Seafront infrastructure scrutiny panel review (completed 2014)
Scrutiny panel summary
Brighton & Hove’s iconic seafront is one of the city’s key locations, acts as our ‘shop-window’ and is our biggest outdoor recreation space. It is one of the main reasons why people visit the city and an important site for a range of businesses. However, there are significant and growing problems within the structures that keep the seafront in operation and it is the need to address that issue which formed the remit for the Seafront Scrutiny Panel. The panel’s work had to be set against a background of reducing resources and increased competition for dwindling funds.
Panel members heard about the many positive developments happening on the seafront including the opening of new business premises in the arches and the start of the i360 construction. However, we also saw at first hand the worrying deterioration of some of the structures and learnt about the Victorian construction methods that are now beginning to fail. We were told that around £100 million is needed to rebuild or replace the structures which work to support the highway and house seafront businesses.
We have aimed to produce a forward looking report that looks to work together across political boundaries to identify a shared vision for the seafront. Although the city is rightly enjoying success as a top holiday destination for both overseas and UK visitors, there are concerns that this could be compromised if the seafront structures are not rebuilt or restored at a sufficient rate.
The range of evidence given to the panel convinced us that it was essential to look beyond the rebuilding and replacement of structures and to look at how the seafront could work towards paying for itself by generating more income and holding on to those resources to fund the structural works.
Scrutiny panel members
- Councillor Gill Mitchell (Chair)
- Councillor Ian Davey
- Councillor Vanessa Brown
- Dr Angela Benson (Co-optee)