Seagull Weekly Briefing 26/04

Lifeguard plans, angry fans, driving bans and more.

Seagull Weekly Briefing 26/04
Source: The Brighton Seagull 

Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing! Fringe is in the air—all the open spaces in the vicinity of Seagull Towers are being closed off, tents are going up, and soon you won't be able to move for people trying to flyer you. Take a look at the programme and see what strikes you; you might bump into  Team Seagull out reviewing.

News This Week

Potential changes to lifeguards in Brighton

Brighton & Hove’s lifeguards could be managed by the RNLI in the future, following committee agreement to look at options for how the service can be provided from 2025.

The council is looking at alternative ways to deliver its seasonal lifeguard service, which covers 13km of beach and ten lifeguarded beaches from May to September each year.

Officers have reviewed the way lifeguard services are delivered across the country and have set out recommendations for two proposed approaches to managing the service from summer 2025, one that 'results in efficiencies while ensuring delivery of a safe service'.

These are:

  • to continue to manage and deliver the service in-house
  • to outsource the beach lifeguard service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

At the Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Committee meeting on Thursday 18th April, councillors agreed for officers to further explore these approaches and decide how the service will be delivered from summer 2025.

The requirements lifeguards have to meet are the same for the council as the RNLI (swim 400m in under 7m 30sec, DBS checked, hold a UK Beach Lifeguard Qualification, induction training), however the RNLI also requires its lifeguards to run 200m on sand in under 40 seconds.

The cost of the RNLI running the lifeguard service is not yet known, but the cost of it being in-house this year is £482,193.

The service remaining in-house means it can work in tandem with other council services, however the council says it has 'limited ability' to get sponsorships and donations for its lifeguards.

The RNLI already provide lifeguards to more than 230 beaches, including Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Bexhill, Hastings and Camber Sands.

There are some things the in-house lifeguards currently do that RNLI ones do not, however. In-house lifeguards, as well as responding to emergency incidents in water and on land, also monitor sea conditions, share safety advice, and help with first aid, finding lost children, enforcing by-laws and providing tourist information.

RNLI lifeguards do not enforce by-laws, take on lost children, or deal with anti-social behaviour, however the report says they 'work closely with other services to ensure these tasks are dealt with'.

Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Committee said:

Though they provide a vital, life-saving role, lifeguards are not a statutory service.

By exploring how our lifeguards could be managed differently, we can ensure a high-quality service can be provided so residents and visitors can continue to enjoy our beaches safely for years to come.

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🖋 News in Brief 🖋

  • New toilet just dropped: a Changing Places one at the One Garden Brighton in Stanmer Park! It's open 9:30am to 5pm during the summer, and 9:30am to 4:30pm in the winter. Anyone wishing to use them should ask for the key in The Market inside One Garden.
  • Lewes Road is being resurfaced, between Natal Road and Selsfield Drive, from Monday 29th April to the week of Monday 20th May. Bus services will continue to run throughout the work, though bus stops will be suspended.
  • New parking charges are in place as of Monday, for both on and off-street parking, council car parks, and parking permits. Most have increased by around 6%. Find out more about the costs of parking in each zone here.
  • And finally, congratulations to Cooper, from Derbyshire, who won the EC Gull Screeching Competition!
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected].

Dog of the Week

It's just a bit of fun!

Lola, co-founder Adam's family dog, sadly died on Wednesday. She was our first dog of the week, and she's dog of the week again. And again, and again, always in our hearts. Adam said:

As I walked home, I went down a side-street where I could see a boxer leaning out of a first-floor window, their torso so far extended they seemed like they might fall out at any moment, just swinging their head back and forth watching people go by. It made me smile, just a little bit, and that's the spirit of Lola right there. Every time you see a dog who's biting their lead or eating things they shouldn't or rolling around in the mud, Lola lives on.

The Big One

Campaigners call for boycott to music festival

What's happening? Trans Liberation Front Brighton (TLF) and Brighton Queers for Palestine are calling for a boycott of The Great Escape, a music festival that runs from May 15th to 18th.

Why? They're calling for the boycott 'in solidarity with the people of Palestine' because of The Great Escape's sponsorship from Barclays Bank.

How many partners does the festival have? The Great Escape has more than 90 partners this year, including Ticketmaster, Marshall, and BBC Music Introducing.

Why Barclays? According to Palestine Solidarity Southampton campaigns for Justice for Palestine, 'Barclays Bank holds over £1 billion in shares, and provides over £3 billion in loans and underwriting to 9 companies whose weapons, components, and military technology have been used in Israel’s armed violence against Palestinians.'

Who else has signed? So far, hundreds of artists have signed an open letter to the festival calling on them to drop Barclays as a partner, several acts have pulled out, Alcopop! Records and Big Scary Monsters have cancelled their stages, and Daltons has pulled out entirely.

What have the campaigners said? TLF said:

As queer groups in this city that understand our queerness from an anti colonial perspective, we are calling for a mass boycott of The Great Escape Festival this year due to their ties to Barclays Bank.

If you are queer, we are asking you to not attend The Great Escape Festival, and do everything you can to hold everyone involved in putting it accountable!

If you are a band that’s planning on playing this festival despite this boycott, shame on you!

What has the festival said? We have reached out to The Great Escape for comment.

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