Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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3.1 The Chair gave the following communication –
Good afternoon everyone. I’m Nancy Platts and I’m honoured and proud to be the Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.
I’m delighted to welcome you all to this, the first meeting of the Policy, Resources and Growth committee since the recent local elections.
I’d like to begin by thanking all of our dedicated and hardworking officers for helping us as a new administration. They have set up superb induction and training sessions to help the many new Councillors effectively represent their Wards and become fully involved in their committee roles. We are all grateful to you.
I’d also like to say that I’m very much looking forward to working with all the members who sit on this extremely important committee. We, the councillors sitting here, have the responsibility of driving forward and delivering what we think are the priorities for the city. These are…
Hundreds of more new affordable homes that are so desperately needed in our city.
Enabling a thriving and dynamic local economy for the benefit of everyone living in the city and
Starting the crucial work which will see Brighton & Hove become carbon neutral by 2030.
We also have a duty to our residents, businesses and visitors to ensure we are a well-run, efficient and effective council at the heart of a vibrant and progressive city.
Despite this council and the whole of local government still being in the vice-like grip of austerity – and forecasts showing the future looks even tougher – this committee must work together to deliver a robust, yet sensible council budget while ensuring we’re looking after the city’s most vulnerable people.
Austerity plus inadequate planning and national housing policy has created a visible homeless community in our city.
We have young people and adults on low incomes; sofa surfing - a huge hidden homelessness problem. This is shameful and everyone in this city needs to own that and be part of the solution.
People see Brighton and Hove as a wealthy city – it’s an expensive place to live but wages have not kept up with house prices.
The wealth created in our city needs to be more equally shared. We can start by fairly paying people for the work they do - last year we made an impact by calling for an end to Unpaid Trial Shifts and signing up another 100 employers to the Living Wage Campaign.
I want to bring in new investment and deliver more space so that our many small businesses can grow and employ more people.
One of the other issues at the top of my agenda for the next four years – the term of this administration – is climate change. I want to pay tribute to the young people of our city who have led the way in raising awareness. I will be asking to meet with them to hear their ideas - they need to be at the heart of our thinking. I’ve been pleased to receive many positive emails and messages from individuals and community groups about our commitment to a climate change assembly. It is heartening that so many people want to be involved in this project and I am excited about getting started.
There’s no doubt we will have many challenges and issues to resolve.
But there are also so many positives to look towards, both now and in the future.
· Planning permission was yesterday granted for almost 250 low cost homes near Coldean Lane as part of the Home for Brighton & Hove / Hyde Group partnership. The partnership with Hyde will see 1,000 affordable homes being built across the city
· We are also working towards becoming a pesticide-free city within three years;
· We’re developing a number of initiatives which will help reduce emissions and improve air quality in the city;
· The Valley Gardens scheme will also help reduce emissions and transform this part of the city.
· As will the new 200 electric car charging points that are due to be installed throughout the city this autumn
· And we’ll soon be starting the first phase of the Madeira Terrace restoration project.
Added to that, our summer events calendar is in full swing with our third Disability Pride this Sunday at Hove Lawns.
While many coastal towns and cities are finding life difficult, we should all be proud that Brighton & Hove is still growing, evolving and adapting.
This committee must work together to ensure that this continues.
I’d like to inform those present that this meeting will be webcast live and will be capable of repeated viewing.