Brighton & Hove City Council


Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-Committee


4.00pm22 July 2021


Hove Town Hall - Council Chamber




Present:   Councillor   Mac Cafferty (Joint Opposition Spokesperson), Allcock (Opposition Spokesperson) and McNair








1             Procedural Matters


(a)  Declarations of Substitutes


1.1         Councillor McNair declared that he was attending the meeting as a Substitute for Councillor Miller.


1.2         There were no other declarations.


(b)  Declarations of Interests


1.3         There were no declarations of interests in items appearing on the agenda.


(c)  Exclusion of Press & Public


1.4         The Chair noted that following the publication of the agenda the late report, listed as Item 10 Outdoor Events 2021 – Life Festival which had been circulated in the addendum had a part two appendix which detailed the site plan. Whilst he did not anticipate the need for the Sub-Committee to move into closed session to discuss the matter, he did need to put forward the recommendation that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the appendix.


1.5         RESOLVED: That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the appendix to Item 10 as listed on the agenda and included in the addendum papers.




2             Minutes


2.1         RESOLVED: That the minutes of the last meeting held on the 28 April be approved as a correct record of the proceedings.






3             Chair's Communications


3.1         The Chair gave the following communications:


We have a number of reports on the agenda today that focus on our city’s recovery and regeneration as we continue to face the challenge of Covid-19.


Since we last met, we received enhanced government support to respond to the rising cases of the Delta virus. A number of our reports were prepared before this, so I would ask that colleagues consider that context and will invite Nick Hibberd to cover some of this as well as teams in public health.

This highly transmissible strain – combined with the fact that many in our city have yet to receive their second vaccine dose, and our younger population profile – is seeing cases surge as across the UK. we’re managing the reopening of the city amid this changing picture.


I’ve been pleased this week to meet with businesses at a Chamber of Commerce event to detail the support the council can offer to ensure businesses do not close. We are committed to working together to rebuild customer confidence, which is closely linked to keeping infections down. Many businesses and residents are quite visibly not on board with the government’s abandonment of even the basic proven protection measures – like masks – so I’d like to thank everyone who continues to wear theirs to keep others safe and prevent infection.


There are a few reports I’d like to pick up on that link to our strategic plan for recovery:

·         The look and feel of our city, reinvigorating our high streets and supporting a diverse tourism and local offer:

·         Supported by the European Union today we will share our proposals for the successful ‘Welcome Back’ fund. This funding cannot be spent on things we are already doing –so we’re seizing this opportunity to innovate, and the report details a range of things including:

-   new trails, and discovery walks: that focus on our diverse city, and take people to areas of the city not often visited to increase footfall

-   beautifying the city: like improving Western Road, cleaning up the West Street underpass, to name a few;

-   enabling yet more pop ups in empty retail premises around the city, giving a platform to local, creative and entrepreneurial businesses

-   behind the scenes: scaling up support to build capacity, with specialist business coaching focused on recovery

-   extra health and safety support like hand sanitiser stations and face mask recycling points

Welcoming back is both an opportunity and a challenge- after the highest amount of litter ever recorded was left on the seafront last weekend, despite the consistent efforts of our refuse teams; we continue to take a hard line on littering and enforcement.

Finally, to keep our city open for business is also about protecting each and every one of us from the worst of the Covid-19 crisis.

So, today’s agenda also includes a report on the creation of an enhanced B&H contact tracing service. Our local service helps pick up covid-19 cases that the national system simply can’t reach – despite multi-million-pound contracts being given to private companies to do so. I’ve repeated my call for proper funding for local public health teams but in spite of this, we’re doing what we can.


On top of that; I’ve said before that too many people on low incomes aren’t being given the support, they need from government payments to stay at home. with cases rising locally we have immediately taken steps to enhance the support our council can offer to those on low incomes.


While this is only a trial as again – we are not given specfic funding to do this – we hope to evaluate this support offer and seek ways to keep it going. Self-isolation is still a key way we can stop the virus spreading to our friends, family and community.


