🚩Labour council victory, allotment accessibility, mayor-elect's unexpected valedictory and more👩‍🦽

Plus Peter Kyle gallows threats, Cowley Club shutter upsets and Great Escape sets

🚩Labour council victory, allotment accessibility, mayor-elect's unexpected valedictory and more👩‍🦽
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning, and welcome to this week's Seagull briefing! We're in Fringe season now, which means the Seagull team is running ourselves ragged trying to cover as much as we can. We've also got The Great Escape coming up this week, so look forward to that in upcoming editions.

If you'd like to get involved with our Fringe coverage, it's not too late—email [email protected] with requests for shows you'd like to see and some writing samples and we can have a chat.‌

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🗞

Shutter woes, makeshift gallows and more

Anarchist club told to report anti-social behaviour to police in lieu of shutters

The outside of the Cowley Club on London Road
Source: The Cowley Club

Following our news last week that Brighton and Hove City Council officials advised the Planning Committee to refuse planning permission for a shutter to the Cowley Club in London Road, they have in fact refused said planning permission.

The secretary of the club, Ian Bros, told the council at its Hove Town Hall meeting on Wednesday 4th May that more than 20 businesses on the road have metal shutters without planning permission.

He said:

It is regularly being used as a public toilet. We’re constantly having to clear up human faeces.

It's being used for drug deals. One of our volunteers fairly recently attempted to leave the club late at night to close up and found there was a drug deal going on in the doorway.

The club has made no reports of anti-social behaviour and crime to the police, which it was suggested could help by proving the council policy should be overridden. (The club being an anarchist social centre, you can imagine that may not be their preferred course of action.)

Labour councillor Daniel Yates said 'regardless of whether it’s got something pretty painted on the outside, it doesn’t meet planning policy', while Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said a 'terrible' shutter would be a shame for an attractive shopfront.

Meanwhile, Green councillor Marianna Ebel reminded the council that London Road is not in a conservation area, and that it could 'be an improvement' to the look of London Road.

She said:

We’ve heard there are needles and faeces in the entrance regularly. You wouldn’t necessarily call the police when the culprit has gone.

MP threatened with makeshift gallows

A man pointing at a makeshift gallows
Source: Peter Kyle MP

Peter Kyle, Hove MP, was threatened with a makeshift gallows and noose outside Parliament, a court has recently heard.

Lance O'Conner, 57, is alleged to have said Mr Kyle's name to get his attention while in Parliament Square, standing next to a 6ft-tall gallows and noose, on October 20.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that the defendant said to Mr Kyle 'this is what happens to traitors' while gesturing at the gallows. He told the court he was protesting 'draconian' lockdown measures at the time, and did not know who Mr Kyle was.

While giving evidence, Mr Kyle said:

I looked briefly at what I was seeing and then away but then as I proceeded I turned back to have another look because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

When I looked briefly the first time I did not quite take it in. It was only when I continued walking did the impact of what I had seen struck me.

I was shocked, I was chilled, I was threatened.

The threat came five days after the killing of David Amess MP, with Mr Kyle describing the atmosphere around Westminster then as 'chilling'.

O'Conner, who held in court a wooden walking stick shaped as a gallows with a noose attached, said he did not think what he did would cause distress following the murder, and that MPs are 'public servants and if they cannot take this like of criticism maybe they should be in a different career'.

He denies the charge of targeting Mr Kyle with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The trial continues.

🖋 NIBS 🖋

  • Several allotments have been made accessible for disabled people, including wheelchair users and people with mobility issues. Instead of being in the ground, there are now a number of raised bed plots in Coldean, Foredown and Weald Allotments. The beds are 1.2m wide and 5.4m long and can be worked on from all sides. The paths are also accessible, and there are disabled toilets. It is hoped more will be provided if applications for this show a greater demand—to find out more and apply for an accessible allotment visit the council's accessible allotment webpage.
  • Kerfuffle in Hove Town Hall as the nomination of Tory councillor Dawn Barnett, late replacement nominee by her party for the (non-political and ceremonial) role of mayor, looks to have been scuppered before she could even take office—more here.

