Brighton & Hove City Council Leader Brian Oxley has outlined his administration’s main priorities in a major speech to council staff.
Addressing officers at the first of a number of all-staff conferences this week, Councillor Oxley outlined five themes of the new administration:
Growing the economy AND protecting the environment. He said: “Our economy cannot flourish without better sustainable transport,” and added that a new Brighton Centre, better recycling and greater energy efficiency were all essential.
Making good use of public money. “Talking to residents I recognise that ongoing Council Tax increases hurt those on low and fixed incomes,” he said. “As a result the council is holding value for money reviews in all departments, is exploring the provision of services with other organisations and is looking at property assets to make sure they are delivering value.”
Fair and consistent enforcement of laws and rules. Councillor Oxley highlighted a focus on tackling antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse, rogue neighbours, unauthorised traveller encampments and flytipping.
Reducing economic and social disadvantage by improving opportunities. “It is simply not acceptable that people’s life chances should be reduced because of where they live,” said Councillor Oxley. He added that the council had commissioned a Reducing Inequalities Review aimed at breaking long-term cycles of deprivation.
Open and effective City Leadership. Councillor Oxley explained: “It is not just what we do but how we do it that matters as well. As politicians and as staff dealing with the public, the way we listen, respond and respect people are all vital.”
He said the council’s much-valued committee system was time-limited, as the Government has instructed it must be replaced by a cabinet-type system by May 2009. But he said the new system must maintain as much as possible of the openness and transparency of the current one
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