Seagull Weekly Briefing 01/03

Normally I'd do a funny pun thing here but the Karen restaurant story is WILD and I can't think of anything else

Seagull Weekly Briefing 01/03
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing: now on Fridays! How are you liking the day switch? It's working OK for us so far—except for me, because I forgot and now I'm really tired. Not sure I'll even have the juice to come up with a pun headline.

News This Week

Councillors set £924 million budget for 2024/25

Source: The Brighton Seagull

Councillors have passed a budget for next year with no amendments, meaning they have £924 million to spend on schools, council housing, public health, housing benefits and council services in 2024/25.

The final budget means the council will be spending £2.5 million a day in the next financial year, up from £2.4 million in this year, which they say is due to the increase in the cost of services, rising inflation, and increased demand on services.

Elsewhere, more than £27 million will be spent on services like housing, toilets, refuse and schools, and there's a new £614,000 Brighton and Hove Fairness Fund to provide food vouchers, discretionary payments, support for food banks and funds to communities groups in need.

Council leader Bella Sankey says the budget is 'balanced', despite the amount of money available being 'the largest ever real terms cut in money from central government'.

She said this budget will 'meet the growing needs of vulnerable adults and children', and it 'ensures we’re delivering for our communities, our children and our elderly people'.

This budget also means there's a council tax increase of 4.99%, with 2% of that being spent on the rising cost and delivery of care for adults.

We'll have an article coming out this month looking at the budget in more detail, and what it means for the average resident.

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🖋 News in Brief 🖋

  • The Bevy is continuing with its senior lunch club, the 'Meet me at the Bevy' breakfast and coffee morning, and free buses to the Albion: "That’s what the Bevy is all about."
  • Another month, another survey: this one's on play equipment at Hove Park, Wild Park, and Gatton Park. The consultations are open until Wednesday 27th March.
  • More electric vehicle charging points are coming to the city: 100 lamppost chargers, and 20 fast chargers. They should all be in place by the start of the summer.
  • Congratulations to all 8,000 people who crossed the finish line in the half marathon on Sunday—a new record!
  • Restoration of 28 arches on Madeira Terrace is starting this year, and preparation work has started this week. It's finally happening…
  • The Volk's Electric Railway returns on Friday 29th March (this month!!!): 28 days!!
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected].

Dog of the Week

It's just a bit of fun!

This is Hazel, a nine-year-old Podenco with the biggest ears we've ever seen. No, seriously:

Source: Justina

The Big One

Australian diner to close Brighton outlet on Monday after drugs found across site

What's happening? Karen's Diner at the Marina is closing on Monday ahead of a licensing panel on Tuesday, after traces of drugs were found across the restaurant.

That's not good! The Australian brand, which went viral on social media for its rude service, has been investigated by Sussex Police after a member of staff wrote on a hat for a child 'I should have been a blow job'.

You mentioned drugs? In a report to the Licensing Panel, Sussex Police has found 'high results' of drugs on surfaces including a baby changing table.

How high are we talking? Drug swab readings of 4.00 and above are generally only seen in environments where there has been direct contact with a bulk amount of drugs. Cocaine readings read at 7.33 on the male toilet cistern, 6.88 on the ladies toilet three cistern, and 5.41 on the baby changing table.

The baby changing table? Apparently! I always feel too awkward to use the disabled cubicle if all the others are occupied and there's no-one else around; I can't imagine having the front to commandeer the changing cubicle for that kind of thing.

Any other drugs? Traces of heroin, MDMA and ketamine were also found. The only surfaces with no drugs on were the bar, one ladies toilet seat and toilet shelf, and the bar tablet.

Surely it can't get worse. Well: the report also revealed that one manager 'never really knew about the CCTV', that the location of the CCTV hard drive is empty, and a different manager said the hard drive was present 'a few days before' a police inspection.

Anything else? Police were unable to prove that staff had been trained in the lawful selling of age restricted products, that an incident log was maintained, or that there were any fire procedures and risk assessments in place.

Concerning. Concerns were also raised by the police around 'irresponsible promotion' of alcohol, through Karen's Diner drinking games which customers are encouraged to take part in to receive free drinks.

So they're being shut down, right? Sussex Police have advised that Karen's Diner has its licence revoked, saying they have 'no confidence in the management of the premises'.

What have Karen's Diner said? We reached out for comment.

That's all for this week—please subscribe, and forward to friends who might be interested!