20 October 2022


Cllr Steph Powell and Cllr Martin Osbourne

Co-Chairs, Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee

Hove Town Hall, Hove, East Sussex.  BN3 3BQ



Dear Cllr Powell & Cllr Osbourne,


Member Letter (Procedure rule 23.3):  Council’s reputation for holding events


I am writing this letter to bring the Committee’s attention to growing concerns within the tourism sector over the City’s declining reputation as a place to hold major events and the role the Council might be having in this.


A number of the Council’s recent decisions have led to long-held events being scaled back considerably.  For example, the Brighton Speed Trials motorcycle category was cancelled for a second year due to the council installing an unsuitable surface and line markings on Madeira Drive.  The City’s historic motoring events bring thousands of people to the city and need to be supported.


There have been further concerns about the Council’s dwindling number of Civic events, planned or held.   The Council cancelled City in Bloom and did not directly organise any events to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee this year, which stood in contrast to other local authorities which embraced this civic occasion.  There have recently been reports in the press that there will not be a Christmas Light switch-on event this year.  Tourists will go elsewhere as a result.


The City’s declining ability to attract major events has also been commented on after the City was unable to bid for to host the Eurovision Song Contest due to a lack of modern facilities and infrastructure.


Can the Chair advise whether the Administration has an events strategy that includes policies for attracting and retaining events in the city.  Such a strategy would provide reassurance to the local tourism industry, which the city estimates contributes £886m to the local economy.


Yours sincerely,

Cllr Samer Bagaeen

Conservative Group Spokesperson on Tourism