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Manifesto 2023

A fresh start and hope for the future
Streets to be proud of
Home for everyone
A sustainable, healthy environment
Better ways to get around the city
A message from your Labour group of councillors and candidates
The Green administration has let our city down, mismanaging a budget already decimated by years of Conservative government cuts. Labour will do things differently and has the experience and ideas to pull the city out of crisis while providing good local services and listening to residents’ voices.

These are difficult times, but Brighton and Hove has a positive future ahead if we work together to find creative solutions to the challenges created by years of austerity and the cost-of-living crisis.

We believe only a Labour majority council can make things better – and will work hard with you and on your behalf to deliver the vital services that are needed and make our city a greener and fairer place to live and work.

Labour will listen to residents and businesses to find the best ways forward, working with and in our communities to help us make the very most of what we have. We will build relationships with everyone involved including local community and voluntary organisations and independent businesses to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

We will work better and smarter to restore basic services and do all we can to protect our nurseries, libraries, youth services, heritage treasures, leisure centres, parks, public toilets and lifeguard service from further cuts. We will develop new ways of providing homes for everyone, strategies that serve the housing needs of Brighton & Hove people rather than developers. We will do all in our power to address the crisis in our health and Adult Social Care sectors.
We will explore new ways to attract investment in our city while encouraging and supporting the growth of local expertise and innovation. We will concentrate on creating a strong local economy where the people of Brighton & Hove can support local independent businesses, invest in local talent and ideas and so build sustainable ‘community wealth’ for the benefit of residents, communities and local business.

We will tackle pollution and improve air quality, cleaning up our streets and city environment with tree planting schemes and green spaces, accessible to all our communities and visitors. We want Brighton and Hove to be a safe and welcoming place for all.

All your Labour councillors will be residents who understand the challenges of inequality in our city. We live alongside you and love the diversity and energy at the heart of Brighton & Hove. This is what makes our city so special. We will listen to your views and stand by our promises.

Labour will run a council that is accessible, providing a more personal service to our residents, including clearer online information and a face-to-face service with staff based in council offices across the city.

Now is the time for positive change and Labour can deliver for Brighton & Hove.
Our city is famous across the world for its vibrancy, its inclusivity, its creativity. We want to welcome visitors to a clean and tidy city. And we all want to live in a city that looks good – with clean streets, regular rubbish and recycling collections, safe pavements and buildings free of graffiti tags.

Every day, council workers are out and about – street cleaners, traffic wardens, rubbish and recycling collectors, gardeners. They see what is happening on our streets from day to day. They know where there are broken paving slabs or where a sprouting tree is making it difficult to push a buggy or a wheelchair. They notice overflowing bins and unsightly graffiti.

Labour will explore more efficient ways of sharing this information with relevant departments so that action can be taken quicker. Joined up working will be part of the training for our valuable council workers who work both in the city centre and our outlying areas, doing their best to keep our city safe and clean.

War on weeds

A Labour council will safely wage war on the weeds that have been allowed to grow – making streets difficult and hazardous, especially with children and for the elderly and people with reduced mobility. We won’t return to the use of harmful glyphosates, but we will work with our communities on targeted environmental and sustainable solutions, protecting human health, enabling nature to flourish and ensuring streets are managed to a high standard and are accessible to all.

Reliable rubbish collection

A Labour council will make improving the city’s rubbish and recycling collections a top priority. We will review where communal rubbish bins are placed and consult with residents and business owners on where they could be better sited.

Labour will investigate increasing the range of items that can be recycled and will introduce a food waste collection service.

A Labour council will also find new ways to tackle fly-tipping, including reviewing the household bulky waste collection charge.

We will champion our workforce and consult with all parties to resolve disputes that threaten to disrupt our services, just as we intervened to end the bin strike the Greens oversaw.

Free public toilets

A Labour council will provide free public toilets which are vital to public health and wellbeing.
They are important to residents, local businesses and our tourist economy.

