLG (November 2020) for a variety of tasks including a needs assessment. 

In recommendation 2.2 a further £25,000 requested for extra resource in BHCC for oversight.


The multimillion £ recommissioning of was October (2020).

In MHCLG terms the requirement for needs assessments and strategies review is every 3 years.


This contract must have been awarded with a needs assessment and strategy.  Will the Council use this recent information and offer no further delay to the survivors in the city?


6.         Nicola Benge


In March 2021, 17 RISE DV workers supported survivors in our city, supplemented by RISE funded in-house services in an accessible building in Central Brighton. 

The service was significantly oversubscribed.  


From April 1st, 2021, I understand 9 remote Victim Support workers with no building or facilities were employed doing the exact same tasks.


Can the Council confirm they are confident the new provider has sufficient experienced staff to provide the level of expert service we need in the city?


7.         Naomi Boss


In this report reference 4.3 a possibility is raised of exploring future alternatives to the current Pan Sussex arrangement.  


Given  recent issues including  a public petition and the Council’s implicit acknowledgement of the urgent need for local oversight indicated by the £25,000 resource requested,/ Will the Council commit to actively exploring this alternative option?


8.         Ken Tancred


Following a spate of break-ins, vandalism, graffiti, violence, anti-social behaviour and flouting of the Covid-19 regulations, is it possible that solar-powered security lighting and CCTV cameras on lamp-posts could be installed adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, the beach chalet blocks at Saltdean, Rottingdean, Ovingdean, Madeira Drive & Hove Esplanade to make these dark areas safer at night for the chalet tenants and the public in general?


When instances are reported to the police, they say there is very little they can do because of the lack of lighting in the area and it makes it difficult to monitor. 

With modern low-cost technology, it is now possible to install these essential security items in prime positions to prevent and discourage these illegal acts and make the whole area feel safer. 


A feasibility study and implementation would be greatly appreciated by all concerned.


9.         Linda Francis (to be asked by Ken Tancred on her behalf)


The whole idea of making the change of policy was so the chalets would be better used if offered and rented to local Brighton & Hove City residents only. But there is an anomaly, where several residents are now being kicked out when no mention of a residency boundary was on their contract. 


Is it possible that the boundary for inclusion could be extended by 1 mile to include the whole of the BN2 postcodes and thereby avoid any embarrassment for BHCC and the unfairness of the change of policy amended to take account of residents’ circumstances? 


10.      Ruth Farnell (to be asked by Aherns on her behalf)

The section on Sex in the Equalities Impact Assessment for Lot 5 (refuge provision) of the ‘Invitation to tender’ also says “Commissioned providers to be required to proactively target recruitment to communities that are under-represented in the staff profile, and to have an inclusive employment statement on all jobs being advertised, unless they can clearly demonstrate that there is there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement for the jobseeker to hold certain Protected Characteristics; this must be agreed in advance with commissioners.”


Does this mean that the council is intending to encourage the new refuge provider to employ male as well as female workers in the refuge?

Can the Council give a guarantee that male workers will not be targeted for recruitment and also that the deliberate use of  male counsellors, such as the new Refuge provider, Stonewater, write about using in their Asian women’s refuge (in Hampshire),  will not be considered appropriate support for women surviving domestic abuse?


11.      Debbie Waldon

At the last meeting of this committee, the Chair said “The Council undertakes Equality Impact Assessments when designing or redesigning services which explores impacts on every protected characteristic, including sex.” 

Despite acknowledging the disproportionate impact of domestic abuse on women and girls, why did the Equality Impact Assessment for Lot 5 of the new Domestic Abuse contract suggest that the new refuge provider would be required to redirect resources away from single-sex services for women and girls and, I quote,  “from year three to provide equal access to refuge provision for all victims experiencing domestic abuse regardless of their protected characteristics”?