Good morning, and welcome to this week's Seagull briefing! We're very very ill and very very tired. One of us has Covid, and it's only a matter of time before the rest of us get it too. The Great Escape content is incoming. On with the news!
If you'd like to get involved with our Fringe coverage, it's not too late—email [email protected] with requests for shows you'd like to see and some writing samples and we can have a chat.
Please share this with anyone you think would be interested, and if you think you've got a story to tell about our city, consider signing up to contribute here.
🗞News This Week🗞
Student housing, campaigner grousing, Bagelman closing and more
In The Seagull this week:
- We published week one of our Fringe Friday coverage!
Not enough homes for families, too many for students
More family homes are needed and too many new builds are for student housing, tenant representatives say.
Residents Assocation representatives for areas including Moulsecoomb, South Patcham, Hollingbury and Hollingdean have complained that the amount of student housing being built is not reducing the number of HMOs.
The council said in response:
A total of 1,100 house in multiple occupation (HMO) licences were issued within the Patcham, Hollingdean and Stanmer and Moulsecoomb and Bevendean wards for the financial year 2021-22.
We currently have a backlog of applications to be processed, so this figure will increase over the coming year.
While the perception is that every piece of development land is used for student housing, it might be useful to highlight that we have recently built 30 council homes at Hawkridge (the ex-Selsfield Drive Housing Office).
There are 226 affordable homes being developed on the Preston Barracks site, some for affordable shared ownership, 242 affordable homes being built on the Coldean Lane site as part of the council’s joint venture with Hyde Housing Association and, of course, there is the exciting proposal for over 200 council homes as part of the Moulsecoomb Hub development.
The reduction in family homes has affected school numbers too. The published admission number (PAN) for Moulsecoomb Primary School has reduced by 60, from 90 to 30, with 12 children expected to start in September; Hertford Infant School has a PAN of 60 and St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School a PAN of 30, but they are expected to receive 26 and 14 children respectively in reception this coming academic year.
All student housing built is private, not council owned, and the number of homes registered with a student exemption for council tax has fallen from 5,699 in 2020/21 to 4,729 in 2021/22.
Tyre Extinguisher group target SUVs in city
It's a bad time to own an SUV in Brighton and Hove, because they're being targeted by climate change activists.
Tyre Extinguishers have been letting down and slashing the tyres of SUVs in Denmark Villas, Hove, Seven Dials, Poet's Corner, Preston Park and Queen's Park, claiming 250 vehicles have been deflated so far.
The group says:
We are people from all walks of life with one aim: To make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4x4 in the world’s urban areas. We are defending ourselves against climate change, air pollution and unsafe drivers.
We do this with a simple tactic: Deflating the tyres of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience for their owners.
We’re taking this action because governments and politicians have failed to protect us from these huge vehicles. Everyone hates them, apart from the people who drive them.
No arrests have yet been made in what the police is calling "Operation Extinguisher".
🖋 NIBS 🖋
- The beloved Bagelman outlet at Brighton Station has closed its doors for the last time. The team made their last bagel on Wednesday 11th May, but will still be working from the Bond Street and Church Road sites. To find out more about why the outlet has closed, read our full report here.
- Brighton Central and Hove Lawns beaches have won Blue Flags, a scheme to promote the best beaches in the country. Blue Flag, managed by Keep Britain Tidy, measure the safety, cleanliness and water quality of beaches. They've clearly never seen my godfather's old dog Humphrey relieve himself in the sea.
- The Sue Addis murder trial jury was discharged on Tuesday 10th May, with a new date yet to be arranged. This is the second time the trial has had to be rearranged. You can read more about the case here.
This edition of The Brighton Seagull is sponsored by Cybersyn, a friendly digital analytics consultancy based right here in Brighton.
💥The Big One💥
Financial help struggles for Ukrainians
What's happening? Government money for Ukrainian refugees is only available to people registered through the Homes for Ukraine scheme—meaning anyone who comes via a different route isn't eligible.
Why does this matter? According to Rachel Sharpe, one of the council's most senior officials, a large number of people coming to the city from Brighton arrive on family visas, which means they do not get access to financial support.
How many Ukrainians have come to Brighton? So far there are 146, and more than 200 people are registered to host.
How much financial help is there? Anyone coming to the UK through Homes for Ukraine gets £200, a one-off payment, and hosts get £350 a month after checks have been processed. The council gets £10,300 per person to go towards services, and payments for education (£6,580 for those in primary school and £8,755 for those in secondary school).
What help is the council providing for those coming to Brighton? A former covid-community hub has been adapted to be a point of contact for hosts and those being hosted. It can be contacted by email at [email protected], or via telephone on 01273 293117 option 2.
👉Finger On The Pulse👈
Fringe week 2!! We're so tired!!!
🤣Fringe and Festival Preview: Coming up this week—for comedy we've got philosophy comedy from Alex Farrow, Dharmander Singh (a past favourite of our editor) and Hannah Fairweather; in theatre we've got the exciting new Wild, Tiresias at the Open Air Theatre (let's hope for clear skies!), and Clean! The Musical, we'll be revisiting our 2021 Fringe experience with the Back Passages of Brighton tour and finally exploring the Into The Garden exhibition.
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected]. And if you want to contribute:
☕️ Where to eat? 🥪
☕️Coffee: Small Batch has a number of sites across the city—I've recently had the pleasure of working from their Goldstone Villas and Wilbury Road sites over the last couple of weeks, and they have good vibes, fast WiFi and lovely coffee (I'm off sugar again so baked goods were off the table—but they were great the last time I was there).
🍱Dinner: Shelter Hall on the seafront is the perfect place to take a large or indecisive group of people—their canteen-style multiple-kitchens-under-one-roof gives you options from Italian to Vietnamese to Korean and everything in-between. You might want to book ahead, though, as they fill up quick when the sun's out!
🍻Pint: The Walrus, recently under new management, is a delightful, beautiful and surprisingly capacious pub. They do a good line in roasts (rare for it not to be full to capacity on a Sunday) and live music—and are currently playing host to a range of shows for the duration of the Fringe.
🔜 Next Time 🔜
That's all for this week—don't forget to fill in our contributors form if you'd like to get involved, forward to friends who might be interested and if you've been forwarded this and enjoyed it (or are reading on the website), please subscribe: