Jims Gowans’ West Hill Watch, Feb 20

Overflowing Bins

Residents do not need reminding of Brighton’s problems with on-street waste collection, especially after the Christmas period. Although Cityclean, the Council’s in-house waste and recycling collection service, must bear most of the responsibility, some residents might well reflect on their own irresponsible behaviour in dumping rubbish and items for recycling on the street next to the bins rather than in a safer and more appropriate place. It is surely not unreasonable, for example, to take glass to the glass collection bin rather than to leave it on the pavement next to the bin for paper etc. And if you have a piece of furniture to give away, leave it in front of your own front door or, better still, advertise it online for collection; it costs nothing to do this, after all.

Sadly, as more and more dwellings are created in the city centre, the problem can only get worse. It seems unlikely that the current management of the City Council has the ability to deal with this issue. The efforts of the street cleaners and bin collectors themselves, however, are to be praised and their obvious frustration with the City’s bosses is understandable. Last year the GMB Union, representing these workers, called for the resignation of the Chief Executive Geoff Raw and Nick Hibberd, the executive director of economy, environment and culture. The GMB branch secretary commented: “In all my time and historical involvement with CityClean involving all the various management structures and personnel I have come in contact with, I’ve never seen such basic incompetence which has led us to having the threat of having the city’s operating licence withdrawn and the service shut.” At the same time, let us not forget the spending of some £577,500 on the so-called Big Belly (flop) bins; an unknown amount on the pointless trial of garishly coloured bins; and the ordering of bins which cannot be closed and for which no maintenance budget was provided.

76-79 & 80 Buckingham Road

Neighbours must brace themselves for more overflowing on-street waste and recycling bins now that fourteen new dwellings are being created at 76-79, the four Victorian terraced houses previously used as a day centre by the Council’s adult care services. No condition was placed on the planning permission to provide space for off-street rubbish storage when the 2016 permission for 4 town houses was superseded by the 2018 permission for 14 apartments!

Meanwhile, there is concern about the historic plaque to E.J. Marshall. The site of no.80 was originally occupied by Brighton Grammar School in a building erected in 1868. Marshall was headmaster of the school for over thirty years and his plaque (by Eric Gill) was to be restored and repositioned by the developers. The Grammar School moved to Dyke Road in 1913 where, in 1975, it became the Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC). Recent enquiries at the site, now owned by Martin Homes, did not elicit an encouraging reply regarding the fate of the plaque. It was also hoped that historic street name plates would be installed at the developer’s cost, replacing existing signs to five roads near the site: Alfred Road, Albert Road, Upper Gloucester Road, Buckingham Road, and Buckingham Street.

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