Sunday, May 12, 2019

A positive message in Brighton and Hove

In the week and a bit since the local election results in Brighton and Hove, any truly attentive observer of the local scene will have seen the important positive developments underneath the froth of stories about resignations from this or that, or developments on social media.

First of all, in response to Daniel Yates’ announcement that – for personal reasons – he wanted to move on from being leader of the Labour Group on Brighton and Hove City Council, we have seen the tremendously welcome declaration of her candidacy for that position from my friend and comrade Nancy Platts.

Daniel had initiated, before announcing his departure, a positive approach to working with the Green Party on the Council, which I know that Nancy will want to pursue. Today the Greens have responded – in a very positive way – to the approach from the Labour leadership locally.

The Greens “welcome the invitation from Labour to discuss how we can work together to make a difference for our residents” and “would welcome the opportunity to work with Labour Councillors to set up our shared vision of a citizen’s assembly on the climate crisis”. They also pledge to “work with the Labour council to achieve what is best for our city”.

This is a positive response to a positive proposal, and I hope that the two parties will be able to discuss this a little further in the coming week, so that next Sunday’s meeting of Labour’s Local Campaign Forum can make a sensible response in turn. As I have already said here we need to build solid majority support on the Council for the radical policies which are necessary if we are to ensure their implementation by Council officers.

Obviously both Labour and Green activists will be concerned to promote the interests of their own Party, and will therefore disagree from time to time about important matters (such as who to vote for in the European elections). However there is much that we have in common in our manifesto commitments to the people of Brighton and Hove.

Local people expect us to cooperate in the interests of the people of the City, and I am optimistic that we shall find ways to do so.

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