6 January to 17 February 2020
We are being consulted again!
Further to consideration of a parking priorities report by the Environment, Transport & Sustainability (ETS) Committee in October 2019, the Council is asking all residents for their views on a parking scheme for the whole Surrenden Area.
Click here for more information about how to respond.
Car-free Central Brighton in 2023?
Following a unanimous vote, the Council is now giving serious consideration to making central Brighton 'car free' in 2023. This is an ambitious scheme that raises the possibility of significant benefits, but in respect of which a careful technical evaluation is required. What is clear however is, if such a policy were to be approved, residential streets without parking controls within walking distance or with good public transport links to the city centre would be likely become the primary target location for parking by visitors to the city.
We say to the City Council: be ambitious but effective. Carry out a proper city wide traffic and parking study to inform the design of your proposals. Don't dump your parking problems in residential streets as a quick fix.
We say to Surrenden Area residents: this is another example of how rapidly the pressures for non-residents to park in our area could rise. We have got a chance to safeguard our streets in 2020. Vote for a parking scheme now and avoid becoming an unplanned car park in 2023!
For more information see the Argus.
2 May 2019: All Change in Withdean...
There has been a very substantial shift in the membership of the Council following the May 2019 local elections. Withdean Ward (our local area) has three new Green Councillors. We have written to welcome Steve Davis, Jamie Lloyd and Sarah Nield to their new roles and they replied, agreeing to meet. A very productive meeting took place in June 2019 at which the Councillors assured us that they strongly support the principle of consulting residents on a new parking scheme and would push to get a report authorising this work considered at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability (ETS) Committee in October 2019. They expected preparations to commence in November 2019 and a consultation to be under way in New Year 2020.
You can contact your Councillors here.
Local Election Results: New Ward Councillors
On 2 May, Brighton and Hove went to the polls in local elections. The results have led to a significant shift in the Surrenden Area, which is now represented by 3 Green Councillors for Withdean Ward. Preston Park Ward on our doorstep is also represented by 3 Green Councillors.
Our new Withdean representatives are:
Cllr Steve Davis (Green)
Cllr Jamie Lloyd (Green)
Cllr Sarah Nield (Green)
Preston Park is represented by:
Cllr Amy Heley (Green)
Cllr Siriol Hugh-Jones (Green)
Cllr Leo Littman (Green) (re-elected)
You can contact our Withdean representatives here. We will add contact details for key committee members and news about the Council committee structure, once a new administration is confirmed.
SAPC is a non-political campaign, committed to working with elected representatives of all parties. We have written to our newly elected Councillors and they have agreed to meet. We said in our letter that good parking solutions are important to our community in terms of road safety, access to education, the quality of our local environment and quality of life. They agree... so here's hoping we can build some practical solutions together.
We congratulate the newly elected Councillors. We extend our thanks for their public service to the Councillors who served from 2015 but were not re-elected on this occasion.
A Significant Step Forward: Preparation Starts in November 2019, Community Consultation in January 2020
Cllr Leo Littman reported the outcomes from the Road Safety meeting at Preston Park Tennis Club to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability (ETS) Committee on 19 March. Cllr Nick Taylor wrote to the Chief Executive specifically requesting that action taken should include earlier action on a parking consultation. The cross party initiative on road safety and parking was welcomed by the Committee. Officers have been mandated to bring proposals forward for Withdean and Preston Park Councillors on an expedited timescale, to include attention to issues such as pedestrian crossings, 20mph roundels, signage, double yellow safety zones at junctions and the incorporation of road safety measures into parking proposals. Responding to Cllr Taylor's letter, the Committee Chair made the following commitments on timing in relation to parking, which represent a step forward:
ETS Committee will consider a new prioritisation paper on parking on Tuesday 8 October 2019, 4pm at Hove Town Hall. We need to be there to show our support.
It has been agreed that, subject to approval of that report;
Officer preparation for a new parking consultation in the Surrenden Area will commence in November 2019; and
Consultation could be expected to start in early January 2020.
Whilst this is not as fast as some Campaign members would like, it is considerably faster than we have been promised until recently. So, a victory of sorts and an inspiring illustration of what can happen when political parties work together to achieve results.
Watch the speech from Cllr Littman and the Chair's response to the letter from Cllr Taylor here on Council TV at item 74. Thanks are due to Cllrs Leo Littman, Julie Cattell, Ken & Ann Norman and Nick Taylor for effective joint working on this initiative.
