Labour are running a dirty campaign to try to win back Caroline Lucas’ seat, Brighton and Hove; which involves trying to discredit the minority-led Green administration at Brighton & Hove Council.
The administration are accused of incompetance over industrial disputes with refuse collectors. This is more than a little ironic; since these disputes arose as a result of the ConDem government’s budget cuts, coupled with the previous administration’s failure to address pay inequality between (predominently female) cleaners and (predominently male) refuse collectors. The issue is rather complex (hence the ease with which political capital can be made by presenting only part of the picture); but the bottom line is that the council were forced into some very difficult decisions in order to avoid huge legal costs, resulting from the previous administrations’s inaction, which threatened to bankrupt the council. Moreover, they were prevented, for legal reasons, from openly discussing the issues at the time, leaving them open to blanket criticism.
The truth is that the Green-led administration in Brighton & Hove has achieved a great deal in making their city a better and greener place to live; and we’re proud to hold them up as an example of what Greens can do when elected to public office. Among many other things, they managed to keep all the libraries open in the face of government cuts, and they introduced a living wage for council employees. They have invested in new council houses and flats, and in a range of re-development projects. Brighton & Hove was also named the third best city in the UK for SME growth in June 2014. Please check out the full list of their achievements here.