We’ve also included  specific support for our young people, providing incentives to self-isolate and support to do so. Anyone struggling is invited to contact our community hub.


And finally, I just want to wish Brighton & Hove’s Bryony Pitman the best of luck when she competes in the women’s archery event for Team GB at the Olympics tomorrow morning!




4             Public Involvement


4.1         The Chair noted that there were no public items for consideration at the meeting.




5             Member Involvement


5.1         The Cahir note that there were no items from Members for consideration at the meeting.




6             Equality and Access Workstream Update


6.1         The Community Co-Ordinator gave a presentation to the meeting which provided an update on the Equalities and Access work across the Council in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


6.2         The Sub-Committee welcomed the timely presentation and thanked the officers for their work in bringing the report and presentation to the meeting. It was noted that reference had been made to BAME groups and it was hoped that this could be rectified for the future to refer to BAME & Communities. Members of the Sub-Committee also hoped that vulnerable groups could be reached to ensure that the message around the need to get vaccinated was received and that those groups were then able to access vaccination centres.


6.3         The Community Co-ordinator assured the Sub-Committee that outreach work was able to access the various community groups / leaders so that support could be provided, and information given to those vulnerable people. She stated that there was a need to go through these avenues to ensure the relevant people were reached as it was not always possible to contact them directly.


6.4         Members of the Sub-Committee also noted that residents were expressing a difficulty in accessing all council services as the city moved through the recovery process it was hoped that the Council could also respond and ensure services were accessible.


6.5         The Chief Executive noted that the pandemic had led to a significant change in the way people worked and how services could be accessed, with a lot more being managed online. He stated that there was an officer working group looking at how council services could be opened up and greater face to face interactions facilitated.


6.6         The Chair noted the comments and put the recommendation to note the presentation to the vote which was carried.


6.7         RESOLVED: That the presentation be noted.




7             Brighton & Hove Contact Tracing Service


7.1         Prior to the consideration of the next item, the Chair noted that a formal call over had not been listed on the agenda and stated that he would like to undertake one. He therefore put the remaining items 7 to 12 to the sub-committee and noted that items 8 to 12 had been called for discussion and that item 7 was formally agreed having not been called.


7.2         RESOLVED:


(1)      That the creation of a Brighton & Hove Contact Tracing service as set out in the report be approved; and


(2)      That the allocation of £0.300m to fund the Brighton & Hove Contact Tracing Service from the 2021/22 Contain Outbreak Management Fund grant be approved.




8             Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Programme Update


8.1         The Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture introduced the report which provided an update on the progress of the Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Programme and noted that a similar report had been well received at the TECC committee meeting last month.


8.2         The Sub-Committee welcomed the report and raised concerns in relation to children & young people having their education disrupted and the potential impact on the labour market. Members also expressed concerns in regard to how to take advantage of improving the health and wellbeing of the city with recent increased interest in activities and whether funding was still available for start-up programmes to support local businesses.


8.3         The Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture stated that officers were keen to look at opportunities to build on the interest for healthy activities and noted that the City would be hosting the Women’s Euros next year. This should generate more interest in sport and its benefits for health and wellbeing and meant that the city could work with the organisers to promote this. He stated that there was only a small amount of funding left that could be utilised and again officers were working hard to ensure this was accessed by local businesses.


8.4         The Chair noted the comments and put the recommendation to the vote which was carried.


8.5         RESOLVED: That the progress update report be noted.




9             Brighton Waterfront Project


9.1         The Assistant Director for City Development & Regeneration introduced the report and stated that followed on from the report to the Policy & Resources Committee in December. He noted that the waterfront was a key strategic site in the City and provided the opportunity to create a new mixed-use urban quarter that would benefit the city and its economy. He stated that it was intended to bring a report to committee in early 2022 and this was to provide an update on progress to date.


9.2         Members of the Sub-Committee welcomed the report and suggested that future reports would need to go to the Policy & Resources Committee and full Council, in order to give full consideration to the strategic importance of the waterfront.