Road Safety Meeting: Preston Park Tennis Club, Preston Drove: 8 February 2019 @ 7pm
Many thanks to Cllrs Leo Littman, Julie Cattell, Ken & Ann Norman and Nick Taylor for hosting this meeting. A large number local residents attended and were broadly supportive of the view that better management of parking would help to improve road safety. There was strong support for the view that road safety and parking improvements needed to be delivered as swiftly as possible. The Councillors intend to hold a follow up meeting and we will publicise that here.
Fiona Paterson's note of the meeting is linked here.
Cllr Nick Taylor's note is linked here.
28 August 2018: Appalling Vandalism
Around 28 August 2018, a number of vans that had been parked on streets in the Surrenden Area were vandalised. Slogans were sprayed on vehicles. The SAPC issued a public statement making clear that these unacceptable actions amounted to criminal damage. The owners of damaged vehicles should report the damage to the Police. Any member of the local community with information about who might have caused the damage should provide this to the Police.
Unfair Council parking policies and slow implementation are very frustrating - but nothing ever justifies criminal behaviour.
29 June 2018: We were on TV
Latest TV - Virgin Ch 159, Freeview Ch 7, thelatest.co.uk (catch-up)
19 April 2018: Question to Full Council
We're going to Full Council to ask why ETS Committee won't consider our request for a new parking consultation, when the area as a whole has already voted for one in 2015. Come along to Brighton Town Hall in Bartholomew Square at 4pm to lend your voice to the Campaign. See the text of our question on our Petitions, Deputations and Questions page.
4 April 2018: SAPC General Meeting
The Generel Meeting approved a new structure for the Campaign - set out out in the attached paper.
SAPC Campaign Structure
Representatives of the Friars Area Parking Campaign attended the meeting and it was agreed that our two groups will now work together under the common umbrella of SAPC. We now represent an even larger area of 26 streets - adding even more numbers and force to our Campaign. We extend a warm welcome to Iain Dreger and all Friars Campaign members.
20 March 2018: Deputation to Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee of Brighton & Hove City Council
We spoke at the Committee, making clear arguments in favour of a parking consultation and demonstrating how the income from a scheme should enable our consultation to proceed alongside others, without any existing areas in the parking programme needing to lose out. We asked for a report on resources to be considered at the June Committee to make that happen.
Cllr Gill Mitchell responded to our deputation and made clear that the Council will stick to the timetable that it agreed in October 2017. We say that is not good enough and will continue to campaign. It should be noted that Cllr Lee Wares for the Conservative Group and Cllrs Littman and West for the Greens all spoke in support of our deputation. If Cllr Wares speaks for the Conservative Group as a whole (and as he is their spokesperson it appears that he does), this means that we currently have the support of six of the 10 members of the ETS Committee, even if we do not have the support of the Chair... Interesting times in a democracy!
There are some real positives to report:
The public gallery was full. A massive thank you to everyone who came.
The press were there. Expect significant new coverage in the Argus and Brighton & Hove News.
We worked in close fellowship with residents of the Friars, who supported our deputation and we supported their petition. We will meet them shortly with a view to even greater mutual support.
There was a group of extremely passionate school students in attendance and a 'students' chapter pf the SAPC should shortly be formed.
Our deputation papers and the deputation speech can be downloaded here.
Deputation speech: 20 March 2018 ETS Committee.pdf
17 March 2018:
Withdean Councillors' commitment:
Withdean Councillors have written to the Chief Executive of Brighton and Hove City Council making clear their view that a public consultation on the designation of a controlled parking zone in the Surrenden Area should be brought forward.The letter is an Agenda item for the ETS Committee on 20 March 2018.
We're in the Argus again!
This time the story focus is Cllr Ken Norman's on air commitment to the Campaign objectives as a 'no-brainer' and offer of support.
The Campaign messages are spreading
Our 15 March article (see below) is still the second most commented article on the whole Argus website on the third day after publication.
This week has also seen a new maximum reach from our Facebook page of 1,606 people. This website has had 619 page views this week. This figures are significantly larger than at any earlier stage in the Campaign.
16 March 2018:
We were on BBC Radio Sussex Breakfast with Neil Pringle and BBC South East Today on 16 March.
