Seagull Weekly Briefing 20/02
Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Monday Briefing. We're already anticipating the arrival of Spring here after a bit of sun and a temperature above ten degrees yesterday—the lighter clothing is coming out of the cupboard and the flowers in Valley Gardens are being trampled by people running for the bus.
This week, we published Olivia Kelly's hard-hitting investigation into the Home Office's failings regarding the asylum-seeking children who went missing from a Hove hotel:
News This Week
House prices up, businesses high, population growth small and air clean—all the highlights from Centre for Cities performance report
Think tank, Centre for Cities latest report has shown how Brighton & Hove is performing compared with some of the UK’s largest towns and cities, and oh boy is it an interesting read.
The 2023 report published last week says that Brighton ranks 2nd highest in the country for the amount of business start-ups, with 76.7 business start-ups per 10,000 people.
We have the 9th lowest hidden unemployment rate in the country—the official unemployment rate measures the number of people who are actively seeking a job but cannot find one, whereas the hidden unemployment rate refers to people who are able to work, but do not, for various reasons.
Brighton & Hove is cited as being 7th best for having residents with high-level qualifications—only 2.6% of people have no normal qualifications, and 55.8% have high-level (NVQ4 or above) qualifications.
We were one of the slowest growing cities by population, with an absolute population change of 6,600 from 2011-2021 (334,500 to 340,900).
The city, unsurprisingly, tops the list '10 cities with the highest rises in house prices', with the average cost going from £446,300 in 2021 to £494,100 in 2022—that's a £47,700 increase. Ouch. That said, we came in 2nd place on the housing affordability ratio, which is the average cost of a house compared to the average wages paid to a worker in a year... so our houses are expensive, but we can afford them? Sounds fake.
We ranked 3rd for CO2 emissions, with 2.7 tonnes of CO2 emissions per capita in 2020, down from 3.0 tonnes in 2019. We're also #10 on '10 cities with the best air quality', with only 17 days in 2022 with poor air quality. Edinburgh topped that list, with only 1 day of bad air!
Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said:
The Centre for Cities findings tell us that are we one of the top cities for businesses being founded and that we have one of the highest number of businesses per capita. We are a productive city, with low economic inactivity and a high number of residents with top qualifications. Businesses continue to be innovative and at the cutting edge of technology which in turn enhances our productivity and prosperity.
🖋 News in Brief 🖋
- Work has begun to restore the historic Victoria Fountain which was removed from Old Steine Gardens last month. The 32ft fountain, also known as the Dolphin Fountain, has been disassembled and transported to workshops in Leicester, where it will undergo a complete restoration. It is hoped that the restoration will be completed by late Spring!
- The controversial Kingsway to the Sea park project has now started. Covering an area stretching from the King Alfred Leisure Centre to the Hove Lagoon, once complete, the park will provide a space for activities including sports such as bowls, croquet, tennis, roller-skating and sand sports. There will also be a new café with terrace, public toilets and changing facilities, and improved accessible and biodiverse green spaces.
- 40 days until the Volks returns!!!
The Big One
Brianna Ghey vigil sees 400+ attendees
What's happening? A vigil was held in Victoria Gardens on Wednesday for Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in Linear Park in Culcheth, Cheshire on Saturday 11th February.
How many people went? More than 400 people attended the vigil, organised by Dyke Collective Brighton, which lasted over two hours, at the same time as dozens of others across the country. In total, at least 55 took place last week. Speeches were made by a large number of speakers, both planned and unplanned, many being transgender but some allies too.
What was said? They shared poems, spoke about their trans friends and children and siblings, shared experiences of transphobia, their anger towards right-wing politicians and mainstream media for fuelling hate against trans people, the fear they felt, all while encouraging people to do more, to stand up for trans people and to call out injustice when it's seen, to check in on friends and look out for them.
Who else was involved? TransSober opened The Queery that evening for a safe space during the vigil, Trans Pride Brighton, The Ledward Centre and The Clare Project helped The Dyke Collective to organise the event, and Duke Of York’s cinema lent their podium.
Dyke Collective Brighton said:
This vigil was meant to be a space for people to feel connected to their community, feel supported and loved while mourning the loss of Brianna Ghey and countless other trans lives, but every single person that showed up took this night beyond that—it became a night of immense solidarity and love and anger and visibility, making everybody see, both the people that made it to the vigil and the ones at home that couldn’t, that you are not in any way alone, that we have each other’s backs and we always will. Always.
Thank you so much to everybody. You made this vigil what is was.
Rest In Peace Brianna Ghey.
You will forever be remembered by every single person that went to this and any of the other vigils going on across England & Ireland.
Any updates on the investigation? Cheshire Police confirmed on the day of the vigil that a 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl have been charged with Brianna's murder, and having originally said there was no evidence to suggest it was a hate crime, the police are now exploring it as a possibility.
What can I do to help? More than £109,000 has been raised in memory of Brianna, 'an outgoing, confident girl' who 'brought a lot of laughter to those who knew her', to be used to cover funeral expenses and to support her family. Donate if you can. Check in on your trans friends too, let them know you're there for them.