Brighton & Hove Labour For the many, not the few
At last month’s meeting of the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Labour Councillors pushed to scrap children’s library charges, for a zero-tolerance approach to crime, and for more emergency accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse.
Key questions asked about the Domestic Abuse Strategy
The committee approved the Domestic Abuse Strategy, after Labour Councillors raised some crucial questions and concerns on behalf of residents.
“At TECC Commitee again we discussed the Domestic Abuse Strategy, and I asked if there was sustainable funding for the future but this could not be confirmed.
“Having looked deeply into the Domestic Abuse Strategy I have come to the conclusion that the city is lacking in alternative emergency temporary accommodation which could be used in the short-term for those fleeing domestic abuse.
“It’s very important that survivors initially feel they have a space to feel warm and safe where they can lock the door and start to begin the process of getting their lives back.
“Too often survivors are placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation which adds to their trauma and gives no respite and chance to recover.
“Refuges are often out of area with very strict rules and are not a one size fits all. Excluding women with teenage sons and a move out of area can mean leaving your workplace or any family of friend support. At committee I highlighted this and called for council owned alternative short-term emergency accommodation reserved solely for DA survivors.”
Cllr Amanda Grimshaw
Labour calls for children’s library charges to be scrapped
Whilst Labour’s amendment (above) was unsuccessful, all these fees will be considered again at Budget Council on 24 February.
“I’m concerned about the unreasonable and unjust fee increases proposed which run contrary to many of our core moral and corporate policy objectives, in particular around promotion of healthy living, active travel and access to library services – particularly for the young and the vulnerable.
“I’m well aware of the financial squeeze placed on our city as a consequence of years of Tory government cuts, as well as inflationary pressures, but these same pressures are also felt by our residents.
“The current fee schedule as it stands would see children library charges for late returns increased by ten times the rate of inflation, and six times the rate of inflation for DVD hires. It would increase library for adults between four and five times the rate of inflation.
“At the last TECC meeting, we unanimously voted to consider scrapping unjust and punitive children charges, as has been done in East and West Sussex. These charges limit access and discourage library use, particularly amongst vulnerable groups. I need not explain to this committee the importance of books to children in terms of future life chances.”
Cllr Nick Childs
Labour push for real action on crime
After the Conservatives brought forward a motion that seemingly achieved little besides blaming homeless people and other Councillors for crime in the City, Labour introduced a successful amendment that toughened the motion up and called for action and funds to actually tackle drug crime, hate crime and anti-social behaviour. Having been sensibly amended, the eventual motion passed without Conservative support.
“It is important to point out the long acknowledged link between:
“Rises in poverty and rises in crime of all sorts;
“The all-too-obvious links between Conservative government cuts since 2010 and the aforementioned rises in both poverty and crime over the same period nationally;
“The huge and swingeing cuts to police forces over the same period, now being partially addressed, though not back to the like-for-like numbers when the cuts started;
“The malign influence of a Prime Minister and government who clearly have not respect whatsoever for the law themselves.
“We are always concerned about crime, particularly violent and hate crime, and we feel that in amending this motion, we have attempted to address the problem in a more honest and genuine way than the motion itself did.”
Cllr Amanda Evans