Conservatives have welcomed a commitment from the new Chief Executive of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – Matthew Kershaw – to work with the Council to improve local sourcing of food at the city’s hospitals and in other public sector organisations.
The commitment was made as a result of a Conservative Group Notice of Motion that was agreed at a Full Council meeting in March. The Motion highlighted the benefits of sourcing food locally to patient health, the local economy and to the environment through reduced food miles.
In his response to the Motion, Mr Kershaw said: “I would be interested in entering into a discussion with our partners in the public sector about how, acting together, we can achieve the aims set out in the motion to council – perhaps one of the city-wide groups which are being re-energised could address this issue which could harness the collective food sourcing requirements of the wider public sector and other major employers.” Mr Kershaw also confirmed that the Trust is currently discussing “the potential to increase local sourcing” with their contractors – Sodexho.
Patcham Ward Councillor Carol Theobald, who proposed the Motion, said: “I am delighted with the positive response to our motion from Matthew Kershaw. I think we are all agreed on the principle of using more locally sourced food – we just need to get together now and talk about the practicalities of making it happen.”
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, added: “I want to see the collective purchasing power of the local public sector in Brighton & Hove used wherever possible to support employment in the local economy. Using locally sourced food is a great opportunity to help our excellent local farmers, growers and suppliers and I shall be pressing the Council’s Chief Executive to take this forward as a matter of priority.”
Following repeated calls from residents and businesses about the failures of the City’s Planning Department, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has submitted a number of Freedom of Information requests to Brighton & Hove City Council.
Mike has written to Penny Thompson, Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council, to request ten specific responses which relate to complaints that about the number of planning applications that are turned down at the last minute, despite seemingly being deemed acceptable to planning officers.
Information requested from Brighton & Hove City Council by Mike:
• Number of planning applications submitted each year since 2000.
• Number of approvals by Officers each year since 2000.
• Number of approvals by Committee each year since 2000.
• Number of refusals by Officers each year since 2000.
• Number of refusals by Committee each year since 2000.
• Number of applications sent to Committee each year since 2000.
• Number of appeals each year since 2000.
• Number of resubmitted applications each year since 2000.
• Number of applications not determined by target decision date each year since 2000.
• Number of planning applications submitted each year since 2000 that are actually built.
Commenting, Mike said: “Numerous unrelated complaints have been put to me by local builders about the Planning Department at Brighton & Hove City Council dragging its heels and holding back development in the city. Brighton & Hove desperately needs new construction of homes, businesses as well as Major Projects, which will help boost our local economy. I hope that the responses that I receive shed some light on how effective the Planning Department is. I am keen to get to the bottom of this matter.”
The following was published in The Argus on 14th May
I find it interesting that the Brighton and Hove Labour Party are supporting the GMB union in the on going CityClean dispute.
This seems a total conflict of interest, not only due to the fact that the Labour Party and GMB union share offices in Hove, but they also receive financial support from them.
The council is, quite rightly, trying to negotiate fairness for all council workers, and in particular ensuring that women receive equal pay to men for doing the same type of work.
It is opportunistic for the Brighton and Hove Labour Party to try to undermine this process while offering no practical alternative solution.
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and a Patron of The Cybersmile Foundation, is backing Stop Cyberbullying Day on Friday 17th May.
Stop Cyberbullying Day has been organised by The Cybersmile Foundation in order to draw attention to the difficulties which are faced by countless victims of cyberbullying every day. The Cybersmile Foundation is the first and only UK charity that is dedicated to the victims of cyberbullying.
The charity, founded by Brighton & Hove resident Scott Freeman, is committed to helping educate people to use social media safely; providing valuable information and guidance for all areas of cyberbullying; and offering urgent one-to-one counselling to the victims of cyberbullying. For more information on Cybersmile, please visit www.cybersmile.org.
Commenting, Mike said: “Cyberbulling is an increasing problem for both children and adults, which is why it is important to raise awareness of the issue and highlight that there is an organisation out there that can help people who are experiencing online bullying. I am pleased that this issue is now receiving national attention and I look forward to working with Cybersmile in the future.”
£3.3 million of funding to help the city’s businesses and universities through improved Ultrafast Broadband and public wi-fi internet access could be at risk following an announcement that the Labour Party would scrap £75 million from the Government’s Super Connected Cities programme.
The announcement was made by Labour’s Culture Spokesperson – Helen Goodman – on Monday. The Government initially allocated £100 million to a first wave of Super Connected Cities which did not include Brighton & Hove. However, last November, following strong lobbying by the city’s MPs, they decided to set aside an additional £50 million for a further 12 cities, including Brighton & Hove, which is due to receive £3.3 million. Brighton & Hove’s successful bid for funding was prepared in partnership with Brighton based group Wired Sussex – a membership organisation for companies and freelancers operating in the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex. Wired Sussex took to Twitter to express their concern at the Labour Party announcement.
