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Originally created on: Wednesday 01 June, 2011
press release 1 June 2011
State of the City report provides snapshot of Brighton & Hove
Health, the economy and environment are some of the biggest issues facing Brighton & Hove according to a major new report.
The State of the City summary published this week provides the ‘big picture’ in terms of the city’s characteristics and key issues that help create a shared sense of priorities and evidence base for future decisions about commissioning services.
You can download our State of the City Summary Report [PDF 797kb]
The city boasts a young and well-educated population that enjoys a rich cultural experience such as theatres and festivals and benefits from living close to the South Downs as well as 11 kilometres of coastline.
A high proportion of residents make use of the city’s sports and leisure facilities while parks and open spaces are enjoyed regularly and use of public transport is rising.
The city’s economy is strong and boasts a healthy entrepreneurial spirit together with a high number of businesses per person with significant numbers of private sector jobs being created. There is also a thriving local and organic food sector and the economy is boosted by eight million visitors each year.
Nursery and primary education is at national averages or above and a historic problem with high rates of teenage pregnancy is being successfully addressed while more city mothers are breastfeeding.
But longstanding problems remain. Deprivation is an issue across several areas in the city and there are high levels of poverty while housing is unaffordable for most residents and many are in need of housing.
There are higher than average levels of unemployment with many areas deprived of ‘employment options’ with wages lower than the regional average and many jobs restricted to ‘high value’ sectors.
The city has an unhealthy drinking culture and many residents drink more than recommended guidelines or binge drink, while the rate of drug–related deaths is a serious problem.
A growing population of older people is likely to increase the pressure on adult social care services in the city with the numbers of residents aged 90 or over set to rise by more than 40 per cent over the next decade.
Council leader Bill Randall said:
“Brighton & Hove is a great city with much to be celebrated such as its vibrant cultural scene, strong knowledge–based economy, injection of creativity brought by university students and a wealth of city visitors including foreign language students.
“But there are real challenges including inequality, poverty and a chronic housing shortage. Our focus will be on fairness and producing a sustainable city while narrowing the gap between rich and poor.
‘We will meet the challenges ahead through an open book approach and working with other political parties, the trade unions, third sector, voluntary organisations, businesses and residents.
“We will roll out the city’s biggest-ever installation of solar panels on public buildings and council houses, increase recycling, expand 20mph speed limits, reduce the number of empty buildings and take steps to reduce car dependency while increasing walking, cycling and public transport. Developing environmental industries will increase jobs and cut our carbon footprint.
“Despite the unprecedented public spending cuts imposed by central government, we will strive to deliver our vision of a sustainable and fairer city.”Services run by Brighton & Hove City Council and its partners already tackling issues identified in the State of the City report include
- Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton & Hove Seaside Community Homes’ initiative to raise £30 million to bring thousands of council homes up to the decent homes standards, return the council’s long term empty homes back into use and improve and convert some of the bigger council properties
- A programme for 1,000 new homes during the next four years through new developments on council-owned land and by bringing forward major regeneration projects, like Preston Barracks and Circus Street market
- Joint agreement with the universities for a ‘social lettings agency’ to improve housing standards and value for money that will look to ‘place’ families and students to ensure a more balanced community and address concerns over anti-social behaviour in areas popular with students
- The Ru-ok substance misuse service run by Brighton & Hove City Council and NHS Brighton and Hove that is helping young people reduce the harm associated with alcohol and substance misuse
- A groundbreaking agreement to provide follow-up treatment to young people who end up in A&E because of alcohol and a Sussex Police-led scheme to target young people drinking in public places
- Revamped contraception and sexual health services for teenagers that have already shown signs of reduced unplanned pregnancy among young people as well as improved sexual health. Services targeting young people will be launched following a Mystery Shopper exercise and these include opening hours that suit young people, increased confidentiality, straight-talking literature and swift online referrals to specialist services
- New intelligent commissioning pilots tackling drug-related deaths, domestic violence and alcohol problems
- Partnerships to boost an already thriving third sector to improve services. There were over 1,500 third sector organisations in the city employing around 8,000 people which is seven per cent of the total employees in the city, in 2008
- Two major developments in the city including American Express’ European Headquarters and the Brighton & Hove Community Stadium – both of which will provide huge boosts to the city’s economy
- Personalisation of services, meaning older residents live independently for longer
- Tackle fuel poverty with the most vulnerable residents in Brighton & Hove getting free or cheap electricity under a council initiative that would also see new funding to make homes more fuel efficient and cut CO2 emissions
- Install photo-voltaic solar panels on more than 1,600 council homes and buildings to subsidise energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions
- The council has launched a Local Employment Scheme to increase employment and training opportunities for local people who want to work in the construction industry, provide support to local building firms in order to secure contracts on large developments, and to assist developers and contractors with their workforce needs.
- Download our State of the City Summary Report [PDF 797kb]
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