Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. It's September now, so we should be sipping away on pumpkin spiced lattes, getting out our chunky knits and watching the leaves change from green to shades of brown, orange and red. It's going to be 27°C on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
News This Week
Cancer support centre gets street art makeover
Brighton street artist, Sprite (second from right), has been working with local people affected by cancer to create a mural for the side of Macmillan Horizon Centre, opposite the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
The aim for the mural was for it to attract the attention of cancer patients visiting the Sussex Cancer Centre, and to offer a taste of the 'positive and hopeful support available inside the centre'.
Geoff Brown, centre manager, said that Sprite's murals and street artwork across the city (and her positivity) 'made her the perfect candidate to decorate our building'. She described the design as a 'collaborative effort', and said she's 'delighted with the result and feel it will stand the test of time'.
Geoff Brown said:
Understandably, people attending treatment at the Sussex Cancer Centre are often keen to get in and out as quickly as possible and may be unaware of the support we have on offer across the road.
The mural makes us hard to miss and so we hope people affected by cancer will pop in and visit our comfortable centre and meet our support workers. We’ve had great feedback from visitors so far!
The Macmillan Horizon Centre opened in 2016 and was purpose built to support people living with and affected by cancer, with a cafe, wellbeing classes, support groups, advice on how to access the benefits cancer patients are entitled to, and more.
Wendy Fox, a cancer patient who attended the workshop added:
I loved getting involved in the mural design and think it really illustrates the warm welcome people can expect when visiting the centre and hopeful support they provide people like me.
They were such a lifeline to me during my cancer treatment. Just knowing I could come here an decompress after my treatment before travelling home was such a relief and staff are always happy to chat or I can just sit here quietly with a cup of tea and enjoy the view.
Railway station ticket office closure opposition continues
Opposition to closing ticket offices at railway stations continues to come in, this time in the form of a letter from the council.
The proposals by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to close ticket offices and reduce customer assistance hours have been opposed by groups including the RMT, which has been campaigning against the closures over the last year.
The letter, endorsed by Councillor Trevor Muten, chair of the Transport and Sustainability committee, outlines why the council opposes plans, which would affect all eight railway stations in the city (editors note: can you name all of them? email [email protected] to be in with the chance of winning a prize).
The letter says that the planned changes would 'reduce the quality of customer service and accessibility to all', and would be especially challenging for elderly and disabled customers, who may be put off train travel as a result.
Councillor Muten said:
These proposals would have a detrimental impact on many of the city’s residents and visitors, many of whom rely on train travel to commute, visit friends and family or simply want to come and enjoy everything Brighton & Hove has to offer.
By closing ticket officers and reducing customer assistance hours, we fear many customers would be unable to navigate the ticket purchasing process and simply be put off traveling by train.
We hope GTR listens carefully to the feedback of concerned passengers and staff and reconsider the proposals.
🖋 News in Brief 🖋
- To celebrate Brighton & Hove Albion’s promotion to the UEFA Europa League, blue and white bunting and lamp post banners will soon cover the cities, with prominent buildings being lit in blue and white on match days too. Businesses and residents are also being encouraged to help ‘dress’ the city in a sea of blue and white. It is hoped that enough businesses will come forward to create a trail around the city and provide opportunities for fans to enter competitions and win Albion merchandise.
- The council is launching a public consultation to extend time-banding zones in the city, something which was introduced in 2022 to manage commercial bins left out on roads and pavements in some central areas of the city to help improve and tidy up the city, and make streets more accessible. The streets here in purple are the ones they want to introduce T-Zones to. The consultation is open until October 15th, and the council want to hear from everyone: businesses and residents alike. Once the consultation is complete, the feedback will be presented to the City Environment, South Downs & The Sea Committee for councillors make the final decision. A short consultation that won't take long to do, we promise!
- The Brighton Cat Killer, Stephen Bouquet, who was in prison at HMP Elmley, died in January of Covid-19, a recent inquest has revealed. You can read more here.
- A cardboard cutout of Lewis Capaldi was stolen from The Hope & Ruin, but has since been returned safely. Phew!
Dog of the Week
it's just a bit of fun!
This is Carlos! He's 3; Seagull contributor Roosa dogsits him often. His owners said:
Carlos is a little weirdo—more cat-like than your average dog. He’s affectionate, but only on his terms! He’s less interested in food and more interested in sitting in the pitch black garden for hours, guarding his kingdom and staring at all the exciting things us humans probably can’t see (or hear/smell). In the daytime he loves a good tennis ball chase and, above all, other dogs! His newest hobby that he loves, agility, is sometimes a little bit challenging due to his short-legged physique; this however does not lessen his enthusiasm as a self-identifying macho man.
The Big One
What's happening? The council has made a Brighton & Hove Cost of Living plan, and is looking for feedback.
What is in the plan? The council's initial approach to supporting businesses and residents in the city—you can read it here.
How will the plan help? The Brighton & Hove Cost of Living plan sets out the council’s initial approach to supporting the city. They say it is a 'call to action' to all council partners to work with them and share their knowledge and resources to help the cost of living crisis. They say their goal is for the city to be a 'fairer and more inclusive city where everyone can thrive'.
What will filling out the survey do? It will mean all views are fed into the council's work with partners to finalise the plan, which will be discussed at the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration Committee for final approval.
What have the council said? Councillor Bella Sankey, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said:
It was one of our key pledges in our first 100 days to develop a plan to look at all our options to support the city through the ongoing cost of living crisis.
We’ve already taken action in our first 100 days by boosting fostering allowances, slashing planned parking hikes, purchasing 38 brand new social homes at affordable rents and delivering a 24% increase in the school holiday activities programme.
But we are all too aware of the ongoing financial hardship for residents and businesses in the city and so now we want to hear from you.
Where can I complete it? Here, and please do so before it closes on October 31st.
Where can I go if I need support? You can find information on support with energy bills and advice about how to keep your home warm and save energy here, where you'll also find information about whether you’re eligible for discounts on energy bills, and advice and tips and about saving energy and keeping your home warm. The council also have information on emergency help and money advice and health and wellbeing support.