Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A New City Academy for Brighton & Hove

Who would have thought it, but it's true: a new City Academy has recently opened in Hove and it has nothing to do with Tony Blair or his financial backers - at least, not as far as we know. But what's the link, you might ask? Well, the Shadi Danin Clinic in Church Road, Hove, dedicated to all things beautiful, has opened a new training school called The City Academy. Brighton & Hove is a new city and of all the words available in the English language to denote a place of learning, 'academy' is enjoying a revival courtesy of the current prime minister's latest merry-go-round of school reforms..

Shadi Danin looks at health through the lens of beauty and offers a range of treatments from laser hair removal, the Green Peel treatment for sagging face contours, treatments for hair loss, a "holistic approach to hair and beauty", detox and slimming treatments, chiropody, and tattoo removal and skin conditions, which as well as acne, treat skin conditions which are seen as a problem from the point of view of considerations of appearance rather than strictly-speaking physical health.

Now comes The City Academy offering courses in Make Up and Advanced Beauty Therapy. Make Up courses divide into three sub categories: professional, general public, and stage. How's about a workshop in wedding make up? In these days of digital photography (still and video) the happy couple will spend hours on the wedding day stage as the cameras flash and the digicams roll (or whatever it is they do). With a wedding day make up make over they'll be able to smile with confidence the whole day through.

That, I imagine, is the idea.

The four members of staff all seem to have a history of professional involvement in stage and screen - and TV.

The Shadi Danin / The City Academy offer a curious mix of disciplines and give us an insight into the kind of society we live in today.

I say no more.

Go There:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Open Market - New Plans

New plans to redevelop the Open Market between London Road and Ditching Road go to the Council's Policy & Resources Committee later this month. At a cost of around £9 million the site would be redesigned around two three-storey squares.

On the ground floors would be 56 permanent market stalls and one shop which would front Ditchling Road. The internal squares would be used both for visiting markets, such as Farmers' Markets and French Markets, and as spaces for entertainment. One could imagine street events during the Brighton Festival being put on.

On the first floor would be 58 workshop units for arts and crafts, and a cafe.

A total of 28 apartments would also be included, mostly on the second floor. All would be affordable housing units.

The proposal is being led by the Open Market Traders Association who are creating a new not-for-profit company to lead the development. The Co-op is also interested and are part-funding the costs of working up the proposals. The Co-op is interested in finding ways that their present department store can be redeveloped. The Council will provide expert advice as needed.

All in all, it sounds promising.

Open Market Link

Major Marina Development - Second Time Round the Planning Circus

Brunswick Developments goes back into the Council planning mill to see if it can get approval this time round. The height of the tower is untouched - which makes sense since that is the keynote development.

The development will amount to a £235 million investment in the city, including 853 new apartments, 341 (40%) of which will be key worker accomodation (for the likes of nurses and teachers). The top of the 420 ft high tower will have a viewing platform. The harbour arms will be linked by a swing bridge.

Another bridge will go over the beach at Blackrock and link to a new promenade that will extend 1.5 km to the Peter Pan Play Area - for the use of both pedestrians and cyclists.

20% of the development's energy will be met from sustainable sources. 200,000 more visitors per year to the marina are expected.

More details here

Let's see what happens.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Who's in Town? Morris Minor

Today it was the turn of Morris Minor owners to gather together in Madeira Drive. It was quite a homely event compared with some of the other motoring days along Madeira Drive. The Pioneer Motorcycle run on 19th March had many more participants and lots more atmosphere - as well as lots of very interesting veteran motorcycles.

That said, there were some cars which obviously came from good homes and were lovingly cared for, such as this Morris Minor 1000.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Looking Forward - from a great height

At last the West Pier Trust has stopped trying to salvage a lost past and has turned its attention to the future. The latest proposal to gain the recommendation of the Trust is not for a pier but an for 'observation mast', which has a ring-shaped obseravtion 'pod', weighing in at 60 tonnes.

Taller than Blackpool Tower, Portsmouth's new Spinnaker Tower and the London Eye, the i-360 will give a panoramic view over land and sea of 25 miles.

The i-360 is the brainchild of architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, the husband and wife team who designed the London Eye, and will be entirely privately financed.

