Agenda item - Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Member Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by Members:


(a)          Petitions: To receive any petitions;


(b)          Written Questions: To consider any written questions;


(c)          Letters: To consider any letters;


(d)          Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.




(B)     Written questions


(1)           St Peters Church Parking

44.1      Councillor Shanks read the following question:

“I have had many residents contact me about unauthorised parking at the front of St Peters church. Apparently, some permits were given to NHS staff to park there while the lung screening lorry was there, can you tell me why we would give permits for a piece of land that is not a car park? Why we didn’t give permits for our London Road car park instead and why we have not stopped continual parking on the piece of land since the NHS left. There is not even a no parking notice?”

44.2      The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thank you, Cllr Shanks, for your question. When events and activities take place in public spaces, there are always some essential vehicles that come with them. For the lung screening service, it was agreed that up to three nurses could park in the area.

It was not appropriate to provide the nurses with permits for the London Road car park as they needed to be close to the facility. Council officers have put No Parking signs up in the area near St Peter’s Church to discourage drivers from parking their vehicles there.

Our parks and legal teams are currently assessing the best long-term solutions for stopping drivers parking there. Implementing a long-term solution is a matter of priority to the Council. Options considered include a combination of enforcement action and blocking access.

No parking signs are now up, and parking enforcement will be starting shortly”.

44.3      Councillor Shanks asked the following supplementary question:

“When will parking here be stopped?”

44.4      The Chair provided the following reply:

“I’m aware of a possible proposal to sell Christmas trees in this location that would solve the issue in the short-term”.

(2)           Francis Street

44.5      Councillor Shanks read the following question:

“Following a visit I made with the Chair to Francis Street off London Road in my ward can he tell me what plans are in place to stop traffic driving through this access only street. Residents have complained about this situation and the noise and traffic they endure for more than 8 years. Various ideas have been suggested but nothing has happened

44.6      The Chair provided the following reply:

It was helpful to meet with you and take the time to observe how through traffic using what is a restricted street is causing issues for residents. It is not a through street, yet clearly many drivers opt to drive through as a short cut despite the restrictions.

As we observed, several measures have been tried to tackle this including improved signing, working with the Police to tackle the abuse of the traffic restriction and installing a line of bollards to prevent pavement parking.  It is clear from our visit that this has been unsuccessful and there are limited options that are available. 

The recent ability for authorities to take on the powers for enforcing restrictions is a positive approach that could be taken, but unfortunately this street would be very difficult to enforce due to the range of vehicles that have legitimate access.  However, there is a project that is being developed for the area to the west of London Road that will explore options for managing traffic and this may offer opportunities that may help with this issue.  I will ensure that officers explore finding a solution for Francis Street as part of the scheme.

From our conversations in Francis Street, I am unhappy to hear that you have been raising this concern for over a decade as ward councillor without resolution. I am very keen that under our administration, we find an effective solution that substantially improves the enforcement of the restrictions for the benefit of residents and traders of Francis Street”.


44.7      Councillor Shanks asked the following supplementary question:


“How quickly will it happen?”


44.8      The Chair provided the following reply:


“It’s a complex situation as it needs enforcement from Sussex Police, but we will keep working to find a solution”.


(3)           20 Minute Neighbourhoods


44.9      Councillor Davis read the following question:


“At full council in October 2020 it was agreed to move forward with a 20-minute neighbourhood trial in Hove. Can the chair please update me on its progress?”


44.10   The Chair provided the following reply:


“As you are no doubt aware, a notice of motion at full council in October 2020 called for officers to produce a report for committee(s) that seeks to identify feasible locations to implement both micro “20-minute neighbourhood” projects and a full-scale pilot scheme for the model. The Notice of Motion (or NoM) also required some consultation with members and local community groups.


Consultants were commissioned to take this work forward. The previous administration subsequently revised the scope of the project by not progressing with the identification of a shortlist of locations for a Feasibility Project nor the associated public consultation. The consultant’s report has recently been completed. It is a baseline assessment that presents an analysis of how well different neighbourhoods in the city are functioning as 20 minute neighbourhoods and sets out a toolbox of interventions at different scales which could be considered to improve how well areas function as 20 Minute Neighbourhoods. Officers are currently reviewing that report”.


44.11   Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:


“I’m really looking for assurance that the project will progress”.


44.12   The Chair provided the following reply:


“I can give some level of assurance as this was in the Labour Group manifesto. In principle, we would like to see a pilot develop”.


