A City for our future
Addressing climate change is a huge challenge. But to ignore it is not an option. Recently, United Nations climate scientists gave us 12 years to address global warming and an international report found that up to 46% of animal and plant species could be wiped out by 2050. This would have a devastating impact on food security, resources more generally and on migration.
Many of the city’s diverse and visionary small businesses are already promoting ways of future-proofing our city by recycling, reducing food waste and providing clean transport and renewable energy. We want to work with these businesses to identify ways of making the city carbon neutral by 2030. We intend to encourage district heat networks (supplying cost effective, low carbon heat through a network of insulated pipes) and community energy projects, so residents have warm homes and lower energy bills. The Green council (2011-15) ran pilots for Neighbourhood Governance schemes which support community decision-making on local budgets. We will also expand public consultation so that residents are genuinely involved in the decisions that affect them.
BUILDING BRIGHTON & HOVE’S ECONOMY
The potential impact of Brexit is forecast to be equivalent to over 4,200 job losses among Brighton & Hove residents. In the face of that, we believe it is doubly critical that the council supports the local economy. We will do this by changing the way the council outsources its services so as to help small local suppliers win council contracts or by bringing services in-house. We will focus on what the city already does well - its key sectors of technology, culture, design and education - and we will encourage local financing cooperatives, such as the Credit Union, to ensure that the local economy benefits all of us.
We will also:
- ensure regeneration schemes provide social and sustainability benefits
- use empty shops on the high street to encourage business start-ups
- work with local urban designers, ecologists, architects and residents on a design charter for the city
- deliver major development projects such as Shoreham Harbour, Station Gateway and the King Alfred and explore the possibility of the council itself becoming a developer
- restrict the conversion and spread of short-term holiday-let homes or AirBnB property development
- work with public-sector pension funds to encourage divestment from the fossil fuel industry
- encourage the wider adoption of the Brighton & Hove Living Wage, which we introduced for council employees
- work with organisations such as the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to implement a sustainable food strategy for the city, building on the Silver Sustainable Food Cities Award achieved under the Green council in 2015
We will work with schools to help them manage the funding crisis and will campaign for better school funding. We will continue our opposition to the introduction of academies.
We will also:
- work with our universities to invest in lifelong learning, to promote Brighton & Hove as a centre of innovation and educational excellence, to enhance the city’s skills base in key sectors and to encourage greater partnership between the universities and local communities
- promote outdoor education and programmes to increase children’s exposure to nature, theatre, music and sports
- build on earlier Green Party initiatives, the BikeShare scheme and bus passes for eligible school children, by working to introduce free bus passes/free annual subscriptions to Brighton BikeShare for teenagers
- encourage schools at both primary and secondary level to achieve the Arts Council’s Artsmark gold standard
WILDLIFE AND ECOSYSTEMS
A Green council will work to address the climate and biodiversity emergency by boosting the protection of species, habitats, biodiversity and ecosystems throughout Brighton & Hove.
We will also:
- work with tenant farmers on council-owned downland to ensure it is managed for wildlife, supports sustainable grazing and increases chalk grassland areas
- work with stakeholders to set up a downland advisory board
- cut the use of herbicides and pesticides (including a 90% cut in the use of glyphosate) in our parks and open spaces
- work with local partners, landowners and communities to plant bee- and pollinator-friendly flowers and native trees to reduce air pollution and flooding, and to capture carbon emissions
We want Brighton & Hove to lead the way in promoting the highest standards of animal protection and opposing cruelty to animals wherever it occurs.
- push for higher standards of care for animals where they are used for sport or entertainment and oppose the use of performing animals in shows
- promote best practice in animal care in pet shops
- campaign for cats and dogs to be microchipped to encourage responsible pet ownership
- fight for higher animal welfare standards in purchasing, including in cleaning products and in all catering
ARTS AND LEISURE
Residents are justly proud that, despite years of austerity, Brighton & Hove remains the region’s cultural hub. The Greens have protected local arts organisations, saved Hove Library from closure and will continue to provide in-kind support to arts organisations and studios.
We will also:
- address the delays in the King Alfred scheme, including exploring the option of bringing the redevelopment in-house, to deliver the leisure facilities the city needs
- invest in public parks, particularly through the development of Stanmer Park as a recreational resource and gateway to the National Park
- implement a 10-year cross-party Arts Plan for the city to enable those within the sector to plan ahead
- continue to protect the city’s libraries
- build on Brighton & Hove’s Film City status
- invest in a programme of sustainable business models for the arts