Local Conservatives have today welcomes £1,228,660 of adult social care winter funding allocated to Brighton and Hove City Council by the government to help local areas ease winter pressures on the NHS.
Local Authorities in England are receiving a share of a £240 million fund, announced by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock earlier this month. The money is aimed at reducing delayed transfers of care and could pay for the following:
Home care packages to help patients get out of hospital quicker
Reablement packages, which support workers to help patients carry out everyday tasks and regain mobility and confidence
Home adaptations, including new facilities for personal care, such as adapting a shower room if a patient has limited movement
Nick Taylor, Conservative Health and Wellbeing spokesperson commented “This funding for adult social care is gladly received to ease the annual pressures on our fantastic local health services during the winter months. Residents of the city deserve the very best care and this funding is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to deliver that.”
In this financial year The Conservatives, through the Department for Education (DfE), have given a grant of £50,138 to Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Preparation for Employment Grant should be used to encourage and improve supported internships, working in partnership with education providers and employers to set-up a Supported Internship Forum. It should also provide job coach training to increase the pool of coaches to support young people with SEND on work placements.
Conservatives Secure £90,000 Additional Funding For Young People
The Conservative Group in Brighton and Hove also secured £90,000 additional investment in services for young people at this year’s Budget Council. The Conservatives tabled an amendment to the poorly planned 2018/19 budget, which the chaotic Labour Administration weakly presented; the Conservative amendment was passed, and it was agreed that additional funding of £90,000 should be allocated to support SEND young people into sustainable employment.
It Is The Conservatives That Deliver For Young People
Speaking outside Hove Town Hall, following this evening’s meeting of the Children, Young People, and Skills Committee (CYPS), the Conservative Spokeswoman for CYPS – Cllr Vanessa Brown – said “These two substantial injections of cash prove that both locally and nationally it is the Conservatives that deliver for young people overall, and youngsters with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in particular. There is only one way to secure the prosperous future that our next generations deserve, and that is to vote Conservative.”
We want to make sure children across the country are being set up for brighter futures, and that's why we're investing over £1 billion extra into our schools over the next 2 years. 👧👦🌟📚📝 pic.twitter.com/rFCDyuJxdx
✅ 1.9 million more children now in good or outstanding schools ✅ 825,000 new school places since 2010.
Conservatives are working to ensure every family can access a good school – so that every child has the best start in life as we build a country that truly works for everyone pic.twitter.com/hKsbDmwb1f
Today the Education Secretary has announced a £50 million investment in state-of-the-art facilities for children with special educational needs, helping to ensure that every child has the best start in life 📚https://t.co/CB9EeGyiGkpic.twitter.com/MKEs0UiJ98
At the 9th October Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Labour presented the 2017/18 Parking Annual Report. Labour lauded that a windfall surplus of £2.3M raised through parking fees and fines was to be spent on highway maintenance projects such as repairing potholes, pavements and road surfaces. This was in addition to the £1.352M allocated this year to the City by the Conservative Government.
Who Is Making The Decision?
At Committee, the Conservative Group asked for information on where the £2.3M would actually be spent, who made the decision and how was it accounted for in budgets. Labour advised the answer was complex and would provide a briefing.
With no briefing materialising, Conservative spokesperson, Cllr. Lee Wares formally submitted a question to the forthcoming 27th November Committee asking why no briefing had been provided and why the secrecy.
£1.83m Seems To Have Disappeared…
However, in a briefing paper now provided to Committee Members, Labour are advising that a windfall surplus of only £0.47M has been allocated (instead of £2.3M); a reduction in £1.83M.
Cllr. Lee Wares said “After being forced to chase this information, we now discover that £1.83M seems to have just disappeared. Either the Labour Administration, in light of the Government’s recent cash boost, has decided to secretly “move” the cash elsewhere or the original report with all its fanfare and hype was wholly incorrect and misleading.”
This Typifies Labour’s Shambolic Approach…
Cllr. Wares added “This typifies Labour’s shambolic approach to the City’s finances. Was the report incorrect or has the money been secretly diverted elsewhere? We hope that at the November Committee, Labour will come clean on the £1.83M, tell us where it has gone and answer the original outstanding questions or admit that the Annual Report was wrong and misleading.”
