Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing! We hope you had a lovely Pride weekend—if you braved the parade in the rain, well done!
News This Week
Eddie Izzard campaigning to be MP in Brighton Pavilion
Eddie Izzard, who also goes by Suzy, comedian and long-time Labour supporter, has thrown her hat into the ring hoping to be chosen as Labour's next candidate for Brighton Pavilion.
Though Labour's selection process has not yet started, nor are applications yet open, the 61-year-old is hoping to be selected to run in the seat currently occupied by Caroline Lucas, who is stepping down at the next, yet to be scheduled, election.
Last year she ran to be selected as a council candidate in Sheffield City, and has previously said she would run to be Mayor of London in the 2020 election.
I’m standing to be the next Labour MP for Brighton Pavilion, to support this brilliant city and its diverse and vibrant community. I’m just the latest in over 200 years of Izzards in East Sussex and I’m proud of my roots.
Whilst the Tories stoke fear and encourage culture wars, Brighton has shown the country another way; Open-minded and welcoming to all, with a thriving arts, creative and cultural scene. Imaginative, energetic and full of entrepreneurial spirit.
It will take practical action—not protest—to fix what’s broken, and to win this seat, Labour needs a candidate that can inspire many thousands to become our friends and allies in the fight for a fairer-greener-cleaner planet.
Ms Izzard plans to run on a policy of:
- Campaigning for increased funding and resources for schools
- Fighting for more solar, wind and clean energy, making Brighton Pavilion carbon-neutral, and promoting eco-friendly transportation
- Securing more funding and investment in housing infrastructure, building eco-friendly, sustainable houses
- Securing more money for the NHS, championing mental health services
- Building stronger ties between law enforcement and local communities and increasing funding for youth services
- Improving wages, worker benefits, and work-life balances
She asks that if you are a Brighton Pavilion Labour member, and you have questions, to email her here.
Council bids for £4.4 million to 'redesign and restore' Pavilion Gardens
A report to the Strategy, Finance & City Regeneration Committee published last week has set out the next stage of the plans for the Pavilion Gardens.
They include a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for £4.4m, made by the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, in order to improve the integration of the Royal Pavilion and Gardens, Brighton Dome, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.
The plans include improved footpaths, a new education space, a Changing Places accessible toilet and refurbished public toilets, the reinstatement of historic boundary railings and a new planting plan. It is worried by the trust that without this work being done, the garden will lose its listed status.
Twenty-four hour public access will continue, despite ongoing antisocial behaviour in the area, but a strategy to address this behaviour will be agreed between the council, the trust, and other stakeholders, including increased security, CCTV and lighting,
Discussions will also continue about the site of and funding for statues, including a statue of Indian Soldiers who fought in World War One and were looked after in the Royal Pavilion when injured, something it is hoped by the trust would provide important social context for the gardens and increase community engagement.
Toilets, of course, remain closed, but it is hoped they will be replaced with a new toilet building—the soonest this is likely to be is early 2025.
Council Leader Bella Sankey said:
The aim of the project is to ensure our unique and historic Royal Pavilion Garden is a Garden fit for a City and that it retains its listed status.
I’m particularly animated to see plans for a new world-class public toilet including a Changing Places toilet.
🖋 News in Brief 🖋
- Royal Albion Hotel demolition continues this week. The westbound carriageway of the A259 has reopened, but the eastbound lane will remain closed for at least a few more weeks.
Dog of the Week
It's just a bit of fun!
This is Jess. She is five, lives in Dorset, and her favourite activity is taunting her goat brother Basil and stealing his carrots!
The Big One
Libraries are 'engines for local economic growth'
What's happening? A report by the British Library has found that libraries are engines for local economic growth, with the Business and IP Centre (BIPC) Sussex creating 496 new businesses from April 2020 to March 2023, with two thirds of those helped being women and one fifth being BAME.
That's excellent! It is!
What is BIPC Sussex? BIPC Sussex is part of the British Library's National Network of Business & IP Centres. They're based in libraries or near high streets, and are physical places where people can learn, network and access free and low-cost information and support in protecting and commercialising a business idea.
Cool! Where is BIPC Sussex? BIPC Sussex has its regional centre in Jubilee Library, and from there offers support to entrepreneurs and inventors, all the way from an idea to launching and developing a business.
Library staff and business experts also deliver one-to-one support and mentoring and frequently organise inspirational networking events, workshops, discussions and webinars, featuring role model entrepreneurs.
Give me some stats! Of those who used the BIPC Sussex, 66% were women, 19% were aged 35 and under, 19% were BAME, 16% were from deprived areas, and 14% were disabled. As well as this, 25% of new entrepreneurs were unemployed or redundant when they started their businesses.
Councillor Leslie Pumm, Chair of the Equalities, Community Safety & Human Rights Committee, said:
One of the greatest strengths and defining features of our city is the wealth and variety of its businesses.
The BIPC is a fantastic free resource that is accessible for everyone, and I’m pleased to learn how many people have benefited from its advice.
I strongly encourage everyone who’d like to take their business idea onto the next level or invest in their skills to learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ of running a small business, to contact the BIPC at Jubilee Library.