Over the summer, Hollingdean and Stanmer Labour councillors Theresa Fowler and Tracey Hill have been doing “roving surgeries” once a fortnight in the ward. On a set morning, advertised in advance, we went to look at anything that residents felt need attention. We could also meet with residents in a Covid-safe way. And we usually took litter pickers and bags with us and did some litter picking along the way!
At a time when most surgeries are not running and many residents’ groups are still not meeting, these sessions were really useful for keeping in touch with residents and ensuring that we knew what was happening. We proactively reported many things that we saw as we went around the different neighbourhoods, such as fly-tipping in various locations, repairs to concrete frontages and drainpipes on council blocks in Hollingdean, a loose handrail in Coldean, and removing abandoned bikes on the Bates Estate.
Some of the highlights have been visiting the brand new council flats recently finished at Hawkridge Court on the Bates Estate: fantastic high quality sustainable and affordable new homes for the people in the city who most need it. We also saw progress on the walled garden, the new play area and footpath and cycle path in Stanmer Park on a lovely morning in August. At Saunders Park we saw a fantastic mural commissioned by Southern Water which has brightened up an out-of-the-way area, and dropped in on Laz in the Park, the brilliant new cafe next to the paddling pool. We walked up Golf Drive to Hollingbury Park where we chatted with parents using the play area, and members of the tennis club who are raising money to resurface the courts. But the best thing is just chatting to the people we bump into.
With another lockdown this winter, we’re unsure when we’ll be able to start the roving surgeries again, but we will as soon as we can. In the meantime, we’re still here and would love to hear from residents about any issues we can help with.