Seagull Weekly Briefing 22/03

Seagull Weekly Briefing 22/03
Source: Amber Cronin

Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. I just watched Dune 2, and it was pretty good! They made Florence Pugh wear some ridiculous outfits, though. Our editor fell asleep when I tried to make her watch the first one so I thought I'd spare her this time round—she wrote this briefing for you instead!

News This Week

Hisbe owed nearly £1.5 million at the time of closing

Hisbe, a shop in York Place which closed last month, owed more than £1 million when it went into liquidation.

In a statement of affairs published on Companies House on Monday, it revealed that the business owed £1,417,395.77, with nearly £700,000 owed to 133 creditors.

Many of those suppliers are local, and include £4,355.30 to Smorls, £4,598.45 to Flint Owl Bakery, £7,192.24 to Infinity Foods, £4,542.78 to Real Patisserie, and £4,778.92 to Flour Pot Bakery.

Some of the biggest figures are £98,144,93 to The Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action, £83,636.15 to Be The Earth, £65,100.17 to Suma Wholefoods, £57,285.39 to Charities Aid Foundation, £41,608.32 to Leap c/o Real Farming Trust, £39,789.78 to HMRC, £29,75o to Here c/o Care Unbound.

As of March 1st, they had £5,200 in the bank.

Hisbe, which also had a shop in Worthing, was a social enterprise supermarket specialising in sustainable produce.

It closed, initially temporarily, in new year following a 'disappointing Christmas'.

At the time, they explained that they owed money to staff, suppliers and lenders, and had paused trading 'because it’s the responsible thing to do in our circumstances'.

Council to discuss cost of living plan to help with rising living costs

The Council's Equalities, Community Safety & Human Rights Committee will be discussing a Cost of Living Action Plan on Monday, in response to the ongoing crisis of rising living costs.

The plan, compiled after extensive engagement with residents and stakeholders, focuses on emergency and hardship support, advice services, poverty prevention, and long-term resilience building.

A new Brighton & Hove Fairness Fund will be proposed, drawing on various funding sources to assist low-income households, especially concerning housing costs.

According to recent government data, the Household Support Fund (HSF) has played a crucial role in providing short-term crisis and hardship support, with £4.280m allocated to Brighton and Hove in 2023-24.

This paid for the Local Discretionary Social Fund, food vouchers during the school holidays for children eligible for free school meals, Discretionary Council Tax Reductions, and contributed significantly towards the city’s emergency food response.

Recommendations made to councillors include approving the Action Plan and establishing the Fairness Fund, along with allocation plans for resources.

Independent candidate selected to contest Peter Kyle in Hove and Portslade

Source: Tanushka Marah

More than 140 people gathered in central Brighton this Sunday to nominate independent candidate, Tanushka Marah, who will contest the Hove and Portslade constituency in the 2024 general election.

Marah, an award-winning theatre director and mother-of-two of Palestinian heritage, will run a grassroots-based election campaign, opposing austerity and institutionalised racism, and calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Standing against Labour MP Peter Kyle, Marah supports a fully public health service, improved youth services, and rent controls to tackle the housing crisis.

She has spent 20 years working in the culture sector in Brighton, including working in areas of deprivation to open the doors of culture to those from low-income backgrounds.

She said:

I believe austerity is an ideology and not a response to our economic climate. We are one of the richest countries but inequality is accepted. Homelessness, drug use, and economic deprivation are all a result of systematic looting of wealth from ordinary people to the super rich.

I want to be the suffragette who disrupts the race between Labour and Tory - the two war and austerity parties - and stays standing, able to walk forwards.

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🖋 News in Brief 🖋

  • In the last few weeks an additional 39 cycle hangars have been installed across the city, bringing the total to 150!
  • The council has launched a consultation into how residents can get more involved in decision making in the city. They want to hear about ways that would make it easier for residents to play a bigger part in the work of the council. The feedback will shape how the council engage with communities to ensure that they are a 'listening council'.
  • Council leader Bella Sankey is holding her next leader’s surgery in Woodingdean. It will be at 3pm on Friday 12 April at The Parish Church of the Holy Cross, Downsway, Brighton, BN2 6BD.
  • The Volk's Electric Railway opens a week today: seven days to go!
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected].

The Big One

What's happening? Crime levels in Brighton are at their highest level since 2019/20.

What is a crime? Highly contested, but the ONS for the purposes of its crime survey defines police recorded crime as 'a full count of notifiable crimes reported to and recorded by the police'.

How bad are we talking? There were 28,758 crimes recorded by the police in Brighton & Hove in 2022/23. The data counts for when the crime was reported, not when the crime was committed.

How does that compare to previous years? In 2021/22, there were 28,531, and in 2020/21, there were 24,604.

What about pre-Covid? In 2019/20, there were 29,393 crimes recorded.

What crimes in particular have increased? Acquisitive crimes, like thefts, shoplifting and burglaries, are 5% higher than they were in 2022/23.

Police recorded violence against the person crimes are 1.6% higher compared with the same period in 2022/23.

Serious violent offences are 17% higher in this period compared to 2022/23, however violent offences involving knives or sharp instruments are 23% lower compared to those recorded in 2022/23, with eight to 14 offences a month.

Hate crimes are on the rise too, up 1.1%, and religiously motivated crimes are up by 131% to 99 cases from March to December 2023.

And which have decreased? Public order offences, by 7.3%, as well as recorded sexual offences and domestic violence crimes (5.5% and 2% respectively), compared with the third quarter of 2022/23.

Why have crime levels gone up? According to the ONS, it's due to improvements in how crimes are recorded, the expansion of the recorded crime collection to include new offences, varying police activity, the increase in crimes being reported, and some genuine increases in some crimes.

That's all for this week—please subscribe, and forward to friends who might be interested!