Conservative Group Leader on Brighton & Hove City Council, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, said: “This is an extremely worrying development and shows that the Labour Party has little understanding of the business needs of a city such as Brighton & Hove, which is a market leader in digital and new media technologies. It is vital for them, and for other local businesses (and, indeed, the universities) that they have access to the best broadband out there. I would urge the new Labour Group Leader on the Council to make it one of his first tasks to speak to Mr Milliband and persuade him to reverse this dangerous policy. Local businesses will quite rightly be very concerned.”
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has praised local primary school, Deepdene, for their brilliant Ofsted achievement, as the school received ‘Outstanding’ status in every one of its assessed categories.
Ofsted has recently published results which show that Deepdene has been awarded an Outstanding grade for its latest inspection. Schools are evaluated in six key areas – Pupils’ achievement; Pupils’ behaviour & personal development; Quality of teaching; Quality of curriculum; Pupils’ welfare, health & safety; and Leadership & management. Deepdene was rated ‘Outstanding’ in each category. For more information on Deepdene, visit www.deepdeneschool.com.
Commenting, Mike said: “This Outstanding Ofsted report is a fantastic result for Deepdene. I know that parents of children at the school are very proud of this achievement, which is down to the hard work and dedication of both the teachers and pupils. I want to pass on my congratulations to everyone at Deepdene and hope that other schools in Brighton & Hove, and around the country, can learn from the excellent standard that they have set.”
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to introduce legislation that will enshrine an EU referendum in law and will back the new bill.
Mike was one of a number of eurosceptic Conservative MPs who indicated his support to back an Amendment to the Queen’s Speech, which expressed regret at the speech not including an EU Referendum Bill. However, the Prime Minister has now decided that the introducing legislation is necessary and will seek to put before Parliament, in the form of a Private Member’s Bill, a commitment to hold a referendum on Britain’s relationship with Europe in 2017.
Commenting, Mike said: “I am pleased that the Prime Minister is now backing a solid commitment to holding a referendum on Europe. Over the years Britain has been pushed into accepting a raw deal with Europe. This cannot go on and I very much hope that serious negotiations can provide an acceptable outcome. However, the ultimate say will, rightly, be left with the public in 2017.”
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is to meet with Minister Lord Nash, who has responsibility for Free Schools, to discuss the proposals to build on the BHASVIC field.
Following widespread opposition from residents to the proposals to build on the fields by Old Shoreham Road, Mike has arranged to meet with his ministerial colleague Lord Nash. In the meeting Mike intends to highlight the lack of school places within Brighton & Hove, but also outline why the site that has been selected is not suitable.
Mike is extremely disappointed that the Department for Education was forced to intervene in this matter, as a result of the Green administration, which runs Brighton & Hove City Council, failing to deal with the school problem.
Commenting, Mike said: “While I am meeting with a Minister from the Department for Education to discuss plans for a new school in Hove, it must be remembered that Brighton & Hove City Council face considerable responsibility for the position that we now find ourselves in. The Green administration is ideologically opposed to Free Schools and has wasted a huge amount of time in finding suitable locations within the city.”
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is to host a public meeting on the future of the King Alfred, on Friday 24th May at Hove Town Hall.
Mike recognises that one of the most pressing issues within his constituency is the redevelopment of the King Alfred Leisure Centre. Keen to hear what residents have to say about what they want from a new leisure centre, Mike has decided to host a public meeting to gauge public opinion. Speakers on the panel of the event will be announced shortly. A summary of the event details is below:
Friday 24th May
Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 4AH
Doors will open at 1pm for a 2pm start
Please just turn up – no need to book. Refreshments will also be served.
Commenting, Mike said: “Brighton & Hove desperately needs a new first-class leisure centre to replace the crumbling King Alfred and I want to hear directly from residents what they want from this new multi-million pound facility. For too long local people have had to put up with inadequate facilities that are certainly not fit for the 21st Century. I want a state of the art leisure centre that will be the envy of local authorities from around the country.”
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leisure, has met with footballers at a reception in the House of Commons in a bid to promote women’s football.
On display at the parliamentary event, where Mike met with a number of women footballers and sports representatives, was the impressive UEFA Women’s Champions League Trophy. The initiative was supported by Business in Sports & Leisure in conjunction with UEFA. For more information on the UEFA Women’s Champion’s League, click here.
Commenting, Mike said: “Unfortunately, the number of women’s footballers in the UK is quite behind when compared to our European counterparts. Locally though we’ve got some great new sporting facilities, especially with the newly completed Amex Stadium, so I hope that will help boost the popularity of women’s football in Brighton & Hove.”
Mike is pictured with footballers Carly Telford (Chelsea) and Dunia Susi (Chelsea & England) and the UEFA Women’s Champions League Trophy.