Geoff Raw has given his first interview to the Argus newspaper since being appointed to the post of Chief Executive last week.
In a wide ranging interview
Geoff Raw said he believes that the city is on the cusp of a radical structural overhaul accompanied by several major developments coming to fruition.
He compared the city’s potential to Liverpool’s Big Dig, the £3 billion 10 year regeneration that culminated in it winning European City of Culture status saying: “Lots of cities have gone through some big improvements and I think what you are looking at is something like Liverpool’s Big Dig where we have an opportunity to really transform the economic fortunes of the city.”
Working along similar lines he thinks that Brighton & Hove could become one of the “top beachfront destinations in the world”.
Harking back to his previous role in the council as Strategic Director of Environment & Housing he said he will continue to have a “direct hand to steer” major projects despite his new role making demands across the entire spectrum of council business.
He was pragmatic about the challenges facing residents and businesses saying; “In terms of disruption to services, I wish I could promise that there won’t be any more . . . . . . . over this period but I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Describing himself as “a reliable and resilient safe pair of hands” he admitted that he would be looking at “slimming down” the council’s management structure as the local authority seeks to manage a £68 million budget shortfall over the next four years.
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