7 min read

🚗Buyouts, bollards, Bo Selecta and more🤑

Plus award-winning pubs, tree-felling and the return of the Volk's Electric Railway.
A picture of the sunset behind the West Pier and the beach
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our Monday update! We're coming down off the high from yesterday's marathon and 10k; one of us ran and the rest provided moral support. They just give you those silver blanket things at the end, it turns out!

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🗞News This Week🗞

Road closures, tree felling and dodgy finances

A picture of St Luke's primary school
Source: Hassocks5489

Campaign for road closures near schools

Parents at St Luke's Primary School and Brunswick Primary School want road closures to return in the form of bollards.

The roads outside the schools had been closed temporarily to encourage more children to get to school in healthier ways, like walking and cycling.

Bollards were removed in the new year, but more than 500 people have signed a petition calling for their return.

Emilie Bruley, one of the campaigners for the Somerhill Road bollards, said:

We believe the closure has very positively transformed Somerhill Road to a much quieter, safer and cleaner street.

The closure has slowed vehicles down and reduced the rat-run traffic of people using the street to avoid traffic lights in Holland Road.

In particular, the improvement for safer crossing at the Lansdowne Road junction (previously a difficult one with low visibility) has been massive.

That closure benefits not only the residents and the Brunswick Primary community but also the many people on foot, cycles, mobility aids and vehicles using it.

However, there have been some objections to the plans to keep the bollards, with several people saying they were inconvenienced by them.

Kathryn Tomlinson, a campaigner for the proposals that would affect Queen's Park Rise, said:

We feel strongly that the voice of those local residents who support the scheme has not been heard or duly reflected upon in the council’s decision.

We would like to take this opportunity to give our reasons why we think the … street closure is a good scheme for the community. We believe that (it) should remain.”

Independent review into councillors' expenses during lockdown

It was revealed on Thursday by the council that an independent review is underway into the expenses claims of Green councillors Alex Phillips and Tom Druitt.

The couple claimed for childcare costs while they were spending lockdown in their French holiday home. This is despite Cllr Druitt, joint finance lead in the council, previously saying they had made no claims while in France for four months.

A Freedom of Information request revealed six claims from Cllr Phillips, former MEP, for childcare during the time they were away.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Green leader of the council, made the announcement saying he was 'not at liberty to talk in any more detail' about it.


A picture of trees in Withdean Park
Source: Paul Gillett

Withdean Park trees face axe

Up to 200 trees are being cut down in Withdean Park because of their ‘fragile and dangerous’ condition.

The trees have either died or are diseased with ash dieback, a type of fungus, and it is estimated that 100-200 will need to be removed.

This is the second week of the work, which is usually avoided during nesting season to avoid disturbing the wildlife.

Ash dieback shows in early June in the leaves of trees, and it’s a problem affecting ash trees across the whole country.

The National Trust estimates that between 75–95 per cent of all ash trees will be lost in the next 20-30 years.

Council tree experts are planning to develop areas across the city with a ‘wider range of species and habitat diversity to cope with diseases’.

It is also hoped that more communities will come together to support and influence the regeneration of woodlands affected by ash dieback, like the work of the Carden Hill habitat improvement programme.

