Council ‘is not ambitious’ for city’s students

Labour leader Councillor Warren Morgan

Labour leader Councillor Warren Morgan

First published in News
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COUNCIL bosses have been criticised for having a “limited ambition” to improve the achievement of the city’s school pupils.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s approach to education has been criticised by a visiting party of council bosses.

The Local Government Association peer review into the city council’s performance also questioned the slow response to the schools crisis which could see 750 pupils without a school by 2021 and leave students facing long trips to school within four years.

It said the council had poor relations with both major private employers in the city and its own trade unions and was “lagging behind” other councils in the way it operates.

But the council was praised for City Deal and a ‘supportive environment’ for its staff.

The review reported a “clearer sense of direction” in the last couple of years through “greater leadership”.

But the council was told it faces serious challenges in housing, educational and health inequalities and in the coming years “more radical solutions” will be needed to meet the funding shortfall.

Councillor Warren Morgan, Labour group leader, said the report raised questions about the failure of the Green-led council to tackle poverty, schools places and cash cuts.

He said: “The council needs to look hard at how it can ensure services continue to be delivered in the face of over £100 million in cuts by the Conservative government.”

Conservative group leader Councillor Geoffrey Theobald said the council “desperately needs modernising”.

He said: “The Green Administration, with backing from Labour, is being nowhere near radical enough in making savings by looking at the way it delivers services, such as through commissioning from the community, voluntary and independent sectors.”

Council chief executive Penny Thompson described the report as “helpful and fair” but said it “pulled no punches”.

Comments (9)

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12:10pm Thu 7 Aug 14

brighton bluenose says...

Morgan and Theobald are both a major part of the problems our city faces and both of them along with their respective parties are responsible for a reduction in living standards we face - not locally but nationally too!
Morgan and Theobald are both a major part of the problems our city faces and both of them along with their respective parties are responsible for a reduction in living standards we face - not locally but nationally too! brighton bluenose
  • Score: -6

12:37pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Nick Brighton says...

Geoffrey Theobold says: “The Green Administration, with backing from Labour, is being nowhere near radical enough in making savings by looking at the way it delivers services, such as through commissioning from the community, voluntary and independent sectors.”

Geoffrey Theobold means that he expects the services currently provided by people who get paid to do this work, who get good pensions, holiday entitlement, training etc., in future to be provided by poorly paid or unpaid people, with no job security, poorer pensions and training.
Geoffrey Theobold says: “The Green Administration, with backing from Labour, is being nowhere near radical enough in making savings by looking at the way it delivers services, such as through commissioning from the community, voluntary and independent sectors.” Geoffrey Theobold means that he expects the services currently provided by people who get paid to do this work, who get good pensions, holiday entitlement, training etc., in future to be provided by poorly paid or unpaid people, with no job security, poorer pensions and training. Nick Brighton
  • Score: 9

12:54pm Thu 7 Aug 14

s&k says...

Well they seem to be doing a pretty good job for hen and stag parties, students, cyclists.
Well they seem to be doing a pretty good job for hen and stag parties, students, cyclists. s&k
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Thu 7 Aug 14

NickBtn says...

This is a review of the council by its peers. Other councils which are also under financial pressures. It finds that the council is not doing well - this, unfortunately, is not a surprise

There needs to be widespread change at B&HC. This change is not just political but of the officers and those making recommendations. Many are not forward thinking and they do not look at the implications of what they are doing beyond a very narrow remit. This has led to poorly thought out schemes (eg. Lewes Road, great to improve the cycle lane but this was possible without a dedicated bus lane. Result: more pollution. Another example - HMO licensing. This was sold as fixing noise and rubbish problems. Yet actually didn't do either of those things! Result: still unhappy neighbours and increased student rents paying for larger rooms/kitchens/sinks in bedrooms!)

It isn't just the greens which are responsible for this. Both Labour and Conservative have a part too. But really it is the on-going officers who are there whatever party is in power, often doing their own thing, where the issue lies. This is why the issues are long term and affect all parties. The key question is which party (or chief exec) will change the council's management team and ethos so that we can get a council that we are proud of. Or one at least which isn't looked down on by other councils....
This is a review of the council by its peers. Other councils which are also under financial pressures. It finds that the council is not doing well - this, unfortunately, is not a surprise There needs to be widespread change at B&HC. This change is not just political but of the officers and those making recommendations. Many are not forward thinking and they do not look at the implications of what they are doing beyond a very narrow remit. This has led to poorly thought out schemes (eg. Lewes Road, great to improve the cycle lane but this was possible without a dedicated bus lane. Result: more pollution. Another example - HMO licensing. This was sold as fixing noise and rubbish problems. Yet actually didn't do either of those things! Result: still unhappy neighbours and increased student rents paying for larger rooms/kitchens/sinks in bedrooms!) It isn't just the greens which are responsible for this. Both Labour and Conservative have a part too. But really it is the on-going officers who are there whatever party is in power, often doing their own thing, where the issue lies. This is why the issues are long term and affect all parties. The key question is which party (or chief exec) will change the council's management team and ethos so that we can get a council that we are proud of. Or one at least which isn't looked down on by other councils.... NickBtn
  • Score: 4

1:07pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Bugzy84 says...

Cllr Morgan again taking cheap shots at other parties but offering no plans, he needs a reality check, just saying 'we can do it better' without a plan on how isn't gonna make me vote for you.
Cllr Theobold call to modernise will be challenged because it will mean having to make redundancy in council staff to save money, cue GMB leaders/mobsters calling for strikes AGAIN.
Greens have no idea what is going on because they are trying to refill the flurry of councillors not re standing in wards.
Conservatives and Labour can't raise council tax above the 1.99% without being hypocrites for opposing it.

