14th August, 2015….. I’m not sure how appropriate it was for brand new Councillor, Robert Nemeth, to go public with an article in today’s Brighton and Hove Independent which sees him appear to seize the King Alfred Project Board ‘spokesperson’ role a bit. It is a welcome article but it invites people per se to go to him with their comments, concerns, etc. And it is not even in his ward. Indeed there is a big question about his entitlement to solicit email contact from people outside his own ward. There is a whole territorial imperative that councillors have to obey! I’m wondering if eyebrows have shot up at Kings House on his journalistic initiative! Jaws maybe dropped a bit….
Maybe a touch of self-serving chutzpah? It blatantly promotes (and inflates the role of) the Tories. Did he get the blessing of his fellow Project Board members? Did they know this article was coming?
The Green Party’s representative was Cllr MacCafferty whose exemplary term as Chair of Planning before the May election certainly qualified him to be a very useful representative on it. It is surprising, therefore, to learn from the article that new Cllr Tom Druitt has apparently replaced him. Central Ward Cllr Andrew Wealls sat on the Project Board for the Tories; and King Alfred IS in Central Ward, but he has clearly deferred to his new Tory councillor colleague, whose knowledge of urban design and development is perhaps greater whilst also being personal. Cllr Nemeth is also a property developer.
As one of the Wish Ward cllrs, Robert is certainly within the King Alfred purview; and the big saveHOVE campaign against the Karis/Gehry proposals from July 2005 until the withdrawal of developer Karis (post-planning consent when it lost its ING backers and could not replace them 2007/8) kept residents directly involved/informed as far west as Wish Ward, so Cllr Nemeth is right to be taking a big interest; however I would caution readers of the article to be very, very aware of the fact that this article from Robert Nemeth is absolutely laced with Tory Party propagandizing whilst also seeking to serve as a useful announcement (hijacked from the Labour Administration which ought to have wanted to extend the hand to the public that Robert here does).
We attend events! And one hopes that the public will be allowed to see what the two shortlisted contenders each offered in their final submissions. Cllr Nemeth does not stand on ceremony as he drops the gauntlet in this article and steals a march on the Administration’s Warren Morgan (Council Leader and on the Project Board for Labour). He highlights a disgraceful absence of public access to the process and for that we must thank him.