🖋 NIBS 🖋

  • Everyone's favourite (and, in fact, the world's oldest continuously operating) electric railway, the Volk's, reopens after its winter closure at midday TODAY. Former BBC newsreader Nicholas Owen will be cutting the ribbon and driving the first train. Volk's-heads should be aware that due to ongoing works between Halfway Station and Black Rock, the train will only run from Aquarium Station to Halfway. But it's still the best tourist attraction in the city (according to our editor, the voluntary publicity officer for the Volk's Electric Railway Association).
  • One of the last areas of the city with restriction-free parking has been asked if it wants residents-only parking. A survey is currently live for residents in Hollingdean, with options to suggest a full scheme, parking restricted for only an hour a couple of times a day, or parking restricted for a specific number of days per week.
  • Charlie Southall watch: he's flying what we're sure is meant to be the Ukrainian flag from the side of the Montreal Arms, but because of the way round it is, it looks like the flag for the Canary Islands.
  • We wouldn't normally do this because we're not a jobs board (unless you'd like to pay us to be!) but Brighton and Hove News is hiring for a trainee community news reporter to focus on people with disabilities, people from minority ethnic and religious groups and communities, and people living in seven local areas with above average levels of deprivation. It's a full-time job where you'll work towards an NCTJ qualification or the senior National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ). Our editor trained for her NQJ under the scheme, and would recommend it to people looking to get a foot in the door, especially as there is no longer an NCTJ-training provider in the city (RIP Brighton Journalist Works). Applications close this Thursday so check it out here!

This edition of The Brighton Seagull is sponsored by Cybersyn, a friendly digital analytics consultancy based right here in Brighton. ‌‌


💥The Big One💥

Local café and deli at threat of being replaced by yet another supermarket

Picture of Latina cafe on Dyke Road
Source: Louise Oliver

What happened? Latina Cafe and Deli on Dyke Road has had its protected leases bought by The Co-operative Group, and a petition has been started by to save the venue.

Why does this matter? There is a Co-op next door, and another approximately 200m away, so this appears to be a pretty unnecessary assault on the diversity of Seven Dials retailers.

What have the café owners said? Louise Oliver, owner of Seven Cellars next door and creator of the petition, described the Co-op's behaviour as 'a pattern of behaviour that they have been repeating across the country':

They place no value whatsoever on preserving the local and independent character of the premium locations (as they see them) in which they are choosing to expand.  ‌‌‌‌The history of our shop premises at Seven Cellars and Latina Café goes back to 1841 (the same year that Charles Dickens published the Old Curiosity Shop).  And now these historic shop fronts and premises from which local families have traded for the last 181 years will be gone forever.‌‌‌‌ Is that really worth another Co-Op meal deal?

What can be done? According to Louise, Latina has 18 months to make a difference and make The Co-op change their mind.

What can I do to help? Sign the petition, which has had more than 5,400 signatures, here! The Seagull strongly believes in keeping roads full of independent businesses, and will support this as it progresses.

👉Finger On The Pulse👈

Geese, Gamble and CRAIG DAVID!

🎵Gigs: Our editor would be very upset if we didn't mention Southampton's favourite son Craig David, after a 2-year COVID delay ready to drop bangers all night long; Wednesday 13th April at the Brighton Centre, tickets here.

🎥Cinema: Shoot The Pianist, "loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs", much like an edition of The Seagull's Monday briefing; Sunday 17th April at the Duke Of York's, tickets here.

😂Comedy: Ed Gamble, formerly cohost of the best podcast ever The Ray Peacock Podcast, and now idk, doing some other stuff. This will probably be funny; Thursday 14th April at the Dome, tickets here.


Swoop in

If you have a story for The Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected] And if you want to contribute:‌‌‌‌


☕️ Where to eat? 🥪

🥞Brunch: SIX, on Western Road, located in a lovely spot near Palmiera Square, this swanky establishment is great for brunch or dinner, but it's the brunch that's got our vote. Strong recommend for their avocado tofu benedict and turmeric latte.

🥘Dinner: Al Duomo by the Pavilion Buildings—we've been sampling many of the independent Italian eateries of Brighton over the last month or so, and this is one of the best. The wait staff were all incredibly friendly and welcoming, the food came almost as soon as we'd put in the order and the food was, of course, delicious. We'd recommend the Trofie al Pomodoro and to drink, the frankly revelatory Chinotto.

🍻Pint: The Geese on Southover Street, which is not only the local of the Seagull editorial team but according to the BRAVOs, the best pub in the city! Cozy, welcoming and also host to some incredible bangers and mash and roasts on Sundays (they came third for roasts too). Catch the rest of the BRAVO award winners here.


🔜 Next Time 🔜

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