Category: Brighton & Hove

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A win for rogue landlords as Tories block council licensing

Rick Dillon
Members of Acorn, the renters' union, protesting in Hove regarding landlord licensing

Lack of repairs creates misery for thousands in private rented accommodation. But getting councils to back a scheme that forces landlords to act is only the first step and, so far, applications to renew council licensing are being turned down by the Conservative Housing Minister Robert Jenrick.

Sex, Lies and Videotape: Has cronyism finally had its comeuppance?

Vivienne Griffiths
Led By Donkeys poster featuring a CCTV still of Hancock and his aide in a clinch, highlighting government hypocrisy

While some expressed moral outrage, most people were more upset by the hypocrisy shown by the Health Secretary in brazenly breaking the social distancing guidelines that he himself had set, especially when so many who have lost loved ones to Covid had stuck to the rules…. It was only the unrelenting outcry from MPs, the public, and the media, that finally forced Hancock’s hand into “doing the decent thing” and resigning.

PODCAST

Pride podcast special with Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Sussex Bylines
Brighton Pride August 2019

In this week’s Bylines Network podcast, Chris Davis in Brighton and co-host Connor Lamb in Newcastle (North-East Bylines) have a lively and revealing discussion about what Pride means to them and share their personal experiences of growing up queer. They also interview the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who is only the second British MP to be open about living with HIV. Their conversation proves fascinating, covering everything from the history of Pride to its subsequent commercialisation, and the empty virtue signalling or “Pride-washing” that some corporations are now guilty of. And they don’t shy away from asking perhaps the most contentious question of them all: which Brighton Pride headliner was better – Kylie or Britney?

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Sussex Bylenses: Spotlight on new young photographer

David Holden
Photo of the Brighton beach by Ben Muir aged 12

Sussex Bylenses is pleased to showcase the work of 12-year-old Ben Muir, a young photographer from Steyning. Photo editor David Holden writes: “Ben’s composition and eye for detail demonstrate a natural talent usually only achieved after some years of practice.”

NEW WRITER

Bum note – does Johnson’s government hate choral singing?

Ruth McDermott
Photo of a Heathfield Choral Society concert from before Covid

Many activities that prolong exposure to heavy breathing have been given the go ahead for indoor activity, such as working out at the gym, laughing with mates down the pub or chatting over a meal at a local restaurant, not to mention thousands of fans gathering at a football stadium to watch a game, no doubt doing what fans will – hugging, celebrating, chanting and singing! So why has the Government banned all amateur choirs from rehearsing indoors?

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Brighton Fringe: performers raring to go

Alivia Arief
Mural in Brighton, titled 'Brighton Fringe'

Many actors, directors, producers and technicians have suffered at the hands of Covid-19 and the impact that the virus has had on the economy, but also owing to live performances being banned during lockdowns.

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Talking rubbish? – What really happens to your recycling

Chris Davis
Plastic trays and tubs for recycling

Of all the plastic routinely placed in recycle bins across East Sussex, less than 30% is actually recycled. The rest is incinerated, along with most of the non-recyclable rubbish, and – perhaps surprisingly – it is the incinerator company that decides what is recycled and what is burnt. Changes to the current equipment could allow more types of plastic to be recycled but it would cost upwards of £1million. What cost our environment?

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Preston Park garden manager, Andy Jeavons, and his gardening volunteers

Vivienne Griffiths

When the Brighton Rockery came up as a project in 2000, Andy Jeavons, Preston Park garden manager, jumped at the chance. It was a daunting prospect, as at that stage the garden had not been touched for years and was “completely overgrown”. After the hurricane in 1987, “it went to rack and ruin”, as there was a lot of damage in all the Brighton parks and the Rockery was not a priority.

LONGER READ

Schooling in Brighton – a Tale of Three Cities

James Joughin
Frontage of Brighton College

Below the shiny liberal surface of the UK’s second most progressive city there is a sharkpit which you fall into at your peril. James Joughin investigates the stark differences in educational achievement across Brighton and Hove.