It will take two years to design and build, cost between £15-20 million, cost around £8 a go, and expects to pull in about half a million punters each year. And! doesn't appear to need a large foreshore commercial development either side of the West Pier's current landward footprint to make it financially viable.

Could be a go-er!?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Remains of the Chain Pier

A dozen of so people turned up this morning at around 7 am to ponder the remains of the Chain Pier, or to give the full title, the Royal Suspension Chain Pier.

The tide was so low that it was beyond the bottom edge of the great shingle bank that protects Madeira Drive from the ravages of the sea. And it is in the sand - rarely seen - that the remains of the Chain Pier's footings can be found.

The pier stood on oak pillars that were fixed into the seabed in brick footings.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Low Tide Oppo

Low tide in Brighton tomorrow (Sat) is at 7.02 am and is 0.9 metres which is low, low.

Intrepid local historian, Geoff Mead, points out in the Argus that it's a good opportunity to see the stumps of the old Chain Pier, Brighton's first and now long gone pier.

It will also be a good chance to see the remains of Magnus Volk's seashore railtrack at Rottingdean and along the Undercliff.

It won't be very warm though - barely above freezing and with a cold north-easterly wind. So wrap up.

More on Brighton's piers here

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Official: Rules Not Broken, Only Twisted

It's official! The prime minister, Tony Blair, is satisfied that no rules on party funding have been broken through loans being extended instead of money given. And there's absolutely no link between these loans and government nominations for peerages. It's nothing more than sheer coincidence.

And by the way, what's it got to do with Jack Dromey, the Labour Party treasurer?

One Labour MP, Ian Davidson, has accused Blair of running a party within a party. Is this a return to Militant Tendency days, he asks!

Now there's a thought.

Change Will Come

Politicians we're told have very short time horizons, principally the next election. At any rate the electoral unknown is always factored in to the timing of decisions. But for a change from the norm, Elliot Morley, the Environment Minister, is looking ahead 100 years from now. This week he published revised guidance on SMPs (Shoreline Management Plans).

The SMP is a recognition that our coastline is always changing, and the view of many that it should stay exactly as it is, and that conservation means keeping it exactly as it is, is unsustainable.

There's good reason to be planning for the future, for it is calculated that there are £130 billion of assets (homes, businesses etc) at risk of coastal flooding and also at least £10 billion of assets at risk of coastal erosion.

SMP are now required to look ahead for three time periods: 0-20, 20-50 and 50-100 years, and to work within one of four options:

*Holding the existing line, by maintaining or changing the standard of protection
* Advancing the existing line, by building new defences on the seaward side of original defences
* Managed realignment, by allowing the shoreline to move backwards or forwards through controlled movement; and
* No active intervention, where there is no investment in coastal defences or operations

It's the last two options which will almost certainly cause most problems with coastal residents around Britain's shores.

We already have an SMP for Sussex which is the responsibility of the South Downs Coastal Group. Here's their website: click here

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


The new Brighton: Illustrated website ( is published today. But this is just a pre-launch. There's is still much to do. Nonetheless, do have a look around. New material is being added daily.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What's In a Name?

There are two name stories humming around the news wires at present, one with a French connection, and the other a Brighton one.

Here is Brighton our local public school, Brighton College, has made the news 'cos theyr're searching for a Peyton. They have a bequest from a late old boy that will fund a pupil at the school provided the same pupil bears the honoured name of Peyton (no hyphenated varieties allowed).

So far they're drawn a blank. Seemingly they've contacted 600 Peytons in the UK but found no volunteers. The search is now moving abroad.

If nothing else, the school is enjoying thousands of pounds, dollars and euros of free advertising.

Meanwhile in over in France a police officer of North African descent ends up in court because he wants to change his family name. In France you can only change your name if you can establish that you suffer discrimination because of it. That fact in itself is of interest to readers in Britain, a place where changing your name by deed poll is a well known past time.

But over there in France Mon. Bairi (the police officer) had chosen, not the French equivalent of Smith or Brown, but d'Artagnan, and Senator de Montesquiou Fezensac d'Artagnan, the august descendant of the other, famous d'Artagnan (of the Three Musketeers variety) objected to a prole wanting his ancestral name.