9.3         The Chair then put the recommendations to the vote which were caried.


9.4         RESOLVED:


(1)      That the progress to-date in investigating potential masterplan options, with a view to the parties preparing their respective business plans and reporting back to the Policy & Resources Committee in January 2022 with a firm recommendation on development strategy and next steps be noted;


(2)      That the work being undertaken by officers to develop a specification, optimum capacity and financial business plan for the venue facility to inform future development strategy be noted; and


(3)      That the city council’s in principle support for the concept of a mixed-use regeneration of this key part of the city, which reintroduces a permeable, liveable street scene which aligns with planning policy whilst integrating conference and venue facilities with the retail heart of the city; in line with the principles at paragraph 3.4 of the report be confirmed.




10          Outdoor Events 2021/22 – Life Festival


10.1      The Assistant Director, Culture, Tourism & Sport introduced the report and noted that the proposed event had been reduced from 4 to 3 weekends. She stated that it was a small event in terms of those held in the City and that the actual site would be fenced off and managed to ensure numbers were controlled.


10.2      The Sub-Committee noted the information and agreed that subject to the necessary precautions being put in place and Ward councillors being made fully aware that it should be supported.


10.3      The Chair the put the recommendations to the vote which were carried.


10.4      RESOLVED:


(1)      That in accordance with the government’s roadmap and associated guidance, landlord’s consent (subject to the execution of a formal agreement) for the LiFE Festival at Brighton Rugby Club, Waterhall for four weekends over the course of late July and August 2021 be granted; Landlord’s consent would subject to the actions detailed in paragraph 3.7 of the report being carried out;


(2)      That it be noted that the final permission for events is being sought on the basis that step 4 of the government’s road map was reached on 19th July and the LiFE music event can take place within any remaining restrictions; and


(3)      That officers be authorised to enter into formal agreements with the event organisers to determine conditions, fees and levels of support, as appropriate.




11          Parking Services Restructure Funding


11.1      The Head of Parking Services introduced a report concerning the proposed restructuring of the Traffic Control Centre within the Parking Services Team and to approve the funding to take forward a number of planned initiatives within City Transport. He noted that there would be a number of reports coming to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee over the next few months in this regard.


11.2      The Sub-Committee welcomed the report and asked for consideration to be given to the use of cctv and red routes and how loading bans impacted on mandatory cycle lanes. It was also suggested that flexible parking tariffs should be investigated to enable greater use of car parks.


11.3      The Head of Parking Services stated that other cities such as San Francisco had been contacted to see how flexible tariffs worked but the difficulty was that the current legislation prevented the adoption of these in this country.


11.4      The Chair noted the comments and put the recommendations to the vote which were carried by 2 votes to 1.


11.5      RESOLVED:


(1)      That the funding of £770,000 for additional staff to work in the Traffic Control Centre from 2022/23 to be met from anticipated additional income be agreed; and


(2)      That the funding of the anticipated deficits of £320,000 in 2022/23 and 2023/24, if they materialise, from corporate reserves be agreed and that these will be repaid from anticipated surpluses in subsequent years.




12          Welcome Back Fund


12.1      The Assistant Director, Culture, Tourism & Sport introduced the report which provided an update on the allocation of the Welcome Back Funding and proposed the use of the remaining funds to support projects that could be delivered over the next 6-months.


12.2      The Sub-Committee welcomed the report and Members thanked officers for the work today and expressed support for the proposed use of the funding.


12.3      The Chair then put the recommendation to the vote which was carried.


12.4      RESOLVED: That the Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture be granted delegated authority to allocate the remaining funding in accordance with the government’s eligibility criteria and in consultation with business representatives in line with the proposals set out in the report.


12.5      The Chair then noted that with Item 10 having been a late report and having an appendix that was exempt from disclosure, he needed to put the recommendation that the information contained in the appendix to the report should remain exempt from disclosure to the press and public.


12.6      RESOLVED: That the appendix detailing the site plan that related to Item 10 on the report and which had been circulated with the addendum papers to Members only should remain exempt from disclosure to the press and public.






The meeting concluded at 6.09pm










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