Minutes of Healthy Neighbourhood Fund meeting – 26th October 2022

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting

Wednesday 26th October 2022 via Zoom

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Ann Forster (Friends of Wish Park), Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Sue Johnson (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Ken Neal (Secret Garden Group), Clare Kelly (West Hove Infant School), Ayman Farag (Friends of West Hove Infant School)

Apologies:  Amy Allison (Trust for Developing Communities),Cllr Carmen Appich (Westbourne ward), Cllr Robert Nemeth (Wish ward), Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Angie Starnes (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Sylvia New (Healthwatch)

Three groups who had applied for a Healthy Neighbourhood Fund grant attended the meeting to talk about their projects.

Edward said that all the members who had sent apologies had had an opportunity to look at the projects and some of them had told us prior to the meeting that they were sympathetic to all of them; Amy Allison of the Trust for Developing Communities had also found no outstanding issues with any of the applications.

Friends of Hove Lagoon – Sue Johnson

Most of the money from previous applications has gone to volunteers on the Lagoon planting scheme and clean-ups, to provide equipment, refreshments and expenses.

The Friends of Hove Lagoon applied this time for £500 for three projects:

  1. To install a bench by the north-west Hove Lagoon pavilion overlooking the garden, to provide peace and quiet for visitors and a temporary resting place for volunteer gardeners. It would be located under the eaves of the pavilion, in the shade and sheltered from the wind and rain. This would cost around £350.
  2. To plant a row of spring bulbs beneath the boundary hedge at the north of the Lagoon, at a bulb planting day with refreshments. This would cost around £100.
  3. To buy some edging and weeding tools, which would cost around £50.

There may be a shifting of the money between the three items. The last item – tools – was requested by the volunteers; they prefer long-handled tools.

Peter asked how value for money is ensured in procurement.

Sue replied that some of the money last time went to the rainbow bench. She spent months getting costings for different benches before the committee made a decision.

Friends of West Hove Infant School – Clare Kelly (teacher) and Ayman Farag (parent)

The site of the former swimming pool at West Hove Infant School has been made into a greener space called “Saplings” for the children to experience a different type of learning. The swimming pool was filled in with concrete and fenced off. Contractors built a cabin, a log path and log circle, with raised planters, a mucky kitchen and bug hotels etc. It encourages the teaching of nature study, outdoor skills, growing and planting. Parents are also involved in activities there after school.

It’s been up and running for a year and is used by all the children in the school. The next stage is to make it slightly larger and create more vegetable beds. They also want to have a tarpaulin on wooden posts to provide shade and shelter, as well as improving access.

The quotes from the original contractors were the best value for money and the work would be done at a slightly reduced rate.

Francis asked how they would get the rest of the funding, if they were to receive a £500 HNF grant.

Clare said that there would be other fundraising activities, eg a cake sale.

Martin commented that it was a marvellous project and there had been nothing like that when his children had attended the school. Edward seconded that as his grandchildren had also attended the school.

Secret Garden Group – Ken Neal

The Secret Garden has been going since 2014 and this year has been probably the most challenging. There has been a high level of vandalism, which is an ongoing issue, and they’ve had to shut the garden outside working times, which is a real shame as they used to get over 100 visitors during the week.

There are 9-15 volunteers in the garden every weekend. The pond project still needs to be completed – that’s the area that got the most vandalism. The apiary needs to be refurbished.

The trees are quite high now and need to be cut back to improve the sunlight. Ongoing maintenance work also needs funding.

Edward commented that the Secret Garden is a wonderful small gem in West Hove. It’s important that they are providing somewhere where young people can go.

Francis asked how the vandalism around the pond could be avoided.

Ken replied that they are at a separate funding route trying to get a CCTV camera installed. They have had a lot more support recently from the police. Also, as the church develops its activities, more people will use it so it will be less attractive for vandalism.

Comments

Francis said it was a fantastic effort from all the groups and recommended funding all the projects.

Ann commented that all the projects had a very clear health benefit.

Edward said we had learned how important green spaces are to community public health.

All three applications were approved to receive £500 grants. As there is still £1,500 remaining, we will hold another round of applications in the New Year.

Next meeting:

Thursday 24th November, 2pm, St Peter’s Church Hall, Tamworth Road.

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Minutes of special meeting on Mini-Holland feasibility study

Minutes of West Hove Forum special meeting on Mini-Holland feasibility study

Tuesday 4th October 2022 via Zoom

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Ann Forster & Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Richard Hearnden (Friends of Stoneham Park), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Angie Starnes (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Laura Wells (Transport Strategy Manager, Brighton & Hove City Council), Andrew Renaut (Head of Transport Policy and Strategy, Brighton & Hove City Council)

Apologies: Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club)

Introduction

Edward began the meeting by reporting that the West Hove Forum had sent condolences to the family of Cllr Garry Peltzer Dunn, after the sad news that he had died the previous week. Garry had been a regular supporter of the West Hove Forum for many years. He will be much missed, particularly for his sense of humour and calmness.

Edward commented that this meeting would be a first opportunity for members of the forum to ask questions about the Mini-Holland feasibility study.

Laura Wells – Transport Strategy Manager, Brighton & Hove City Council

Laura explained that, at the moment, the council are just doing a feasibility study for a Mini-Holland scheme and they do not yet have implementation funding. At this stage, they are engaging with key stakeholders as opposed to a full public consultation, which would come later should implementation funding be received. Please see the slides for full details of what a Mini Holland is; however, it is different in each area depending on the context and needs and issues and solutions. Broadly it is about making an area as walking and cycling friendly as its Dutch counterparts.

Laura gave a presentation on the study, which will be sent out with these minutes.

19 areas were chosen nationally to take forward feasibility studies during 2022/23 but only two or three will receive full funding for a scheme. The feasibility study is the opportunity for the council to show central government that scheme improvements could feasibly work in this area, and achieve both government and local objectives.

A consultant has just been appointed. The council will continue to engage with the West Hove Forum and other key stakeholders during the study.

Questions, Answers and Comments

What physical changes are we considering in the Portland Road shopping area?

Laura: This is a very high-level feasibility study, showing the potential of the area for different kinds of solutions. There is a lot to balance and a cycle lane is not always what’s needed. Portland Road is quite different, with a lot of active frontages and limited space. Full investigation of potential designs would be drawn up (with involvement from the community) and consulted on publicly, at the next stage, should the council receive implementation funding.

Helmut suggested there was an opportunity to work with planting very intensively –structural planting could be used to manage traffic.

How would you deal with the problem of rat runs?

Laura: The Department of Transport are looking at us identifying where those are and what we could potentially do to address those and speed reduction etc. Local input is key; we will be doing further engagement.

Richard commented that rat runs almost naturally follow on from the grid iron layout; Rutland Road and Westbourne Gardens are probably the biggest rat runs.

Most people aren’t going to give up their cars. What will happen with parking? Is it likely to be reduced?

Edward suggested that the high density of cars in West Hove would have implications.

Laura: We will look at the density of car ownership. Lots of options are on the table as part of this work. The way to look at this study is do we want improvement for this area and, if so, what do we want it to look like? We need to prove that this area has the potential to benefit from the funding.

Edward commented that quite large numbers of people are travelling north-south or east-west, particularly with the secondary schools all being out of this area.

Francis said that we need to work on attitude, to persuade people to leave their cars at home.

