HOVE lost when it became a town with Brighton, according to a member of the residents’ association.
Valerie Paynter, from the SaveHove Residents Association, said the merger with Brighton – which took place 25 years ago today – has resulted in the ‘crummification of Hove’, with rubbish, roots of overgrown trees and graffiti.
She said, “My first ‘post-unification’ jolt was seeing a fly poster taped to a junction box on my street. Until then, such things were beyond Hove’s purview. Nor the litter, but that was soon to change.
“The roots of the street trees have been carefully pruned to maintain the safety and cleanliness of the roadway. Regular cupping of the rain drain drain prevented basement flooding – now seen when heavy rain pours over blockages.
“Graffiti quickly followed, along with the general neglect of things like street cleaning and cobble sweepings of the Esplanade.
“Many people believed that unification was about taking control of Hove.”
Councilor Garry Peltzer Dunn, who led Hove Borough Council between 1987 and 1991, said the majority of Hove residents were against the merger at the time and said ‘unification’ worked in Brighton’s favor , claiming Hove inherited Brighton’s deficit.
He said: ‘I guess over the last 25 years you have to wonder what major improvements have taken place in Hove.
“While Brighton has and is undergoing major works, with Valley Gardens, the Marina and Black Rock, what major improvement has the council made in Hove?
“You could say King Alfred – but after 15 years nothing has been achieved.”
He said things are expected to change soon with planned improvement works on the Hove seafront, but the money for this is coming from a government grant.
Cllr Peltzer Dunn said a quarter of a century after the merger, Hove still has its own unique identity.
He said: “I don’t consider myself living in Brighton and Hove – I live in Hove and if I want to shop I’ll stay in Brighton.”
“In my mind, I still think we’re apart and, besides, I don’t think a lot of people say they live in Brighton and Hove.”
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This notice was published: 2022-04-02 05:25:00