Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. We hope you had a delightful Bank Holiday weekend! Team Seagull went to the Brighton & Hove Pride Community Day & Dog Show in Preston Park on Sunday—congratulations to all who took part, especially Best in Show, Duke the black lab, who won three rosettes alongside the coveted prize! Our editor saw a total of 402 dogs that day, which is an all-time record.
Have you read our latest feature? Our political editor looked into the changes at the council, and what that means for the next five years of Labour administration.
News This Week
GCSE and A-Level students continue to outperform
GCSE and A-Level results have continued to improve year on year, especially from pre-pandemic figures.
Provisional overall GCSE results for the city are 'significantly above' 2019 results, with a 3% increase in the percentage of students attaining English and maths at grade 5 or above.
For A-levels, provisional results suggest that students have outperformed the national average this year, as they have done for more than a decade.
Councillor Lucy Helliwell, co-chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Children & Young People Committee, said:
These results are particularly good news. The results are the first since Covid to return to pre-pandemic grading standards.
I’d like to congratulate all our A-level students for their hard work and wish them the best of luck on the next stage of their lives.
I’d also like to thank all our schools for their hard work and dedication to fulfilling the potential of our city’s students.
Concerned communities criticise council contamination commitments
Various organisations, businesses, and communities have joined together to call on the council to do more to 'address the air pollution emergency', concerned that they are failing to do so.
The groups, which include Liveable Hanover, Clean Air for Brighton & Hove, and the Green Group of councillors, say that 29k-43k deaths in the country are caused by air pollution every year, and 170 are in Brighton and Hove—0.32% to 0.59% of the total number. They said:
Inequalities created by poor air quality particularly harm the most marginalised communities, and exacerbate illnesses amongst the sick. This is not an academic issue, people’s lives are being affected now. This will continue unless we do something. We need immediate action to safeguard the health of Brighton & Hove.
In their statement, the groups said that there is currently a clean air policy on North Street, which they say has resulted in a 60% reduction in air pollutant levels, but that they still want the council to do more. In our recent interview with council leader Bella Sankey, we discussed the council's plans to improve the city's air quality and what specific actions are being implemented to reduce carbon emissions and work towards net-zero.
Trevor Muten, chair of the Transport & Sustainability Committee, said:
It is ironic that, just a few weeks after they left office, the Greens feel justified in signing this letter complaining about air quality in Brighton & Hove. It is a shocking indictment of the last Green administration that monitoring shows that air quality declined over the past three years of the Green Party-led council.
However; the new Labour council is committed to tackling this problem, particularly in some of the areas where pollution has really worsened over the past three years, for example in North Street which is part of Brighton and Hove’s ultra low emissions zone which we will continue to support. We have already taken action to deliver ambitious improvements in air quality to safeguard the health of Brighton & Hove residents and visitors.
We have accelerated the implementation of our Bus Service Improvement Plan, getting better bus services to more local communities. We are cracking on with making sure that the Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan is of a higher quality and more closely aligned to active travel requirements than it was before we took control. This is all part of making Brighton & Hove a low carbon transport city.
We know that improving air quality saves lives and that a clean environment helps with general health and helps tackle inequalities. So we agree with those pressing to improve air quality in our city and thank those calling for change.
Locally we use data from the six Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in our city to identify the areas most in need of action. But we are also setting up a wider network of air quality monitoring equipment and we are working with businesses and increasing consultation with residents and community groups to help us act in more areas across the city. We welcome this call to action and we will improve our city's air quality.
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🖋 News in Brief 🖋
- The A259 Eastbound has partially reopened, following its closure from the fire at the Royal Albion Hotel.
- 2025 might seem far away, but before you know it it'll be time for yet another Women's World Cup. This time, it's rugby, and England will be hosting–not only that, but Brighton & Hove will be at the heart of the action, as the city is one of eight chosen to host matches! They'll be held at the Amex, and it is hoped that being a host city will bring with it the opportunity for more women and girls to play rugby locally. It will run from August 22nd to September 27th: save the date(s)!
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!
We've all been there: you're walking through Kensington Gardens, battling the crowds, until suddenly you come across the most perfect little dog in the entire world. That happened to us this Bank Holiday Monday: his name is Porky, he's a 10-week-old lilac dappled miniature sausage dog, and he had attracted so much attention since leaving the house that his owners had not gotten very far at all. He has our whole heart. We love you, Porky.
The Big One
City becoming more dementia-friendly
What's happening? The council is taking steps to make the city more dementia-friendly through its new (and free!) Age and Dementia Friendly Business Recognition Scheme.
What does the scheme do? It supports businesses to make changes that help people living and working in the city who have dementia, and falls into four categories: respect and inclusion, physical environment and accessibility, communication, and information and employment.
How many people in the city does this affect? It's difficult to know for sure, but according to council figures it's approximately 2,800 people. Of that, around 210 people have young onset dementia.
What can you tell me about businesses in the scheme? One of them is a business you probably use every week: Brighton & Hove Buses. They were the first to be accredited, and said 'all colleagues at Brighton & Hove Buses are dementia friends, and we now have dementia friendly flooring on all our buses'. Other businesses include One Garden Brighton, Projects Brighton, and St Matthias Church.
How was the scheme developed? It was created alongside professionals who work with older people and people living with dementia, and, crucially, residents with lived experience.
Are there any other businesses in the city with their own dementia-friendly schemes? Yes! Brighton & Hove Albion have launched a new programme called Albion Memories to support fans with dementia. They are holding monthly sessions allowing them to reminisce together—especially those who are no longer able to attend games.
How can I register as an Age and Dementia Friendly business? By clicking here!
Can I encourage my favourite businesses to sign up too? Absolutely, and we'd positively encourage it.
That's all for this week—please subscribe, and forward to friends who might be interested!