Tag Archives: local

No News is Not Good News

It makes my blood boil – the fact that Brighton & Hove is in the South East but the local TV news bulletins do not report news about Brighton & Hove. We see traffic in Southampton, news from Dorchester, Weymouth and even Oxford, but no traffic news about the A23, only the A4; we never see what happens in Patcham, let alone what is going on in nearby places. Announcements are made: “Listen for traffic reports on Radio Solent/Oxford”, neither of which is in our area. Lewes (8 miles away) and Steyning (West Sussex) get the correct local news, also, all the other transmissions in the South East miles away.

Television is surely obliged to cover the news here and around us. If not, then the licence fee money is being paid under false pretences. TV companies often have a story about Post Offices that are about to close, but none in our area is ever mentioned. I have campaigned for years, ever since the Coronation, without success.

We need news for the whole of the South East. I have been in touch with the TV transmitting companies concerned. Their reply is that I should use Blue Bell Hill or Hannington which are, of course, way out of the cachement’s signal area. I can send evidence on DVD of all this.
The lack of local news is not only confined to ITV and BBC but is also the same for teletext and Ceefax. Whatever we watch, we get no local news. Now, the Government intends to top slice the licence fee to give a substantial amount to commercial stations to pay for local news broadcasts – hopefully the future will include B&H news.

Reg Moores

Grocer and Grain

G&GSince taking over the Video Box store on the corner of Surrey Street and Upper Gloucester Road three years ago, my husband Hakan and I have had a vision of transforming this great little place into the ultimate neighbourhood grocery store. We wanted to offer good quality fresh produce, locally-sourced and seasonal, and by listening to our customers, aim towards building an ideal community service.

Whilst running it as a DVD rental store, we have got to know the local community really well, and having received positive feedback on our ideas for the store, this has encouraged us to reach for our goal. Excitingly, eight weeks ago, we finally re-opened as ‘Grocer and Grain’ and are delighted with the reaction, support and encouragement of our new and existing customers.

We offer a range of locally-sourced produce including: organic milk, cheese, eggs, bacon, ham and sausages from local farms. Also bread, cakes, coffee, ice cream and herbs from suppliers in Brighton, as well as fresh seasonal fruit and veg, plants and bread, dairy products, drinks and wholefoods and still offer DVD rentals as well. Following customers’ suggestions, we are going to be extending our range of local products to include fruit, veg, honey, meat and more. After many customer requests, we are also selling the vintage French wine crates on which we display our fruit and veg.

What has been so exciting is discovering great local suppliers with a passion for their produce which, in turn, we hope to share with our customers. We have lots of exciting ideas to help evolve and develop the store over time, it’s still early days but the journey is a joy.

The location of this store has always been a great stop-off for locals to have a chat and talk film with Hakan; now with food being the subject too, and a new interest in the changes, there’s always a great conversation flowing over the counter.

We want to interest our customers with new ideas for cooking in store with recipes to take away, highlighting new products, trying new suppliers and asking for customer feedback. We have exciting projects to involve the community which we’ll keep under wraps for now. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Lizzie Toklu
Grocer and Grain, 1 Surrey Street, Brighton, Tel: 01273 823455

Food Growing in Brighton & Hove

The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership has secured a grant of £500,000 over four years from the Big Lottery Fund to increase the amount of food grown in the City and to encourage people to eat more locally produced food. ‘Harvest Brighton and Hove’ is one of the first projects in England to receive a Beacon grant from the Big Lottery’s Local Food scheme, awarded to projects which have national significance. Harvest Brighton and Hove is a project led by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, in partnership with Food Matters, the University of Brighton, the Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation, the Brighton Permaculture Association, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and the Whitehawk Community Food Project. It is supported by Brighton and Hove City Council, and Brighton and Hove Teaching Primary Care Trust.

Harvest Brighton and Hove aims to increase the amount of local food produced and eaten within the City, and encourage more people to grow food in their gardens, patios or even window boxes. It will encourage food growing in underused and unusual spaces, for example, on land around housing and workplaces and will provide people with the skills and opportunities to grow food – whether at home, school or in community gardens.

“This is tremendous news for the City. Harvest Brighton and Hove is about showing that food is more than just an item in plastic wrapping on a supermarket shelf,” said Brighton and Hove Food Partnership Chair, Sue Dibb. “We are thrilled that we are only one of a few projects to receive Beacon funding from the Big Lottery.”

Councillor Mary Mears, Chairman of Brighton & Hove’s Sustainability Cabinet Committee, said: “The Council is proud to be part of Harvest Brighton and Hove. I’m looking forward to seeing food plots sprouting up in unexpected corners of the City. Not only will they look good, they will taste good too. The successful bid of £1/2 million over the next four years will bring together communities, decision-makers and local enterprises to inspire and support residents in growing their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.”

The three year project will work with partners across the City to explore how urban food production can help reduce the carbon footprint of the City, tackle obesity and diet-related disease, increase the quality of life of residents, and contribute to a more sustainable food system in the future. Researchers from the University of Brighton will develop an urban agriculture ‘opportunity map’ for Brighton and Hove, making recommendations for an urban design strategy that can accommodate food growing sites within the city. They will also evaluate the success of the project. Andre Viljoen from the University said:
“Harvest Brighton and Hove will move us one step further towards testing the viability of urban agriculture as an essential element of sustainable urban infrastructures.”

Mark Wheddon, Local Food Programme Manager of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, added: “The Beacon projects we will be funding over the next few months will have a real impact on the accessibility of local food right across the country. Harvest Brighton and Hove marks just the beginning in Beacon grant funding from the Local Food programme and we are excited by the quality of projects we will be supporting in the future.” The project will be formally launched in the autumn.