The Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council is calling on the Green Administration to protect funding for City in Bloom. City in Bloom brings together volunteers, community gardeners and businesses from across Brighton & Hove, with one aim – to make the city a more attractive place in which to live, work and visit. The project is at serous risk of collapsing after the Green Administration proposed cutting the current £30,000 funding as part of its budget package for 2012/13.
Councillor Carol Theobald, who is a member of City in Bloom, has put forward a notice of motion to the Full Council meeting on Thursday (15th
December) calling on the Greens to think again. Cllr. Theobald said: “A visually attractive and well looked after Brighton & Hove not only benefits the local economy by increasing visitor numbers, but also helps to make the city’s residents feel proud of where they live. This will be more important than ever in 2012, when the city will host the Olympic Torch and the Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.”
One of the main priorities of the previous Conservative Administration was to create a ‘shining city by the sea’ by enhancing the city’s parks, gardens and general street scene through measures such as planting additional flowerbeds, decorating vacant shop fronts, cracking down on graffiti and removing estate agents boards from central Conservation Areas. The cuts to City in Bloom come on the back of proposed Green cuts to street sweepers and the graffiti removal service which, when taken together, could result in Brighton & Hove getting a reputation as a dirty and unwelcoming city.
Cllr. Ken Norman, who is seconding the motion, added: “£30,000 is a relatively small amount of money in the context of the Council’s overall budget and in my view it is far outweighed by the economic benefit it brings to the city and the civic pride that it engenders amongst local communities. You would have thought that a political party that calls itself ‘green’ would go out of its way to protect schemes like this, not to cut them.”