public toilets
public toilets

Restoring basic services not flushing money away on vanity projects:

At the upcoming annual council budget-setting meeting, Labour Councillors are bringing forward proposals to re-allocate funding from Green Party vanity projects into restoring vital basic services like public toilets.

After already successfully forcing the Greens to U-turn on their plans to slash the budget for public toilets, which would have resulted in further closures, Labour are pushing the administration to go further and invest £1.1 million into the refurbishment and restoration of dilapidated public toilet units across the city.

Residents will be all too aware of the sorry state of many of the council-run toilet facilities across Brighton & Hove, so Labour plans to redirect next year’s funding pot of capital borrowing for the Greens’ highly controversial Hanover & Tarner LTN scheme towards the refurbishment of public toilets.

It’s clear that residents in Hanover and Tarner were not meaningfully consulted with before this Low-Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme was imposed upon them – a recurrent theme of this Green administration. So, instead of steamrolling ahead with the plan as it is, Labour’s budget amendments would see this year’s funding allocation diverted away from another expensive Green vanity project that nobody asked for (a la i360), and towards restoring the basic services that the council has been failing to deliver for residents.

The Greens’ claims that funding for their LTN pet project was ring-fenced government money has been proven to be demonstrably false. Labour want the capital borrowing earmarked for the scheme for 2023/24 invested into our public toilets, whilst the council goes back to the drawing board and consults properly with residents on developing a network of 20-minute neighbourhoods, co-created with communities who actually want and need them, instead of throwing good money after bad to persevere with their ill-thought LTN.

Labour’s co-leader of the opposition and finance lead, Cllr Carmen Appich said:

“Decent public toilets are crucial for public health, equalities, local businesses and our visitor economy – they are a basic service that the council should be investing in, not cutting and giving up on.

“Labour won’t flush public money away on dogmatic vanity projects, Labour will meet the basic needs for all across the city and get our council services up to scratch.

“Our budget amendments are a step in that direction, so I would encourage other parties to support them and put the needs of residents above personal pet projects.”

Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP said:

“In the face of yet more devastating cuts from the Conservative Government, we need to do all we can to protect basic public services in our city.

“Closing public toilets and spending over £1million on a scheme to use cameras to fine car drivers really sums up the Greens. That is why Labour is putting down this amendment to save our public toilets.

“We have a fraught 2 years ahead of us until we can throw the Conservatives out of Government. We need an administration locally that will protect basic services.”

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