In other words, we are completely F'd no matter who gets elected next year.
Cllr Morgan again taking cheap shots at other parties but offering no plans, he needs a reality check, just saying 'we can do it better' without a plan on how isn't gonna make me vote for you. Cllr Theobold call to modernise will be challenged because it will mean having to make redundancy in council staff to save money, cue GMB leaders/mobsters calling for strikes AGAIN. Greens have no idea what is going on because they are trying to refill the flurry of councillors not re standing in wards. Conservatives and Labour can't raise council tax above the 1.99% without being hypocrites for opposing it. In other words, we are completely F'd no matter who gets elected next year. Bugzy84
  • Score: 11

2:53pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Valerie Paynter says...

I'm afraid I did not read anything in this article that should give either the previous Conservative or the Labour Administration preceding it ANYTHING to be proud of. People in glass houses should not throw stones...as they say.

The city's problems were not manufactured on the day the Greens took over. I am however horrified at the complacency about the standards in our schools which are not high enough. A shocking number are only rated 3 out of 4 by OFSTED - needing improvement. Why is that no big deal to BHCC?
I'm afraid I did not read anything in this article that should give either the previous Conservative or the Labour Administration preceding it ANYTHING to be proud of. People in glass houses should not throw stones...as they say. The city's problems were not manufactured on the day the Greens took over. I am however horrified at the complacency about the standards in our schools which are not high enough. A shocking number are only rated 3 out of 4 by OFSTED - needing improvement. Why is that no big deal to BHCC? Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 2

3:16pm Thu 7 Aug 14

ThinkBrighton says...

brighton bluenose wrote:
Morgan and Theobald are both a major part of the problems our city faces and both of them along with their respective parties are responsible for a reduction in living standards we face - not locally but nationally too!
With Mr Morgan getting almost £18,000.00 and the Theobalds getting
£37,000.00 for the year in expense, they all have learnt not to rock the boat,
and when you engage them in conversation it's never Yes or No, it's always
perhaps or maybe.
If the city wants to get more ambitious it needs to look within itself and get rid of the freeloaders!
[quote][p][bold]brighton bluenose[/bold] wrote: Morgan and Theobald are both a major part of the problems our city faces and both of them along with their respective parties are responsible for a reduction in living standards we face - not locally but nationally too![/p][/quote]With Mr Morgan getting almost £18,000.00 and the Theobalds getting £37,000.00 for the year in expense, they all have learnt not to rock the boat, and when you engage them in conversation it's never Yes or No, it's always perhaps or maybe. If the city wants to get more ambitious it needs to look within itself and get rid of the freeloaders! ThinkBrighton
  • Score: 3

3:48pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Bugzy84 says...

By the sounds of it we need new schools built and the existing ones modernised so we can provide the very best of education to children.
Like it or not the manual middle class jobs are being replaced with automated and robotic system and they will not be available for the next generation workforce will low education and skills.
Example: driverless car technology has just been given permission to start trials on real roads in the UK and Google have already built and tested successfully a prototype, how long before HGV, taxi and bus drivers become obsolete and replaced with a fleet of driverless vehicles.
By the sounds of it we need new schools built and the existing ones modernised so we can provide the very best of education to children. Like it or not the manual middle class jobs are being replaced with automated and robotic system and they will not be available for the next generation workforce will low education and skills. Example: driverless car technology has just been given permission to start trials on real roads in the UK and Google have already built and tested successfully a prototype, how long before HGV, taxi and bus drivers become obsolete and replaced with a fleet of driverless vehicles. Bugzy84
  • Score: 2

9:13am Fri 8 Aug 14

Plantpot says...

Bugzy84 wrote:
Cllr Morgan again taking cheap shots at other parties but offering no plans, he needs a reality check, just saying 'we can do it better' without a plan on how isn't gonna make me vote for you.
Cllr Theobold call to modernise will be challenged because it will mean having to make redundancy in council staff to save money, cue GMB leaders/mobsters calling for strikes AGAIN.
Greens have no idea what is going on because they are trying to refill the flurry of councillors not re standing in wards.
Conservatives and Labour can't raise council tax above the 1.99% without being hypocrites for opposing it.

In other words, we are completely F'd no matter who gets elected next year.
Cllr Morgan blames Conservatives for the cuts. Presumably then, if Labour get back into power they will reverse them? Oh wait. Red Ed and Ed Balls have already said they won't. So in effect they are in total agreement with the cuts (which were put into place to try and solve the toxic problems caused by Labour's disastrous stewardship of the economy. And of course, Labour have seen the Tories turn the economy around on the basis of the actions they took - despite Labour saying that they were the wrong policies.

Never trust a socialist with the economy.
[quote][p][bold]Bugzy84[/bold] wrote: Cllr Morgan again taking cheap shots at other parties but offering no plans, he needs a reality check, just saying 'we can do it better' without a plan on how isn't gonna make me vote for you. Cllr Theobold call to modernise will be challenged because it will mean having to make redundancy in council staff to save money, cue GMB leaders/mobsters calling for strikes AGAIN. Greens have no idea what is going on because they are trying to refill the flurry of councillors not re standing in wards. Conservatives and Labour can't raise council tax above the 1.99% without being hypocrites for opposing it. In other words, we are completely F'd no matter who gets elected next year.[/p][/quote]Cllr Morgan blames Conservatives for the cuts. Presumably then, if Labour get back into power they will reverse them? Oh wait. Red Ed and Ed Balls have already said they won't. So in effect they are in total agreement with the cuts (which were put into place to try and solve the toxic problems caused by Labour's disastrous stewardship of the economy. And of course, Labour have seen the Tories turn the economy around on the basis of the actions they took - despite Labour saying that they were the wrong policies. Never trust a socialist with the economy. Plantpot
  • Score: 0

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