Mike Highlights Local Anti-Semitism to Prime Minister

Hove Synagogue GraffitiMike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has written to his colleague the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, in order to highlight the problem of anti-Semitism in Hove, including graffiti on a Hove synagogue.

In his letter, Mike said: “It is deeply saddening that a synagogue in Hove was targeted by anti-Semitic vandals earlier in August. I had assumed – wrongly – that Jewish community in my constituency was safe and free to worship and live their lives without fear of attack. Over the past few weeks, I have heard from a number of concerned constituents who feel that the anti-Semitism that is taking place cannot be ignored any longer. I stand by these residents and look to the Government for assurances on what is being done to address this serious situation.”

Commenting, Mike said: “I have been absolutely disgusted by the anti-Semitic abuse that has taken place in my constituency. I am confident that the Prime Minister take this matter seriously as it is unacceptable that any resident feels threatened. I have also highlighted the issue of Kosher food, as it is important that stockists do not feel intimidated into changing what and how they sell their products.”

Cllr Graham Cox, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade, added: “I am pleased that Mike has highlighted this issue with the Prime Minister. Anti-Semitism is a terrible crime and it is important that the Jewish community in Hove not only feels safe but that they actually are safe from any form of harassment.”

Picture Curtesy of Sussex Friends of Israel 

Members of the Brighton and Hove Conservatives select Lee Wares for Patcham

Following recent interviews of candidates, the Membership of the Brighton and Hove Conservatives have recently selected Lee Wares to stand for the 2015 local elections in Patcham. Lee will join Geoffrey and Carol Theobold in continuing the great work they and Conservatives have been delivering to residents and businesses in Patcham for many years. Lee will stand in the seat being vacated by Cllr Brian Pidgeon who is retiring.

Lee was born and raised in Brighton and Hove and has lived his entire 48 years here. He is committed to promoting the values of the Conservative Party and making the City the envy of the Nation. Lee has worked very hard for the Local Conservative Party behind the scenes and has for the last six months helped colleagues in Preston Park Ward prepare for the 2015 elections. Lee is no stranger to canvassing on the door, running campaigns and championing the position of residents. Lee has been involved in businesses for decades and understands the workings of Local Government having worked for the City early in his career.

Geoffrey Theobald Patcham Ward Councillor and Leader of the Conservative Group on the City Council said: “I am delighted to have Lee on board. He is great addition to the team and we will now be working all out to ensure the City Council is once again run by an efficient, effective and caring Conservative Administration which puts residents first.”


Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, has welcomed new guidance from the Conservative led Government over the reduction of NHS hospital parking charges for certain groups. Ministers have said relatives of people who are seriously ill or who have to stay in hospital for a long time should be given free parking or reduced charges. Concessions should also be offered to people with disabilities and NHS staff whose shift patterns mean they cannot use public transport.

Clarence said: ”I very much welcome these guide lines as all too often patients and their relatives are under considerable extra stress whilst trying desperately to park, when worrying about missing their appointment or becoming increasingly anxious about seeing a sick friend or relative. I also fully support the Macmillan campaign to remove car parking charges for cancer patients.”

Clarence adds: “Charges at the Royal Sussex County Hospital multi storey car park being just above the daily average of £9.56 in the South East are in my view already far too high. Given that off-site parking is extremely limited due to nearby roads being for permit holders only, there is little option but to use the hospital car park. To make matters worse, there are never enough spaces and patients and visitors are forced to queue and spend valuable time hunting down a space to park.”

Clarence has written to the Chief Executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, Matthew Kershaw, asking how the new Government guidelines will be implemented.

Mike Reminds Residents to use 01273

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is reminding residents that from 1st October they must, when using a landline, enter ‘01273’ before dialling a local number.

The reason for the change is that there is so much demand for new numbers using the 01273 code that the allocation is set to run out in the near future. By requiring the area code to be used before the telephone number numbers beginning 0 or 1 can now be issued. For more information on the number change, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: “While making 01273 compulsory isn’t ideal, there is no choice unless telephone operators simply stop issuing numbers, which would not be in anyone’s interest. So please remember, start using 01273 to ensure that your call gets through.”

Cllr Graham Cox, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade, added: “It’s frustrating that this measure is necessary, but it clearly highlights the popularity of our city as a place to live and do business. I hope that the change won’t catch too many people out, so let’s get in the habit of always using 01273.”

Conservatives praise Brighton Area Buswatch

Conservative Group Transport Spokesman and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove, Graham Cox, has praised the Brighton Area Buswatch organisation and called on more residents to join up and have their say on bus services in the city.

Brighton Area Buswatch is the local branch of Bus Users UK, who champion the rights of bus and coach users nationally. Residents can get more information about how to join both organisations, and access to informative and entertaining local newsletters, from their websites – www.brightonbuswatch.org and www.bususers.org

Graham said: “We are lucky in Brighton & Hove to have one of the best bus services in the country and I use it pretty much every day to get around the city. However, there is always room for improvement and Brighton Area Buswatch and their members do a great job in holding the bus companies here to account. I would urge anyone who has ideas about how things could be improved to get involved.”

Geoffrey Theobald chosen for senior Local Government Association role

Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald OBE

Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald OBE

Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald OBE has been chosen by his peers to be a member of an influential new Local Government Association (LGA) body.

The LGA is the national voice of local government which works with councils of all political colours to support, promote and improve local government. Virtually all the councils in England are members of the LGA. Geoffrey has been selected to sit on the newEnvironment, Economy, Housing & Transport Board which will have a crucial role in promoting the role of local councils in supporting sustainable economic growth across the country.