We had three interviews from the Campaign and live reportage from Surrenden Road. Cllr Ken Norman (Withdean) spoke live and publicly committed to the objectives of the Campaign - an early consultation. The Neil Pringle show is available for download on iPlayer.
It's hard to estimate quite how many people this coverage will influence, and of course the vast majority of them live outside our area. However, Rajar (the radio monitoring service) suggests that there is a listenership of 268,000. Hopefully this includes some Councillors on the ETS Committee?
15 March 2018:
We're in the Argus again!
Our amazing Press Officer Terry Page has got us into the Argus again. We've got a great story focussing strongly on high sided vehicles and road safety concerns.
The Argus told us on 16 March that they had had over 10,000 visits to their webpage for our article alone.
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9 March 2018: News-mail 7
Next General Meeting: Save the Date
The next General Meeting will be held on 4 April at 8pm in the basement bar at the Park View on Preston Drove. Hopefully, with good advance notice, we should all find it easy to safeguard this meeting date in our diaries.
The main purpose of the meeting will be to receive feedback on our deputation to Brighton & Hove City Council Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, to plan actions for further Committee and Council Meetings over the spring and summer and to plan more 'noise' on the streets and on social media.
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Our website migrated to Wix and was refreshed on 11 March 2018. What do you think of the new look? Contact us to provide your feedback.
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5 March 2018: News-mail 6
Our Deputation is Ready
Brighton & Hove City Council
Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee
Tuesday, 20th March, 2018 at 4.00pm
Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall
Please save the date and attend.
The papers for the deputation have been lodged with the Council.
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21 February 2018: News-mail 5
Meetings, meetings, meetings
The focus of the Campaign has shifted from street canvassing to support the petition and survey, to using the evidence that these have provided us with to lay the ground for our first major engagement: presenting at Brighton and Hove Council's Environment, Transport & Sustainability (ETS) Committee on 20 March 2018.
The Policy Group has held a round of meetings with the following Councillors and officials:
Cllr Leo Littman (Green, Preston Park Ward Member and EST Committee Member)
Ms Sue Shanks (Green, former Withdean Ward Member)
Cllr Ann Norman (Conservative, Withdean Ward Member)
Cllr Ken Norman (Conservative, Withdean Ward Member)
Mr Charles Field (Head of Parking Services, Brighton & Hove City Council)
Meetings with Cllr Nick Taylor (Conservative, Withdean Ward Member) and prospective candidates for Withdean Ward for the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are also planned.
The key messages emerging from these meetings are as follows:
From Cllr Littman and Ms Shanks: The Campaign will need to demonstrate a clear case, showing how circumstances have changed since the 2015 consultation and the October 2017 decision on parking priorities if a consultation in the Surrenden Area is to be delivered more swiftly than has currently been provided for. Good data on our 'issues' and demonstrating a significant rise in community support will be particularly important. We should also 'make a nuisance of ourselves' by sending delegations to Council Committees and Full Council Meetings. Councillors and officials pay a lot of attention to social media and we need to make better and more regular use of social media outlets and our website.
From Cllrs Ann and Ken Norman: Conservative policy in the past has been to resist controlled parking zones and to seek a city-wide review. However, whilst a city-wide review would still be desirable, they both recognised that, in the current circumstances, there are serious parking problems emerging in the Surrenden area. Whilst their own survey had suggested that there was a majority view against a controlled parking zone solution, they also recognised that public opinion was shifting quite substantially. More people appeared to be supportive of parking controls than had historically been the case. Both of them said that they would support what the community was demonstrated to support and, as a result of our work, they would both favour consultation on a new controlled parking zone. Cllr Ann Norman offered to ask a question at March ETS Committee seeking to advance the Surrenden area's position in the 'queue' for a consultation. Both Councillors also emphasised the value of continued community activism, keeping our campaign alive and in the minds of decision-makers.
