New council committees

A new council committee has been created, bringing together community safety with neighbourhood initiatives and equalities as part of a new structure of decision-making for Brighton & Hove City Council.

The 10-member Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee will champion the role of communities and make it easier for local people to get involved, including the possibility of devolving power and services to neighbourhoods.

It will focus on increasing equality - two of its central remits are to tackle street homelessness and to introduce a Fairness Commission looking at improving equality for all citizens in the city.

The Committee, to be chaired by councillor Emma Daniel, will also take on the work of the former Community Safety Forum and make decisions about investment and support to community and voluntary sector groups.

Two other committees have been renamed to indicate a greater emphasis on employment skills and the urgent need for new affordable homes. Councillor Tom Bewick will chair the Children, Young People and Skills Committee, while councillor Anne Meadows will chair the Housing and New Homes Committee.

Brighton & Hove's new leader, Councillor Warren Morgan, said: “The new committees are designed to directly reflect the concerns and aspirations of our communities. Bringing together community safety and neighbourhood issues under the umbrella of one committee will give them the focussed attention they deserve. We're looking forward to having a real dialogue with people and ensuring our services and decisions reflect the needs of people in their areas and in the wider city.”

Under the new administration councillor Morgan will chair both the Policy & Resources Committee and the Economic Development & Culture Committee. Councillor Leslie Hamilton will be lead member for finance and resources.

Other major forums include the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, chaired by councillor Gill Mitchell and the Health and Wellbeing Board, chaired by councillor Dan Yates. Councillor Karen Barford, the new lead member for adult social care, will also be a member of the Board and cllr Caroline Penn, who has special responsibility for mental health, will be able to attend and speak.

The statutory committees of Licensing and Planning will be chaired by councillors Mo Marsh and Julie Cattell respectively.

The new make-up of the council was confirmed at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, 21 May.