Seagull Weekly Briefing 05/02

Council budgets, bleed control kits, Volk's award glitz and more

Seagull Weekly Briefing 05/02
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. An exciting week here at Seagull HQ: our toaster caught fire and we had to call the fire brigade. Not the most exciting news in the city, though, which follows below:

News This Week

Life-saving bleed control kits installed in city

Two bleed control kits have been installed in West Street and The Level.

The kits, which are designed to prevent catastrophic blood loss, have been funded by Sussex Police and the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP), in partnership with Project Youth, a CIC aimed at steering young people away from knife crime.

No medical knowledge is needed to use the kits. Anyone who phones 999 to access the pack will be put through to a professional, who will be tell them whether the wound needs to be sealed, wrapped or packed.

There are also simple instructions inside the door for members of the public, until an ambulance arrives.

The kits contain dressings, chest-seals, tourniquets, gloves and scissors.

Sergeant James Ward, of Brighton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

We are putting them in locations where there's high harm, those areas where we've seen serious violence and knife crime.

A further four kits are planned for the city within the next couple of months and six kits are to be handed out to night-time venues.

We of course hope these kits are never used, but this is a way of protecting members of the public should they receive any injury.

Volk's Electric Railway shortlisted for award

Exciting news from the Volk's: it's been shortlisted by the Heritage Railway Association for their 'Railway of the Year' award. The association is holding its awards dinner in Brighton on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Volk's Electric Railway Association said:

With over 200 other heritage railways across the UK, this is an impressive accomplishment, reflecting a year of remarkable success for the Volk's Electric Railway which celebrated its 140th Anniversary in 2023.

It is a tribute to the work of the tireless staff and volunteers who make the railway one of Brighton's premier attractions, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

The railway will also be open this weekend, weather permitting, on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm, operated by the Volk’s Electric Railway Association.

Normal fares will be charged with trains every 15 mins and the Visitor Centre will be open.

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🖋 News in Brief 🖋

  • Residents are being given more time to share their views on proposals to replace the King Alfred with a new flagship leisure centre. The online questionnaire, which provides information and invites comments on the council’s proposals for a new leisure facility in the west of the city, will remain open for a further 2 weeks, now closing on 16 February.
  • Councillors Chandni Mistry and Bharti Gajjar showed up to the full council meeting last week, but left after an hour: full story here.
  • And another update for #CouncillorWatch: Chandni's called the lawyers in. Team Seagull had the pleasure of getting a similar letter as the one in the story linked above—we're not really sure why, but it was a fun day at the office.
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected].

The Big One

Source: The Brighton Seagull

What's happening? Proposals to set a balanced budget were published by the council on Wednesday.

What does that mean for the overspend? The council previously thought there would an overspend of almost £15 million this financial year, something they say has now been brought under control.

What about the budget gap? The budget gap of £30 million for next year looks better too: the council has reduced its capital financing costs, saving around £24 million, which will see them able to set a balanced budget for 2024-25.

What does the new budget look like? We'll go over it in more detail (and what it means for you) in an upcoming feature, but the basics see the council:

  • Deliver nearly £24 million in savings as part of balancing the budget, to avoid declaring a Section 114 notice and to protect essential services
  • Redesign the organisation and streamline management and ways of working to save £2.4 million and improve how we deliver services
  • Protect and improve essential everyday city services including street cleaning, improved weeds management, keeping public toilets open – including reopening Pavilion Gardens toilets - and maintaining all council-run nurseries and libraries
  • Propose a 4.99% Council Tax increase to meet pressures including ring-fencing 2% to respond to the increasing costs of adult social care
  • Maintaining a Council Tax Reduction scheme for over 19,000 households on low incomes as well as care-leavers
  • Prioritise spending to deliver the council vision of a ‘better Brighton & Hove for all’ including new sports and leisure facilities to improve health and wellbeing such as a new pool at Withdean
  • Confirm capital investment in infrastructure projects to ensure we have a city we can be proud of, including everything from bus network improvements to Madeira Terrace, Kingsway to The Sea, tree replacement programmes and playground refurbishments and new swimming and leisure facilities

When will it be confirmed? The budget will be debated by all councillors on Thursday 22nd February at Hove Town Hall.

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