Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Thursday, 10th March, 2022 4.00pm (Item 72.)
Like many of you here, I must start by acknowledging the growing horror that we are witnessing daily in the Ukraine. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainians, a people who are showing immense courage and resolve in this horrifying and frankly frightening situation.
We’re all starting to hear about local groups and residents who are helping the relief effort in so many ways, and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
The government has now published details of their Ukraine Scheme which explains the Home Office rules allowing Ukrainians with family members in the UK to get 3-year visas to be in the UK. We know that some residents have kindly offered spare rooms in their homes as emergency accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, however, there has been no news on a wider scheme to place Ukrainians in local authority areas, so there is currently no mechanism for placing refugees into people’s homes. The council website and twitter will however, be kept up to date on this.
We’ve all been touched to see the Pavilion lit-up in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag. And today, the Ukrainian flag is atop the town halls as a mark of our solidarity.
The UN Day Against Racism is Saturday 19th March 2022. This year, the day will see international protests taking place in cities around the world under the slogan ‘World Against Racism & Fascism’, and I spoke at the online event last night about our anti-racist work in the city council. The Pavilion and town halls will be lit up in blue to mark the day.
Exciting news…. There will be a free day at the Royal Pavilion, on Sunday 13th March 2022. There is nothing the public need to do except just turn up. People are advised to arrive early and be prepared to queue. They have a maximum capacity on the building so please note this. They will be doing a collection on the day for the Red Cross supporting Ukraine so if visitors want to contribute to that then it would be encouraged.
The 3rd March was World Book Day and the 17th anniversary of the opening of the award winning Jubilee Library!
Library staff had a wide range of books to give away to children, who were allowed to have one of each title on offer if they wished, and there were books suited to differing age groups. In Whitehawk, the City Academy decided to bring their entire school into the public library during the week to celebrate World Book Day.
From Wednesday 16 March 2022 to Tuesday 22 March 2022 the Jubilee is taking part in the Oska Bright Film Festival which is celebrating its tenth Year. The One Bum Cinema Club is possibly the smallest free cinema to visit on the planet, just one bum at a time, take your seat and enjoy a selection of films showing as part of the Oska Bright Film Festival at Jubilee Library. The festival puts people with learning disabilities, autism and aspergers where they should be - programming the festival and starring centre stage.
I would like to welcome the new domestic abuse team to the council. Anne CLARKE will head up the small team which will commission services and will lead on the VAWG agenda, including MARAC. We are hoping that the team will be up and running from 1st April, and further communications will be put out in the next few weeks.
And on behalf of the council and councillors I would like to issue an apology. In a recent meeting I was made aware that some of the public consultation responses that the council received regarding the new Pan Sussex domestic abuse accommodation and support strategy, caused concern and harm to our Trans and Nonbinary communities. I would like to reassure everyone that these comments were not the views of councillors or officers, and that in future, if such responses are included in the papers for transparency, then I have asked officers to acknowledge that these comments in no way reflect the views of this council, or councillors.
The next Third Thursday event will be next week, 17th March. This is the 4th event in the series and there will be film trail of commissioned films, all with an environmental theme, projected onto buildings in The Lanes and North Laine starting at
TK Maxx, North Street, at 7pm. Businesses' windows will also feature films to be watched throughout the evening.
There's also an exciting environmentally-friendly digital fireworks show (which can be projected from participants' smartphones), a silent disco and a specially curated screening of Other Worlds, presented by Oska Bright Film Festival - the world's biggest film festival featuring films made by, or featuring learning disabled and autistic people - at Komedia.
The Third Thursday events are one part of the ABCD cultural recovery plan but there has been a lot more going on over the last month or so and which continues, including a successful series of Igniter events, an online webinar series which have brought together international, national and local guest speakers to provoke ideas, suggest new ways of working and inviting people to re-energise collaborations. The 4th and final one of these Igniter events entitled "Clusters, communities and co-working" takes place online next week from 4:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday 16th March.
There is too much to mention now and but if you are interested in finding out more, there is a website dedicated to the ABCD plan called www.cultureinourcity.com which has full updates and information on the plan as well as opportunities to get involved.
As part of the wider cultural offering in the city, we really value the importance of events and it was great to have a successful half marathon, not last weekend but the weekend end before. That was the first big event of the year, and there are further big events lined up for next month including the marathon on 10th April, InCarNation on Madeira Drive on 23rd April, and the Foodies Festival in Preston Park on 30th April and 1st May.
Then, as ever, we’re really looking forward to welcoming both Brighton fringe and Brighton festival back in May. The theme of the festival this year is “Rebuilding” and there will be 150 events taking places across the city- you might have seen the brochure around town but if you haven’t got it yet, you can download the programme online and book tickets.
Also, it’s great to have the children’s parade back during the first weekend of the festival season and which will be the first one held since 2019. Similarly, you can explore the full schedule for the fringe on their website, and with over 500 events so it’s looking like another exciting year for the city. This includes the Spiegeltent, the Rotunda Theatre in Regency Square, the Lady Boys of Bangkok in St Peter’s Square and more!
A reminder that there are two consultations on planning policy documents that are still open for a little while longer. Firstly, the Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights of class E to residential is open until 14th March, so only until the start of next week.
Then secondly you have until the 21st March to submit comments for the consultation on our update to the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation SPD. Both are important documents for the council and have previously come to TECC, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to respond if you wish to do so.
Mike Sansom, will be retiring as Building Control Manager on 31 March after an incredible 48 years’ working at the City Council. I’m told over 20 years of that time he has been as Building Control Manager.
Liz – and us all - would like to thank Mike for his long service and the huge contribution he has made to the city, the city council and the building control profession over those years. He has played a key role in both the life of the city and the national governing body of local authority building control. He has been involved in some of the key developments for the city, helping to protect life and limb; and had a leading role in the development and operation of the Falmer Stadium within the Safety at Sports Grounds Act. He also had a key role in assessing the safety of cladding on high rise blocks across the city after the Grenfell tragedy. Many thanks Mike and may you have a very long and happy retirement.
Finally, last and not least, a little bird tells me that this is Nick Hibberd’s last TECC committee. I don’t know exactly how many years Nick has been with BHCC, but it’s a long old time – 20 odd years, I think? Nick is venturing to pastures new in South London, so Nick – we wish you all the very best. You’ve been a pleasure to work with over the years, and you will be very missed. Best of luck to you.