Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. Nearly the end of January already. How are you all getting on with your resolutions? The Seagull's is the same this year as it is every year: bring you the news, so here it is.
News This Week
Weed killer to return to the city
Councillors have voted to return to weed killer in an effort to get to the root of the city's weed problem.
As we shared last week, councillors on the City Environment, South Downs & The Sea Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the future of weed management in the city.
They have voted to use a controlled-droplet application of glyphosate to manage and remove weeds from hard surfaces.
This will involve mixing the glyphosate with an oil that helps it stick to the weeds, something the council says means they will use less herbicide than traditional methods, 'while reducing the risks to other plant species and wildlife'.
The use of a controlled-droplet application of glyphosate on hard surfaces will begin this spring. It’s use will be limited to roads and pavements.
Parks and open spaces will remain herbicide free, other than when dealing with invasive species.
Councillor Tim Rowkins, Chair of the City Environment, South Downs & The Sea Committee said:
Having spent several months thoroughly assessing the options, we have now agreed this new approach which will get the problem back under control safely and in a way that minimises any risk to biodiversity.
Since 2019, we have been reliant on manual weeding alone. After 5 years, the problem is now out of control and many pavements present serious safety and accessibility problems for our residents. Manual weeding alone simply hasn’t been effective and has left some streets inaccessible to wheelchair users, parents and carers with buggies and those with visual or mobility impairments.
We must balance the need to keep our residents safe and our pavements accessible with protecting the city’s biodiversity and we believe that this represents a sensible middle ground.
The council says when the problem is under control, glyphosphate use will be reduced 'to the lowest level possible'.
Justice for Jay Abatan campaign held vigil and meeting on 25th anniversary of his death
The family of Jay Abatan held a vigil and a meeting to mark the 25th anniversary since his death, and to call once again for justice and appeal for new witnesses to come forward.
In January 1999, Jay Abatan, a 42 year old black man (alongside his brother Michael) was the victim of an assault outside the Ocean Rooms in Brighton in what Michael has always believed was a racially motivated attack.
Jay Abatan tragically died from injuries sustained in the attack.
His family held a vigil yesterday at Brighton Police Station, and have issued a new appeal for any witnesses to come forward.
Sussex Police have apologised to Jay Abatan's family for their multiple failures in their investigation into Jay's death.
The Abatan family said:
Over thirty years after the murder of Stephen Lawrence which highlighted the institutional racism of the police, there still a lack of will within Sussex police to bring those responsible for Jay's killing to justice and even those responsible for the attack on Michael to account.
More generally, as the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted, too many black people still die in police custody in Britain and too many black families are still campaigning for justice after police failings into their loved ones' deaths.
A crowdfunder has been launched by the family to raise funds to launch a new legal challenge.
The Big One
World's oldest running motor race to end
What's happening? The Brighton National Speed Trial won't be running 'for the foreseeable future', amid rising costs (and other concerns).
World's oldest running we hear? Yeah! First held in 1905, the annual event was organised by Brighton and Hove Motor Club and took place on Madeira Drive.
Why is it over? The club shared its reasons for cancelling the event, which took place every September: new road layouts, the closing of Madeira Terraces, additional security, 'and many other costs', having run the event at a loss for several years.
A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Motor Club said:
For some, it was the only event they participated in, entering a loved road car, for others, it was a focal point of their motoring year, entering high powered vehicles which roared along the seafront to the enjoyment of the crowds watching from the paddock or up on the terraces.
Its appeal to young and old alike was the intimacy of the event, spectators could get up close to the cars waiting in the paddock, talk to the drivers, take wonderful pictures and feel very involved in the whole event.
Will they do anything else? The club have said they will be involved in many other events this year, including two annual sprints at Goodwood, Concourse, and 'hopefully a hill club'.
Where can I find out more about the history of the speed trials? Here!