NEW WRITER

EU nationals – second-class citizens in post-Brexit Britain

Cllr Marianna Ebel

Thousands of EU citizens were disenfranchised in the 2019 European elections – and yet the High Court has ruled that they have no redress against the government. And to avoid becoming an ‘undocumented migrant’ they are forced to apply for EU Settled Status. Cllr Marianna Ebel explains the issues.

LONGER READ

Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”

NEW WRITER

The government needs to think and spend big on children’s mental health

Cllr Elaine Hills

Mental health stigma persists and continues throughout people’s lives. If children are to cope with the scarring of the past year and the extra mental demands of living in a post-Covid society, we must talk about mental health more so they find it as easy as talking about their physical health, and embed that approach into society.

Creative adventures in lockdown

Tamsin Shasha

Theatre maker Tamsin Shasha is passionate about the power of story-telling through live performance. Here she talks about two theatrical adventures during lockdown, in Brighton and in Berlin.

Brighton’s cameo in Lisbon’s revolution

Richard Bernden

The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Windsor is the oldest international agreement, anywhere, that is still in force. While there have been wars between England and France and England and Spain, there have been none between this country and Portugal. Friendly relations have endured for centuries. Even bottles of port all seem to have English names (Graham’s, […]

For better local government, we need more diversity

Amy Heley

Since the local elections of May 2019, councillors of all parties and the residents they represent have been thrown from crisis to crisis. The word ‘unprecedented’ has never been used so many times. The following events have coincided with my time as a local councillor: Brexit, a snap general election, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black […]

Student housing for homes – not profit

Robert Ellson

In the face of Brighton’s housing crisis, imaginative solutions are required – and two local groups have found one. The Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) has launched a share offer to purchase its first property which it will lease to SEASALT, a student housing co-operative. The share offer, which closes on 31 October, is designed […]

Not Living The Dream: has the British dream of entrepreneurship failed?

Mo Kanjilal

Small firms are indispensable to the creation of jobs and of wealth Margaret Thatcher, speech to small business conference in 1984 Thatcher’s Britain claimed to be about creating a nation of entrepreneurs starting small businesses and thereby generating wealth and jobs. In her 1984 speech to the Small Business Conference she said, “you will see […]

Holes in the self-employed support scheme are swallowing millions of people alive

Mo Kanjilal & Allegra Chapman

When the government announced the furlough scheme for workers hit by the coronavirus lockdown, they initially forgot about the estimated five million self-employed people in the UK. After campaigning from several MPs and lobbying groups, they did announce a scheme for the self-employed, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), on 26 March. This caused temporary […]

Sussex’s Sanctuary by the Sea

Ginny Foster

This has been a miserable month for anyone on the move in Europe, but especially for asylum-seeking refugees trying to cross the Channel from France to England. Both the UK and French Governments are seeking to wash their hands of responsibility for this humanitarian crisis, which has seen a young man drown and wash up […]

Eviction threat recedes, but anxious winter ahead

Rick Dillon

Thousands of renters will have breathed a sigh of relief as the government further extended the deadline that protects them from summary eviction. As well as the new deadline of 20 September, there is a six-month ban on most evictions taking place until the end of March 2021. So those who would have risked losing […]

Movin’ On Up – why everyone is on the move

Mo Kanjilal

It seems that everyone is on the move. So many of my phone messages are full of Rightmove links and property photos. As the photos of kitchens, gardens and bathrooms start to merge into one, I wonder why is it that it seems like everyone I know has decided to move? Well, since March when […]

No real democracy until we Make Votes Matter

Josh Woolcott

On Saturday 22 August, thousands of activists and campaigners came together across the UK – in a socially distanced manner – for Make Votes Matter’s action day to call for change to the UK’s electoral system. Make Votes Matter, a cross-party grassroots campaign, seeks to replace the antiquated first past the post (FPTP) system with […]