From Mr Charles Field: There is an established programme for parking consultation and works and decisions about any changes to that were unlikely until a new Parking Infrastructure Manager is recruited in April. Existing resourcing (in terms of both staff and finance) would not support an accelerated consultation in the Surrenden area, but ETS Committee could potentially reframe existing priorities. Technical issues about the administration of a controlled parking zone were raised, including the treatment of existing drives, where the standard approach is to apply double yellow lines. Whilst a consistent approach would be needed in a single zone, some zone areas in Hove had opted to have (non-enforceable) white line marking for drives, as this provided residents with the discretion to block their own driveway without risk of penalty, but the downside of this approach would be that a non-resident blocking a driveway could not have the same action taken against them as could be taken with double yellow lines in place. Our community would have to take a view on this issue. The allocation of parking permits was discussed. It was Council policy that homes with a drive or garage would not be eligible for a permit in the first round of permit allocations which would be limited to households with no off-street parking. However, a second round allocation would normally be held within four weeks of the first. Experience suggested that, with the exception of highly congested inner-city zones, there would be enough on-street parking capacity left to more than meet the needs of households applying for permits in the second round. Similarly, whilst no promises could be made, households owning multiple cars typically did not experience difficulties obtaining multiple permits outside the inner-city. Mr Field recognised that many houses have small garages and drives with dimensions and turning circles that are not suitable for modern cars. His advice was that the Council would start from the standpoint that these could be used for off-street parking. (There is potentially a piece of work for SAPC to do, to establish what dimensions and radii place a garage and drive beyond use and make a technical case that some garages and drives are not able to be used for parking.)
Thanks to Colin Brooks and Michael Edwards for arranging and hosting these meetings, and to Colin Jones for transforming our data into presentations and documents drafting minutes.
Please remember our social media presence. There's a lot of interesting stuff appearing on our Facebook page now, but again, more posts and more likes give us more weight with the Council. And Twitter, which we know that officers and Members monitor closely has remained pretty quiet. It's time to start telling and liking our story in both of those places with renewed vigour.
If you do post, please use the hashtag #SurrendenAreaParking.
We have had good coverage in the Argus and the Preston Pages, both of which have drawn attention to our Campaign. Coverage in the Argus focussed on the story of car hire firms using our streets to store vehicles that they cannot fit in their own depots and was an excellent example of the way that observations on the ground by local residents led to Facebook coverage, which sparked interest from the press.
Thanks to Terry Page and Duncan Hopper for this work, and to everyone who registered on the Argus website to make sure that we 'won' the 'below the line' debate.
20 January 2018: News-mail 4
Our 38 Degrees Petition
Last time I checked, we've got 547 online and 100 hard copy signatures, so nearly 650 signatures in total on our petition. That's a great number.
We set today as a target to reach 500 signatures in total to demonstrate the strength of local opinion, before taking our case to the Council. We've got there in style. Meeting dates are now in diaries and the next stage of the campaign is just about to start.
We're in the Argus
Following some great survey work by Richard Silver, Facebook Posts by Anya Symes and Colin Jones' inimitable promotion work, we've got a great story in the Argus today about the Campaign and the effect of hire car companies using our residential streets as a free car park.
Please read, please share and please comment 'below the line'. This is a wonderful opportunity to spread our story. If you haven't done so before, please consider registering with the Argus so you can participate in the debate 'below the line' on this article. Councillors will be influenced, not just by the content of the article, but by what local residents have to say about it in the comments. It's important that we take part. We need to win the 'below the line' debate.
If you're looking for facts and messages to include in comments in the Argus, the SAPC FAQs are a very good place to start.
Social Media - it's working hard for us
Last time (13 January), I drew attention to our Facebook and Twitter accounts and the need to start telling our story there. Without this week's Facebook story on hire cars, the recent coverage in the Argus would not have happened.
So think about other aspects of our story you can tell on social media. And carry on liking what others have written.
When you post, please use the hashtag #SurrendenAreaParking.
13 January 2018: News-mail 3
Reaching another milestone
Number 13 ... unlucky for some maybe. However, at some point in the last hour of this auspicious 13 January, our 38 Degrees petition passed the magic figure of 600 signatures. Earlier this evening, the electronic signature count tipped 500. As we have 100 hard copy signatures from people without email addresses, that means that the headline figure also crossed 600 an hour or so ago! Colin Jones has just audited the figures and the current total rests at 603. And it's still rising.
Huge thanks are due to everyone who has been pounding the streets and knocking on doors. However, we couldn't have achieved any of this without Tig and Mark creating our wonderful postal address contact database and petition sheets, or Colin handling all of the IT, data control and accountancy that makes sure we record the signatures properly.
We set ourselves a target a few short weeks ago of reaching 600 signatures by 20 January. It looks as though we've done that with a week to spare.
