Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. We hope you had a good weekend—Team Seagull had the best night on Friday at friend of The Seagull Shonalika's, first gig since the release of their debut EP, XXX. They're beyond talented, and if you get a chance to see them locally before they blow up and start selling out stadiums, you should count yourself very, very lucky.
News This Week
Teenage boy dies after stabbing near Brighton Railway Station
Regular readers of The Seagull know we don't report on crime often, but this one's too big not to: 17-year-old Mustafa Momand was fatally stabbed in Queens Road on Thursday afternoon.
Emergency services were called at around 5pm. Mustafa later died from his injuries in the hospital. His next of kin have been informed.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder, and remains in custody at the time of writing.
Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses.
Detective Chief Inspector Alex Campbell, senior investigating officer, said:
A suspect is in custody and a fast-moving investigation is underway to establish exactly what happened. There will be an increased police presence in the area while this is ongoing.
This incident took place in the centre of the city at a peak time. Officers have already spoken with many witnesses but we continue to urge anyone who saw what happened or saw any suspicious behaviour in the area around that time to please come forward.
Similarly, we are asking anyone who has relevant information or video footage – for example from a dashcam or their mobile phone – to get in touch.
Information can be reported online, or by calling 101 quoting Operation Ash.
Gardner Street compromise solution
Access changes are coming to the heavily pedestrianised Gardner Street, in a controversial move critics say shows an ignorance of local opinion.
In a meeting of the Transport & Sustainability Committee on Tuesday, a Traffic Regulation Order to reopen Gardner Street to motor vehicles Monday to Thursday and pedestrianise it from 11am to 7pm Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays was approved.
This followed consultation with businesses in the area, disability groups and a resident who had become isolated in their home due to the pedestrianised nature of the road.
The council say the reopening will enable access while still allowing businesses to use the street for outside seating, 'preserving and enhancing the vibrancy of Gardner Street'.
However, the Greens in opposition say that the council has 'effectively dismissed' more than 400 objections that were sent in, with some traders concerned at the impact traffic might have on the area, and some saying their worries were not given significant attention.
Council documents released before the meeting show 549 comments, for and against, were sent in regarding the access changes, including 402 from a petition advertised on the street. The comments were, broadly, objecting to the reintroduction of traffic on Gardner Street for the following reasons:
- Reduced safety for pedestrian access (visitors to the city assume that this
is also a pedestrianised street like Kensington Gardens and Sydney Street).
- Reduced wheelchair and pushchair access to the pavements.
- Increased air and noise pollution to the detriment of residents, visitors
- Reduced pedestrian traffic to the detriment of the North Laine area and
the city as a whole.
- Reduced cafe/bar and restaurant trading space to the detriment of
tourism in the area.
However, the council report advised the committee that, while the objections were noted, because the QR code to the petition didn’t also include a link to the council’s consultation page, 'those responding to the comments were therefore not given all the information required to make an informed decision'.
Councillor Trevor Muten, chair of the Transport & Sustainability Committee, said:
Tuesday’s meeting was extremely productive with decisions made that will have a positive impact on the people who live, work and visit Brighton & Hove.
I’m very pleased to have chaired a committee that will mean… a workable compromise could be found to partially reopen Gardner Street to help a vulnerable resident while still supporting local businesses.
🖋 News in Brief 🖋
- The team behind Trans Pride Brighton are looking for new committee members! If you want to get involved but don't necessarily know how you could help or if you have enough experience, do not worry: they can provide all the training you need. And if you don't live locally but still want to get involved, they also welcome remote volunteers! So there's basically no reason not to get involved, if you have the capacity. Get in touch with them here.
- Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Rise 8K Undercliff Run yesterday, raising money for the city's domestic abuse charity. We're big fans of Rise here at Seagull: the work they do with survivors of domestic abuse is so important, and the fact that their refuge is LGBTQ+ inclusive is just, well, a no-brainer. If you're able to donate, do so here!
- Important toilet news! Most are staying open this winter, and are now on winter opening hours of 8am to 4pm. However, busier toilets are open until 6pm: Shelter Hall, Colonnade, West Pier Arches and Kings Road Playground. Daltons, Greenleas, Hollingbury Park and Black Rock will be closed until spring.
Dog of the Week
It's just a bit of fun!
This week's dog of the week is the dog of friend of The Seagull, Hugo. This beautiful dog is called Enzo, and he's seven-years-old. Hugo said:
He's Greek, and a good boy. A bit anxious at times, always on the lookout for wolves, very protective of anything small like children or puppies.
We love Enzo so much. Here's a gallery of the photos we have of him, because they were all too good not to share.
The Big One
What's happening? A petition has been started by UCU, calling on the University of Brighton to 'stop trade union victimisation'.
What has the university done? According to the UCU, the university is threatening disciplinary action against four branch officers for their role in our dispute over mass redundancies. They have been called to disciplinary meetings for their involvement in the branch’s picketing during the strike.
Who are the reps? Mark Abel (chair), Ryan Burns (vice chair), Chris Cocking (casework coordinator) and Julie Canavan (equalities officer).
What role have they played? The university has been meeting with them during the consultation and the dispute about redundancies. UCU members have been taking indefinite strike action since Monday 3rd July against compulsory redundancies.
Why is this important? UCU said:
Brighton University claims it respects the role of the recognised trade unions to represent and negotiate for its employees. But by attacking UCU reps, the university is declaring war on the union. They are clearly signalling that they no longer want to negotiate with union reps on equal terms.
They want to create a climate in which staff are too fearful to stand up for themselves, let alone to stand for a union position.
What could follow is the unilateral replacement of all the agreements governing lecturers’ and researchers’ terms and conditions with new arrangements imposed by them. Managers everywhere will be rubbing their hands with glee if they can get away with this here.
What have the university said? We've asked them for a comment.