News from your Ward Councillor April 2014
How I can help you Whether youâ€™re a young family, student household, elderly, vulnerable, employed or retired, I am here to help you.
Cllr Christina Summers
As your independent ward councillor I should like to formally introduce myself and let you know how I may be of service to you as a resident of Coldean.
Refuse & Recycling problems including collections
I was elected in May 2011 to represent the people of Hollingdean & Stanmer Ward which comprises the communities of Hollingdean, Saunders Park & Bates Estates, Coldean and Stanmer Village, as well as both Sussex and Brighton Universities and several beautiful parks including Wild Park and Stanmer. Over the last three years I have worked very closely with the Coldean Community Forum which is run by a wonderful group of residents who meet every month (see details on page 3). We have worked on all kinds of issues particular to Coldean and I have been mindful of its location that has tended to make residents feel a little cut off from the centre. However, there are ambitions to try and change all this and make Coldean a really great place to live in no matter who you are.
Parking and road safety
Working with your local PCSO Broken pavements or kerbs
Help and advice about your council home Parks & woods upkeep and protection
If you have any concerns as a resident about your home, the community or council services, or have any thoughts or ideas about Coldean please do get in touch or come and see me at the library where Iâ€™ll be holding surgeries starting in April. I very much look forward to meeting you.
Care & Health issues for elderly and vulnerable
With very best wishes..
University and student issues -2 -
Some achievements in Coldean
New ideas & initiatives * Haig Park Project
* An event-day Controlled Parking Zone to protect residents’ parking and access to driveways during home matches at the Amex Stadium. Some teething problems are inevitable but it appears that this is generally working well. Please remain vigilant and report any problems to me. Any photographic evidence, if at all possible, would be really helpful. * 20mph scheme brought forward from phase 3 to phase 2 for Coldean. Since road safety and speeding is an ongoing issue, with Coldean used as a cut-through to avoid traffic on Coldean Lane, a comprehensive workshop with the Lead Council Officer convinced her that Coldean needed this scheme sooner than later. It will be fully functional by this summer and, contrary to much misinformation, it will be enforceable! * Measures taken to prevent parking on grass verges outside the Park Road shops and Coldean Primary School. The University of Brighton kindly financed the former and Coldean Community Forum the latter. However, this problem persists at school drop-off and pick-up times and more needs to be done to discourage this very dangerous parking. * Double yellow lines and bus shelters. The no. 24 bus is an ongoing problem for Coldean residents and issues of frequency and lateness are being addressed via the Coldean Community Forum. However, measures have been taken by the council in response to feedback from residents to remove some of the stumbling blocks. Double yellow lines were installed late 2013 in key places (e.g. Forest Road) to prevent parking that blocked the bus route, and new bus shelters (e.g. Rushlake Road) provided to protect you while you wait for the 24! Check out the forum website for updates on negotiations with Brighton & Hove Buses. * The Coldean Woods path giving access to both Stanmer Park and Varley Halls was completed late last year. However, as a cut-through for football fans to the Amex it has been susceptible to extensive littering. I have now secured a weekly clear up by Cityclean and possible ongoing support from the Community Payback Team. Please do let me know how the path is looking! -3-
This has been on the cards for some time and there is funding for phase 1 which is to replace and enhance the play area equipment. Now that a residents’ team is in place this should be completed in time for summer. Subsequent phases will deal with levelling the entrance to make it more accessible as well as sorting out the main pathway through the park and lots of planting. If you would like to be involved in any way contact Heather Hayes: 07952649323 or firstname.lastname@example.org * Community Resilience during Emergencies Coldean’s location and landscape makes it a particular challenge for accessibility and mobility and seriously so during extreme weather. My concern has been for the safety and well-being of the elderly and vulnerable and to try and reduce the possibility of them being isolated and without their needs met. I am, therefore, looking with Public Health officers at an emergency response pilot in Coldean that will involve a group of willing residents who would receive awareness training and attend a workshop to help to develop an emergency plan. If you would like to be part of a community team involved in this crucial work please let me know - see back page for my contact. * Outside-In Programme Last summer I piloted a programme with students from the University of Brighton and a Coldean resident who all came away knowing how the council works, what its responsibilities are (as well as constraints), how policies are formed and decisions made, and how residents can and do influence both. They met with senior officers and politicians, attended key committee meetings and took part in Full Council. All parties involved deemed the programme a success and something the council should formally adopt as an offer to residents. Sadly only one of the political groups expressed its support so it is currently on hold. If you feel this programme might interest you please do let me know as I intend to pursue its adoption and residents’ support would be a huge help!
