Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls said he was suspicious about the proposal by local charity Pebble Trust to create Better Brighton and Hove! in a bid to identify, analyse and propose solutions to some of the city’s major problems.
The trust has approached Brighton and Hove City Council with an offer of £350,000 to launch the independent think tank as a charity.
I can see why a Green-dominated area like Brighton would be seen as easy prey for a hippy-dippy ‘charity’ like this one, but what’s in it for the usual suspects?
Other councillors welcomed the proposal with council leader Warren Morgan recommending committee members do not look a “gift horse in the mouth” and Green councillor Ollie Sykes described it as a great offer the council should grasp with both hands.
Are they planning on getting lucrative consultation roles out of it? They must be, because it’s no bargain!
As part of the agreement the council would provide £250,000 of office space and officer time and the charity would promise to have at least 40 per cent of funding spent on issues the council identified as important.
“Give us the dosh and we’ll give you less than half of our attention!” Errr, no thanks…
Other local partners such as the city’s two universities, Sussex Police and American Express, could also contribute up to £50,000 to the think tank which would commission research into city problems.
Don’t they have enough people ‘looking at the city’s problems’ already?
Yes. Yes, they do:
The think tank would be in addition to the council’s own Fairness Commission, set up September 2015 to find ways of making the city more equal, and Brighton and Hove Connected, a partnership of public sector, business and community leaders exploring key city matters.
Then why would they need one more? Less ‘research’, more action!
Labour’s Emma Daniel said: “We should be excited that people have the confidence in our city and they want to invest money for very little return.”
Someone’s getting a good return, Emma. I wonder just who..?