The Conservative Group has called out the Labour Administration for lip-service a year since Conservative Cllr Steve Bell raised a Notice of Motion calling for a ban on the purchase of single use plastics in all Brighton and Hove City Council buildings and council funded agencies.
The Notice of Motion also called for businesses with which the council engage, via procurement, to support the banning of these consumables, yet singe use plastics are still rife in and around the city.
12 Months Since Unanimous Agreement…No Action Just Talk
Criticising the Council today, Cllr Bell said “12months since the Council unanimously agreed to lead by example and stop the use of single use plastics all we have to show is a few polite signs. We have had report after report; but now is the time to stop talking and start acting.”
300 Million Tons Of Plastic Each Year
The country produces roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year, half of which is disposable. Although plastic will not biodegrade, it will break down into tiny particles after many years, the process of which releases toxic chemicals which make their way into our food and water supply. Single use plastics are also a major source of marine litter.
…Ban These Consumables…Lead By Example
Cllr Bell added “Events such a Pride and the Brighton Marathon left the city littered with these environmentally damaging plastics. By compelling organisers wanting to hold events in our city to ban these consumables we could go a long way towards changing the culture of usage of plastic products for the wider public and truly lead by example.”
Local Conservatives have today welcomed an additional £2,098,961 for adults and children’s social care in Brighton and Hove from the government.
Local authorities in England are receiving a share of £410 million in 2019-20 for older people, people with disabilities and children. This is in addition to the £240 million winter funding announced last month and will help local authorities to deliver the important services our communities need and support the most vulnerable residents.
The combined funding will mean an extra £3,327,621 for the Council.
Cllr Janio, Leader of the Conservative Group commented “Every winter the NHS comes under additional pressure from the cold weather and all that it brings. The government’s additional funding will go a long way towards easing these winter pressures to both support our vulnerable residents and get people home when they are well enough to be and stop bed blocking. This should help out the city’s Labour Administration who can’t budget, choosing instead to waste money on vanity projects.”
Brighton and Hove Conservatives welcome the Government’s £1.163m cash injection into the City to repair and maintain roads and streets. This is in addition to the £0.189m previously given to the Council for pot hole repairs.
Conservative spokes for transport, Cllr. Lee Wares said “The combined sum of £1.352m allocated by Government to Brighton and Hove this year is significant, we would hope the Labour Administration will now use the money wisely and not waste it”.
We Don’t Want Waste
“What we don’t want to see is waste such as the Labour Administration buying road salt needed to keep our roads clear this winter to only store it outside for it to dissolve in the rain before it can be used”.
Labour Have No More Excuses
“With the Government’s £1.352m plus the £2.3m windfall surplus the Council banked from parking charges and fines; a total of £3.582m can be spent this financial year fixing potholes, roads and pavements, Labour have no more excuses.”
Alzheimer’s Disease International has praised the UK Government for its progress and commitment in tackling the stigma of dementia and improving the care experience for sufferers and their carers at this year’s UK Dementia Congress, held in Brighton’s Hilton Metropole.
£60 Million Target Exceeded Early
The Government has exceeded its £60 million target for the Dementia Research Institute earlier than 2020 and has the second largest research spend on Dementia in the world.
Diagnosis Rate Increased to 66%
Since 2010 the dementia diagnosis rate has increased from 42% to 66% in 2018 meaning more people can access the support and care they need. Over a million NHS workers have also had training on dementia over the last five years.
UK Will Be World Leader
Attending the UK Dementia Congress, Nick Taylor, Conservative Health and Wellbeing spokesperson commented “Dementia can be a cruel and difficult condition for individuals and their families. Since 2015 the Government set about the UK being the best country in the world to support those living with dementia, either personally or as a relative.
“I was very pleased to hear from the Minister of State for Care directly that this is still a firm commitment and remains on track.
“There is always more to do but with our health partners we can be ambitious for our city”
Just over 7 weeks after the Labour Administration in Brighton & Hove trumpeted the fact a new ‘Selective Licensing Scheme’ for private rented homes had been given the go ahead by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government – they have been stripped of this status.