More green spaces

We will help residents and community groups establish new small green areas (‘pocket parks’) and maintain our larger community green spaces. We will plant new trees right across the city.

From Saltdean cliffs to the lagoon, our beach and seafront is eight miles of something for everyone. A Labour council will work to protect and enhance the character of all our beachfront areas. We will seek investment and partner with local business and community groups to maintain lifeguard services.

A roof over your head is a basic human right. Tory planning laws and draconian budget cuts prevent local authorities from building enough council homes. Even so, Labour councillors made and will continue to make housing a priority following the successful implementation of our plan for 800 additional council homes and 700 extra affordable homes. We will seek to ensure that all homes are of a decent standard. We will support private renters and introduce tough measures to tackle rogue landlords. We will strive to help the homeless off the streets and we’ll review the allocation policy for council homes to make it fairer.

Brighton & Hove property is some of the most expensive in the country. Many homes being built in the city will be bought as second homes or to let at high rents. A Labour council will use existing powers exercised by other local authorities to introduce a ‘principal residence policy’, banning the sale of second homes in new developments. The current Green council is not using these powers.

Truly affordable new homes

A Labour council will develop a housing strategy that serves the needs of the city. We will create partnerships to put new housing where it’s needed, available to rent or buy at genuinely affordable prices. We will leave no stone unturned in finding ways to build more social housing.

We will work closely with all providers to create homes for families, seniors, singles and young people and increase supported housing. We will help older people downsize, freeing up larger council properties for families. We will look for innovative ways to re-purpose empty buildings into quality, affordable housing. A Labour council will seek to ensure that all homes are of a decent standard.

Labour will also look at various options to improve the standard of emergency and temporary accommodation, including bringing more stock in-house.

Tackling homelessness

We will build on our work to end homelessness and make sure people are treated in accordance with the Homeless Bill of Rights which Labour incorporated into council policy.

We will strive to get people off the streets and into accommodation with wraparound support. We will do more to stop people becoming homeless in the first place.

We will lobby the government to end discrimination against those facing eviction.

Protecting renters

A Labour council will protect renters. We will take action to stop illegal evictions. Where unscrupulous landlords allow tenants to live in sub-standard conditions and threaten eviction if they complain, Labour will intervene with formal action at the earliest opportunity and take a zero-tolerance approach to rogue landlords.

We will work with renters’ unions like Acorn to ensure the voices of renters are heard.

Licensing landlords

We will work with honest landlords to improve the quality of rental accommodation.

Labour will implement landlord licensing as a top priority. Green councillors have not used laws that already exist to regulate Houses of Mulltiple Occupation.

A Labour council will rigorously enforce these laws to make sure HMOs in our city are safe for the people who live in them and cause no nuisance to neighbours.

We will set up an ethical lettings agency. We will introduce a charter so that landlords and lettings agencies conform to a fair code of conduct. We will seek to end welfare benefit discrimination in housing once and for all and demand devolved powers from government to introduce rent caps.

Regulating short term letting

We recognise that short-term holiday lets such as Airbnb rentals can have a devastating impact on communities, often forcing rents up and standards down. Large property companies have been allowed to buy up houses for holiday accommodation – not subject to the same health and safety laws as our hotels and guest houses. Unlicensed holiday lets threaten our hospitality industry and rob the city of permanent accommodation for local people.

Labour will lobby the government for greater powers to regulate those short-term lets that threaten the wellbeing of our communities, looking at the introduction of a registration scheme and specific taxation where possible.

A Labour council will make sure everything it does takes us closer to our target of making Brighton & Hove a carbon neutral city by 2030. Public health, including the impact of climate change, will inform every council decision.

Your last Labour council set up the city’s first Climate Assembly and, unlike the other parties, committed to delivering all its recommendations. Labour don’t just talk the talk, whilst flying unnecessarily to climate conferences in Glasgow - which is what the Leader of the Greens did - we walk the walk.