Helmut agreed that was spot on. He said a visionary scheme could include how to get people out of their cars – perhaps, with a £30 million scheme, £1 million could be put aside for helping people to get rid of their cars.

Jane asked how electric scooters might fit into the scheme, as they are likely to be legalised in the future.

Laura: We’re looking with interest at the forthcoming national legislation on this and how that impacts us locally. We will need to consider the implications of e-scooters in the study in line with any national legislation changes.

Andrew Renaut said this would need to be looked at across the city following the national decision on legislation.

Laura:  In the areas where e-scooters are being trialled, they are only allowed on the highway or cycle lane; this further shows the need for segregated lanes.

Francis asked how we could help the council get to the next stage.

Laura: This is just the beginning. There will be more engagement and we will be meeting with the consultant this week. We would welcome any ideas for what issues need addressing and how to address them.

Edward asked which other stakeholders they would be talking to.

Laura: Citywide stakeholders from groups such as Bricycles, Community Works and more local groups. (They are not talking to the general public at this stage; that will be later in the process when more appropriate, i.e. should we receive implementation funding.) Suggestions on groups to engage with are welcomed.

Edward asked whether schools were stakeholders.

Laura: Schools are a big stakeholder… We will be considering as much as possible how people are getting into and out of the area.

Edward suggested that public transport was a key dimension. He also mentioned a letter from a member who is a very active cyclist. She suggested that the best improvement to cycling in the area over the last few years had been the resurfacing of New Church Road, which was more helpful than new cycle lanes.

Laura agreed that public transport is a key dimension to the project.

If members have any further questions, we can send them to Laura.

Laura said she had found all the feedback useful already. She loved all the ideas coming out of the meeting and she would be happy to meet with the forum again later in the process of the council developing the feasibility study.

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting – 28th September 2022

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting

Wednesday 28th September 2022 at Hove Methodist Church

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Ann Forster (Friends of Wish Park), Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum & WHSAG), Cllrs Carmen Appich & Chris Henry (Westbourne ward), Cllr Robert Nemeth (Wish ward), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Jane Eleini (Secret Garden Group), Sylvia New (Healthwatch), Angie Starnes (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Cathy Biggs (Hove Beach Hut Association & WHSAG), Louise Everington (Hove Surf Life Saving Club), Emma Kumar & Robert Davidson (BHCC)

Apologies:  PCSO Aidan Goodwin, Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Steph Windsor (St Leonard’s Church), Rose Hetherton (WHSAG), Richard Hearnden (Friends of Stoneham Park), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club), Elin Starr (Hove Methodist Church), Gerald Flanagan (Wish Park Ranger)

  1. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

The minutes of the meeting on 27.7.22 were accepted.

  • Chair’s Report – Edward Clay

Mini-Holland meeting

There will be a special Zoom meeting on the Mini-Holland feasibility study on the evening of 4th October, to be attended by the council officer responsible for the study.

Weeds

Edward would like to go back to council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty on two issues following his letter on weeds:

  • Prioritising some areas of the city.
  • The difference between pavement weeds and tree weeds. It needs a joined-up approach.

Carmen reported that her road (Norton Road) had been cleared of both pavement weeds and tree weeds, and this might have been done by the same people.

Robert said that he and Cllr Samer Bagaeen had tabled a Notice of Motion at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, which had been passed with support from the Labour group. The Notice of Motion recognised the council’s statutory duty to keep pavements free of weeds and requested an officer report on changing the policy of not using weed killer.

He said 250 people were needed for manual weeding to do it properly, so weed killer would probably have to come back.

Edward commented that steam is used in the Netherlands, but Robert said that the weeds were now so embedded that steam wouldn’t work, although it might if you kept on top of the weeding.

Mike said the council needed to come up with some sort of hybrid method – clear as many weeds as they can in a non-toxic way, then finish the job off with weedkiller.

Edward would like to write to the council again.

  • Healthy Neighbourhood Fund report

Hove Surf Life Saving Club – Louise Everington

HSLSC used their HNF grant to put five volunteer lifeguards through a coaching course. They are affiliated to an international body and train children aged 8-16.

They need Level 2 coaches, but were running short. As a result of the grant they now have a bigger pool of Level 2 coaches, which will help the longevity of the club.

They’ve currently got 20-25 volunteers and 15 children. Their cost base is quite low. A lot of the volunteers work as lifeguards on the beach.

HSLSC might apply for another grant next year, as it would be good to train more children.

Edward remarked that they are making an important contribution to the community.

  • Community Safety

Edward reported that twice in the previous week he had nearly been in collision with electric scooters, once as a pedestrian and once as a motorist.

Chris said he had been trying to raise this issue with the council’s A259 cycle lane/active travel team. There is likely to be national legislation on e-scooters soon. We should be thinking about signage and how the flow of traffic should work.

Edward suggested we could draw the police’s attention to the issue. However, Carmen said that the police can only enforce on the road; the council needs to enforce on the pavement.

(Following the meeting, Westbourne PSCO Aidan Goodwin told us that the issue of electric scooters is being looked at at a senior level and the police have held a number of enforcement days where scooters have been seized around the city. Unfortunately, due to the high number of scooters on the road and the lack of resources and time restraints, the police cannot deal with everyone. If they cannot seize the scooters, they advise people not to ride them.)

  • Litter on Portland Road – Robert Nemeth

Time Banding Zones (T-Zones) have been introduced in some areas of the city, which means that commercial waste can only be left out at certain times of the day. The traders haven’t liked it, but it’s working. It works well in Blatchington Road and Robert has asked if the council can extend that T-Zone to Portland Road.

Cityclean say that they have lots of lessons to learn before they extend these T-Zones. If Robert raises this again with the backing of the West Hove Forum, that will help. The Forum agreed to back him on this.

  • Kingsway to the Sea update – Mike Gibson

Mike reported that the KTTS planning application was now on the planning register. WHSAG and the West Hove Forum can put in stakeholder-type comments.

Pedestrian access from the A259 is still an issue. Another issue is that the promenade is not included in KTTS, so there is no money for maintenance, eg repair of the shelters with no windows. The Forum could put these points forward in comment and congratulate the council on their community engagement.

Chris said it was frustrating that KTTS and the A259 cycle lane schemes were not connected.

Mike said there was no capacity in the council for joining things up.

Edward asked Mike to draft a comment to submit.

  • A259 Cycle Lane Update

Chris reported that the West Hove extension to the A259 cycle lane had gone through committee and would be going ahead soon. Carmen had put in a request for more crossing points. Edward said we should keep looking at this issue.

  • Round Robin

Ann reported that Wish Park had been awarded a grant for a metal outdoor gym to replace the wooden one that rotted.

Jane Eleini said that a CCTV camera was about to be installed at the Secret Garden. Access to the garden is restricted at the moment due to works at the church.

Angie said that the Kingsway to the Sea scheme won’t have a huge impact on Hove Lagoon apart from moving the skate park. FoHL are still weeding every Saturday – everyone is welcome. She commented that traffic on New Church Road had been much heavier the previous weekend when Kingsway was closed.

Carmen said that New Church Road would be her preferred location for a cycle lane as it’s quite wide. With the Mini-Holland scheme, we would have to make sure not to push traffic onto Portland Road. She also reported that unscrupulous landlords in Hove had already started cutting electricity.

Cathy said that the Hove Beach Hut Association Open Daywill be on17th December from 4-6pm.

Mike reported that there is a Community Energy Plan in the Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan. They have now started a process about promoting domestic energy efficiency and are waiting for a major report to the Housing Committee to see how the council will respond.

Sylvia said that Healthwatch had restarted hospital visits etc which had stopped during Covid.

Martin commented that domestic bins were constantly left out on the pavement in his road. He will write to Carmen and she will take this up.

  • Aldrington Wharf

Peter reported that KAWHRA’s meeting on 5th September had tied in nicely with the application for Aldrington Wharf. The developer agreed to speak at the meeting but showed no remorse and said he couldn’t please everybody. Objections on the website had reached 387. The date when it will be considered by the planning committee isn’t yet known.

There used to be a height restriction for that site in the Shoreham Harbour Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP) but that got removed and replaced by safeguards.

Mike commented that the 20-storey block would stand out like a sore thumb. Until now, the line has been held at 6-8 storeys. If this application goes through, it could create a precedent which would make it very difficult for the council to turn down future tall buildings.

The West Hove Forum could put in an objection along these lines, from a West Hove point of view. Mike suggested two grounds for turning it down:

  • Overbearing impact
  • Lack of engagement with the community

It was agreed that the West Hove Forum would draft an objection on the grounds of its adverse, overbearing impact and lack of engagement.

Carmen said she would put in an objection to Aldrington Wharf and Chris reported that Peter Kyle would put in a formal objection.

  1. Affordable Housing –

Emma Kumar, Housing Enabling Officer, Strategic Housing & Development

Robert Davidson, Principal Planning Officer, Policy Projects and Heritage

Edward thanked the council officers for coming.

Emma explained that her role is to negotiate with developers. She outlined the council’s affordable housing policy.

An affordable housing contribution is required for schemes that develop more than five homes. For schemes of 15 homes or more, the policy requires 40% of the housing to be provided as affordable (20% for Build to Rent schemes).

Land and build costs have increased significantly over the years and many developments are now brought forward with a reduced affordable element based on the scheme not being viable for the developer. An independent review of viability is always undertaken and new developments are negotiated individually to maximise the affordable housing “offer” – this can be via units on site or an agreed commuted sum to be used to develop affordable homes elsewhere in the city.

Emma also gave details of affordable housing planned for some specific developments in West Hove.

The most recent applications don’t have affordable housing, but Emma will have discussions with the developers of these schemes. There is a review mechanism close to completion to pick up any increase in value. (That would lead to an extra financial payment to the council.)

Edward commented that we would hope to see some element of affordable housing in all these developments, otherwise they will change the area.

Going forward, we can send Emma any questions we have on affordable housing.

Next meeting:

The next West Hove Forum will be on Thursday 24th November, 2pm, at St Peter’s Church Hall in Tamworth Road.

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting – 27th July 2022

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting

Wednesday 27th July 2022 at Hove Museum

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Ann Forster & Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Richard Hearnden (Friends of Stoneham Park), Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum & WHSAG), Rob Boyle (Head Gardener, Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust), Caroline Sutton (Marketing Manager, Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust), Cllr Garry Peltzer Dunn (Wish ward), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Jane Eleini (Secret Garden Group), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club), Sylvia New (Healthwatch), Stephanie Kenton (Pembroke Neighbours group), Richard Robbins (local resident), Angie Starnes (Friends of Hove Lagoon)

Apologies:  Cllrs Carmen Appich & Chris Henry (Westbourne ward), Cllr Robert Nemeth (Wish ward), PCSOs Aidan Goodwin & Jess Lee, Cathy Biggs (Hove Beach Hut Association & WHSAG), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Rich Wheeler (Community Engagement Officer – West), Steph Windsor (St Leonard’s Church), Sunny Choudhury (Brighton District Bangladeshi Shomity), Rose Hetherton (WHSAG)

  1. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

The minutes of the meeting on 25.5.22 were accepted.

Arising from those minutes, Mike commented that speeding is an issue near Hove Station, as it is in Portland Road, and a Community Speedwatch group is to be set up. He will report back to the forum on how this goes.

Garry said that a speed reduction is likely to be part of any proposed Mini-Holland scheme. If that doesn’t go ahead, Portland Road will be considered in isolation.

  • Chair’s Report – Edward Clay

Friends of Hove Lagoon

Angie Starnes has replaced Joanne Mitchell as our Friends of Hove Lagoon representative.

Affordable Housing

The affordable housing discussion has been deferred to September, as the council officers were unavailable in July.

Lifeguards

A lifeguard post has been restored in West Hove for the school holidays (between Berriedale Avenue and Langdale Gardens). This will be open daily from 11.30am to 5.30pm.

Edward wrote to Toni Manuel (Seafront Development Manager) on behalf of the forum acknowledging her efforts in doing this. Information on the new lifeguard post has been posted on the council website but it would be helpful if this can be spread.

Weeds

Edward wrote to council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty about weeds on behalf of the West Hove Forum and has now received a reply, from which he learned nothing new. Edward believes that the council did not adequately prepare itself before implementing the decision to ban glyphosate. The most effective way of killing the weeds, he said, is using high pressure steam – this method is being used by a number of councils in the Netherlands.

Garry thought the council would welcome this advice.

Richard Hearnden commented that leaves are seldom swept up in the autumn, forming a rich compost in the gutters that only makes the situation worse.

  • Community Safety

Jack Bull is to take over from Jessica Lee as the Wish Park PCSO at the end of September, when Jessica joins Response. Until then, they are working together.

  • Mini-Holland feasibility study

The council officer leading the study, Laura Wells (Principal Transport Planner), was unable to attend the meeting due to the train strike.

She told us by email that the study needs to be submitted to the Department for Transport by the end of March 2023. It will be a highly competitive process with other authorities. It will cover the whole of Wish and Westbourne wards, including the boundary roads – Station/Boundary Road, the A259 and Sackville Road.

Mini-Holland involves intensive, transformational spending on local roads and streetscapes to make them, over time, as cycle and pedestrian-friendly as their Dutch equivalents. This may include installation of high-quality segregated cycle lanes on main roads, low-traffic neighbourhoods and high streets, and greater road-space allocation for people walking, as well as cycle parking at homes and destinations. You can see various schemes that Waltham Forest have done here: https://enjoywalthamforest.co.uk/work-in-your-area/

Laura said it’s important to note that Mini-Holland is not solely infrastructure but also needs to include supporting information / communication campaigns in the community in order to evoke the behaviour change needed.

Mike said he had received an information pack which he could circulate.

It was decided that we should invite Laura to an hour-long one-issue Zoom meeting as early in the autumn as possible (in addition to the usual West Hove Forum meeting). This has now been arranged for Thursday 8th September, 7pm, via Zoom.

Garry said it would be best to have the preliminary meeting without councillors involved.

  • Hove Museum garden

Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust (RPMT) Head Gardener Rob Boyle attended the meeting to tell us about his ideas for Hove Museum garden.

Stephanie Kenton said that local residents had some concerns about the garden at the moment, which seemed to be a bit unloved.

Rob said that the RPMT had taken over the management of Hove Museum from Brighton & Hove City Council at the end of 2020. The Trust is just starting to recover from Covid and in the next five years they will be back up to having a proper income.

Rob is currently writing a strategy for Hove Museum garden and has lots of ideas. He is very keen on engagement with the community; for example, he’d like to work with local schools, as the Trust have done at Preston Manor, where they have shown groups of children what it’s like to look after plants and also identified different bugs. He hopes to set up a volunteer group, similar to the Friends groups in local parks. He would like it to be more like a garden than a park and wants to reduce the shrubs in autumn/winter, which should help to reduce anti-social behaviour. In the spring he would like to add a welcoming colour at the front.

Richard remarked that there were parallels with Davis Park and it would be a good idea for any new Friends group to speak to the Friends of Davis Park, who turned a dog-walking area into a fantastic park full of colour. Angie said that what had been done with Norfolk Square was also brilliant.

Edward suggested they could organise a small meeting with representatives of other Friends/garden groups in the area to share experiences and Garry said that the Trust could perhaps explain what influence local residents could have on the museum garden. Jane could provide Stephanie with links to other groups.

Edward commented that any new community group at the museum could be eligible for a Healthy Neighbourhood Fund grant.

  • Healthy Neighbourhood Fund reports

Friends of Wish Park – Ann Forster and Francis Leroux

The Friends received £500 last year to buy refreshments for their volunteers and it’s been good to get together at the café and bond after gardening sessions. They’ve spent about £300 of the money so far. (They don’t always meet up afterwards as sometimes people have to get away.)

The number of volunteers varies a lot – from six people to sometimes more than twelve.

The Friends have a rota to water the new trees at least twice a week and they haven’t lost any yet despite the drought.

Gerald, the park ranger, is the cornerstone to the Friends’ activities. His hours were reduced some years ago and if there wasn’t a friends group the park would go to rack and ruin.

Friends of Hove Lagoon – Angie Starnes

The Friends of Hove Lagoon have spent all their £500 grant money – on expenses and tokens for volunteers, and on gardening tools such as wheelbarrows, spades and kneeling pads.

They’ve received a lot of compliments from the public on the planting scheme and they would love to do more. Under the Kingsway to the Sea scheme they will lose daffodils.

The outdoor gym was supposed to be sustainable for a long time, but the wood became rotten and dangerous. (It’s very close to the sea.) It was very well used but there’s no money to pay for a new gym. It would cost £15,000 to restore it as it was and £80,000 to replace it properly.

Secret Garden Group – Jane Eleini

The £500 grant money was put towards the development of the pond. They appointed a project manager, but the garden was affected by terrible vandalism, with teenagers hurling all sorts of things into the pond. Robert Nemeth dived in and retrieved a lot of them but it was suspected the lining had been punctured. This was a big setback and a bit soul-destroying.

They informed the police and are now going to install an interactive CCTV camera in a cage on a wooden pole, which they hope will be a deterrent. They will then be able to repair the pond liner.

Friends of Stoneham Park – Richard Hearnden

FoSP got £434 which was split between two projects. They spent £100 on gardening equipment and £334 for licensing fees to put on some open-air cinema screenings, which were successful and a good way for people to improve their mental health. People attended with their children.

They still have one of the licensing fees left so will show another film or two this autumn. (It needs to be dark for the projector.)

  • Kingsway to the Sea update – Mike Gibson

The designers are now detailing all the elements – a planning application is to be submitted at the end of August. The big issue is how all of this will be managed and paid for. Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society) has suggested creating a Community Interest Company. The tennis courts are particularly problematic as other clubs in the city now run their own courts. This issue will be discussed during the autumn. Mike would like the council to identify good practice elsewhere for managing and maintaining the park, other than the model the council are proposing at the moment.

Garry said he appreciated these fears, but the planning application needs to proceed at a breakneck pace and any delay would be fatal to the scheme.

Mike suggested that the planning committee could make it a condition of approval that alternative models are explored.

  • A259 cycle lane update

Prior to the meeting, we received an update by email from council officer James Hammond who is managing the project for a new A259 cycle lane between Fourth Avenue and Wharf Road.

Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) notices were placed along the proposed new A259 cycle lane route at the end of July and advertised in the press. The deadline for feedback from the public closes on 12th August. The next step is that a report will be presented to the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee with the results of the TRO. If the committee approves the proposals, construction will start in October/November and, once begun, all works should be completed within 12 weeks.

Mike commented that the need for more crossing points should be kept on our agenda.

Next meeting:

The West Hove Forum will be holding a special meeting on Thursday 8th September (7pm via Zoom) to discuss the Mini-Holland feasibility scheme and our next regular meeting is on Wednesday 28th September (2pm, venue to be confirmed).

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting – 25th May 2022

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting

Wednesday 25th May 2022 via Zoom

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Cllr Garry Peltzer Dunn (Wish ward), Cllr Chris Henry (Westbourne ward), Cllr Robert Nemeth (Wish ward), Cllr Carmen Appich (Westbourne ward), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Ann Forster (Friends of Wish Park), Richard Hearnden (Friends of Stoneham Park), Cathy Biggs (Hove Beach Hut Association & WHSAG), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Jane Eleini (Secret Garden Group)

Apologies:  Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum & WHSAG), Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Joanne Mitchell and Sue Johnson (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club), Rich Wheeler (Community Engagement Officer – West), Steph Windsor (St Leonard’s Church), Joanne Heuston (Berriedale House Residents Group), Sylvia New (Healthwatch), Nigel Sarjudeen (Off The Fence), Liz Ward (Friends of Hove Lagoon)

The minutes of the meeting on 23.3.22 were accepted and introductions were made.

  1. Chair’s Report – Edward Clay

Affordable Housing

The council officers who were due to speak on affordable housing were unable for the second time to make our meeting, as they had to attend a council meeting at short notice. Edward wondered whether we should continue trying to discuss this topic.

Ann commented that affordable housing is an important issue, as there is so much development going on, with no affordable housing in any of it.

It was agreed that we should look for other contributors, in addition to the council officers.

Beacon lighting

The permanent LED lighting of Hove Beacon is a genuine celebratory item in our area and the beacon will be something to celebrate in the months to come.

Healthy Neighbourhood Fund

Groups will be asked to report back on their grant projects at the July meeting.

  • Community Safety
  • Lifeguards

Edward reported that he had emailed Toni Manuel (Seafront Development Officer) to ask whether the West Hove seafront would be getting lifeguards this summer. She didn’t formally reply but was pessimistic about this in an informal conversation at the Kingsway to the Sea presentation, as lifeguard stations now need to be double-manned.

Garry commented that we shouldn’t accept the situation but should write to the council saying they will be held liable for any incidents. Other forum members agreed that it wasn’t acceptable for West Hove not to have lifeguards.

Edward said that on the positive side more buoys were in place than previously and there were also new safety signs for paddle boarders and kayakers.

Garry said the very fact that the council had recognised these dangers underscored the fact that there is a substantive risk.

It was agreed that Edward would draft a letter to the council to express our concerns.

  • Weeds

Martin said that weeds on the pavements were a safety issue and his road (Pembroke Avenue) is never cleared.

Richard agreed that it was a safety issue because dogs do their business in the weeds and it can stay there for ages.

Robert replied that he and Garry had been raising this at the council for two years. They tabled a Notice of Motion calling for a rethink, asking for the council to remain flexible on the use of weedkillers, but other groups voted against this. You need 250 people to weed the whole city manually, but the council have only eight or ten people to do this.

Edward commented that if weeds are allowed to grow unchecked they will damage the pavements etc – it’s a real problem of short-termism.

Robert said that people can trip over the weeds very easily.

Helmut’s point of view was that revenue expenditure at the local authority has reduced dramatically; at every part of our city things are creaking because there is no money. Traders in Portland Road should go out there and clean up. It is our city so we’re going to have to help ourselves.

Chris suggested that there are other solutions to the weed issue, eg steam removal. We should look at what other cities are doing. Peter Kyle has written to the council leader, Phélim Mac Cafferty, asking for a replacement solution, but hasn’t received a reply. He said each group at the forum should push this with the administration, as they need to accept that something needs to be done. An Argus article on this contains the solutions (https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20113966.hove-mp-peter-kyle-letter-council-pavement-weeds-brighton/).

Martin commented that, as with lifeguards, the suburbs are neglected.

Garry said there are 840 miles of pavements in the city and it takes five hours to weed 100 yards properly.

Chris suggested that the forum write a letter to Phélim Mac Cafferty and this was agreed.

(c) Speeding

Jane Eleini reported that Portland Avenue has been experiencing traffic at high velocity since the advent of the parking scheme and it has become a rat run.

Edward said that the non-enforceability of speed restrictions was an important issue and we should come back to this subject.

Robert said that the West Hove area had been selected for a Mini-Holland feasibility study (https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2022/funding-award-mini-holland-feasibility-study-0). One element of this is reducing speed, but they need to get it right and it could be divisive. That’s the one big bit of expenditure for this area that will resolve the speed issue. There are winners and losers with these low-traffic schemes, though, as people on main roads tend to get the brunt of the traffic.

Ann, Martin and Richard all commented on speeding in various parts of West Hove. Robert explained that speed bumps are no longer put in anywhere.

Edward asked Robert to liaise with Jane to make sure we don’t miss the consultation and we will come back to this issue when it looks like the key moment.

  • Portland Road litter

Richard is concerned about litter on Portland Road. It’s a major commercial area with two pubs, lots of shops and takeaways, but there aren’t enough bins. On the south side there are six litter bins – one of these is provided by the Co-op. The north side is even worse with only three bins. Wheelie bins are often full and overflowing, with bags torn apart by seagulls. A large number of wheelie bins are being left on the street and it needs an area to keep bins tidy.

Robert said that there are now Time-Banding Zones (T-Zones) in parts of the city, including Blatchington Road, which means that trade waste bins and bags can only be out on the roads and pavements at certain times. People will want this for Portland Road, but the council need to perfect everything in central areas of the city first. Robert is happy to ask the council to extend this T-Zone to Portland Road.

The council has agreed to bring in communal bins for residents on Portland Road – this was meant to happen 18 months ago.

Richard said the council needs to come up with a solution on bins for the flats.

Garry commented that he found 11 pizza boxes when picking up litter in the south-east section of Stoneham Park. The bins are full when you’ve picked up the rubbish.

Helmut suggested that £1 could be added to the cost of takeaway pizzas, which would be refunded when the box was brought back. Traders in Portland Road could sign up to that. He also suggested that bins could be removed so that people would have to take their own rubbish home.

Edward wondered whether we should contact Cityclean to ask for more bins and make suggestions on where they could put additional bins, eg by Intenso café.

It was agreed that Robert would email the council and get an answer for us.

  • Kingsway to the Sea

Cathy reported that the council presentations at the King Alfred Leisure Centre had been very well attended. There was a meeting of the WHSAG on 24th May at which there were objections to KTTS from residents of Berriedale House and Welbeck Court. The skateboards are also unhappy that their area is so small.

Rose Hetherton will send her findings to Vicki Linton-Crook, the Project Manager. The WHSAG are due to meet with a member of the cycle lane team.

Chris commented that the scheme is truly inspirational. All the plans are on the council website and feedback is percolating into the plans. He thanked people like Rose who manned the stalls.

Peter warned that we need to be alert that an important part of the project could get knocked off when the money is added up and made to fit. Chris agreed.

Peter said it would be very striking if we could end up with the number of trees shown in the plans. Toilets were one of the most popular things people were asking for.

Chris said there would be a brand new toilet block (by the bowling club, with an attendant).

Edward said it was all very encouraging, but it would be a challenge to sustain the scheme through time.

Garry commented that it was absolutely essential that Kingsway to the Sea and the A259 cycle lane project go hand in hand, and liaison hadn’t been as good as it should be. He doesn’t know whether there is a corporate view of how the two schemes will work together.  Chris agreed with this.

Edward said that there may be a lack of funding to integrate the two schemes as costs are rapidly rising.

  • Round Robin

Chris reported good news – the council has released a chunk of money for Jubilee planting. Each community group can get £200; they need to flag their interest to their councillor, who will contact Cityparks. This information has been passed on to all our garden groups. (See: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2022/brighton-hove-jubilee-planting-scheme)

Richard had more good news – new trees have been planted in Stoneham Park in the tarmac, with a draining system under each one. It will look fantastic. Richard also wondered where the planters on Portland Road have gone.

Ann reported that the 16 new trees in Wish Park are doing very well. There is a rota for watering. There was to be a Bring & Share Jubilee Lunch on 5th June, which would be a low-key event with a few children’s activities.

Garry said that he and Robert had finally got the cages taken off the recycling bins in Wish Park.

Minutes of West Hove Forum AGM and meeting – 23rd March 2022

Wednesday 23rd March 2022 at The Gather Inn, Kingsway

Welcome, Introductions and Apologies

Attending: Edward Clay(Chair & Wish Park Surgery Patients’ Participation Group), Jane Galvin (Secretary & Kingsway & West Hove Residents’ Association), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Richard Hearnden (Friends of Stoneham Park), Amy Allison (Trust for Developing Communities), Cllr Chris Henry, Cllr Carmen Appich, Cllr Robert Nemeth, Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Sue Johnson (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Cathy Biggs (Hove Beach Hut Association), Sylvia New (Healthwatch), Jane Eleini (Secret Garden Group), Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club & San Remo Residents), Joanne Heuston (Berriedale House Residents Group)

Welcome, Introductions and Apologies

Apologies were received fromMike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum), Ann Forster (Friends of Wish Park), Joanne Mitchell (Friends of Hove Lagoon), PCSO Jess Lee, PCSO Aidan Goodwin, Stephanie Windsor (St Leonard’s Church), Cathy Ferguson (Hove Beach Croquet Club), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Rose Hetherton (West Hove Seafront Action Group)

Edward welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.

Annual General Meeting

Minutes of last AGM and matters arising

The minutes of last year’s AGM were accepted, with one amendment: to delete the comment that Stoneham Park was unsafe after dark.

Chair’s Report

Edward gave a report on the forum’s work over the past year, including awarding the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund grants. It is hoped that the 2021 grant recipients will report back on their projects at our July meeting.

Edward said that the forum meetings now played a useful information exchange role and Sue commented that the Friends of Hove Lagoon had recently made contact with some other organisations, including the Friends of St Ann’s Well Gardens, which had been very useful.

Carmen said that the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust were setting up a gardening team for the Hove Museum garden and suggested we invite them to our next meeting.

Edward commented that we are in a fortunate part of the city, with fewer issues than some of the other LAT areas.

Some West Hove Forum members can only attend evening meetings, so it was agreed that we should try to alternate afternoon and evening meetings. We have learnt that there is also a place for virtual meetings and possibly hybrid meetings (with guest speakers, eg from the council, on-screen).

We like to have meetings spread across the area, but it is difficult to book a venue for a one-off meeting, as many suitable venues are block-booked.

The full Chair’s Report is at the end of these minutes (Appendix 1).

Treasurer’s Report

The annual accounts up to 31st March 2021 were approved.  They haven’t yet been inspected because it is difficult to get bank statements, as we haven’t made enough transactions.

The accounts are virtually the same as last year, despite spending in excess of the restricted grants. The forum’s closing balance on 31st March 2022 (8 days after the meeting) is expected to be £3,362.09.

Election of Committee

The following members were re-elected onto the West Hove Forum committee: Edward Clay as Chair, Jane Galvin as Secretary, Martin Lawrence as Treasurer; Mike Gibson, Ann Forster, Joanne Mitchell and Richard Hearnden as committee members. Francis Leroux was elected as a new committee member.

Amy Allison of the Trust for Developing Communities conducted the elections. She said that she had been using the West Hove Forum’s Healthy Neighbourhood Fund panel as a good example of how it should be run. She also commented that the forum had a good representation of different groups.

Peter proposed a vote of thanks to all committee members, and especially to Edward and Jane, for their work over the past year, and Martin was thanked for his work on the accounts.

END OF AGM

Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last West Hove Forum meeting (on January 26th, 2022) were agreed.

Community Safety

Jane Eleini reported a vandalism problem at the Secret Garden since their gazebo was built. People have been spray-painting and trying to set fire to things, probably due to drink and drugs. St Leonard’s Church is now to be refurbished and the new curate, Ali Marshall, is likely to add lighting at the back of the church to deter vandalism.

Edward said he hoped that there would be lifeguards on West Hove seafront during the summer holidays this year. (This didn’t happen last year.) Carmen suggested putting a written question to Full Council.

Chris reported a big achievement with road safety junction work in Portland Road.

However, Sylvia mentioned an issue for wheelchair users, as a dropped kerb has been put in by Coleman Avenue, with no dropped kerb on the opposite side.

Kingsway to the Sea

Cathy Biggs gave an update, following a hybrid meeting at the town hall at which Murray Smith, one of the designers, presented a big draft plan, which includes lots of trees. Cathy circulated a copy of this plan. (You can see the plan on the West Hove Forum website: https://whforum.wordpress.com/2022/02/16/draft-plan-for-kingsway-by-the-sea-project/)

A project manager has been appointed – Vicki Linton-Crook – and David Hearn (FMG Consulting) will advise on sports development.

Joanne Heuston commented that residents in Berriedale House were not happy with the skate park being moved as it will be close to their building and it’s likely to be noisy. They want to know how any anti-social behaviour will be dealt with.

Richard said that they needed to make sure the skate park is built out of robust materials and properly maintained.

Robert said there would be a public meeting at Berriedale House meeting before the public consultation. (The public consultation is due to be in late April/early May.)

Sue said she had been told that the designers want to move the skatepark as it would be appropriate to have it together with the pump track and they might put more children’s activities where the current skatepark is located.

Phil reported that Hove Beach Croquet Club had talked to Toni Manuel, Seafront Development Manager, and have been promised an invitation to discuss the design on site. They are awaiting a date for that on-site session with the landscape architects retained by the council.  

Cathy also reported that there is no money this summer for additional toilets on the seafront, not even Portaloos. However Carmen said that she and Chris had secured some extra money in the council budget to keep the toilets near Rockwater maintained.

A259 cycle lane

Robert reported that the ETS Committee on 15th March had voted for the next section of the A259 cycle lane (from Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road) to go ahead. A Conservative amendment to put the West Hove section on hold was not agreed.

Edward observed that the important thing going forward would be the issue of pedestrian access, to ensure that access to the lawns is easier than at present.

Carmen said there might be an opportunity for more pedestrian crossings, although Robert said that the cycle lane funding doesn’t include money for crossings. He said the design for the new cycle lane should include options for crossing point locations for the future (possibly halfway between the Lagoon and Hove Street) where the access points are and the bus stop. Cathy will bring this up through WHSAG in consultation with the ward councillors.

The next meeting of the West Hove Forum will be at 2pm on Wednesday 25th May 2022 via Zoom.

Appendix 1

Chair’s annual report to the West Hove Forum, 23rd March 2022

I’m going to try and briefly mention highlights of the 5th and another exceptional year in which I’ve been your chair for a sequence of 5 virtual meetings and one face-to-face meeting in St Leonard’s Church!

First my apologies if I’m again saying things with which most of you are familiar, but regard this as our opportunity to reflect on evolving issues as these concern our community.

As most of you are aware the Forum grew out of the initiative to have Local Action Teams or LATs that would liaise with and could be consulted on issues of community safety. But the Forum broadened its remit as reflected in its constitution to include community health and development and the related maintenance and improvement of our public spaces as it affects West Hove, the two council wards of Westbourne and Wish.

Over the last year representatives of more than twenty community groups, non-government organisations and local small businesses have attended our meetings as well as our four councillors and, as they are able, our PCSOs.

Community safety

I attend on behalf of the Forum, unless these clash with WHF meetings, the quarterly LAT Forum meetings of the whole city organised by the Council and which the police always attend. So I can compare what we are doing with elsewhere in the city. We are clearly one of the most active LATs within the city, some struggling to survive.  I think our strength is that members represent local groups and organisations whereas elsewhere many members are individual residents. Apart from information provided by the police, these meetings are typically preoccupied with nuisance, vandalism and drug related issues.

Sadly, a safety issue, the Council was unable to provide during the summer holidays lifeguards on the West Hove beach for a second year due to COVID staffing problems.

Community health issues:

The Healthy Neighbourhood Fund is on-going, and we think the grants are a small but worthwhile contribution to improving our public spaces and the greening of West Hove. Each year there has been at least one new application, this time Hove Surf Life Saving Club; we’ve awarded £2500 for 2021-22 at a special meeting in October; we also awarded the unrestricted £500 remainder from 2020-21 to Purple People Kitchen, a local NGO combating the growing food poverty in our area.

Development in West Hove:

The Forum meetings now play a useful information exchange role.  It is making a more organised contribution in informing local groups and in enabling them to have an input into the planning process. At our May meeting there was a presentation by the concerned official and extended discussion about how the local community can have an organised say into the future uses of the 15% of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Perhaps the most important and exciting developments in the year concern West Hove Lawns and seafront after years of relative neglect. A Seafront Landscaping Plan discussed in July was to have been undertaken in the current financial year. This consultancy S106 funded was a response to concerted community and business stakeholders pressure coordinated by the West Hove Seafront Action Group, an initiative of the Forum, with strong community and local Councillor support. This plan then provided the springboard for the more ambitious Kingsway to the Sea Project for which the Council has obtained more than £9 million central government funding from the Levelling Up Funds. The Seafront Development Manager briefed the Forum about the project at our November meeting and we are being regularly updated by WHSAG that now has monthly meetings with officers and Councillors on its progress.

The Council plan to insert a second cycle lane on the A259 from Fourth Avenue to the Lagoon; our January meeting included a presentation by Highways officers and the follow-up questions and discussion provided an opportunity to highlight widespread concern in the community about how the proposed changes will further impede pedestrian access across Kingsway to the Lawns and Promenade. 

Networking: West Hove is better informed with local community groups, NGOs and our four councillors coming to meetings, and then Forum members disseminating information to residents through their own groups and also the Hovarian which is edited byJane, our excellent Secretary.

Thanks also to Martin Lawrence as Treasurer and other committee members for giving their time and playing an essential role in scrutinising the applications for Healthy Neighbourhood Fund grants. It’s really good that more than 20 local groups and businesses as well as our 4 councillors have managed to find time to attend our virtual meetings. Looking forwards, perhaps a combination of face-to-face and virtual meetings will provide the best way for us to meet in the coming year?

Thank you!

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting – 26th January 2022

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting

Wednesday 26th January 2022 via Zoom

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Cllr Robert Nemeth (Wish ward), Cllr Garry Peltzer Dunn (Wish ward), Cllr Chris Henry (Westbourne ward), Ann Forster (Friends of Wish Park), Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum & WHSAG), Joanne Mitchell (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Richard Hearnden (Friends of Stoneham Park), Cathy Biggs (Hove Beach Hut Association & WHSAG), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club), Rich Wheeler (Community Engagement Officer – West), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Steph Windsor (St Leonard’s Church), Mandy Sands (Salvation Army Hove), Joanne Heuston (Berriedale House Residents Group), Sylvia New (Healthwatch), James Hammond & Dave Parker (Brighton & Hove City Council)

Apologies:  PCSO Aidan Goodwin, Cllr Carmen Appich (Westbourne Ward), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Amy Allison (Trust for Developing Communities), Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Nigel Sarjudeen (Off The Fence), Rose Hetherton (WHSAG)

The minutes of the meeting on 24.11.21 were accepted and introductions were made.

  1. A259 cycle lane – James Hammond

James Hammond, Senior Projects Manager at Brighton & Hove City Council, gave a presentation on the proposed walking, cycling and accessibility improvements to the A259.

Funding was secured in spring 2020 for a temporary westbound cycle lane from West Street to Fourth Avenue. Since that lane was installed (Phase 1) there has been a significant drop in accidents and an 85% increase in usage.

A consultation ran from the end of November until 16 January on improvements to the section of the A259 between Fourth Avenue and Wharf Road, by Hove Lagoon. The council are currently processing the results of this consultation.

Road space is being reallocated in the city to support safe, active and sustainable travel and the city has a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. New government guidance also means that cycle lanes must be at least 2m wide to allow for parents with children and for adapted cycles for disabled people. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120)  A significant increase in width of the footway at Victoria Terrace is proposed – wider footways increase footfall and encourage more alfresco dining.

New loading bays and floating bus stops are proposed on this section (Fourth Avenue to Hove Street). A bus boarder will be constructed (a platform onto which bus passengers alight) and there will be a safe zone for people to wait. The design has not yet been finalised – it is changing as a result of the consultation.

Between Hove Street and Wharf Road, there will be floated parking, with as much parking retained as possible, and additional disabled parking. They are looking at the right-turning accesses into the side streets. The cycle parking at Hove Lagoon will be moved so that it’s away from the seafront and nearer to the cycle lane.

Next steps

The plan will go through further design phases based on input. It is intended to go to committee in March 2022. If granted permission, construction would begin at the end of spring.

Questions and comments

Edward commented that the proposed changes seemed to be intended almost entirely for the benefit of cyclists and not for pedestrian access. He reported that the West Hove Forum had submitted an email drawing attention to concerns about pedestrian access to the lawns and the seafront. There is only one light-controlled crossing (opposite Rockwater) on the stretch of the A259 between Hove Street and Hove Lagoon, while there are many crossings along the eastern (Phase 1) section.

James replied that, as a result of the consultation, markings for the cycle lane on the footway would be changed to create additional space for pedestrians. The council are also looking at reviewing signage to make people aware that pedestrians get priority, as in the new Highway Code.

Peter asked how many extra cycle journeys had been made on the Phase 1 cycle lane.

James replied that traffic counting machines by Oriental Place had calculated 4,800 daily trips on the Phase 1 cycle lanes. In 2019 they did a 7-day average 24-hour count, and then worked out the daily counts over 7 days, as there are fluctuations in traffic between weekends and weekdays. Then they did an exactly like-for-like count in June 2021. That is where the 4,800 average daily cycle trips, counting both directions, came from and that was up from about 2,500 in 2019.

Edward pointed out that the increase in cycling couldn’t necessarily be attributed to the new cycle lane, as there were confounding factors such as Covid which meant that large numbers of people would be behaving quite differently in 2021 from the way they would have done in 2019.

Richard said he had cycled along the new lane to Kemptown that morning and it was a fabulous idea. It’s being quite well used, certainly at peak times. He was concerned, though, that when you join the cycle lane in West Hove (eg from Westbourne Villas) there is a gap in the central reservation so you can cross over, but he has to cycle in effect the wrong way into oncoming traffic until he can find a dropped kerb so that he can access the cycle lane. He would like dropped kerbs for cyclists at the end of all the side roads.

Joanne Heuston cycles daily from Berriedale House, but doesn’t see the need for a new lane and is concerned that losing a car lane will cause traffic jams. James replied that the intention is to minimise pedestrian/cycling conflict. Dropped kerbs will be provided at some key junctions and they are working with charities for disabled people.

Dave Parker, Head of Transport Planning at Brighton & Hove City Council, said that the reallocation of road space to cycling would have an impact. It’s a growing city and we’ve got to build more housing. We are building up, so there will be more pressure on the network and we’re not in a position to build any more roads. There is likely to be some increase in car journey times; however, with Phase 1 of the A259 cycle lane (between West Street and Fourth Avenue) we haven’t seen the severe congestion that some people were concerned about.

Joanne said that a lot of people had not been using their cars due to Covid, but Dave said that office working culture was likely to see quite a big change, with more hybrid working.

Edward said that there were only three crossing points on the West Hove section of Kingsway and increasing congestion could make pedestrian access to the seafront more difficult. Dave responded that there is a thorough period of reviewing and monitoring a scheme. If it becomes apparent that there are issues due to congestion, the council will look at it.

Chris was worried that eastbound buses could be held up by cars travelling west and turning right.  He asked whether there had been any integration with the Kingsway by the Sea project.

Dave replied that bus dwell times are quite short on this stretch of Kingsway but they are trying to create an additional space in there for right-turners.

James confirmed that he is in contact with Toni Manuel who is running the Kingsway by the Sea project and there is joint working going on. They want to get cyclists away from pedestrians.

Garry asked whether cars might turn right into residential streets to get out of any congestion that might result from the removal of a lane.  Dave said that right-turners going north are infrequent, but they are looking to create a reservoir for traffic turning right. They haven’t seen issues with this in Phase 1 but will monitor it.

Garry also asked whether there would be any monitoring of pollution resulting from congestion. James replied that there are challenges with monitoring air quality along the seafront. They will monitor it at Victoria Terrace which is more sheltered.

Edward commented that he didn’t want to wait to see the consequences before getting new crossings. Dave replied that there is an annual review of pedestrian crossings and if there is a problem this will be looked at.

The council officers left the meeting at this point.

Discussion on the A259 proposals continued

Sylvia commented that the pedestrian crossing by Hove Lagoon has no sound.

Rich explained that if there is no sound there should be a cone spinning underneath to alert visually impaired people when the lights change. (See: https://sightscotland.org.uk/articles/information-and-advice/staying-safe-road-crossing-tips-blind-and-partially-sighted-people) East Sussex Vision Support can offer advice (https://eastsussexvisionsupport.org/).

Robert said he would happily receive an email on crossing noise. He believes that right turns on the A259 will cause massive tailbacks.

Helmut commented that as the plans progress the council need to rethink how we can get people across the road more safely.

Phil recommended that people should take a look at the system in Holland.

Mike stated that a lot more people are going to want to cross the A259, therefore the Kingsway to the Sea and cycle lane projects should be on an integrated timescale and pedestrians should take priority over cyclists as well as cars.  But Garry feared that the new cycle lane was a fait accompli and 99% of the scheme would go through unaltered.

Chair’s report

Edward reported that the discussion on affordable housing had been postponed to the next meeting. The LAT Chairs meeting was due to take place the next day (27th January).

Local developments

Robert updated the meeting on the seafront development to be built at 239-243 Kingsway, between Braemore Road and Berriedale Avenue, to be known as Argentum. There is permission to build 37 flats and 5 are under offer.

The site has now been bought by the developers of Aurum (on the former Sackville Hotel site). 43 of the Aurum flats have been sold. The developers want to reduce Argentum to 33 flats, as people want bigger flats.

There will be no affordable housing. The developers will pay £350,000 in CIL payments and £40,000 in Section 106 payments. Demolition is due at the end of February. Edward commented that this raised questions for our next meeting which will focus on affordable housing and it would be useful to have a breakdown of what will happen to the CIL/S106 money.

WHSAG update – Mike Gibson

WHSAG have held working group meetings with the council team and with stakeholders. The council have now advertised for a project manager and they are talking to individual leaseholders. There needs to be a plan to improve the existing toilets for this summer.

Chris said he was expecting renovation of the toilets.

Any other business

Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan

Mike reported that the independent examiner had started looking at the Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan on 24th January. This will take about six weeks and he is hopeful there will be a referendum this summer.

Hove Beach Croquet Club

Chris said that at the last meeting in November Hove Beach Croquet Club had been worried that they had no formal structure. Since then they have set up a CIC (Community Interest Company) and Chris is proud of them.

Next meeting:

Wednesday 23rd March 2022. Time and venue to be confirmed nearer the time.

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting – 24th November 2021

Minutes of West Hove Forum meeting

Wednesday 24th November 2021 via Zoom

Attending:  Edward Clay (WHF Chair and Wish Park Surgery PPG), Jane Galvin (WHF Secretary & KAWHRA), Martin Lawrence (WHF Treasurer and Lawrence Art Supplies), Cllr Robert Nemeth (Wish ward), Cllr Chris Henry (Westbourne ward), Ken Neal (Secret Garden Group), Joanne Mitchell (Friends of Hove Lagoon), Cathy Biggs (Hove Beach Hut Association & WHSAG), Peter Reeves (KAWHRA), Phil Withers (Hove Beach Croquet Club), Toni Manuel (Seafront Development Manager, BHCC)

Apologies:  PCSO Aidan Goodwin,Cllr Garry Peltzer Dunn (Wish ward), Mike Gibson (Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum), Ann Forster & Francis Leroux (Friends of Wish Park), Rich Wheeler (Community Engagement Officer – West), Helmut Lusser (Hove Civic Society), Nigel Sarjudeen (Off The Fence), Steph Windsor (St Leonard’s Church), Mandy Sands (Salvation Army Hove)

The minutes of the meeting on 29.9.21 and those of the special Healthy Neighbourhood Fund meeting on 27.10.21 were accepted.

  1. Chair’s Report

Edward reported that all the groups which made presentations at the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund meeting in October had been awarded grants. The cheques have been issued and sent out.

It was also agreed in October that £500 in unspent unrestricted funds should be donated to the Purple People Kitchen food bank. This grant has been made and the Purple People Kitchen say they intend to spend it on providing a large Christmas chicken for each of their clients.

  • Kingsway to the Sea update – Toni Manuel

Toni Manuel, Seafront Development Manager for Brighton & Hove City Council, gave an update on the Kingsway to the Sea design project (formerly known as the West Hove Improvement Plan).

The council has been awarded £9.5 million for this project from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, to spend on infrastructure that improves everyday life. The total value of the project is £10.6 million.

The project covers the area from Hove Lagoon to the lawn by the King Alfred. It will deliver an expansion of the outdoor family facilities at Hove Lagoon; improved biodiversity and attractiveness of green spaces; improved public realm and public art; new routes for pedestrians and cyclists; new and improved sports facilities, including Padel (a form of tennis), beach tennis, croquet and traditional tennis, and investment in the bowling club facilities; new leisure facilities such as a pump track and skatepark; new and improved public toilets and Changing Places facilities; an event space on the eastern lawn.

The council has 28 months to deliver the project, which is tight. In December 2021 they will report to the Policy & Resources Committee, then again in May or June 2022, to get consent to proceed with the design. A project manager is to be appointed in the next couple of months. 2022 will be spent on design, planning and surveys, with construction taking place in 2023. The deadline for completion is March 2024. The council will be holding monthly meetings with WHSAG next year, which will be an opportunity for groups to feed into the design as it’s developed. The planning application process will involve further public consultation.

1,671 online surveys were completed as part of the public consultation, as well as 158 post-it notes responding to the physical event on the Western Lawns. The key priorities expressed were: the improvement of public realm and green spaces, eg more planting, shade, shelter and seating; an upgraded and expanded range of sports facilities; spaces for relaxation and socialising; and improved toilets.

Over 70% of respondents said that they regularly visited the area and 44% regularly visited the Lagoon. 73% of respondents wanted toilet facilities to be improved. Other popular requests were sand courts for beach sports, another café/restaurant, a roller-skating surface and improved tennis courts, as well as a new skate park, Padel tennis courts, artificial sports pitches and a pump track.

People said they wanted as many green spaces as possible. They don’t want the lawns to become overdeveloped; they want space for people to be quiet and relax. The consultations reinforced what the council thought people were after.

A couple of forum members pointed out that there has been much heavier usage of the area since the Covid pandemic began. The council don’t currently have any data on usage but Toni agreed that it would be useful and they could obtain that data next year.

Chris suggested that each group represented at the West Hove Forum should share this information with their groups and get feedback, so that the project is resident-driven.  

Phil wanted the croquet club to be included in discussions. Toni assured the meeting that the croquet club was known and that their needs would be respected in this design/planning process. Edward said there should be a Zoom meeting of all WHSAG stakeholders (clubs, businesses and community groups) in the near future, which would include the croquet club, so that all groups could give feedback.

Phil agreed to draw up five or six questions which all the stakeholders can put to their groups. The council would like feedback through groups rather than through individuals. The next meeting between the council and WHSAG will be on 14 December, so groups will be able to give feedback at that point. Jane will alert West Hove Forum members about this too. Cathy will contact Rose Hetherton (WHSAG secretary) about a stakeholders meeting.

The croquet club are concerned about what might happen with the croquet lawns. Chris said he would contact Phil about becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC). The croquet club have since confirmed that they have applied for CIC status.

  • Any Other Business

Affordable Housing

Peter asked whether the forum was still intending to hold a discussion on affordable housing at a future meeting. Jane replied that the forum hoped to discuss this in January 2022, when Mike Gibson can attend. Chris suggested inviting an impartial speaker from a charity such as the Brighton Housing Trust.