Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


(a)           Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public;


(b)           Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 30 June 2023;


(c)           Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 30 June 2023.



(A)          Petitions


1)             Madeira Terrace Lift Bus Replacement Service


11.1      The Committee considered a petition signed by 294 people requesting the operation of s shuttle bus service to Madeira Terrace whilst the lift was under maintenance.


11.2      The Chair provided the following response:


“Following requests from residents officers have explored the option of running a shuttle bus service on a loop between the top and bottom of the lift through the summer season while the Madeira Terrace lift is out of action. Unfortunately, the additional £80,000 cost of running this service is unbudgeted at a time when resources are already under pressure. Over the summer, Madeira Drive gets extremely busy with traffic and cars looking for parking spaces and manoeuvring into the bays often leads to congestion and delays. This would make any service and journey along Madeira Drive extremely slow and time-consuming.

Officers have also explored the option of a diversion to the existing 52 bus service and are awaiting a response to enquiries from The Big Lemon CIC who operate the service on our behalf, however officers think this option may be problematic as the current service runs at a relatively high cost per passenger and there is a risk that significant changes could further increase operating costs and put the service at risk. The service also uses electric buses which are at the limit of their operating battery range. The Council have also made recent improvements to the service to increase passenger numbers using Bus Service Improvement Plan funding and have publicised this extensively. It will take a while for these changes to bed in and further alterations could confuse passengers”.


11.3      Resolved- That the Committee note the petition.


(2)       Stanmer Street access trial


11.4      The petitioner deferred the petition.


(3)       Safe road crossing – Hove Cemetery / Old Shoreham Rd


11.5      The Committee considered a petition signed by 501 people requesting a crossing on Old Shoreham Road near Hove Cemetery.


11.6      The Chair provided the following response:


“The Council receives many requests for transport infrastructure improvements across the city on a yearly basis.

To manage this demand, we have recently introduced a new assessment process called Safer Better Streets – highway infrastructure priority.

As part of this new process, requests will only be accepted via ward councillors. As your request was received via this route, by presenting your petition to the Transport and Sustainability Committee it will be included in the list for assessment.

Please note that due to the number of assessments needed from requests in previous years, requests received after 31 March 2023 may be referred to the 2024/5 financial year for assessment”. 


11.7      Resolved- That the committee note the petition.


(4)      Gardner Street


11.8      The Committee considered a petition signed by 32 people requesting the pedestrianisation of Gardner Street from 11am-5pm Monday to Sunday.


11.9      The Chair provided the following response:


“Thank you for your petition, The closure of Gardner Street to motorized vehicles in January followed a decision taken by the Environment, Transport and sustainability committee in November 2022.

This decision was taken after a full consultation regarding the Traffic Regulation Order had been carried out and engagement with stakeholders including businesses.

Businesses are allowed to use the full width of the footways outside their premises between 11am-5pm each day. This creates a welcoming 3m to 4m wide thoroughfare along the road for pedestrians. Officers have received several comments that the space is now more attractive to use.

Previous to the current closures, businesses were able to use the carriageway only when the road was closed at weekends. With the full width of the carriageway blocked by outside furniture the narrow pavements often became difficult to navigate, people with disabilities found the street difficult to use and would often avoid it at weekends.

As the current design (which is working well in other streets in the city) has only been active since January, Officers will continue to monitor the current Traffic regulation order and street layout with a view to reviewing the decision in the autumn”.


11.10   Resolved- That the Committee note the petition.


(B)          Public Questions


(1)           Parking Cards


11.11   Susan Gorman read the following question:


“Can residents and visitors buy a scratch card type pay to park card, to be used in pay to park bays? This will do away with the need for technology and can be purchased in advance and scratched off to show date, time, zone etc.  This will be a more inclusive solution and can be used alongside the app and account system”.