Labour established hundreds of electric vehicle charging points, installed hundreds of solar panels on council homes, introduced new cycle lanes, made streetlights more efficient and worked with as many agencies as possible to drive Brighton & Hove towards carbon net zero.

Investing in clean energy

A Labour council will expand this work to make our city more environmentally friendly, seeking investment in heat pumps and solar panels, wind and wave power. We will explore ways to produce renewable energy locally for local use. We will work to expand insulation programmes to save energy and heating costs.

We will partner with other coastal councils to challenge Southern Water over discharging sewage into our seas but also on the growth and maintenance of kelp farms for carbon capture. We want Brighton & Hove to be a hub of health and wellbeing.

We will lobby government for public health funding to encourage healthier, active living. We will consult local fitness and sports groups on how the council can support them in their efforts. We will explore the feasibility of installing more gym equipment in city parks.

More plants, less concrete

We want to use more plants and less concrete in the city centre. We will look to create living green walls on council property. We will also explore rain gardens and other water features and encourage communities to do the same across the city. We will promote community compost schemes.

Solving surgery shortage

We will explore incentives such as peppercorn rents or business rate reductions to entice GPs and dentists to solve the severe shortages of surgeries in the city.

We will manage allotment waiting lists better so that people can enjoy growing their own produce, sharing plots if wanted. We will promote gardening lessons and encourage tool sharing.

Rewards for employees

We will talk to employers about introducing a localised reward scheme for employees who walk to work, use public transport, carshare or cycle.

A Labour council will also deliver on the City Downland Estate Plan, working with partners to protect and enhance the Downland Estate, which is responsible for 90% of the city’s water supply.

We live in a busy city with cars, vans, buses, cycles, taxis and pedestrians, all vying for space on our streets. Labour will look for better ways to control traffic, one of the causes of Brighton & Hove’s poor air quality, causing health problems for individuals and the planet.

Park and Ride expansion

Residents have repeatedly called for more park and ride schemes which the current Green administration have ignored. Labour will listen and will look at creating more park and ride spaces and mobility hubs, making the city more accessible whilst reducing air pollution.

Travel by Bus

We will work to make travelling by public transport more affordable and accessible. We will investigate ways to simplify fares, save vital routes and bring prices down, including options such as franchising. We will protect free bus passes for our older residents and disabled residents.

We will look at ways of providing free bus travel for under-19’s still in education.

Routes will be reviewed to ensure outlying areas are well served and have direct links to each other. We will continue working with all bus companies to encourage routes for our outlying, hillier communities with smaller electric powered buses.

Cutting vehicle pollution

We will work to bring an end to noisy and polluting diesel vehicles. We will install more electric vehicle charging points and collaborate with taxi drivers on developing an ultra-low emissions fleet. We will lobby government for low-cost loans to enable drivers to replace their older, diesel vehicles with clean cars. We will expand Labour’s initiative of an electric vehicle car-share co-operative and the installation of more EV charging points.

We will explore the merits of a car-free city centre, but we recognise that commercial vehicles need access to the businesses they serve. We will ask businesses, as individual owners and through the Chamber of Commerce and local business forums, to join with us to plan better ways to minimise the impact of commercial traffic.

We will promote and support hassle free convenient car club and van provision for residents and businesses - removing the expense of car ownership and van leasing.

Bike travel

We will support the city’s bike hire scheme that Labour introduced and look to widen our cycle pathways and network after proper consultation with residents. We will also consult on the setting up of more bike hangars.

A home for everyone

A city where residents have a real voice
Keeping money and talent in the city
A better future for young people
Looking after one another
A city where people feel safe and welcome
Labour will listen. Labour councillors will work closely with communities, special interest groups and residents’ associations, coming to your meetings, talking to you, getting to know you, so that your opinions and experiences are fed directly into the council.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, residents and communities came together to help vulnerable neighbours and others in times of crisis, with mutual aid groups and food delivery networks forming quickly. This spirit of togetherness epitomises our city and continues as we tackle the cost-of-living crisis. The council plays a co-ordinating role ensuring all those who are struggling are reached.

