The new Green Group of Brighton & Hove City councillors has vowed to defend the vision for a new joined up park and improved transport links from the Level to the seafront, known as the ‘Valley Gardens project’, for which £14 million was secured under their leadership. They have expressed deep concern about a statement by Labour leader Cllr. Warren Morgan, calling for the suspension of the project, fearing it would threaten future investment opportunities as well as the project which is at an advanced stage of preparation.
Cllr Pete West, outgoing chair of the city’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee said:
“We successfully secured £14 million of external funds, from the Local Enterprise Partnership, to deliver this important project which has involved over two years of development and design work, been agreed at numerous committee meetings and is almost ready to go ahead. Our business case for the scheme was applauded as ‘robust and fit for purpose’ while offering ‘very high value for money’, promising an estimated £40m worth of benefits over 20 years. This includes benefits from improved health, shorter journey times, less pollution, better business links, improved retail frontages, new housing and offices, training and tourism.
“Labour’s proposal to scupper this would not only mean the loss of this opportunity but risk the Brighton & Hove’s reputation with funders as a reliable and ‘can-do’ city. £8 million is already allocated for the first phases and if the project is delayed or scrapped the money will be re-allocated to projects elsewhere in the south-east. Labour is being hasty and taking a risky and ill-thought position that is not in the interests of this city and I hope they will re-consider.”
£8million already allocated by the L.E.P. to be paid in arrears. Funding is non-transferable to other schemes in the city.
L.E.P. funding needs to be spent within a limited time-frame or be lost and transferred to other areas.
Visualisations: Brighton & Hove City Council Open Government License