Residents Let Down
The Selective Licensing Scheme was due to be introduced early next year, for all private rented homes not currently covered by mandatory or additional licensing for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), in the following wards:
& North Laine
& Elm Grove
Labour Incompetence Leaves Tenants Vulnerable
The scheme should have been introduced from 4 February 2019 and would have protected tenants in around 27,000 properties. The scheme was approved by the council’s Housing & New Homes Committee on 15 November 2017 following a consultation the previous summer. The consultation had 804 responses with 81% in favour. The Secretary of State approved the scheme on the grounds of improving housing conditions in the city.
Significant Benefits Lost Due To Labour Mismanagement
The introduction of further licensing in the city aimed to improve management and housing conditions across the private rented sector. The benefits would have included:
landlords gaining from improved clarity about their role in raising
property and tenancy management standards while action is taken to tackle
those who flout their legal responsibilities.
would be clear on what standards they can expect in the homes they rent
and the landlords they rent from, with minimum standards resulting in
better managed, quality and safer homes.
would benefit from a consistent approach towards proactively assessing and
improving housing conditions across the areas.
90% of Properties Won’t Be Fit & Safe For Occupation
Evidence from current HMO licensing in Brighton & Hove shows that almost 90% of properties required improvements to ensure they were fit and safe for occupation.
The Conservative spokesperson for Housing in Brighton and Hove, Cllr Mary Mears, said “As the Conservative Group Spokesperson on the Housing Committee I found it shocking that I had to read in The Argus about this minority Labour Administration being removed from the National licencing scheme – this surely highlights the dysfunctional chaos surrounding Labour’s leadership. The most serious consequence of this is the devastating impact it could potentially have on some of Brighton and Hove’s most vulnerable residents. In our city we know that we have some very good landlords, who take their duty of care seriously and protect their tenants; however we do know that there are other landlords in the city who are letting properties that are not fit and safe for occupation. Without membership of this licencing scheme the council has less control over rouge landlords”
“Just how far does Labour’s record of incompetence and waste need to go before we start to see the resignation of Labour Chairs of Committees, or even the Labour Leader of the Council. The Labour Administration is imploding before our very eyes.”
“I am not surprised but very disappointed. During the past 3.5 years I have seen this Labour Administration waste Brighton & Hove Council Tax payers’ money on vanity projects and ignore our plea to help the most vulnerable. This will affect so many residents and cause some real risks of people living in below standard housing which will affect their physical and mental health. Labour need to explain why they are continually failing the City by their lack of Duty of Care.”
Cllr Ann Norman, Conservative Spokesperson for Tourism, Development, and Culture Committee, has today spoken of her exasperation on hearing the news residents must, again, face delays in getting the King Alfred Leisure Centre site, Hove, redeveloped.
Speaking outside Hove Town Hall Cllr Norman said “It’s deplorable that this chaotic Labour Administration has let down the residents of our city, yet again, by their failure to progress the redevelopment of the King Alfred Site.”
Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC), which is run by the Labour Party, issued the following press release:
“Following formal confirmation of funding in September from the Housing Infrastructure Fund the council has been working with Crest Nicholson Regeneration to conclude the development agreement.
“The council wrote to the developer earlier this month to ask them to confirm their commitment to the delivery of the King Alfred scheme. We have received a response from Crest that restates their commitment but which is seeking a little more time to further update their viability appraisals. The council continues to be in contact with them and we are expecting a more detailed response shortly.
“In parallel with the developer’s ongoing viability review, the council will meet with them to agree options for progressing delivery of the scheme. We remain committed to ensuring a scheme which delivers a new leisure centre and pool complex for Hove alongside a significant housing development
“We will provide an update on the project at the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee on 6 December.”
Conservatives Question Chaotic Labour Administration
At a meeting of Full Council, on October 18th 2018, Conservative Councillor Robert Nemeth (Member of The King Alfred Project Board) submitted a formal written question to the Labour Administration asking:
“Given the estimated £669,000 that has already been expended by the Council on the latest King Alfred project (£409,000 officer costs and £260,000 consultant costs), what further costs are envisaged between now and project completion, and are such funds already in place?”