The high cost of living affects more and more people as Tory government policies have weakened the UK economy. A Labour council will ensure that people know where to go for financial help and to check that they are receiving all the benefits for which they are eligible.

Tackling food poverty

The scandal of food poverty is a blight on our country. In Brighton & Hove, food banks, food partnerships and community projects successfully distribute food to many families and individuals. A Labour council will actively support such initiatives and work with schools and community groups to set up more neighbourhood kitchens.

Warm, safe spaces

We will look for ways to set up community hubs – warm, safe spaces – all over the city. Our libraries, which already provide information about council and community services, along with many underused rooms and halls and churches in our neighbourhoods, can be developed into places where people can meet, find information and advice, share activities.

Active listening

Labour will actively listen to your community about what amenities you need.

Some people have difficulty accessing help on a range of issues, like housing, benefits, welfare services, social care, budgeting and debt. A Labour council will work with advice organisations, faith groups, businesses and charities to bring the experts to a local venue for those who find it difficult to travel or access digital services.

We will look at developing co-working areas for those who don’t need to travel to work but for whom working at home is difficult.

Community Wealth Building simply means finding a way to keep money and talent in our city. A circular economy is a sustainable one, with people spending their money in local independent shops whose owners use local suppliers and then spend their profits in the city with other local businesses. This creates a circle that benefits us all and reduces our carbon footprint.

The last Labour administration brought in experts, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, to kickstart a major programme of local investment with fairer procurement and community wealth building, bringing more democracy into the way our local economy develops. This initiative has stalled under the Greens, but a Labour council will reinvigorate and build on that work.

Supporting local business

Independent local businesses, be they in the retail, digital or creative industries, are an important part of Brighton & Hove’s character – they attract visitors to the city and are able to cater to the diverse needs of residents. Right now, following Covid and with the cost-of-living crisis, they need the support of local people and the local authority more than ever.

Chain stores and supermarkets will always have a place in our city, but it is important to remember that money spent with national and international companies flows out of the city. Some companies do contribute to local community projects and invest in the city, but the bulk of their profits often do not benefit the people of Brighton & Hove.

A local living wage

We will work with the Chamber of Commerce and the Brighton & Hove Enterprise Partnership to foster a sustainable, circular and ethical local economy. We will set up an Ethical Work Charter, incentivising businesses to pay staff the Brighton & Hove Living Wage, recognise trade unions, pay people for trial shifts and source their supplies locally.

Keeping prices low

A Labour council will work to enable local independent shops to keep prices low and as affordable as high street chains. We will encourage neighbourhood shops to serve distinct parts of the city and we will introduce pilot schemes for 20-minute neighbourhoods that seek to create communities with all essential amenities within walking distance.

We will launch a ‘buy local’ campaign to support our independent businesses and encourage and facilitate the development of truly local businesses in all areas of the city, helping them work together with local suppliers and service providers. Not just shops but all local initiatives, providing a range of services, that use the creativity for which Brighton & Hove is renowned, will be involved.

Working co-operatively

We will work to find out where co-ops, with people working together and sharing the benefits, could meet local demand.

We will ensure that wherever possible the council itself buys from local suppliers and that procurement, development and planning policies contribute to community wealth building, low carbon supply chains and an ethical, circular economy. We will enlist the support of large local employers to promise to do the same.

Small local business owners tell us they feel let down by the current Green administration. A Labour council will make sure that they can access all support available in the form of business grants, community finance initiatives and any similar services they may be entitled to.

Protecting LGBTQ+ spaces

Brighton & Hove is proud to be home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the country, adding to the vibrancy, creativity and uniqueness of our city. The many LGBTQ+ businesses, such as bars, clubs, and cafes, make a positive contribution to our economy, attracting visitors from across the world. These spaces are treasured by the LGBTQ+ community as safe environments for entertainment and the sharing of up-to-date messaging on health and wellbeing. Like the positive action taken by the Mayor of London, a Labour council will look at how the special nature of these businesses can be protected.

