Agenda item - Chairs Communications

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Agenda item

Chairs Communications

Minutes:

14.1    The Chair gave the following communications:

 

A week is a long time in politics so they say, and so here we are under a new Green administration.

 

Firstly, we would like to thank Cllr Carmen APPICH for all of her work on the Committee so far.   We are very much looking forward to a continued constructive collaboration and dialogue with her in her new role as the Opposition Spokesperson of the Committee.

 

Secondly, we are under no illusion that this is a very difficult time in local government: the pandemic, 10 years of austerity (and counting), and the unresolved issue of Brexit continue to hammer council finances.  

 

Our priority now must be to help the city recover as safely as possible in every area – from tourism, to events, to hospitality, to the charity sector, and we need everyone on board to help us to achieve this.

 

We would like to thank each and every one of you here today - and your teams for your continued hard work and dedication during these exceptionally challenging past few months. You have all managed to continue many of the council services, other public sector services, and the charity and voluntary services running during this hugely challenging time, in a situation not seen before in our lifetime.  Thank you for what you have done and are continuing to do.

 

The city of course, has sadly missed out on so many important events due to the pandemic, not least Pride, which would have taken place this weekend.  It is important to note that 2020 marks 50 years since the founding of the Gay Liberation Front, and with recent news of “anti-LGBT+ zones” being created in Poland, it is a timely reminder that LGBT+ equality, which has been so hard fought for, must never be taken for granted.  We will still be able to celebrate Pride online with FABULOSO, so that we can still fully support and celebrate our fantastic LGBT+ communities, so Happy Pride everyone!

 

So, as new Joint Chairs we wanted to give you some explanation as to how the Joint Chair will work, as this is the first time of doing this.  It is a new way of working, which we as the incoming administration are doing on several committees.  We are doing this so that:

 

large portfolios can be shared to enable those councillors who are working and/or who have caring responsibilities to be able to also carry-out more senior roles on the council.

 

b) we also felt that two brains was rather better than one in these challenging times.

 

So, we felt that it was important to divide-up the portfolio of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, and so we have the following broad headings in order to give you a first point of contact:

 

Cllr Marianna EBEL will be your first point of contact for the following areas:

Tourism & Marketing

Culture, Arts and Heritage

Events

Leisure, Sports & Recreation

Conservation and Design

Building Control

Museums

Planning

 

I will be your first point of contact for the following areas:

Equalities

Community and Voluntary Sector

Libraries

Neighbourhood and Community Development

Community Wealth Building

Community Safety

Crime and Disorder Committee

Prevent Duty

           

Additionally, we have Cllr Clare RAINEY as our Deputy Chair, whose invaluable experience and work that she has done so far with regards to the arts sector and libraries will continue.

           

We are keen to catch-up with all relevant officers and city contacts as soon as possible.  We would ask groups and individuals to get in touch with us or officers, so that we can start arranging those meetings.

 

So, Cllr Marianna EBEL and I haven’t been in the Joint Chair role a week yet, but already we have hit the ground running.  Cllr EBEL and is attending the meeting with BLM and BHBuses later this week.  I attended, along with the Mayor and Cllr APPICH, the exciting re-opening of the Royal Pavilion on Monday.  Yesterday I attended the Racial Harassment Forum and listened to their requests and concerns.  We reaffirmed at this meeting our commitment as the Green Group, along with our Labour colleagues, to committing to working with them and others, to improve the lives of our BAME community by starting with our own council, which brings me to our one agenda item today: Becoming An Anti-Racist Council. 

 

Now, today’s meeting is somewhat topsy-turvy, as we should have had the petition from Mo KANJILAL on this subject, and the GG NoM at last week’s Full Council, but other events rather changed the proceedings, so this is to reaffirm that that petition and the NoM will be heard at a future Full Council. 

 

I would like to stress that this agenda item today is not a moment in time. This is about looking at deconstructing old systems and structures, and creating better ways of working, in order to create a fairer and equal society with the focus on anti-racism. It is an ongoing piece of work that must come back to this committee again and again.  Today’s agenda item is a continuation of a journey that is progressing all too slowly.  We need every co-optee, and every voice to get involved and to contribute to making this societal shift, so that Brighton & Hove can be both a City of Sanctuary and an Anti-Racist Council.”

 

 


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