Business news for Brighton & Hove
Trouble for ‘Big Lemon’
A move from the cities municipal bus service, Brighton and Hove Buses, has led to the removal of one of The Big Lemon’s main routes. From 6 February route 42, which serves stops from the centre of Brighton to the University of Sussex, will no longer be in action.
The Big Lemon, a community interest company, has been a student favourite since its creation in 2007.
The company boasted a fleet of eight vehicles fuelled by waste cooking oil purchased from local restaurants and operated by a team of drivers that became known for their kindness.
The move by Brighton and Hove Buses to reduce the price of the 25 route (serving the University of Sussex) by 32 percent whilst leaving all other prices unchanged has been seen as predatory, effectively pricing the Big Lemon out of the route. Passengers are now worried that with no competition the price of the B&H service will increase.
Pleas to let Brighton bid
Business leaders, academics, and MPs in Brighton and Hove are supportive of Government plans to install ultra-fast broadband. The project, which is planned to be rolled out across 14 cities, will offer super-connected Wi-Fi.
Businesses in Brighton and Hove are keen for the city to be involved in the scheme due to the digital business opportunities that it will bring. They have been promoting the fact that Brighton is fast becoming a digital media hot-spot.
Further, the inclusion in such a scheme would allow Brighton to attract more businesses to set up offices in Brighton and Hove. Business leaders are worried that without inclusion Brighton and Hove could fail to compete with other cities.
However, Brighton’s shortage of housing means that it is technically not allowed to bid for the project. All involved in the bid are hoping for some flexibility in the decision making.
A planned development for the Eastside area of Newhaven has been disrupted after Lewes District Council determined that such plans would not bring the area enough high-quality jobs.
Asda and Barratt Homes had planned to create a new supermarket, petrol station, 190 homes and 100 offices in the area as a joint venture.
However, questions have been asked as to whether the project will now go ahead. The council defended its actions by claiming that the area on which the application was applied for is earmarked for commercial development which would create a significant number of high-skilled jobs.
The application has been deferred for further consideration, whilst the council has stated that if such a site came to fruition it would require a £620,000 payment for overall community improvements and marketing.
The council is said to be considering three alternative applications for the development of the area.
Businesses protest hikes
On 26 January, up to 100 traders, businesses and firm van drivers conducted a peaceful protest along the streets of Hove town centre. This was against the increase in the price of parking permits and was led by Traders Need Transport (TNT).
The increases have been very significant – business permits would increase from £175 to £300, and traders must accommodate for an increase from £350 to £600.
Local authorities are urging businesses to switch to quarterly permits as this would improve the internal cash flow.
In the new quarterly plans trader parking permits will increase in price from £90 to £160, whilst business permits will go up from £53 to £85.
The Eurozone crisis is increasingly showing a grim picture. The Eurostat agency has released figures that show dismal job prospects among the 17 countries that share the Euro.
The figure released for December was 10.4 percent, equating to a worrying 16.5 million people out of work. This means an increase of 750,000 from the previous year.
Spain is faring the worst with an estimated 22.9 percent of the population out of work., whilst Austria boasts a relatively low figure of 4.1 percent.
The job issue is increasingly debated among world leaders, although the issue is unlikely to see improvements until there is a reversal in Europe’s deteriorating economic fortunes.