- More bins; verge cuttings; and de-weeding of pavements on Conservative agenda for next week’s City Budget
- Additional measures include replacement road name signage, fixing potholes and new CCTV cameras to tackle fly tipping.
- Plans aim to re-focus City Council attention and spending on the basics and arrest decline of the state of the city.
The Conservatives are set to bring forward a raft of proposals to improve the state of the City at next week’s Brighton & Hove City Council Budget.
The package of measures, announced by the Conservative team today, will focus on improving visual amenity, tackling the City’s ongoing problem with overflowing rubbish bins and fixing basic streetscape problems such as potholes and faded road signs.
The Conservatives’ proposals would be paid for by redirecting funding already in the Budget away from intangible council programmes unlikely to provide any direct benefit to residents towards practical action more expected of a City Council.
The full list of Conservative proposals are provided below:
- Four new mobile CCTV cameras to tackle the scourge of fly tipping by fining culprits, deter people from doing this therefore reducing costs to city clean so they can focus on cleaning up streets elsewhere - £50,000
- Handheld speed cameras for speed watch groups to make roads safer - £10,000
- New trees around phone masts and fixing broken play equipment in parks to improve the visual amenity of the City - £110,000
- Upgrades to road name signage and filling of potholes – to improve the road environment in the city - £70,000
- Replacement bins including dog waste bins in open spaces with greater capacity to end the unsightly mess of overflowing bins - £13,000
- Additional verge cutting and de-weeding of pavements – to improve the visual appearance of the city and improve safety for residents - £20,000
Conservative Communities Spokesperson Robert Nemeth said that these Budget amendments were needed to refocus the council on the job it has been elected by residents to do.
“Whenever you talk to fellow residents in the City the issues that come up invariably relate to the poor state of the City – the litter, overflowing bins, fly tipping at green spots or even road signs which have faded away” Cllr Nemeth said.
Unfortunately we have a Council that would rather talk for hours and hours about national and international issues like nuclear weapons rather than do its job and work to fix these very obvious problems.
"These Conservative amendments aim to end this inertia and refocus the council on cleaning up the City, with action to improve a number of basic services that are encountered by residents on a day-to-day basis, from providing better bins to road signs that are actually legible.
“The Council had been neglecting the state of the city for too long and these measures are needed to arrest the City’s decline” he added.
Conservative Finance Spokesperson Joe Miller said that the package of measures to improve the state of the city were paid for by savings identified by the Conservative team.
“City Budgets are about priorities; and these Conservative amendments are about making residents and the services they receive the number one priority” Councillor Miller said.
“This is a fiscally responsible package of measures paid for by redirecting funding towards residents’ priorities to get the council back focusing on the job it is meant to be doing” Cllr Miller said.
“We see greater merit, for example, in directing money towards practical action such as grass cuttings rather than spending it on obscure council initiatives that may sound good, but often end up sucking up taxpayers money in ever more bureaucracy and not delivering tangible benefits to residents.
“I encourage the other parties to back our amendments on Thursday night so that we can arrest the decline of the City and start improving the streetscape and visual amenity” he added.
Patcham Ward Councillor Alistair McNair said the issues of weeds on pavements needed attention.
“Residents frequently complain about the lack of de-weeding, and quite rightly, as it is actually a safety issue” Councillor McNair said.
“Weeds break up pavements, resulting in residents tripping over uneven slabs, and the weeds themselves, large as many of them are, act as trip hazards. Pavement resurfacing is much more expensive and difficult than removing the weeds, but such is the state of many pavements many do now need to be repaired.
“I also welcome the extra money Conservatives are suggesting for hand-held cameras as part of Speedwatch.
“Residents frequently complain about speeding cars in residential streets, which is antisocial and dangerous. These cameras would empower residents, for example Neighbourhood Watch, and PCSOs to work together to help reduce the menace of dangerous driving, and help return our local communities to safe places where our children can move about in safety” he added.
Rottingdean Coastal Ward Councillor Mary Mears said that playground equipment at Saltdean Oval had been neglected by the council for some time and needed fixing.
Many residents East of the City feel forgotten by Brighton & Hove Council as if the City ends at the Marina, Cllr Mears said
“As ward Councillor I am delighted that we are proposing to replace the ZIP Wire in Saltdean Oval Park. This is well-used play equipment that the children enjoy that has been broken for some time.
“The repairs had been agreed with a budget in the past but then inexplicably stopped.
“By putting this in our budget it will mean that children will once again be able enjoy the thrill of the ZIP Wire.
Hove Park Ward Councillors Vanessa Brown and Samer Bagaeen said the funding for extra and larger bins in Hove Park and Hove Recreation Ground was essential to address the increase in park usage during lockdown and ahead of the expected increased usage over the spring and summer months.
“Our hope is that these can be procured and installed in place quickly and that an appropriate collection system is then put in place” Cllr Brown and Cllr Bagaeen said.
Patcham Ward Councillor Carol Theobald said that newly planted trees would make a contribution to the environment while also improving the visual amenity of unsightly phone masts in Patcham ward.
“Many of the phone masts are unsightly and covered in graffiti which never gets removed by the council” Cllr Theobald said.
Some landscaping and planting would be welcomed by residents and improve the visual amenity of the area as well as the environment.
Hangleton & Knoll Ward Councillors Nick Lewry and Dawn Barnett said the funding for extra bins at Greanleas Park and Knoll Park was essential and also welcomed the resurfacing of the multipurpose play area at Knoll Park.
“We are asking for more bins for our local parks Greenleas and Knoll park as this would certainly help stopping littering around the area - as would more regular emptying of bins” Cllr Lewry and Cllr Barnett said.
“Notices that let users know that they can dispose of dog Poo bags in these bins as well as dedicated dog bins would also be an improvement”
“It is vital to have the Astro turf replaced at Knoll Park as the surface is becoming dangerous’ they added.
Conservative Amendments to improve the State of the City to be presented at the City Budget Council on Thursday 25 February 2021
- Provide £0.050m capital investment in 4 mobile cameras for the prevention of fly tipping. This will require £0.011m recurrent funding to support financing costs which will be met from the fine income these additional cameras generate.
- To redirect the £0.050m one off resources to support delivery of the council's Covid Recovery & Renewal Programme actions and the £0.020m recurrent provision for a Low traffic Neighbourhood pilot, which are included in the Corporate plan investment table 2 on page 33 of the agenda, and reinvest in : -
- £0.010m one off resource to support anti speeding measures, for example handheld speed cameras used by volunteers as part of speed watch
- £0.110m capital investment for: - tree planting around phone masts; replacement play equipment in Patcham parks; resurfacing of Knoll Park multipurpose play area and replacement of the zip wire at Saltdean Park. This will require £0.012m recurrent funding for financing costs;
- £0.070m capital investment in road name sign replacement and additional pothole repair funding. This will require £0.008m recurrent funding for financing costs.
- Reallocate the £0.124m recurrent funding released from the Arts Sector Recovery Plan and future development of the sector, and allocate as follows:
- Provide £0.013m capital investment in replacement bins (including dog waste bins) in open spaces including Hove Park, Hove Recreation ground, Greenleas Park and Knoll Park. This will require £0.002m recurrent funding to support financing costs.
- Redirect the £0.200m recurrent funding to support the Sustainable Carbon Reduction Initiative Fund (SCRIF) and the £0.200m recurrent funding to support the expansion of the Warmer Homes Initiative as set out in the Corporate plan Investment table 2 on page 33 of the agenda, and reallocate as follows: -
- Increase recurrent resources for verge grass cutting and de-weeding by £0.020m