Yip, today's d'Artagnan is a French senator and president of the Company of Musketeers, the well-known boozing fraternity, and he went to court to try to knock down the upstart Bairi.

He lost.

So what's the moral of this story.

Well, it's usual to consult the Bard in the matter of names.

Juliet: "What's in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet".

But the bard always had it both ways., and Iago in Othello says: "Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, / Is the immediate jewel of their souls. / Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; / 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; / But he that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him /And makes me poor indeed."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Waste Plan is Signed and Sealed

The East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Waste Local Plan which sets out how the two councils will deal with their household waste collections has reached the end of the road and has been formally "adopted" by the respective councils.

It's legal.

There remains a 6 week period from today in which theoretically some sort of legal challenge could be mounted, but it would have to be on some sort of technicality, not on the substance of the plan, which details polices on recycling, waste incineration, landfill and where these processes will take place.

The councils' letter, sent out to anyone who has commented on the plan, states clearly: "the Councils have now effectively completed the Plan and there are no further consultation phases".

So, that's that, or is it?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

England's Butterflies: 30% drop in 10 Years, says DEFRA

Today the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reports that butterfly numbers across England have fallen by 30% in the last 10 years. The study was carried out by the charitable organisation, Butterfly Conservation, which reported last month on the serious decline in the moth population. The study tracked 40 butterfly species across more than 800 sites, almost half of which are "agri-environment" sites, that is, they are covered by Environmental Stewardship schemes.

The reports main conclusion is that well-informed land management can successfully conserve species, but that there is a lot of work to be done in getting those who manage the land up to speed. Those who manage land need to understand the specific habitat requirements of particular species.

Let's hope they can turn things round. 30% in 10 years is a serious decline.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Stanmer House Opens for Business

Well, not exactly. Its website says that its bookings diary opens today, but that restoration still goes on. Also, they don't yet have a licence (weddings, alcohol?) and so therefore all bookings have to be provisional!

But this is the revenue idea: weddings, civil partnerships, conferences, fashion shows, etc.

The tariff starts at £400 off peak for a civil ceremony room hire to £5,750 (peak) for exclusive use of the ground floor and lawns.

So, get in queue?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Who's In Town

Why it's the BBC Showcase, of course. Old favourites. They've been coming to Brighton every year since 1987. In fact, they had their first outing way back in 1976 when 25 foreign broadcasters and potential buyers met at the Old Ship Hotel to sample what BBC progs were available for shipping back home. Then it was the likes of Faulty Towers, The Good Life and Dr Who.

Yes, this is the bit of the BBC that sells BBC programming abroad. These days it takes place at the Brighton Centre and this week there are 524 buyers from 100 countries with 1500 hours of programming to choose from.

So, they sit in the Brighton Centre and watch tv?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Writing On The Wall

Last week the city council's Culture & Tourism Sub-Committee approved a proposal to set up a Commemorative Plaque Panel. A what?

It's a little bit of the heritage business in which significant historical figures who have some sort of connection with the city, usually because they lived here (at least for a time) are remembered by the installation of a plaque on the home where they once lived. I say 'business' because it would appear the panel wouldn't have seen the light of day unless a justification on commercial and tourist-attraction grounds had been made. Which is a shame. Commemorative plaques are in their own small way a part of history making, a way in which a community remembers its past. That is a civic responsibility not a commercial matter, though I have no objection to encouraging visitors to explore the heritage of the city via its commemorative plaques.

Commemorative plaques are nothing new, of course. At the national level English Heritage is rolling out a programme of plaque installation throughout the country, and in the past both the former councils of Brighton and of Hove had their own commemorative schemes. But the schemes fell into disuse, probably the victim of budget cuts in the bad old days of recession and government cutbacks.

According to the report to the Sub-Committee there are 103 existing plaques installed around the city, many in a poor condition - see the photo. It was also reported that there are 20 or so nominations for additional plaques on the table.

So the reason for the panel is to adjudicate on who should be honoured with a plaque from year to year. The annual budget proposed for the scheme is around £1000 - not a lot. Especially so, when you consider what might be the cost of restoring existing plaques.

