Brighton and Hove voters went to the polls last week to have their say in three local elections; and the results have been greatly encouraging for our Conservative team in the City.
By-elections had been called for two vacancies that had arisen on Brighton & Hove City Council and there was also a county-wide vote to elect a new Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.
Patcham and Hollingbury ward by-election - A win for the Conservative Candidate Anne Meadows
In the Patcham ward by-election we had a great result for our Conservative Candidate Anne Meadows, who has been elected to succeed Lee Wares in the ward.
Anne ran a strong local campaign focusing on local issues first and foremost, including saving the urban fringe from development and improving the state of the Patcham roundabout and improving the state of the city.
Newly-elected Councillor Meadows has hit the ground running and was out at the weekend litter picking at Stanmer Heights, checking to see if fly tipping had been removed and meeting residents at Old Boat Corner Community Centre in Hollingbury.
Anne’s policy experience will give the City a much-needed boost. When she was last a councillor Anne delivered the highest possible 3 Star rating for the City from the Independent Commission for Social Care Inspection.
The Greens are not managing adult social care very well at the moment and have been increasing its component of council tax but not getting results for the community.
Anne’s experience can make a real difference and she will join our Conservative team on the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and bring new focus and attention to this important service area.
Hollingdean and Stanmer Ward by-election - Best result for a Conservative Candidate since 2007
In the Hollingdean & Stanmer Ward by-election, a ward which the Greens gained from Labour, I was delighted that our Candidate Dr Emma Hogan secured the best result for a Conservative in the ward since 2007.
Emma’s campaign focused on giving a voice to residents and community groups let down by Labour and the Greens, including standing up for locals impacted by unpopular Labour-Green Council decisions to introduce parking permits at Stanmer Park and build on green land at Coldean Lane.
Throughout the campaign Emma found local residents’ groups across the ward being ignored by Labour and the Greens, including the Coldean Residents Association and Hollingdean Residents Association.
The Secretary of the Hollingdean Residents Association, for example, reported being unable to have a basic safety issue resolved by the council for over three years in a Letter to the Editor in this newspaper (Please do something, 16/04/21).
Emma’s campaign shone a light on these issues and gave residents a much needed opportunity to be heard.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election - Best share of the vote in Brighton & Hove for a Conservative PCC Candidate
In the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election our Conservative Candidate Katy Bourne was re-elected for a third term, with the local breakdown showing more progress for local Conservatives as we recorded our best-ever share of the vote in the city for a PCC election.
The Brighton and Hove breakdown showed an almost equal split between the three major parties in the city, with Conservatives, Greens and Labour each receiving around 30% of the vote.
The overall result for Sussex returned our Conservative Candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne with a 116,000 vote majority.
Ms Bourne has pledged to "drive a relentless focus" on tackling anti-social behaviour and to make the roads safer for residents which we welcome in this city and our councillors be looking forward to working with her on this.
The results of these three elections demonstrate that many people feel let down and ignored by the Labour/Green Coalition in this City and the decisions which it has made.
The bad decisions at the Council are mounting up. In the last few weeks alone we have seen the council reported for breaking environmental law with the cutting down of the Green Wall and The Argus exposing the cover-up of a Barrister’s report that found that the council broke the law on its Home to School Transport service.
As there is no official opposition from Labour due to the Coalition that they’ve signed with the Greens, now more than ever Conservative scrutiny is needed on Brighton & Hove City Council and Councillor Anne Meadows will help us to deliver that.
I would like to thank residents who voted Conservative at these elections as well as our volunteers and Councillors, every one of which was out supporting our by-election candidates as part of our united team for the city. The support for the Brighton & Hove Conservatives bodes well for the future and we will continue to focus on local issues and the people’s priorities in the City.