Fighting discrimination

Brighton & Hove’s large and growing Black, Asian and ethnic minority, refugee and migrant population is an important part of what makes our diverse city so special and welcoming. There are Black, Asian and ethnic minority businesses in all parts of our city, providing essential services and jobs and contributing to our local economy. However, racial disadvantage and discrimination continue and there is much more strategic and targeted work to be done to tackle these issues. A Labour council will listen to, empower and work closely with our city’s Black, Asian and ethnic minority population on these matters and work with all faith groups in the city.

The last Labour administration attracted major international events to our city to boost the local economy with sporting excitement and extra tourist revenue, including Rugby World Cup matches and Women’s Euros football matches. A Labour council will look to make Brighton & Hove a host city for more economically and culturally beneficial events in the future.

Brighton & Hove has a reputation for great schools and colleges. That reputation is threatened by falling pupil numbers as families are priced out of the city’s housing market. Labour will do everything in its power to safeguard and enhance that reputation. We will work closely with our renowned universities and introduce more apprenticeships and life-long learning.

A Labour council will use what money is available to keep schools open. We will work with teachers and governors to explore the creation of school federations who can work together. Collective procurement can save money and sharing expertise across school ‘clusters’ makes the most of specialist staff expertise.

Keeping schools open

We will look at changing catchment areas to protect schools facing closure, particularly in outlying areas. We will support communities if they resist forced academisations and wish their local schools to remain local authority maintained.  

We will improve support for the families of children on education, health and care plans and explore a more efficient way of helping to get them to school.

We will expand on Labour’s introduction of school streets with traffic calming measures to make getting to school safer.

We will work to establish places where young people have somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.

The early years

A Labour council will look to increase the city’s provision for pre-school children and seek to maintain council-run nurseries wherever possible. We will explore the creation of co-operative, not-for-profit nursery provision.

Children in care

A Labour council will continue to place children in need who require residential care with foster parents wherever possible. And we will launch a campaign to recruit the extra foster parents who are so desperately needed. Fostering is considered the best care option for most children who are unable to remain with their families.

But sometimes it is necessary to place a child in a children’s home where they can be given specialist care. Brighton & Hove currently has no children’s homes. Many children who require care have to be placed outside the city into hugely expensive private children’s homes which makes continued family contact more difficult. A Labour council will look at the feasibility of creating a children’s home within the city as a co-operative, not-for-profit, venture.

Labour’s successful nationwide Sure Start programme was ditched by the Tories when they took power. We will look at setting up similar centres where families can find the preventative help they need early on, expand the ‘Supporting Families Hub’ system which is currently being developed.

Mental health

A Labour council will explore funding sources for mental health counsellors in schools and colleges to ensure all young people with mental health issues and their parents can access the help they need. We will work to better inform young people of the risks of social media.

Apprenticeships and Life-Long Learning

A Labour council will promote life-long learning by working with community groups to make sure people know how to access courses through the Adult Education Hub. Encouraging older people and the less able to acquire IT skills will be a key initiative.

A Labour council will encourage all businesses to take on apprentices. We will help smaller employers with the recruitment process and with accessing the money and training resources available to them.

Those working in education, be they teachers, governors, support staff, cooks, cleaners, and caretakers, are the ones who know the needs of their individual places of work. Students know what they need to help them learn and be happy at school or college. A Labour council will listen to all of them.

Schools in the community

We will also listen to parents and encourage more interaction between the local community and schools, enabling more use of school and college buildings and land for the benefit of the community all-year round.

Meeting the needs of those who cannot live happily without help is a must for any caring society. Working with all the agencies involved, Labour will look at how the council can better provide for all its citizens, old and young, individuals and families.

Access to services

We all know by now that the NHS is not safe in Conservative hands, which is why our role in scrutinising our local health services is so important.