By the way, the Green Party proposed that there should be a number of pink plaques installed to remember significant members of the gay community from the city's past. The history of the city's gay community is, of course, an integral part of the history of the city, but the pink-plaque idea strikes me as a piece of headline-grabbing, vote touting which does the party no credit.

Note: The photograph shows the plaque to Gideon Mantell, one of the founding fathers of geology and palaeontology, who lived in Brighton between 1833 and 1838 at 20 Old Steine. Not a lot of years you might say but it was during these years that Mantell really rose to fame as the discover of dinosaurs and one of the primary promoters of the view that there was an Age of Reptiles that long preceded the Age of Mammals (and of humanity). No 20 was both his home and his museum, displaying the most important of his collection of 25,000 fossil specimens.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ming the Mouse

Sir Menzies Campbell, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats in parliament, had his prime minister's question time debut yesterday - and made a bit of a mess of it. He walked head-first into a prime-ministerial joke at his expense. The House burst into laughter, and Tony Blair soon moved on to other questions, while Sir Ming sank back into his commons seat.

Yet Sir Ming's question was an important one. Unlucky for him he is not much good at commons knock-about. More generally, Sir Ming performs well on Radio 4 and Newsnight, the more serious news programmes. It's not so clear that he could appeal convincingly to a more popular audience.

But back to his question. Sir Ming stood up to the hoots and whistles of both Labour and Tory MPs, which was their way of referring to the mess the Lib Dems had got themselves into when they decided to do assassinate their erstwhile leader, Charlie Kennedy. Sir Ming asked the PM to explain why one in five of our schools do not have a permanent head. (But, didn't the Lib Dems lack a permanent head? LOL!!) The commons chamber erupted in howls of laughter which lasted, according to Simon Hoggart, the Guardian's parliamentary correspondent, a full 38 seconds - a long, long, long time.

Finally, Tony Blair responded: "On the heads vacancies, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, it can be difficult to find the head of an organisation when the post is vacant, particularly if it is a failing organisation." Nudge, nudge, wink wink! There was more laughter.

Blair's answer was no answer at best; at worst it was an admission of failure. He chose to play out the joke, and failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem that exists in the management and leadership of our schools. Why are school headships so difficult to fill? In a city the size of Brighton & Hove, 20% would mean that, on average, 16 of our 80 schools had no permanent headteacher. That would mean a school would either have a 'troubleshooter' on a short term contract brought in to try to turn the school around, or that the school was being managed temporarily by a deputy head, and that the governors and LEA were having problems trying to find willing candidates to fill the vacancy.

In fact, Brighton & Hove have two advertised vacancies for heads. And a quick look around the net shows that Birmingham has nine headteacher vacancies, Bristol has five, Hounslow has four, Lewisham has one, Wandsworth has one, Havering has one, Sheffield has three, Liverpool has none, Devon has two, and Hampshire has none. The Times Education Supplement, the main national source of jobs ads for school teaching vacancies, has a total of forty secondary school headteacher vacancies for the whole of the UK. Nowhere near 20%.

So where did Sir Ming get his statistic? From the National Audit Office's latest report on schools in England. It reads that: "In 2004-05, 28 per cent of primary schools and 20 per cent of secondary schools were without a permanent headteacher." Either recruitment radically improved in the second half of last year, or there are a great many headteachers on short term contracts. Or the NAO has got it numbers wrong?!

What next? Whoever is elected leader of the Lib Dems should bring the question back to prime minister's question time, and demand a thorough explanation.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Whither the West Pier?

Geoff Lockwood, chief executive of Brighton West Pier Trust, has finally admitted defeat. In his latest statement on the future of the pier, The Ravages of Wind and Fire, published this month on the Trust's website he accepts that the West Pier will not be "restored". Of course, all hopes of genuine restoration went some years back, especially after the disastrous fires of 2003 which has left nothing standing but the burnt-out steel framework of the pier. Any restoration today could be nothing more than a pastiche or replica of the original Victorian structure, and therefore not worth the doing.

So why did the Trust fail. Mr Lockwood gives a number of reasons. The bureaucracy of the Heritage Lottery Fund (who were putting up the millions of public money needed), the "vexatious opposition of the Noble Organisation" (owners of Brighton Pier) who were determined to prevent the restoration "by all possible means", the years of delay and thus further physical deterioration of the pier at the hands of sea and storm, and the finally the work of "professional arsonists".

