Agenda item - Chairs Communications

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Agenda item

Chairs Communications

Minutes:

60.1      The Chair provided the following communications:

 

“I want to start my chair’s communications this afternoon by saying a huge thank you to all our City Environment and Transport staff during these difficult times.

I especially want to express my gratitude and appreciation to all our hard-working operations teams, office staff and managers who are still being able to work, and are keeping some of the council’s most essential services running, whatever the weather.

They include our collections, streets, enforcement and projects teams in Cityclean; our parks and arboriculture teams in City Parks; and parking enforcement officers and traffic management staff in transport.

I also want to show my appreciation to everyone involved in this year’s winter service team for ensuring the city is safe and keeps running by carrying out the essential role of gritting the roads when needed, day or night.

Each and every one of you are playing a vital role in helping the city function as normally as possible during the current lockdown.

As part of the council’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2030, we are keen to increase the tree cover in the city.

Our original plans for planting were dependant on a significant amount of volunteer help, which unfortunately Covid has put a stop to. However, planting is still going ahead.

In addition to the usual tree planting Cityparks does, we are carrying out the following:

 

   The first two phases of Valley Gardens 1 and 2 are drawing to a close and there are now 150 new trees in the gardens that there were before the scheme started.

 

   Planting in Stanmer Park is well under way with 500 new trees being planted. Half  are  part of the Restoration Project and the remaining 250  are being funded from the ‘Green Christmas’

 

   The biggest scheme planned for this year is Carden Park. We had  anticipated a lot of public involvement,  but the  planting will be carried out by  our own staff. Rather than postpone the start of the scheme it will now be carried out in phases. The 2500 trees for phase 1 will be delivered in the next couple of weeks and planted by the end of March.

It is unfortunate that Covid has prevented us from harnessing the enthusiasm of the volunteers for tree planting around the City and disappointing for those members of the committee who planned to lend a hand in schemes that we will not be out on volunteer planting days.

 

I do see public involvement as being key to achieving significant increases in the numbers of trees in the city and am pleased to say that the posts created to facilitate this have been filled.

 

David Brookhouse joined us this month and Ben Galley will be joining us on the 1st of February. Both are looking forward to getting more trees into the City and meeting [ remotely at first] the groups supporting the council to achieve this. One of their early tasks will be relaunching and increasing the profile of the councils tree donation scheme.

Planting areas for trees is also something that is being discussed in the public consultation on our Whole Estate Plan which I am hoping will identify even more planting opportunities than we have in our public open spaces.

Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC), in partnership with Shoreham Port Authority (SPA), Adur District Council (Adur DC) and the Environment Agency (EA), have developed a 100 year strategy to improve and maintain the coastal defences for the section of coast line between Brighton Marina and the River Adur.

The strategy recommended an improvement scheme that would improve the coastal defences to reduce the long term (100 year) flood and erosion risk, taking account of long-term climate change predictions to sea level rise.

An outline business case was submitted to the Environment Agency, for technical and financial approval. This business case was used to support the a bid for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM), Grant in Aid (GiA) funding.

Approval of the outline business case and the subsequent award of the full GiA funding was received in December. This will provide £12,085,444 of funding to enable the detailed design and construction of the scheme.

In addition to the GiA funding and as recognition of an extremely well received business case and presentation, an additional £2,000,000 of funding has been provided to facilitate the acceleration of the scheme.

Work on the design detail stage of the project is currently underway and is expected to be finalised by spring 2022.

I would like to thank all the essential staff within Parking Services working in the office where they can’t do this from home since March. They are continuing to deliver an important service for residents, businesses, blue badge holders and concessionary pass users during these difficult times.

I would also like to thank all the staff in our Highways Maintenance team for keeping our roads and pavements maintained under difficult circumstances. As well as all the staff in the Transport Division and all the City Clean drivers who are involved in delivering our Winter Service Plan which keeps our roads safe during the winter months”.

 


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