Geoffrey has been a senior member of the LGA for many years and, for the last two years, has been a member of the Environment & Housing Board which has now been wound up to be replaced by this new, more wide-ranging body.

Commenting on his appointment, Geoffrey said: “I am very pleased to have been chosen to serve on this new Board which will be one of the most important at the LGA.  I am especially interested in exploring how councils can help contribute to economic growth in their areas and I do have experience of this with my role on the new Greater Brighton Economic Board. The environment, housing and transport are all vitally important issues in their own right but are also all vital to achieving sustainable economic growth. The LGA does have the ear of Government ministers, and so this lobbying work is very important in improving the lives of the city’s residents.”


Mike Calls on Chancellor to Limit Rail Fare Rise

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has written to his colleague the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to highlight the plight of commuters in Brighton & Hove and request that fares are capped by the Retail Price Index (RPI).

Mike, and his local conservative colleagues, are acutely aware of the financial burden on commuters and feel that fares should not rise above inflation.

In his letter to the Chancellor, Mike said: “Many residents from Brighton & Hove currently pay over £5,000 to travel to London and this may potentially rise to £5,250. I, along with many of my Conservative colleagues, do not believe that fares should go up by more than inflation. I should be extremely grateful, therefore, if you would intervene again in this matter in order to ensure that fares do not rise above the Retail Price Index.”

Commenting, Mike said: “I regularly hear from residents about the strain of paying huge sums of money simply to get to work. While I am pleased that the Government is taking a sensible approach to improving our rail network, I hope that the Chancellor will, like last year, intervene and restrict any rises to RPI.”

Cllr Graham Cox, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade, added: “Having commuted to London myself, I know just how frustrating it is to see the prices of already expensive tickets go up even further. I hope that the Chancellor will take into consideration our calls for a cap on fare increases, which will effect so many people in Hove and Portslade.”

Talking statues to come to Brighton & Hove?

Conservatives are calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to follow London’s lead by introducing innovative new ‘talking statue’ technology to some of the city’s historic icons.

In London, playwrights and actors have been commissioned by not-for-profit arts organisation www.singlondon.org to put words into the mouths of 40 public statues around the city in a project that aims to connect people to the physical spaces around them. In order to activate the statue’s ‘voice’, a smartphone is swiped on a nearby tag and the owner receives an immediate phone call from the statue in question, be it Sherlock Holmes, Queen Victoria or Dick Whittington’s cat!

Withdean Ward Councillor, Ann Norman, is writing to the Chairman of the Council’s Economic Development & Culture Committee to request that a similar project be introduced in Brighton & Hove.

Cllr. Norman said: “This really is a wonderful idea which could bring Brighton & Hove’s rich and varied history and heritage to life using 21st Century technology. We have a whole range of famous statues in the city such as Queen Victoria, Prince Regent, Max Miller and Steve Ovett who would all have a fascinating story to tell. It could even be used at some of our iconic monuments such as the Chattri Memorial and the Peace Statue as well as some of the city’s fabulous public art installations, for example, the AIDS memorial sculpture in New Steine Gardens.”

Conservative Group Culture Spokesperson, Cllr. Vanessa Brown, added: “Brighton & Hove is one of the top tourist destinations in the UK and is continually evolving to maintain this status. I think that talking statues would be a fantastic addition to our long list of attractions and would potentially open up the city’s fascinating history to a whole new audience. I very much hope that we can progress this at the next Committee meeting.”


Conservatives support Police in tackling dangerous parking and vandalism in Preston Park

Lee Wares

Lee Wares

Residents have been raising concerns with Conservative Preston Park Councillor candidates Lee Wares, Ed De Sousa and Sam Evans about problems with dangerous parking in areas of the Ward. In these same areas, offending vehicles have been subject to criminal damage.

Dangerously parked vehicles impede pedestrians on junctions and increase the risk of injury by creating blind spots. This also causes hazards to other road users and could potentially block access for the emergency services.

Now with the backing of Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, and the support of Sussex Police, an initiative is underway in the Ward to warn offending vehicle owners and advise that repeated offences will lead to fines and/or vehicles being towed away.

Dangerously parked vehicles have also been subject to criminal damage. Sussex Police are now following up on their investigations and deploying covert patrols to deter and/or apprehend offenders.

Lee Wares said “Parking within the Ward is a significant issue for residents but, regardless of the lack of space and reasons behind it, residents are equally concerned about the increasing occurrence of dangerously parked vehicles.”

“I have witnessed the issue first hand and there are unacceptable risks to pedestrians, especially children, trying to cross junctions. It is only a matter of time before somebody is hurt or killed or the emergency services can’t get to an incident quickly enough”

“It is also unacceptable that people are causing criminal damage to offending vehicles. Nobody should take the law into their own hands regardless of their reasons. Two wrongs don’t make a  right.”

“Any information relating to dangerously parked vehicles or criminal damage should be reported to the Police on 101 when it is less urgent than 999 or report online at www.sussex.police.uk as part of Operation Crackdown”

Lee Wares added “I am delighted with the Police’s response to the issues we have raised and we shall continue to support them in their efforts to provide a safer environment for the residents”

Successful Conservative campaign to re-open Wilbury Villas road bridge

It has been 10 months since the Goldsmid Conservatives started their campaign to get Wilbury Villas road bridge open. Apart from the breeze blocks having to be removed, it is about to be opened to light traffic i.e cycles and cars.

Goldsmid candidate Linda Freedman had to contact Network Rail direct, as there had been no progress with Brighton and Hove City Council. Two months after Network Rail were lobbied, the repair works to the railway side of the bridge started in December 2013. After quite a few e-mails backwards and forwards to Brighton and Hove City Council Transport & Highways Department, work to repair the bridge began last month.