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warren_headshot.pngLabour Councillors argue that landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) should pay business rates. Hotels, self-catering and holiday lets are within the scope of business rates – but not HMOs, including the 2% of homes now given over to student lets.

 The government could act to give councils powers to bring HMO landlords within the scope of business rates, and Labour will ask council to back this proposal going to Government ministers.

Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader of the Council, says: “There is an increasing impact on city services of HMOs, many of which house students. Residents are telling us that their community is changing, that there is too much fly-tipping and that they are paying for services where all too often HMO landlords are not.

Our universities contribute hugely to the city. We need to find a happier balance between the costs and benefits of being a university town.  We are looking at more enforcement and regulation of HMOs, we will work with the universities to try to make neighbourhoods as well-maintained as possible, but the government needs to play its part as well by helping us offset the additional costs.”

Labour calls for landlords to pay business rates

Labour Councillors argue that landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) should pay business rates. Hotels, self-catering and holiday lets are within the scope of business rates – but not...

cp_suicide_prevention.jpgLead Member for mental health, Cllr Caroline Penn has been speaking recently at the world suicide prevention day. Here is her statement following the event.

"Saturday 10th September was World Suicide Prevention Day, and so it was a very significant day for everyone working towards better mental health and wellbeing.

But it was also the day chosen by our local organisation Grassroots Suicide Prevention to launch a really important crowdfunding appeal for their innovative #StayAlive app.

As Lead Member for Mental Health at the council I was very pleased to attend their event at the Synergy Centre and show my support for the valuable work they do, including the #StayAlive app.

The #StayAlive app offers real opportunities for suicide prevention. It gives help straightaway for those experiencing suicidal thoughts as well as advice for anyone worried about a friend or family member.

We all need to spread the word about the support available for those experiencing suicidal thoughts, like the #StayAlive app. For example suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 49 in the UK. If we talk and most importantly listen, we can help keep our friends, family and community safe.

If you are concerned about someone you know, why not download the #StayAlive app. You can also contact the Samaritans or the Mental Health Rapid Response Service available 24 hours a day on 01273 242220.

If you would like more information about the #StayAlive app, visit the project page at Grassroots Suicide Prevention http://www.prevent-suicide.org.uk and you can also look at their crowdfunding appeal site here."

World Suicide Prevention Day

Lead Member for mental health, Cllr Caroline Penn has been speaking recently at the world suicide prevention day. Here is her statement following the event. "Saturday 10th September was World...

anne_m_opens_homes_in_kt.JPGA disused communal area at a block of flats in Kemp Town has been transformed to create three new council homes, as part of an innovative project by the Labour administration on Brighton & Hove City Council.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee, officially opened the new flats at St James' House in High Street.

The homes, on the ground floor of St James' House, will provide much needed affordable rented accommodation for people on the city’s housing register. They consist of a one bedroom flat, a two bedroom flat and a three bedroom flat. St James' House, a 1960s high rise council-owned building, already has 120 existing flats.

The new flats are the first in a project aiming to convert redundant spaces in council owned properties to provide extra homes – typically on the ground floor of high-rise blocks, such as former caretaker’s rooms or storage areas.

They are in addition to new council homes already being provided under the council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme, which is aiming to build at least 500 new council homes by 2020.

Cllr Meadows said: “We are being creative in how we can provide more council homes, whether it is by converting part of an existing building, or building new homes on pockets of little-used council land.

“These new flats are a great example of how an empty space can be given a completely new lease of life. The communal area at St James’ House had fallen into disuse over the years, now it will be home to three households.”

New council homes opened in Kemp Town

A disused communal area at a block of flats in Kemp Town has been transformed to create three new council homes, as part of an innovative project by the Labour...

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