Our Conservative Team has announced a package of proposals for the 2021 Brighton & Hove City Council Budget to activate the City’s heritage and put tourism at the heart of a post-Covid recovery for the city.
This is part of a clear vision from our Conservative Team for our City to be one that not only respects and maintains its heritage but also leverages it to boost our local economy, bring back civic pride and create and sustain local jobs.
Our proposals include large gateway entry signage to the City including Brighton & Hove train stations and seafront to boost the City’s tourism profile as well as better localised signage to promote tourist attractions such as the Volk’s Electric Railway.
Large gateway signs would be similar to those in other iconic cities around the world, which people take their photos next to and will promote Brighton & Hove not only nationally but internationally, boosting the City’s Tourism economy.
There would be an entry statement to the city at Patcham Roundabout including a replanted roundabout and public artwork.
The Conservatives will also look to activate the City’s dormant heritage assets to boost the recovery, including an expansion of the capacity of the historic Volk’s Electric Railway with an additional platform and investment towards the restoration of Madeira Arches.
Additional Conservative proposals include capital investment to upgrade Brighton & Hove’s seafront railings to restore some pride in the City and a community infrastructure upgrade to Hove Lagoon Skate Park and Hove Beacon Lighting.
This package of capital investment proposals will be funded by borrowing against £40K of outlay from savings identified in the Senior Management Leadership Team staffing budget. The result will be £735,000 investment in total for the City. It is a fiscally prudent approach, consistent with Conservative principles of good financial management, that will deliver a good return for the City.
The City’s heritage has been in decline for some time, but perhaps no more so than in the last year. In 2020 we also saw our City Council administration talking down and targeting the City’s £886 million tourism industry with a series of ill-advised policies.
Labour and the Greens closed Madeira Drive, creating problems for local businesses, whilst also repeatedly throwing the future of the City’s historic motoring events on that road into question, with one Green councillor ridiculously comparing them to the 100 Years’ War. Our historic seafront lanterns ended up for sale on Facebook marketplace and the previously operational Madeira Lift was closed after it was stripped by thieves of copper metal. Our Old Steine war memorial was left in a disgraceful condition on VJ Day.
During this time the City’s crucial tourism and heritage committee has been treated as a revolving door by Labour and the Greens with 4 different Chairs during the past year. There has been no clear Leadership.
Our Conservative team has been highlighting these problems and consistently standing up for our £886 million tourism industry at Council meetings and our Budget proposals follow through on this work.
Our proposal for Volk’s Electric Railway, including a new platform, shelter and better signage, follows detailed discussions with the Volk’s Electric Railway Association including a site visit from Cllr Wares and Cllr Nemeth that culminated in a well-thought out and cost-effective business case. Cllr Mary Mears has done much to bring the City’s heritage into the public eye, particularly on Madeira Lift, Old Steine War Memorial and seafront lanterns issues that have arisen.
Our proposal for Madeira Arches restoration and Madeira Drive builds on the £11 million investment brokered by Conservative Finance Spokesperson Joe Miller at last year’s budget and the outstanding work of Cllr Lee Wares in working with traders to get that road reopened through the Conservative compromise.
Patcham Councillors Lee Wares, Carol Theobald and Alistair McNair have long championed the need for an entry statement to the City at the A27 Patcham Roundabout and this proposal includes an iconic public artwork for this gateway to the city to build on replanting of the roundabout.
Cllr Peltzer Dunn has called for better geographical signage across the city to recognise the distinctive parts of Brighton & Hove.
All these measures will help attract overnight visitors, with more to do, rather than just day visitors to the city, with a flow on boost to the tourism sector.
Our Conservative team has a clear vision for our City and we hope it will attract support at the Budget later this month.