COME AND INFLUENCE THE COUNCIL Contrary to those who say that the council is unwilling to listen to residents, as an elected Member, I am obliged to represent you, speak on your behalf and support you should you choose to speak publicly yourself. One of the things I value most is when residents respond to encouragements from me to come and present their request at an appropriate committee meeting or, depending on the issue and desired outcome, at Full Council which is the highest decision-making body in the city. Some Coldean residents have taken this step and found the experience very memorable and fruitful - but not enough residents are taking advantage of this opportunity! EXAMPLES OF COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION BY YOU The following scenarios are hypothetical but completely realistic: Planning Committee to object to an application by a neighbour to add more rooms to their property and risk the effects of over-crowding. Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee to present the case for parking restrictions in your road/area. Adult Care & Health Committee to defend the possible termination or reduction of Community Care services in Coldean.
ATTENDING FULL COUNCIL Even if you just want to see what kind of issues are dealt with and how, as your local councillor, I try to represent your interests as well as those of the whole city, it is worth attending at least one of these meetings. The main reason for speaking in Full Council yourself is to give your issue a high profile (which can help to influence a positive outcome) because you have a captive audience comprising all 54 councillors, all senior council officers, the press and members of the public. It is also web-cast live so any number of people can watch it from their computers if they are unable to attend. But if public speaking is not an option for you donâ€™t worry, I can speak on your behalf!
Licensing Panel to give evidence against a specific licensing application that you feel might promote anti-social behaviour.
There are three things residents can do at Full Council:
Housing Committee to highlight concerns about general or specific maintenance of your council property or block of flats.
Ask a question: submitted in advance for the appropriate member of the Green administration to respond to, plus a supplementary that you can ask without forewarning.
Children & Young People Committee to bring to attention issues relating to bullying in schools or lack of youth services locally.
Present a deputation: a 5-minute speech on your particular issue.
Economic Development & Culture Committee to register objection to a major event scheduled to take place near Coldean.
Submit a petition: if you manage to gather 1250 signatures this will trigger a debate involving all councillors so thatâ€™s worth pursuing!
Audit & Standards Committee to query the Code of Conduct for elected Members or express concern about a particular risk to the city.
In all cases your issue will be referred to the appropriate committee which you will be formally invited to attend, and I would be happy to join you.
COME AND EXERCISE YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO SPEAK AT NEXT FULL COUNCIL ON 8TH MAY - SEE BACK PAGE FOR MY CONTACT
What you can do There are a number of ways to communicate your concerns and also share any ideas you have for Coldean and the city as a whole.
Come to my new SURGERY
How to get hold of me or find out what I’m doing Call me: Council Land-line Mobile
01273 291158 07557 197595
Starting in April I will be holding a surgery at Coldean Library on the following Thursdays, 3 - 5pm:
Email me: 3rd & 24th April 22nd May 12th June 3rd July Please do come and see me. If this proves popular I will have them more often!
Join the Coldean Community Forum This is a residents’ group that has grown from strength to strength and works very effectively in partnership with the council, the police, Coldean Primary School and the University of Brighton.
Write to me: Cllr Christina Summers Brighton & Hove City Council King’s House Grand Avenue Hove BN3 2LS
I heartily commend this forum to you if you would like to help transform your community with a great bunch of people! The forum meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm, New Larchwood Cafe’ in Waldron Avenue. For up-to-date news see their web-site at www.coldean.org.uk and find them on Facebook. For any enquiries contact: Robin Berry on 697577 or email: email@example.com -7-
Follow me: On Twitter
Via Website www.cllrsummers.com (under construction at time of print)