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

💥The Big One💥

Rottingdean Coastal election results

Carmen Appich, Dr Robert Mcintosh and Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP after the election result was announced
Source: Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

What's happening? Dr Robert Mcintosh was elected as the new Labour councillor for Rottingdean Coastal. Dr Mcintosh, 71, is, in fact, the first ever Labour councillor for Rottingdean Coastal.

Gosh! First ever Labour councillor you say? Yep! It was a ward with three safe Tory seats up until 2019 when Bridget Fishleigh, an Independent, was elected alongside Conservatives Mary Mears and Joe Miller. She was the first Independent elected onto the council for more than 10 years.

What are the stats? There was a 44.01% turnout which shows a continuing downward trend in the area— a total of 4,896 votes in an electorate of 11,124. The previous elections in May 2019 had a 45.85% turnout, with 5,129 votes. And before that in 2015, it was 54.54% with 6,128 votes, but that was the same day as the General Election.

The other results were as follows:

  • Stephen White (Independent) – 1,355
  • Lynda Hyde (Conservative) – 1,185
  • Libby Darling (Green) – 504
  • Alison Wright (Independent) – 222
  • Stewart Stone (Liberal Democrat) – 168

What's the council looking like now? There are 54 councillors in total:

  • 20 Green
  • 16 Labour
  • 12 Conservative
  • 6 Independent

When's the next election? May 2023, where every seat is up for grabs!

👉Finger On The Pulse👈

🤣Fringe and Festival Preview: We've got a packed week ahead of us with comedy, theatre, history tours and ghosts??? Tonight (Monday 9th) sees a trio of shows at the Caroline of Brunswick: Maisie Adam, Stella Graham and Dian Cathal (he's dressed like a Pokémon trainer, really want to know what's going on there!); Tuesday 10th we've got the Fearless And Fabulous Women Of Brighton tour; Wednesday 11th a play about Anne Boleyn at the Brighton Little Theatre (saw a guy who'd just come out of it while waiting for the bus yesterday—there appear to be stickers for religious affiliations involved?); Thursday 12th we're back to the Caroline for Carly Smallman before Friday 13th (spooky, eh), where the previews will be picked up in our first Fringe Friday newsletter–watch your inboxes for that!

🎶The Great Escape: The Great Escape starts this Wednesday 11th. The wonderful thing about The Great Escape is that for four days, no matter what venue you go into in the city there will be good music from a band/artist you probably haven't heard of unless you're cool (or on too many press lists, like our editor used to be). Get out there, explore the city, find your new favourite band (that no-one else has heard of, because you're cool). If you're stuck for choice, we recommend picking the ones with the funniest names. Like Goat Girl, or English Teacher. Reviews of the ones with the names we thought were funniest coming soon!

🖼Artist's Open Houses: Throughout this month, artists all over the city will be throwing open their doors on the weekend to showcase their work to the public. Find out what's near you here.

Swoop in

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? 🥪

☕️Coffee: Have some coffee and do some good at the Café Royal, which runs from 10-1 ever Saturday at the Chapel Royal church on North Street. They collaborate with a different charity every month who recieve the proceeds, and also with the Outlook Foundation to provide work experience for the people they work with. Also, coffee and cake to be had for as little as £1.40—where else are you getting that in Brighton?

🍱Dinner and 🍻Pint: Slightly agog to discover we've never recommended The Hope And Ruin, which goes to show quite how much an established part of the landscape it is in Brighton. With its eccentric style of decoration (this is what my mum thinks everything in Brighton looks like) to its superb vegan food from Beelzebab (this month the Bratsu Fries return to their specials board, a past favourite that will certainly have us along again soon) to the wide range of music, poetry and other kinds of performance you can see there (featured in previous editions of Seagull!), The Hope and Ruin really captures Brighton's special salty blend of sophistication and raffish fun. Maybe less the sophistication, to be honest. Sorry Jack, we're raffish fun gang 24/7 now.

🔜 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:‌‌‌‌