Liz Collis's blog

Community voices need to be heard to set the best budget for the city

In recent weeks I’ve received multiple messages from concerned residents and community groups about proposed cuts in Brighton and Hove City Council’s annual budget, which councillors will vote on at a meeting later today. If you want to follow, you can do so online here.

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This year is shaping up to be a big one, with a General Election here, as well as elections in the US.   Here's hoping we end up in a better place by the end of it!

Here are a few of the things which I’ve been working on so far this year. 

 

Flooding and winter storms

Publication of KC report into toxic culture at City Clean

What happens at the Hollingdean City Clean depot affects everyone across Brighton and Hove, because this is the centre of the city’s rubbish and recycling services. So Aileen McColgan KC’s report into bullying and harassment at the depot makes horrendous reading – even suggesting that the problems could constitute abuse and potential criminality.    

Much loved community schools threatened with closure

Brighton and Hove is currently in the midst of a school’s consultation which is proposing the closure of two deeply cherished schools (St Bartholomew’s C of E School and St Peter’s Community Primary School) along with pupil admission reductions in 9 other schools. The Labour run council’s proposal has been met with much criticism from concerned teachers and parents, including about the wider impact for the affected communities.  

SCHOOL KIDS GET CREATIVE AS BRIGHTON MP LAUNCHES SEASONS GREETINGS CARD CONTEST

Students at local primary schools are being encouraged to put pens and paint brushes to paper to design a "Season's  Greetings" card for Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas to send out this winter. 

Pupils from schools in the Brighton Pavilion constituency have until Friday 23rd November to submit designs to their school office. 

The winning design and runner ups will be announced during the week commencing 27 November and will be used for e-cards to be sent out from Caroline’s Westminster office to hundreds of her constituents and other contacts.  

Southern Housing - customer service failures

It seems not a week goes by when I don’t hear from a constituent with a shocking example of Southern Housing Group’s (SHG) dire customer service. Whilst MPs regularly receive correspondence from residents about housing problems, including some linked to SHG, there has been a noticeable, and sharp, uptick in the frequency their name is coming up in the casework I receive.   

Royal Mail's service delivery failures

Getting letters delivered by Royal Mail seems to be nearly impossible for my constituents judging by the message they are sending me, so I should hardly be surprised that the company has not yet replied to the email I sent them on the 2 June about their service standards. 

To compound things even more, a large part of my message to Royal Mail (copied below) re-asked questions about staffing, capacity and pressures the company face, which they failed to address in a reply to a message I sent them back in March. 

A VISIT TO CASE IN HOLLINGDEAN

I recently visited Community, Advice, Support and Education (CASE), a brilliant charity in Hollingdean supporting residents on wide-ranging issues. In particular, CASE are champions of social justice, and their work often focuses on tackling poverty and hardship, as well as challenging unfair benefit decisions which have deprived people of the vital money they are entitled to receive.

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