Welcome to our weekly news briefing! This week's comes to you from Dublin Airport where the editorial team are heading back from a weekend away, only lightly disrupted by Storm Eunice (3 hours cooling our heels in Gatwick on the way over: thanks a lot pal). We're covering the Sea Lanes, Brighton Festival, Churchill cleaners' strike and more.
Please share this with anyone you think would be interested, and if you think you've got a story to tell about our city, consider signing up to contribute here.
🗞News This Week🗞
Sea Lanes opening delayed, anti-vivisection protest, and Brighton Festival returns to full programme
The proposed swimming pool by Sea Lanes Brighton is still coming—next year. The 50m, open air, National Open Water Swimming Centre of Excellence, or 'pool by the sea in Kemptown' as locals are likely to call it, will begin construction in autumn of this year, and is set to open in spring 2023.
The delays are said to be due to problems accessing a storm water collection drain under the beach.
Joe McNulty, Sea Lanes Brighton director, said:
As soon as these final conditions are signed off, we will begin work on the small business units to the North of the Volks Railway and hope to have this part of Sea Lanes completed in Autumn this year. Work on the pool can then begin in October after the Volks Railway has closed for the season. We are aiming for a Spring 2023 opening of the pool which will complete the National Open Water Swimming Centre.
We are really disappointed that it means we are unable to provide the community in Brighton the much-needed swimming facilities for another year, however we are excited to have already relocated and enhanced the coastal vegetated shingle habitat and installed a new boardwalk and information boards.
Our editor for one is looking forward to having a closer outdoor pool to swim in—Saltdean can be a bit of a trek, as lovely as the lido is.
Anyone wanting to ask about pool membership should email [email protected] with the subject Sea Lanes. We imagine it's like nurseries: you register interest before you've even had the baby.
An Anti-Vivisection Protest is taking place on Saturday, with supporters being encouraged to ask their MP to sign EDM 175 as part of it.
Experts in the wider scientific community, outside the animal-based research sector, openly agree that laboratory animal models are now demonstrated to "hold no predictive value for human patients". The EDM, which MPs Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Caroline Lucas have already signed, calls for a public hearing on animal experimentation.
The protest will take place at the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton from 11am to 3pm, and will involve handing out leaflets, educating the public about the research and how to help to stop it.
Brighton Festival is returning at full-capacity! The ever-popular festival will have a full programme of events for the first time since 2019—more than 150 events, exhibitions and installations will take place across May.
Around 25% of the events will be free, with the festival itself exploring the theme of 'rebuilding'.
It kicks off with the Children's Parade on Saturday, May 7, an event which has been on hiatus for two years. Organisers have expressed their excitement to bring the festival back to the 'scale and ambition' for which it is known.
We can't wait for it to come back, and to hopefully see some of the flock there!
🖋 NIBS 🖋
- Staff at both Brighton and Sussex universities are striking as part of an ongoing nationwide dispute between the UCU and institutions regarding pension cuts, pay and working conditions.
- Flower Burger in North Street, who got into trouble before Christmas for selling beer, prosecco and gin and tonic without a license, have had their alcohol license request denied. Maybe sometimes it is better to ask permission than forgiveness?
- There was a shockingly big storm, we're sure you all saw. The red warning saw the judge of the Billy Henham murder trial tell the jury to delay deliberations until today. Wind warnings are in place today, so be careful out there.
- Councillors have voted for taxi fares to increase by 20p a mile - in line with inflation - following a request from Brighton and Hove Cab Trade Association. The request came as the price of petrol has gone up 18 per cent, and diesel 9 per cent, since the last review in August 2019. The city has the twelth highest fares of all 325 councils currently.
💥The Big One💥
Churchill cleaners are going on strike
What's happening? Following an overwhelming 'yes' vote in a ballot from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Churchill cleaners on Govia Thameslink Railways will be striking this week.
Why are they doing that? Cleaners who are employed by Churchill, a private contractor, were deemed to be essential workers from the start of the pandemic. They feel the way they have been treated by Churchill does not reflect that. RMT is calling for:
- Workers to be paid £15 an hour
- Sick pay, not just statutory sick pay
- Help with travel to work
When is this happening? On Wednesday, February 23. The cleaners will hold a rally outside the Houses of Parliament at 11am, alongside supporters and MPs.
Are other workers affected? Alongside those working on Govia Thameslink, cleaners on Southern and Great Northern, Southeastern, Eurostar and HS1 services are also striking.
Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary, said:
This will be the biggest yet industrial action by cleaners on the rail network and it’s part of our union’s message to the government and employers that the days where they could get away with rank exploitation of this essential workforce are over.
Our members’ already scandalously low pay is being eaten away and they are justifiably not putting up with it any longer.
Churchill can afford to pay, so they need to get back to the table with a proper offer, and the government need to tackle the cost of living crisis by ending their callous pay freeze on the railways
What can I do to help? Go to the rally if you can, and show solidarity to the workers.
👉Finger On The Pulse👈
Beans on Toast, Stewart Lee and more
🎶Gigs: Beans on Toast, a longtime favourite of our editor (the man, and the meal) will be at Chalk on Wednesday, February 23. If you haven't listened to him before he releases an album every year on his birthday, so there's a lot for you to try out. Tickets here.
🎭Theatre: Footloose comes to The Theatre Royal today until Saturday, February 26.
🎥Cinema: Belfast looks excellent, and it's at Komedia tomorrow.
😂Comedy: Stewart Lee is returning to the Brighton Dome with his (according to our technical director) 'funny, good' show, Snowflake/Tornado. If that description doesn't make you want to go, I just don't know what will. Tickets here!
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected] And if you want to contribute:
☕️ Where to eat? 🥪
Brunch: Redroaster, at the bottom of St James's Street, is a delightfully appointed independent coffee house and Brighton's oldest roastery. Ideally situated for people-watching and dog-spotting.
Dinner: Lucky Khao, which is what Redroaster transforms into when the sun goes down (not cheating, it's a different establishment!) is not for spice babies. The editorial team once visited and had some absolutely transcendent white corn ribs (cannot recommend highly enough) but had our entire gastroesophageal systems blown out by the som tam salad.
Pint: The Basketmakers' Arms is one of the cosiest and most charming pubs in Brighton. Find yourself a table against the wall and have a look at the messages in the tins attached to the wall and maybe add one of your own! If they still have it on tap, we'd recommend the YellowHammer Carnival cider (drink responsibly).
🔜 Next Time 🔜
That's all for this week—don't forget to fill in our contributors form if you'd like to get involved, forward to friends who might be interested and if you've been forwarded this and enjoyed it (or are reading on the website), please subscribe: