Hustings – How They Used To Do It


Ours won’t be quite as raucous as this scene from Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, but it promises to be lively and fun.

See you in the Hall at 7.30 on Friday, to meet the people who want our council votes on May 7.

Get an idea of what’s in store for us; let them know what you’d like them to do for us.

The more they hear from us, and the more  we hear from them, the happier we’re likely to be with our city for the next five years.

Our Next Councillors – Question Time!

PCA poster JKHere we go – the nominations have closed, and we have thirteen candidates standing to represent our ward on the Council for the next five years. Before you go along to the Hall to cast your vote on May 7, come along to the Hall next Friday evening, April 17, to our neighbourhood Council Hustings.

Who gets elected to the Council probably has more influence on everyday life here than who wins the higher-profile parliamentary contest. This is our opportunity to ask our local government candidates questions face to face. We’ll start with the big ones: Who are you? Why do you want to represent us on the Council? And what do you hope to do if you’re elected?

The parties standing candidates in Preston Park ward are the Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition. The majority of candidates have confirmed they’ll be taking part in the hustings, so we’ll have a wide range of views from the right to the left of the political spectrum.

And we will have a bar. It will open at 7.30. However in line with modern electoral standards, candidates will not be able to ply voters with free drinks.

You can come up with questions on the night or email them in advance to info[at] Let’s make this a lively round of community democracy, Prestonville style. Should be fun! Tell your neighbours; see you Friday the 17th.


There’s another post on the hustings over on the Hall blog.

New Local Policing Model

Sussex Police unveils new local policing model 10 March 2015 Sussex

Police has today (Tuesday, March 10) unveiled its vision for policing. It will make significant changes over the next four years to ensure local police services are directed to where they are most needed.

Chief Constable Giles York said:”Our vision for policing Sussex in 2020 is that it will be a service that protects the community, is relentless in the pursuit of criminals and has an empowered workforce with integrity at its core.

“Sussex Police is an emergency service. We will be there when the public needs us 24/7 and we will build our capability to prevent crime by working even closer with the community and partners.

“However, we have to recognise what the public needs and ask them to help us by accepting that we can’t respond to every small thing that comes to our door. Key to the success of our model is reducing the demand on officers on a day-to- day basis so that we can continue to deliver core policing. It is also essential that we build understanding with everyone from the public to our partners and stakeholders so that they know what they can expect from us and the part they need to play in ensuring its success.

“My aim is to deliver policing more efficiently by embracing technology and multi agency working, reducing costs and engaging with the public in a way that suits them and us better.” Continue reading

Caroline Lucas: comments after Wistons meeting

Here’s what Caroline Lucas MP has written to people who took part in her surgery on Friday 13th about the Wistons anti-abortion protests:

‘As discussed at the meeting, the issue of ‘buffer zones’ is something I’m exploring in Parliament. I wanted to get a sense from local residents whether they support the idea in principle – which by and large I felt was the case.

I found the meeting useful as it helped to make my mind clearer about what the local community finds acceptable and unacceptable behaviour as far as the protests outside the clinic go. It was also a good opportunity to revisit the role of the Council and to explore what more we might ask them to do.

Most of those who attended the meeting felt there wasn’t a problem with peaceful protests, eg a silent presence outside the clinic and/or prayers being said, such as those carried out by the two ladies who briefly joined the meeting. In instances where there’s an ‘intent to intimidate’ things change, and the behaviour becomes unacceptable. As one resident put it, it’s fine to have ‘a right to protest, but not to interfere’.

There were mixed views on the visual impact of the protests, with some finding the graphic images the most disturbing aspect. Others felt that witnessing people trying to access services at the clinic, often at their lowest ebb and feeling emotionally vulnerable, then having to experience additional stress and anguish when they arrive, was tough to see.
With regard to the next steps, I will:

1. Go back to Brighton and Hove City Council regarding powers it has under new and existing public nuisance/anti-social behaviour legislation.

2. Ask whether the consultation that the Council said took place before could be rerun, as large numbers of local residents were unaware it had taken place. I think that local community groups and other interested organisations should be made aware of the consultation, and more should be done to make the local community aware that it’s happening.

3. Continue to support the BPAS campaign to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics and will continue to do all I can to get this on the agenda in Parliament.

Looking ahead, we also discussed a petition to the Council. Feelings were mixed about the timing of this. After some discussion it was left that we would get some initial responses first, and then review if/how/when to pursue this route too.

I have updated Wistons directly about the meeting, along with other local residents who have contacted me with concerns on this issue before. I will also update your local ward councillors about the key issues discussed, as their support with any enforcement via Council powers would be beneficial.’

Anti-Abortion Protests: Caroline Lucas MP’s Surgery

Caroline Lucas MP is holding a surgery at St Luke’s Church this Friday, 13 February, between 5 and 6pm, about the anti-abortion protests outside Wistons Clinic in Chatsworth Road. All local residents are invited to come and discuss the issue.

She supports the idea of ‘buffer zones’ outside abortion clinics. These would keep protesters away from clinic entrances and thereby protect women using the services from obstruction or harassment.

Please also feel free to share your views, before or after the surgery, here or with the PCA by email.

Caroline - Wistons surgery

Councillors? Present

Ty Goddard has a go at our local councillors in the new Prestonville Friend, suggesting they have been ‘busy in a committee for four years’.

For the record, Councillors Leo Littman and Mike Jones have attended almost every PCA meeting we’ve held. I’m very grateful to them for their commitment and contributions, as I was to their equally diligent Labour predecessors.

Marek Kohn
personal view

Award for Advent Calendar

Congratulations to Revd Martin Poole of St Luke’s Church (and the PCA) for the Points of Light award he received on Christmas Eve in recognition of his work organising Mayorthe annual beach hut Advent calendar on Hove Esplanade, which has run since 2008.

Here’s Martin with Mayor Brian Fitch, who presented him with the award, and Lady Mayoress Norah Fitch.

The Points of Light award is made by the Prime Minister’s office. It ‘recognises outstanding individuals – people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others’.

We shall now routinely refer to Martin as ‘award-winning Vicar’ …