11.12   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Scratch cards are not an available option for short term use in paid parking bays in Brighton and Hove. However, visitor parking permits for residents and their visitors within controlled parking zones are available to buy through the council website”.


(2)           Bus Diversion


11.13   Gregg McTaggert read the following question:


“I live on Montpelier Road and am amongst those most severely impacted by the Western Road bus diversions.  In correspondence with the former and current Regency Ward councillors they talk of “considering the views of stakeholders”.  There seem to me five primary stakeholders – residents on the diversion, other residents, B&H buses, RJ Dance and the Council.  Please provide a list of stakeholder meetings held with each group since 9 January 2023, the date the diversion started”


11.14   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thank you for your question. I have noted the disruption resulting from the current construction on Western Road and have raised this with officers.

I am advised that, as the diversion is currently subject to a legal challenge, I am limited in what I can say in response at this stage; however, I do hope that buses will return to Western Road as soon as possible.

I understand officers have met with a group of residents before and since the diversion was introduced which has resulted in some changes along the diversion route. We are keen that residents are kept informed of progress and I understand update newsletters have been distributed previously. We hope to provide a further update once the legal process allows”.


11.15   Gregg McTaggert asked the following supplementary question:


“What is the council doing to monitor the contractors performance?”


11.16   The Chair provided the following reply:


“We are working closely with the contractor, and we know they are working hard, at least six days a week. We are driving forward to deliver a two-way traffic as soon as possible”.


(3)           Greenways


11.17   Malcolm Spencer read the following question:

“I am a farmer in Ovingdean producing food that is eaten by residents in the city.  For years, crops in one of my fields have been damaged by people who stay in their camper vans on the road called Greenways and the problem is getting worse.  Please could Greenways be designated a No Overnight Camping road or something else that is enforceable with fines?”


11.18   The Chair provided the following reply:


“I will take this issue back to officers to determine if there are any options that can be taken forward in terms of enforcement of the overnight parking on the Greenways and also more generally lived in vehicles in the vicinity”


(4)           Net Zero 2030


11.19   Martin Gardner read the following question:


“Will the newly formed council stay true to the existing net zero by 2030 target, and if so what SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) targets will be put in place with clear lines of designated responsibility for the implementation of these targets in order to rapidly reduce carbon emissions over the next 4 years?”


11.20   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thank you for your question

Brighton & Hove City Council is resolutely committed to making Brighton & Hove a carbon neutral city by 2030.

The council has just one climate target – to become carbon neutral by 2030. This is an extremely ambitious SMART target, which measures our greenhouse gas emissions and sits across all the council’s actions. It also involves collaboration with key partners in business, public sector organisations, and communities in the city.

This target is the responsibility of the Transport and Sustainability Committee, which will receive regular reports on progress on our action to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to our changing climate”.


(5)           Climate Emergency


11.21   Martin Gardener read the following question:


“Will the council seek to provide timely and transparent information to the public in public settings (i.e. beyond on the council's own website) on the declared climate emergency, co-develop more ambitious plans with the numerous willing local community groups and collaborate with these groups to implement its carbon reduction plan, and if not why not?”


11.22   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thank you for your question. The answer is yes, and we are already actively looking for opportunities to connect with communities and partners – and explore how we can collaborate as well as share what the council is doing.

The council had a stand at the Sustainability Festival in Stanmer Park in May and we are looking at sharing a unit in the Open Market to provide information and face to face contact.

We will shortly be reviewing and reporting on our 2030 Carbon Neutral Programme and welcome suggestions on how people in the city would like to access this information. We report on progress annually, and we also report annually to the independent Carbon Disclosure Project.

We are establishing a working group with community volunteers and co-ordinators to help us better support the city in taking a more collaborative approach and use the best ways to communicate.

We want to bring together individuals and organisations with different skills, expertise, ideas and understanding of our diverse community, so we can co-develop and share the expertise of everyone in the city to support climate action.

