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Home » Editor's Pick, Features

Brighton & Hove’s
 New Broom?

Published by on Wednesday, 21 October 2009No Comment

John BarradellThis month marks the arrival of John Barradell, the new chief executive officer of Brighton and Hove. Mr Barradell was previously the deputy chief executive of Westminster City Council, which boasts the second lowest council tax in the entire country, and has an annual turnover of £1 billion. Whilst at Westminster he led organisational restructuring programmes designed to cut bureaucracy and focus on essential front-line services, and sought to restore the public’s confidence in both the police service and the council. He also worked in formulating the council’s response to the 7/7 attacks on the capital, as well as ensuring public safety after the mysterious poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

Mr Barradell’s appointment was unanimously supported by a cross-party committee of councillors. With this impressive background you may think that Mr Barradell has some very definite views about how our city should move in the future. It seems not: he was very firm about his belief that he was there to implement the decisions of the city’s elected representatives, not to pursue his own agenda. One thing that has emerged from the meeting from council leader Mary Mears was the desire to improve the Queen’s Road section of the city being, as it is, a “gateway” into our city from the train station. “At present when you walk out of the station you really don’t see the best of Brighton and Hove”, Mr Barradell observed.

The need for family homes was also discussed, as at present the numerous conversions of family sized properties into multiple flats are driving many families out of the city to places such as Newhaven and Peacehaven.
Mr Barradell does seem to have been somewhat thrown in at the deep end, right into the middle of union arguments over pay cuts for CityClean workers and a government inquiry into a major development on the Marina, housing issues, and general problems associated with the credit crunch, but his background and demeanour indicate he is a man who should weather these problems with relative ease. 

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