Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Thursday, 25th November, 2021 4.00pm (Item 36.)
It’s been a busy time for my Co-Chair Cllr Osborne and myself since our last TECC committee. In September I held a couple of meetings virtually with the Beach Access Team, a small group of very active disabled volunteers whose goal it is to make the beach accessible. As we know there is much work still to do on this, and this work will feed-in to the next big piece of work for my side, which is the Accessibility Strategy, starting early next year.
A few of us Cllrs attended the launch of the HIV vending machines at the Jubilee.
A very good attendance for the unveiling of the blue plaque for Rabindranath Tagore, the Bard of Begal, who for a time lived here in Brighton, and whose blue plaque can be seen on the wall of the Pub Du Vin on Ship St.
Cllr OSBORNE visited the onion at the Pavilion last month, an area not open to the public.
I attended the WW1 and WW2 day and exhibition at the Dome.
I laid a wreath for all Civilians of War at the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Steine. I then went on to attend the Remembrance services at Hove, at All Saints, and for Jewish Service Personnel at the synagogue in Hove.
Saltdean Library is moving to temporary premises whilst the Saltdean Lido development work takes place.
The library closed on 23rd November and will re-open in the temporary premises, next to the entrance of the current library, from Tuesday 14 December.
The library will be open on current staffed days on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Unfortunately, the library will not able to offer 'Libraries Extra' opening in the temporary premises.
The closest alternative is Rottingdean Library which is open seven days a week with a mixture of staffed and Libraries Extra.
Trans Day of Remembrance
Last Sunday our Trans, Non-Binary & Intersex groups, along with allies held a vigil in Jubilee Square, Brighton for Transgender Day of Remembrance. More than 150 people attended to hear speakers from diverse communities share messages of kindness and calls to action. As always, I found it a very moving and through-provoking experience.
The council continues to stand in solidarity with our Trans and Non-Binary communities, and notes with grave concern the increasing hostility directed at this group. The link between demonising communities and harm experienced is clear.
As Co-Chair of the Equality & Inclusion Partnership I was proud to issue a statement of solidity and support on behalf of the partnership and all its members.
The vigil continued at the city’s new LGBTQ+ community centre -The Ledward Centre on Jubilee street, which is due to open officially in mid- December, which I hope to attend.
From supporting BSL interpreters at the Trans Day of Remembrance event, to flying the Trans flags from our town halls, to funding specific Trans, Non-Binary and Queer Trans Intersex People of Colour (QTIPOC), groups and supporting Trans Pride, the council demonstrates that to our Trans and Non-Binary communities we not only see them but hear their calls for full equality, and act in the pursuit of a fairer city for all.
Council officers in partnership with the University of Sussex, the local community and voluntary sector and private landlords have been working hard to secure accommodation as quickly as possible to support four of the Chevening scholars with families evacuated in August. Two of the families are now settled in their news home, the third we hope will be in their property by the end of the year and a fourth property has been secured. I would like to say a huge thank you to the individuals in the community and voluntary sector who have helped find and set-up these properties, making them as welcoming as possible for these families that have experienced trauma and the terrible losses of their homes, of their jobs, of loved ones, and of their country.
World Aids Day
I would like to encourage people to attend the world AIDs day community lunch happening this Sunday. Organised by the amazing voluntary organisation Lunch Positive, the lunch celebrates food and friendship and remembers those who have lost their lives. Event starts at 12.30pm and lunch is a 1pm, Dorset Gardens Methodist Church.
On the cultural side, Brighton & Hove City Council have organised the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme which is aimed at supporting the city’s Events sector and Live Music Venues that have continued to be disproportionately affected by closure or greatly reduced operation between 17th of May and 19th of July 2021.
The grant scheme will offer a one-off grant of £10,000 to Events sector and Live Music Venues in Brighton & Hove. In particular, prioritising those that have not received other support (e.g., a Restart Grant) or were severely impacted and not able to reopen due to the continuing social distancing during that period. This grant will prioritise business with higher fixed costs and significant income loss due to continued social distancing.
This discretionary grant is available to businesses that fall into one of the categories below.
• Events Production companies
• Event promoters / organisers
• Events management companies
• Events planning services
• Live Music Venues (where the applicant is not the rate payer)
This scheme is not available for individual freelancers or sole traders.
Just to give you the expected timeline for the grant, the application portal opens on Tuesday 4 January 2022, with the deadline for applying on Monday 17 January 2022. Applications will be reviewed by a panel – w/c Monday 17 January 2022, the list of awarded businesses finalised – w/c 7 February 2022 and finally, the grants distributed to awarded businesses - w/c 14 February 2022.
On sports, it is great to see that the all-weather 3G Pitch at Stanley Deason Leisure Centre has re-opened after two months of extensive renovation.
The popular pitch is used by schools and colleges and is also home to a five-a-side league. There is also a thriving community of work-based teams and local football teams who use the pitch for training and competitive matches. A new partnership between Freedom Leisure who manage and operate the facility with Whitehawk Football Club is being developed so both organisations can work closer together to serve the local community.
Renovation work has included improving the drainage, new upgraded fencing and a state-of-the-art 3G surface as the previous synthetic pitch had reached the end of its useable life. The upgrade also includes new low energy LED floodlights and controls.
New goals have been added and a spectator fence line installed creating a much safer experience for spectators and players waiting their turn to get onto the pitch.
Funding was provided by Brighton & Hove City Council as part of the new 10-year plan to improve sports facilities in the City in line with the Sports Facility Investment Plan (SFIP).
A key aim of the plan is to continue to improve access to high quality facilities, to increase participation and boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.
As part of this ongoing work, the Sports Facilities Investment Plan Member Working Group are visiting the Prince Regent Swimming Complex next week to look at some of the current challenges faced in managing the centres and to consider the opportunities that the new investment plan can provide for the future provision of leisure facilities.
On outdoor events in the city, in previous years, the outdoor events papers have been brought to the November TECC Committee. As a result of the pandemic we have decided to bring these reports to the January committee and for 2022 we have given event organisers more time to draw together their plans with a clearer view of any impacts to consider as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Reports for both the full events programme and events on Madeira Drive will come to the TECC Committee in January 2022, along with a Fees and Charges report.
And finally, to finish on a cheery item, the Christmas Market will commence on Friday 26th November (tomorrow) and run through to Friday 31st December 2021. The only day when the festival will be closed is Christmas Day but every other day will open at 11am, and close at either 6pm on Sunday, and 11pm on other days. All information regarding the Brighton Christmas Festival can be found at www.brightonchristmasfestival.com.