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Brighton Greens back radical reform plans

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Brighton & Hove City Council’s fledgling Green administration has pledged to support radical plans to restructure the council, despite having announced grave misgivings whilst in opposition.   

New leader Bill Randall (Green) released a joint statement with chief executive John Barradell announcing the Greens would back plans for an  “intelligent commissioning” model to be rolled out.

The statement said: “We believe intelligent commissioning will help us to achieve our goals.

“We are committed to working in the spirit of true partnership and collaboration to tackle the many pressing issues facing Brighton & Hove. To this end we must all work closely with trade unions, the community and voluntary sector, the business community, residents and other public bodies, among them the police and the NHS, to make our great city an even better place to live, work and visit.”

Full statement attached at the bottom of this article.

Cllr Randell told local media last summer he feared the plans “would provide a platform for service cuts and the privatisation of services”.

He was reported as saying: “We have become increasingly concerned about the proposed commissioning structure as more details have emerged.

“We accept chief executive John Barradell’s good intentions in wishing to reorganise the way the council works.

“However, we believe the proposals would provide a platform for service cuts and the privatisation of services at a time when a Conservative-led government is cutting budgets and services with relish and beyond necessity.”

Following their election victory Cllr Randall told LGC he had “no problem” with the principles behind the “intelligent commissioning model” but with the way the programme, launched by the previous Tory-led administration, was being rolled out.  

Jason Kitcat (Green) added: “It is early days, we have not yet officially formed an administration, but we would like to re-examine the plans and drive them more towards green values.”   

“The term ‘commissioning’ has a lot of connotations; our concerns were that it would lead to outsourcing and privatisation.”

First Message from the Leader and Chief Executive

Councillor Bill Randall, Leader and John Barradell, Chief Executive have sent out the following message to all staff explaining how we will deliver the administration’s priorities for the city.

Dear colleague,

Following last week’s Full Council, which confirmed the appointment of the UK’s first Green-led council, we’re getting down to delivering the Administration’s priorities for the city.

We are only too aware of the budget pressures and the other challenges ahead, and we recognise tough choices will have to be made. We promise you a different way of working where your voice will be heard and your ideas will be considered. Our approach will be founded on mutual respect and collaboration, recognising that clear boundaries must be drawn between the politicians’ strategic task of identifying priorities and developing policies and the officers’ role of managing the organisation and delivering the policies. We believe intelligent commissioning will help us to achieve our goals.

We are committed to working in the spirit of true partnership and collaboration to tackle the many pressing issues facing Brighton & Hove. To this end we must all work closely with trade unions, the community and voluntary sector, the business community, residents and other public bodies, among them the police and the NHS, to make our great city an even better place to live, work and visit.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 24 May), we are meeting the Brighton & Hove Strategic Partnership to discuss ways of working more closely together. This is one of the first steps down this new road together. We’ll keep you updated through the Wave and through your team briefings.

Kind regards,

Councillor Bill Randall, Leader

John Barradell, Chief Executive

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