'After 12 years mismanagement, Brighton is in poor state' - change of leadership call

Conservative councillors have been campaigning ahead of the local elections in the city next May <i>(Image: Brighton and Hove Conservatives)</i>
Conservative councillors have been campaigning ahead of the local elections in the city next May (Image: Brighton and Hove Conservatives)

The Conservatives have fired the starting gun for next year’s local elections, offering to put an end to “mismanagement” of the city by the Greens and Labour.

The party’s plan for the city includes proposals to fix rubbish and recycling in Brighton and Hove, put a stop to excessive parking charge rises, cut the city’s weeds and grass verges and restore the city’s heritage.

Councillor Steve Bell, leader of the Conservative group, said: “After 12 years of Green and Labour mismanagement, Brighton and Hove is in a poor state.

“The rubbish is not reliably collected, litter lines our streets, weeds and verges are not being cut regularly, hundreds of council homes lie empty, repairs to council homes are years behind schedule, flytipping is rampant and street lights are broken and not being fixed.

“The Greens and Labour have lost focus. They waste council time discussing national and international issues, rather than local issues they were elected by you to manage.

“Our Conservative team is 100 per cent focused on local matters that this council is responsible for.”

However, the city’s Labour group claimed that the Tories have “consistently refused to lift a finger or stand up for our city”.

Councillors Carmen Appich and John Allcock, the co-leaders of the Labour group, said: “This literature is a nakedly desperate attempt by the Conservatives to divert attention away from 12 years of chaotic national Tory government and lethal austerity that has slashed our council budget over £110 million.

“Labour have used council time to increase the council tax reduction scheme to support the most vulnerable, to deliver hundreds of new council and affordable homes, to bring down carbon emissions in the city and to tackle the attainment gap in our schools and nurseries.

“The Conservatives, whose voice could actually carry the greatest weight in lobbying their own government to support Brighton and Hove residents, have consistently refused to lift a finger or stand up for our city and instead hide behind clickbait rhetoric.”

Bridget Fishleigh, the city’s only elected independent councillor, hit out at the Conservatives after campaign literature said: “A vote for independents will not change this city as they do not sit on many decision-making policy committees.”

Cllr Fishleigh said that her new Brighton and Hove Independents group would “be proactive within the areas we represent”, with “a number of candidates lined up to stand in May”.

Voters across the city will go to the polls on May 4 next year to elect 54 councillors to represent their ward for the next four years.