Mr Lockwood writes: "The fire fighters I was with in the burning structures had no doubt that the fires had been professionally planned; combustible timers placed at night and approached from the sea (we had 24 hour security watch at the landward end). Professional, so which opponents to our plans paid them?"

The crime has never been solved.

Mr Lockwood has scaled down the Trust's ambition for the pier to some kind of heritage centre on the foreshore site of the old pier. I believe that the Trust has in store a good many artefacts from the 'old lady' to fill a small museum.

Let's hope it happens. The Trust intends to announce its new plans early in 2006.

So, the city will have to be content with having only one pier: Brighton Pier. Or will it? Perhaps a completely new pier should be built. Not another Brighton pier. No, Brighton Pier is very good at what it does, but we don't need another - thank you, very much!

What we could have is a 21st century pier, museum, and visitor attraction which would be a demonstration of sustainable technologies. That should bring world-class international architects, technologists, and environmentalists to the design table. And since our one remaining pier is now called Brighton Pier (formerly known as Palace Pier) the new pier should be called Hove Pier and sited on the esplanade, opposite Brunswick Square.

Thus the two-town city of Brighton & Hove would have two piers.

Why not?

See Geof Lockwood's report here

Further info about Brighton's piers here

Friday, December 23, 2005

CIA Skies

The weather in Brighton today and for the last few days has been cloudy, dull, dull and more dull, though mild for this time of year (around 9 degrees centigrade daytime).It's very uninspiring and together with historically low prices (courtesy of the working people of China, no doubt) probably accounts for a good deal of the ever-growing obsession of bedecking our homes with more and more Christmas lights for a Christmas season which grows longer and longer.

Some time ago I was looking at the CIA's online World Factbook . A useful reference work, provided you take account of the peculiar perspective of its authors. In its entry for the UK it has a couple of lines on the climate, including the following observation: "more than one-half of the days are overcast".

Um, interesting, I thought, perhaps it comes from using spy satellites a lot - not the overcast days but the observation thereof. But it's true we have a lot of overcast days and they tend to depress the spirit, especially during these short days of winter. Nonetheless, the winter solstice is now behind us, and longer, if still too frequently overcast, days are lie ahead.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Park & Ride Refusal - Again!

So once again the city council have muffed it on park & ride, voting against yet another proposal for a new park & ride extension. Despite the scheme being radically scaled down before going to the Policy & Resources Committee on 7th December, it was defeated by the combined opposition of Tory, Green and LibDem councillors, giving the opposition a majority over the proposal of the minority Labour administration.

The Tories opposed because of local opposition in one of their safe seats. The Greens opposed because they are attached to unrealisable utopian dreams. The LibDems opposed because they float on the breeze.

Park & Ride is often portrayed by its opponents as the plaything of the business community, intent on making money at whatever cost to the environment. It is true that some business people think like that and that the city's business-dominated Economic Partnership have long championed the cause of park & ride, but those who will suffer its loss are not just business, but the city's visitors, and the city centre residents.

Air quality, road safety, and traffic management will all suffer - and that means city centre residents and all who for whatever reason visit the central area.

I favour a large scheme on the edge of town at its northern approach. But such a scheme can only be justified if it is linked to a radical proposal for rescaling city centre parking and remodelling important areas of the centre in favour of the pedestrian. Labour's scheme was linked to a fairly limited bus-based Rapid Transport System, servicing a number of key seafront venues. That was not enough. It was inadequate.

A bit by bit approach to increasing pedestrian priority areas in the city must at some point turn revolutionary in the way something like that proposed by Anthony Seldon in his book, Brave New City. Until that happens gridlock and more and more air pollution hover on our horizon.

Over the last decade or so hundreds of thousands of pounds, probably millions, have been spent (given to consultants) reviewing sites for possible park and ride schemes. It ain't cheap. And all we have to show for it is the make-do-and-mend scheme at Withdean.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Housing & Homelessness

Brighton Housing Trust is taking part in a petition, organised nationally by Shelter, to press the governement to take real action to provide more desperately needed social housing in the South East.