Many actions which support people with the cost of living crisis, improve public health and provide a safer and better environment, are also climate actions, so the public’s involvement will be crucial in designing solutions that work and benefit people.

We are currently reviewing the way we involve and consult with the public to enable a more strategic and co-ordinated approach across the council.

The council is directly responsible for just 1.7% of carbon emissions in the city. We recognise the council has a role in involving, communicating and bringing people together. Only by including the voices and diverse experiences of communities and businesses will we be able to scale up climate action, reduce the effects of climate change on people, and ensure everyone has a part to play in shaping future actions and projects”.


(6)           Carbon Reduction


11.23   Martin Gardener read the following question:


“Has the council fully costed its carbon reduction plans, has funding for its plans been sourced and ringfenced, and will the annual Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Investment Fund (SCRIF) be spent on supporting the installation renewable energy in households struggling with the cost of living crisis or in support of persons/groups particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, or if not what will it be spent on and why?”


11.24   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The council has not yet fully costed its carbon reduction plans. We are commissioning a study on decarbonisation pathways which will develop and cost several scenarios to achieve our 2030 carbon neutral city-wide target. This study will deliver findings and an action plan in early 2024, which will be reported to the Transport and Sustainability Committee.

Turning to the Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Investment Fund, this is now known as the Carbon Neutral Fund.

Since 2019, the Carbon Neutral Fund has invested over £21m in projects across the council supporting reduction in greenhouse gases, adapting to climate change, and enhancing our green spaces for biodiversity. At present, we are considering how the Carbon Neutral Fund may go forward in future years, and what kind of projects will be prioritised.

Helping residents to live in well-insulated, efficiently heated, healthy homes and addressing fuel poverty issues remains a key long-term objective, which is supported through the Housing Revenue Account capital programme. The current five-year programme sets out resources of £30.113m; an average investment of £6.022m per annum. This includes investment in improvements to communal and domestic heating systems as well as identifying opportunities to install energy efficient & low carbon heating systems. We are also implementing a three-year solar PV programme, with currently allocated budget of £4.32M over the 3-year period.

Our award-winning new council housing development, at Victoria Road in Portslade, features high levels of insulation, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

We participate in a range of programmes to improve energy efficiency and bring down fuel bills for residents struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. These include our participation in wider schemes with other local authorities such as the externally funded Warmer Homes Consortium to support low-income households to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The Council has also participated in 3 rounds of the Solar Together Scheme, a Sussex wide ‘group buying’ scheme to support residents to install solar PV on their own homes.

The Council continuously reviews funding opportunities to secure more investment for climate action in our communities and economy. For example, the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration Committee on 22 June 2023, approved a plan for £460,000 external funding for projects supporting green travel corridors and active travel in the Shoreham Harbour area, helping to create a cleaner, greener South Portslade”.


(7)           Aquarium Roundabout


11.25   Adrian Hart read the following question:


“I'm aware of course that the final phase of the Valley Gardens revamp will not happen this year. However, it would be helpful if the new administration set the BHCC record straight on the following matter: In answer to questions put to ETS on June 21st and Sept 20th, the then chair/deputy seemed to suggest that the Aquarium roundabout was the most dangerous junction in the city. Will the new administration differ from the previous one on such an assertion?”


11.26   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Road Safety and collision reduction is key to providing a safer road network for all to use. We are aware that there are proportionally a large number of collisions at the Sealife Centre Roundabout. As part of the Valley Gardens Phase 3 review we will ensure that any proposals support a reduction in collisions and make this junction safer for all”.


11.27   Adrian Hart asked the following supplementary question:


“Will the Chair agree to reexamine its calculations on the roundabouts danger and consider the consultants report warning that removing it would produce a significant increase in congestion, air pollution and damage to the local economy?”