Labour ensured that a councillor sits on the new Integrated Care System board. A Labour council will ensure your voices are heard there. We will always push for the best possible access to all the city’s healthcare services for everyone who needs them and will scrutinise mental health services.

We will improve access to information so that people in need, their families and friends know how to reach the help that is available.

Social prescribing

Social prescribing is an NHS project which allows doctors, nurses, and other health workers to identify when social activities, as well as or rather than medication, can help a person’s physical or mental health.

A Labour council will work to help expand the service and make sure that all surgeries, community groups and health workers are aware of how to refer people in their care to beneficial activities.

An age-friendly city

Brighton & Hove is a young city in comparison to many, but nearly a quarter of residents are nearing or have passed retirement age. We need to look after senior residents.

A Labour council will work very closely with the Older People’s Council who represent the interests of senior Brighton & Hove residents.

We will encourage befriending circles and buddying initiatives to combat loneliness and isolation.

We will seek to promote dementia-friendly and autism-friendly spaces and establish links with young people and animal sanctuaries, for example, which are known to help people with dementia. We will improve access to the beach and street lighting.

We will explore the setting up of not-for-profit care co-operatives, which could allow care workers to spend more time with people in their homes to address problems including loneliness. There is no dignity in 15-minute home visits, and we want to see this practice ended.

We will also look to build on our work of rolling out an AED defibrillator network in city parks and open spaces.

There is no place in our city for fear of violence or abuse. A Labour council will seek to ensure we are a city where racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, bullying and any form of discrimination is not tolerated. We will introduce new initiatives to combat the unfair treatment of minority communities, women, the disabled and the disadvantaged, actively promoting equality for all.

A Labour council will push for more police visibility on our streets. Working with Sussex Police and the city’s new Labour-funded Community Drug Impact Co-ordinator, we will make sure that residents are aware of how to contact their police neighbourhood teams and work with them to safely report and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour in their areas.

We will also work with Sussex Police to clamp down on drug-related crime, particularly those running ‘county lines’.

Night-time safety

Brighton & Hove has a vibrant night-time economy but occasionally problems occur in some neighbourhoods. A Labour council will look to improve safety, particularly for women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic residents and the LGBTQ+ community.

We will look to introduce a Night Time Safety Charter and work with late-night venues to improve safety and help shift workers get home, as well as encouraging better policing, a clampdown on drug and alcohol misuse, tighter licensing and improved lighting.

We will build on Labour’s Gender Equality campaign and introduce a wide-ranging Gender Equality Strategy to target the inequalities faced by many in our city, particularly women and girls, including period poverty, violence and abuse, public health awareness, cervical and breast screening rates, equality training in schools and businesses.

We will also build on making Brighton & Hove an anti-racist council and city, completing the review of street names, plaques and monuments, re-engaging with Operation Black Vote to improve minority ethnic representation in civic life, monitoring and improving anti-racist education in schools, working with the NHS to tackle ethnic health inequalities and with trade unions and the BAME Workers’ Forum to eradicate the ethnic pay gap at the council.

City of Sanctuary

A Labour council will also ensure we live up to our name as a ‘City of Sanctuary’, by taking all steps to ensure refugees of all ages fleeing conflict and persecution are made welcome and, crucially, safe in our city.

Equality for disabled people

We are committed to the council’s Accessible City strategy, and in the spirit of ‘nothing about us without us’, we will work with and properly consult disabled residents on improving accessibility across the city.

Labour pledges to advocate equality for disabled people. Promoting disability equality and inclusion- ‘nothing about us, without us’.

With growing numbers of people out of work through ill health, many of whom are living with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. We will work with the health services and charities and volunteers to provide much needed support and find the best routes into employment for those able to work.

We will look to tailor extra support for flexible working for those with caring responsibilities or chronic conditions.

We commit to in-depth scrutiny of mental health services and will look for ways to improve access to services. We will also look to review the accessibility strategy.

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