So can we relax on the streets? My suggestion is that we don't. Let's keep pushing through to 20 January. We want to make sure that every street in the area has been canvassed. We don't want anyone to be able to say to the Council that they didn't see our leaflets or understand the issues. And who knows... maybe we can make it 700 signatures, or even 750? The more - the better. Every new signature just makes us that bit harder to ignore.
5 January 2018: News-mail 2
Data Group Report
Lead: Anya Symes
Technical work: Tig Meyer, Mark Watson, Colin Jones
The active doorstep campaign has been divided into two workstreams:
The Priority Streets (large streets with lower return rates including Surrenden Road itself, Varndean Drive and Harrington Road) were targeted for doorstep campaigning before Christmas and in the gap between Christmas and New Year.
Much of this work has been carried out. SAPC New Years honours for work beyond the call of duty between Christmas and New Year must go to Michael Edwards and Matt and Erin McNeil (for fortitude on the doorsteps) and Tig Meyer and Mark Watson (for extraordinary data support, wrestling with Royal Mail address databases to make robust canvass lists for every street in the area).
The Existing Street Campaign, where Anya Symes' teams will continue to canvass and push up the return rate with a deadline of 20 January 2017.
The 20 January deadline is critically important to our success. We need the largest number of signatures and the best response we can achieve to our Survey Monkey Survey by then, in order to help us speak to the Council with solid local support and a strong evidence base.
Speaking to our neighbours on the doorstep is the most important contribution that any member can make to our campaign. If you have already been canvassing, many thanks for your hard work. If you have volunteered to go canvassing in the coming days, you will hear from Anya and Tig shortly about the arrangements for this work. Many thanks in advance for your help.
We have prepared a briefing note to help street canvassing teams and a copy is attached to this email. Copies will also be distributed to individual street teams by Anya and Tig. Street teams will also receive a pack containing new leaflets (updating residents about the action we've taken and directing them to our online presence) and a hard copy petition, using the latest postal address data sourced by Tig and Mark. The briefing note explains in more detail how these resources can be used.
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Lead: Rynd Smith
Messaging: Michael Edwards, David Ellsmore-Petty
As long as we maintain our strong push in the doorstep campaign up to 20 January, we will remain on target to speak at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee that is due to meet on March 20. This intended to be our main contact with the Council.
We are still at an early stage in conversations with our Ward Councillors. For this reason we have decided to make only the most careful use of the Jan 23 ETS Committee to ask questions. If you have a question that you would like to ask, please contact the Policy Group through Rynd Smith no later than 6 January to propose a draft.
The Communications Team led by Terry Page has prepared a draft article for Preston Pages February edition. However, their main work will be done in February and March to support our contact with the Council.
Social media messaging is an immediate priority. As a first action, can all Twitter and Facebook users please visit and 'like' our existing pages. If you don't have a Twitter or Facebook account, please consider signing up. Rynd Smith will circulate a messaging guide to the recipients of this email shortly. If you post on social media - please use a picture if you can. The SAPC website has some that you can download and use.
Please continue to take photographs of bad / unlawful parking and send copies to Colin Jones to be posted on the SAPC website.
Michael Edwards has prepared an 'inconsiderate parking notice' which can be slipped under the windscreen wipers of vehicles causing hazard and annoyance. Please start using this straight away - contact Michael for supplies.
Emma Simpson has prepared a 'parking-disc' which local residents can display in their cars to show their support for the campaign. These are particularly useful if you find yourself having to park away from your normal street, to communicate to residents there that you are 'not part of the problem' and that you are campaigning to improve their situation too. Use your old tax-disc holder to display it if you still have one. Contact Emma to obtain your disc.
Following requests from and discussions with a number of residents there, the campaign will extend to include upper Surrenden Road, between the Braybon intersection and Ditchling Road. Michael Edwards has added these addresses to his existing doorstep work on Surrenden Road.
Please channel all policy and technical communications with Councillors and Council officers through the Policy Group and Communications Team.
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Treasurer: Michael Edwards
None of this good work could happen without good IT and communications tools and good people to set those up and maintain them.
We are using free and 'common' facilities wherever we can, but unavoidably, some of our work costs hard cash. If you have not already made a donation, please consider contributing £10 to campaign costs and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same. Arrangements for donations should be made with Michael Edwards.
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