11.28   The Chair provided the following reply:


“I set out in my communications at the start of the meeting that we are set out to review this junction as part of the Valley Gardens Phase 3 work to make sure it is delivering the option we can get for this. There has been a lot of work as you highlight to establish a fair design for this. But we do need to check this to ensure it works for all constituencies. That includes safe access and crossings for cyclists and pedestrians but it is, as you say, a very busy traffic intersection between two major A roads on our seafront so there is a call and a reasonableness to undertake a review to make sure this junction works and it is made safer through that review before we begin to implement Phase 3”.


(8)           Pedal People


11.29   On behalf of the questioner, Councillor Davis read the following question:


“‘Pedal People’ use multi-seat trikes as mobility aids to enable health, wellbeing and equal access for all ages with disabilities and health challenges. 

Accessible cycles are wider 3-wheelers, so suitable cycle lanes such as A259 and Valley Gardens extensions are long-awaited key additions to enable access and equality. 1 in 20 people in Brighton are disabled.

Both schemes included excellent increased provision for disabled parking, public transport and safer cycle routes for disabled people and the wider community, including carers.

Will you give us your commitment to reverting to the original, funded plan when these revisions return unfeasible?”


11.30   The Chair provided the following reply:


“This Council is fully committed to deliver its vision, to create a ‘Fairer city, a Sustainable Future’.

To achieve this vision, an inclusive accessible transport system is absolutely key. The Council’s very own City Transport’s Service Plan identifies the importance of inclusive design and infrastructure to improve access to all parts of the city and council services.

Any revisions of the cycle lanes on the A259 or elsewhere in the city will be compliant with accessibly guidelines and will be subject to Equalities Impact Assessments”.


11.31   Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:


“Do you think that the new scheme will be as well consulted upon and will meet with all the stakeholders we met before and will still fit into the timeframe you’ve given for implementation?”


11.32   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The review of the existing scheme is to build upon the consultation to date which supports the case for an active travel scheme on Hove A259 and elsewhere in the city. The aim of the review is to improve and better the scheme as it stands to enhance that bi-directional cycle route and to avoid the particular re-routing of the eastbound cycle route”.


(9)           School Streets


11.33   Michael Letton read the following question:


“Given the number of active travel schemes that the current administration has paused for revision, would the committee support a revision of the Westdene school streets scheme given the large impact it is having on the community 7 days a week, 365 days a year?”


11.34   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The Westdene Primary School Streets scheme is currently in place under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). ETROs act as statutory consultation periods in which schemes are monitored and changes can be made to live schemes.

At present, this safety improvement scheme has received overwhelming support from members of the public, including residents and parents and carers and continues to be supported by the school.

A revision to the in-situ scheme is not currently considered to be required however this scheme will be presented to a future Transport and Sustainability Committee later this year, where Councillors will duly consider all feedback received from the ETRO process and decide whether to make the scheme permanent”.  


(10)        Cycle Lanes


11.35   Cicely Lloyd read the following question:


“The Brighton Multicultural Women’s Cycle Club (aka The BMWs) has been meeting in Preston Park Velodrome for 2 years. Our members find negotiating traffic in Brighton the biggest barrier to cycling around the city. Good cycle lanes we do have, like Valley Gardens and Madeira Drive, do not sufficiently link up to form a network. We were excited by the plans for new funded (and consulted on) cycle lanes for London Road, Valley Gardens Phase 3 and the A259 in Hove. Please can you explain why you have abruptly stopped the implementation process without consulting key stakeholders like us?”


11.36   The Chair provided the following reply:


“We are fully supportive of Active Travel and understand the importance of ensuring a joined-up walking and cycling network. We have not stopped these schemes; rather committed to review to improve. As a new administration we are undertaking a review of some of the schemes such as Valley Gardens Phase 3 and the A259 Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road cycle lanes in Hove to ensure that they provide the best solution for all users of the transport network. This demonstrates our commitment to robust, sustainable, integrated, equitable, accessible active travel in our city that works for all”.


11.37   Cicely Lloyd asked the following supplementary question:


“Why have you not consulted?”


