Cllr Tony Janio, the new Conservative Group Leader on Brighton & Hove City Council, has appointed three new ‘Champion’ roles to hold the Labour Administration to account.
Cllr. Mary Mears will be the Group’s new Business Champion, Cllr. Nick Lewry will be the Group’s new Cycling Champion and Cllr. Andrew Wealls will be the Group’s new Community & Voluntary Sector Champion.
Cllr Janio, said: “We have decided to create these new roles because we feel that they are very important policy areas which are not being given due attention by the Labour Administration.”
New Business Champion, Cllr Mears, said: “I am delighted to be taking on this new role for the Conservative Group. As a former Leader of the Council and a former local trader myself I know the vital importance of businesses to the city – they are the lifeblood of our economy and employ thousands of local residents. The Conservatives are the only political Group that really understand their needs and I will do my best to help them in any way I can in my new role.”
New Cycling Champion, Nick Lewry, added: “Brighton & Hove is already very much a cycling city but we believe that much more can be done to make cycling both easier and safer for residents and visitors. We are very proud to have been the Party which began the process of introducing Boris Bikes to Brighton & Hove but much more still needs to be done to break down the barriers between cyclists and motorists which unnecessarily polarise the transport debate in the city. Increasing the number of people cycling is good from every perspective. Not only does it help reduce the number of car journeys in the city and hence, traffic congestion and air pollution, it is also hugely beneficial to the individuals in terms of their physical and mental health.”
New Community & Voluntary Sector Champion, Andrew Wealls, concluded: “As Conservatives we believe strongly in the power of the Community & Voluntary sector to transform people’s lives for the better. Over the years we have provided strong and vocal support for the sector both through the Budget process and in our everyday work as Councillors. I am delighted to be taking up this new role and look forward to putting the case for a strengthened role for the sector in the Council and the city as a whole.”
A Labour spokesperson dismissed the appointments of the three ‘Champions’, saying: “When last in power the Conservatives tried to rip out a brand new cycle lane in Hove. They only recently tried to abolish the committee Labour set up to work with the community and voluntary sector, and for them to say Labour doesn’t work with local businesses is frankly desperate when the evidence shows otherwise.
“It seems that in the wake of an election where Labour got over 50% of the votes in the city and their candidates were humiliated, the Conservatives are flailing around trying to appear useful.”