(4)           A259


44.13   Councillor Davis read the following question:


“Can I please have an approximate figure to date for monies lost on the suspension of the A259 active travel corridor”.

44.14   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The A259 Active Travel Scheme is currently being redesigned by officers to improve its design.  This review was agreed by this committee when it met in June this year. 

The contract to construct a previously designed scheme was terminated at a cost to the Council but officers reduced this cost as much as possible. We are not able to release this figure as it is commercially sensitive.

May I refer you to my Chair’s communications at the start of this Committee meeting? There was an acceptance of second rate, disconnected active travel schemes that soon after installation required costly retro-fitting to bring to grade, when we knew better was achievable. This was the case with the scheme due to commence in Summer 2023. This approach has not served our city well.

We can and must do better. In the new year, I am looking forward to presenting the outcome from our strategic review of active travel for the A259 all the way from the Marina to the east to our western city boundary; and I am excited that we have affordable options to deliver a segregated and straight bidirectional cycle path along Hove seafront that does not put pedestrians at peril amongst commuting cyclists, all segregated from the road with safer crossing. A significant improvement from that presented by the previous administration. We can and will deliver better. We will deliver an active travel route accessible for all that will be a credit to our city and appreciated by cyclists, pedestrians and others travelling along our seafront route”.


44.15   Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:


“Construction costs are going up by the minute, would it not just be easier to get on with it?”


44.16   The Chair provided the following reply:


“There was a route, but this was deemed to be dangerous. We are looking at the method to improve the route within budget. We want to do better and are confident what will be delivered will be good”.


(5)           Valley Gardens 3


44.17   Councillor Davis read the following question:


“Can I have an approximate figure to date for monies lost on the suspension of the Valley Gardens part 3 project”.

44.18   The Chair provided the following reply:


“I can confirm that the Valley Gardens Phase 3 has not been suspended but is being reviewed by officers at my request.  None of the funding associated with the scheme has therefore been lost, and once the review has been completed, I will be able to update the committee on the next steps. I am very much looking forward to doing so”.


44.19   Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:


“Are you going to be re-consulting with all the stakeholder groups?”


44.20   The Chair provided the following reply:


“We are not seeking to unpick the project, we just want to be sure it is right for the city. We have received feedback from residents and the bus organisations and we are thinking that through”.


(6)           Elm Grove Parking


44.21   Councillor Davis read the following question:


“The previous administration authorised a trial on an Elm Grove pavement parking ban which we later made permanent. Can I have an update on its progress?”


44.22   The Chair provided the following reply:


“As you are aware, our administration implemented the Elm Grove pavement parking ban 6 months ago. Since the introduction of the pavement parking ban there has been a significant reduction in cars parked on the pavement in Elm Grove. Enforcement patrols now issue an average of just one Penalty Charge Notice per day for pavement parking in Elm Grove.

We consider this a success and will be keen to see this continue”.


44.23   Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:


“Edinburgh have recently introduced a city wide pavement parking ban. Will the Administration consider the same?”


44.24   The Chair provided the following reply:


“It is over 1,000 days since the Secretary of State said they would change the legislation to allow local authorities to introduce such measures. Edinburgh is part of Scotland so therefore, has different legislation. The scale of a ban is too big to take on across the city without changes to legislation”.


(7)           Highways


44.25   Councillor Davis read the following question:


“The highway asset management report recently brought to this committee described a £75 million funding gap in road repairs. What is the administration’s plan to mitigate this?”

44.26   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The Highway Asset Management Team is looking at options to improve the current backlog in highway maintenance. The challenge is not unique to Brighton and Hove, across the country there is an estimated backlog of £14 billion in highway maintenance to local roads. Additional data is being gathered, including AI surveys of all public highway, and existing condition modelling is being updated. This will enable the team to follow a lifecycle planning approach which will target the limited budget on the treatment types and locations that will benefit the network best in terms of cost and carbon reduction in the long-term.

On 17th November 2023, the Department for Transport announced a funding stream that will provide BHCC with additional funding over the next 10 years for Highway Maintenance. In addition to this, officers are exploring other funding options to boost capital spending on maintenance to help reduce the backlog. This will substantially mitigate the funding gap.

As an administration, we have ambition to improve and repair highways in our city and unlike the previous administration, we have the political will do so and effective prudence to manage the limited public funds available to deliver a better programme than before”.


44.27   Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:


“Will you publish an early version of the budget so we can collectively address the issue?”


44.28   The Chair provided the following reply:


“Budget matters are not for this committee but for Strategy, Finance & City Regeneration Committee”.


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