11.38   The Chair provided the following reply:


“In the development of schemes there is a robust consultation process. This Administration have paused to see if it was possible to make the scheme better. There will be an opportunity for consultation within that process and we are reviewing, not stopping the scheme”.


(11)        Valley Gardens


11.39   Duncan Blinkhorn read the following question:


“Decent cycle lanes are crucial for enabling more people to travel actively. Valley Gardens is a fantastic example. However, with phase 3 still not started, the cycle lane stops abruptly, making getting to the seafront incredibly difficult. Progress has shockingly been stopped by this administration, in spite of Labour councillors having repeatedly voted for the plans.

This repeats a previous Labour administration’s ‘review’ which delayed Phase Two by two years, at huge expense, and jeopardising safety.

How can the administration justify delaying and adding unnecessary expense to this excellent, funded plan that so urgently needs to be completed?”


11.40   The Chair provided the following reply:


“We are fully committed to the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme which is a key scheme in the heart of the city. Our review will ensure that the scheme provides the absolute best value for money and provides maximum benefit for all users and is safe. Returning to schemes to amend after construction is more costly than getting it right once. This is too important not to review and improve before implementation”


11.41   Duncan Blinkhorn asked the following supplementary question:


“Can you sympathise with those that are trying and wanting to get around the city by bike who have been waiting in great anticipation for so many years now only to see implementation rolled back again?”


11.42   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Labour is absolutely committed to Valley Gardens, we put forward the scheme and we’re very supportive of the developments to date”.


(12)        A23


11.43   Andy Keetch read the following question:


“The previous administration won £3million to deliver two Active Travel schemes, the A259 and the A23. Labour voted in favour of both schemes but you have now halted the A259 which would have also greatly enhanced disability access in the area. This was NOT in your manifesto and will certainly mean the withdrawal of funding from Active travel England. You have not yet indicated the fate of the consulted on and finalised plans for the A23. Can you confirm that you will not seek to redesign, scrap or delay the plans to improve cycling and access on the A23?”


11.44   The Chair provided the following reply:


“I have already said in previous responses we are committed to Active Travel  and understand the importance of key schemes such as the  A259 Active Travel Scheme we plan to review the designs and bring back a better scheme which will work harder to deliver the benefits for active travel and ensure it’s a scheme that delivers accessibility for disabled users.

We will directly communicate our support of active travel schemes and our ambition to deliver a high-quality walking and cycling networks to the Department for Transport and Active Travel England. Our focus at the moment is the critical redesign of the A259 with demonstrable improvement that provide better use of the space available and cycle lanes more in line with Active Travel Fund’s standards; safer interface with pedestrians and keep scope for future enhancement of the A259 as a potential bus route through keeping two lanes on the highway in both directions. These amendments to the existing design will be brought back to this Committee”.

(C)          Deputations


(1)           Car Free Developments Further traffic calming measures requested for Franklin Road


11.45   The Committee considered a deputation requesting traffic calming measures on Franklin Road.


11.46   The Chair provided the following response:


“Franklin Road already has substantial traffic calming in the form of road humps that are nationally accepted to be the best form of traffic calming and are proven to lower speeds.

This traffic calming was installed many years ago, presumably as there must have been a number of collisions in the area, and this would appear to have worked as in the past three years there have only been two injury causing collisions in the area.

None of these were caused by excessive speed. With only very limited budgets available to us we currently concentrate spending this little money on places where a number of injury causing collisions are occurring and presently the council are prioritising junctions where there have been at least six collisions; with other junctions under review”.


11.47   Councillor Davis moved a motion to request an officer report.


11.48   Councillor Bagaeen formally seconded the motion.


11.49   Officers explained that this particular area could be reviewed under the Better Streets Programme.


11.50   Councillor Davis withdrew the motion.


11.51   Resolved- That the Committee note the deputation.



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