Flippant & Vague Response
The reply he received from Labour Leader of the council Dan Yates was worryingly lacking in actual figures and almost flippantly vague:
“As with the expenditure profile to date, activity and therefore cost to the Council is dependent on the phase the project has reached. Subject to completion of the Development Agreement in the coming months, the cost to the Council during the next two years is expected to be akin to that incurred during the past year. As with all projects managed by the Council’s Major Projects Team, resource requirements are reviewed at least annually and financial resources are allocated as part of the budget setting process. The King Alfred project is one of the Council’s strategic priorities. Appropriate financial provision has therefore been made and this is considered to be sufficient based on the currently anticipated delivery timetable.”
The Conservative Councillor for Central Hove – the Ward in which the King Alfred site is situated – Cllr Andrew Wealls, said yesterday “It’s utterly disgraceful that the Labour Administration have taken their eye off the ball. These chronic delays are threatening the viability of the entire project.” As a dedicated campaigner for the residents and businesses in his Ward, Andrew has long been an advocate of positive development in this area. He went on to say “Hove deserves better than chaotic Labour shower. Clearly in-fighting takes precedence over the interests of our great city and its residents. The people of Brighton and Hove deserve better, and I expect they will be giving Labour a massive thumbs down next May.”
Between 600 and 700 flats are proposed for this site. If we use an average council tax bill for these properties of £1,500 per annum (Current Band D 2018/19 is £1,805.98) – A delay of one year means £1,050,000 of lost revenue for our city. To date an estimated £409,000 of BHCC Officer time has been accrued alongside £260,000 of consultants fees. These figures do not include business rates from the proposed outlets and already we are looking at significant sums of money that money could have mitigated Labour’s Council Tax increase in this year’s budget. We’re just waiting to see which Labour Administration Councillor will do the honourable thing and resign over this shocking state of affairs.
On Thursday 18th October West Blatchington Primary & Nursery School celebrated the history of their school with Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon. Damian Hinds MP.
£30m of Government Funding
More than £30m has come from the Conservative Government for these initiatives. The new premises for the Primary and Nursery school – combined with the Kings School development – are a very welcome addition to our city.
The Conservative Group Spokesperson for Children, Young People, and Skills – Cllr Vanessa Brown – spent the morning with the three councillors for Hangleton & Knoll and Secretary of State Hinds, being escorted round the current building, which is due to be demolished next year.
Lots of good work has been done on the Valley Gardens project, and phase 3 is no exception. There are four options on the table for this phase, and they were presented to the Environment, Transport, and Sustainability Committee (ETSC) on Tuesday 9th October 2018. There are some interesting ideas, However the Conservative Group have expressed some concerns.
Forty Second Penalty
Cllr Lee Wares (Conservative Group Deputy Leader & ETS Spokesman) had previously asked for general traffic timings, and sadly many were not included. However Cllr Wares has highlighted a worrying figure that is included in the document. Westbound traffic on the A259 will be travelling 40 seconds slower, even after optimising, and the knock-on effects of this will be far reaching and cause a great deal of frustration for residents and visitors to our city.
The Matrix Is Flawed
Cllr Wares explained that the matrix upon which the decision to choose option 1 is flawed. Just a few slight ‘tweaks’ of this matrix result in a roundabout option coming back in to play (options 2 & 4). Bus companies, the taxi trade, buswatch, and cyclists throughout the city remain unconvinced. Cllr Wealls said “The Conservative Group cannot support option 1 in its current form.”
Cllr Wares also highlighted that information for a public consultation (on option 1 for the scheme) is already prepared without the benefit of this committee’s decision. Cllr Lee Wares (Conservative Group Deputy Leader & ETS Spokesman) described this state of affairs as “unnerving”.
Lack Of Future Proofing
With a desire to build a conference centre at the Eastern end of our seafront the plans for Madera Drive, contained within option 1, show a complete lack of foresight regarding the impact of traffic around that area. Cllr Wares said “In its current form, option 1 would be a noose around the neck of future development.”