Here I explore some of the issues around the problem here in Brighton. The article is a couple of years old, but unfortunately still relevant.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Forty-Seven Per Cent

Cycling in Brighton & Hove has increased by 47% since 2000, so says the city council. That's impressive. It's good to have the statistic but it's easy to confirm anecdotally just by looking around you. Yip, there are many more cyclists about the city.

There are two factors at work here. The pull: the council has been developing cycling facilities for many years now - admittedly under the constant pressure of very active cycling pressure groups. And just recently the city was chosen as a National Exemplar Cycling Demonstration Town 2005 - 2008 (a bit of a mouthful) by the Dept. of Transport and will therefore have a £3 million pound cycling investment package to spend over the next three years.

The push: another statistic: in 1992/94 48% of 17-20 year olds had a driving licence; in 2004 that had fallen to 26%. The rising costs of learning to drive, and rise and rise in the size of student loans must account for a large part of this change.

What a shame then the Southern Rail is to enforce cycle restrictions on the London to Brighton service, banning bikes between 7am and 10am and between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays.

Admittedly folding bikes will still be allowed to travel at all times.

It's not too unreasonable to think that a regular London commuter should invest in a folding bike. At least, I don't thnk so.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Pity The Poor Councillor

So last Thursday the city council voted to accept reports on the latest stage in the stately progress of its Waste Local Plan which continues to support the building of a waste incinerator on a vacant brownfield site in Newhaven.

Environmental campaigners and residents opposed to having the plant in their backyard lobbied the council meeting - with no success.

Environmental pressure groups, such as Friends of the Earth, claim that incineration isn't just bad but is unnecessary, claiming that recycling rates of 60, 70 and even 80% are possible. Maybe in theory, maybe, maybe, but not within the realms of possibility of any single local council in the UK today.

The local council's primary role is to dispose of waste - which is, of course, a health hazard. It has no control over its production in the first place. The only way 80% recycling rates could possibility be achieved would be if the manufactured products which consumers buy were really designed to be recycled. A newspaper is not designed to be recycled even though it can be recycled - at great expense, both financially and environmentally.

Those who bring products to the marketplace should have to demonstrate the full life cycle costs of the product, not just the costs of production but also the costs of disposal. By disposal I mean returning the product to an environmentally neutral state - that is, non-damaging to the environment. This would require legislation and planning at both national and international governmental levels.

Today China is fast becoming the 21st. century's workshop of the world. The cost to us of her products is cheap; the cost to China's environment is dear.

Pity the poor councillor who has to make decisions about waste management when the present government, like all previous governments, is so weak and spineless on environmental matters. I had once hoped for better, but after eight years in office, only the very naïve would continue to hope for any radical change of direction or pace.

Why only last week in parliament environment minister, Ben Bradshaw, rose to the defence of the plastic shopping bag, which was banned in Ireland three years ago!

Marina Tower

The 40 storey Marina tower that was rejected recently by the city council's planning committee has attracted opposition primarily because of its height which opponents claim contravenes the original consent for the Marina development. The council's planning officers who supported the application, after amendment by the developers, don't think so, but be that as it may.

It's just a little odd that such an exposed residential development is being proposed (right on the harbour arm) when the council only a short distance away at the Undercliff Walk is spending millions of pounds to reinforce the seawall big time, at least in part because of fears of climate change, rising seawater levels, and therefore bigger storm damage on the coast.

I was curious to see what the application says about this long term threat - if anything - but when I tried to download it (and it's great that the link is there on the council's website) what I got was a very long doc in what seemed to be as Asian script!

It's not the first time this has happened with a Word download from the council's website - some sort of techie problem which I hope can be resolved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

To Burn or Not To burn

Today the Argus published the first artist illustrations of the proposed waste incinerator to be sited in Newhaven together with the news that the Environment Agency is seeking the closure of the two remaining landfill sites a year earlier than the councils and their waste contractors had expected.

With no new landfill capacity in sight and with the incinerator still at the planning stage, Brighton and East Sussex may well have to export their waste at great expense to Northamptonshire.

This is no surprise since the landfill site contractors and their council clients have been trying to squeeze more and more capacity out of existing landfill sites for many years.

The Environment Agency has had enough, because of increased ground water pollution.

I will return to this issue in greater detail another time.