In a Q&A, Councillor Garry Wall, the Chairman of Greater Brighton for 2018/19, explains what he hopes to achieve in the role in the next 12 months.
What is Greater Brighton?
Greater Brighton, it’s an interesting name isn’t it? It’s a combination of both politicians and business people, to promote the wider economic benefits of the sub region which started off focusing around Brighton, but which is now a much wider sub region in its own right.
Why does Greater Brighton matter?
Working as a smaller area you can achieve less. What we need to do is broaden our horizons, look to a wider economic area, and play a much bigger part in the economic sub region.
The economy of our region actually knows no boundaries.
Therefore we can’t be constrained by the political boundaries that already exist. We need to be broader, have a greater sense of ambition, a stronger set of priorities for moving forward, and actually work together to create the strongest possible manifesto for investment in the South East region.
What do you bring to the role?
I think I build on the success’ of the past chairman. Past chairman have done a really good job on bringing both political ambitions and the business ambitions together.
My role now is to continue their work, but also to challenge the board and ask the board to think ‘yes, the last five years have been successful. But where do you see the board in five years time?’ How can we take the message forward and do an even better job then we have done before? – that’s my challenge.
How do you know you will be a success in the role?
Well of course I don’t. But actually we have to be confident. The sub region that Brighton is a part of recognises that we can’t look inwardly, we have to look outwardly.
So I think if we are working together as we have done in the past, if we make sure that we have the strongest and clearest voice to government, of why people should live, work and invest in Greater Brighton and show how we can improve the connectivity, how we can improve the social framework, and how we can improve the digital infrastructure.
If we are confident and we have a strong message on those points then I’m pretty certain we’ll have a degree of success.
What does Greater Brighton mean to residents?
Well the impact on all of us can’t be underestimated. Whether you live in Crawley, Brighton, Haywards Heaths, Burgess Hill, Worthing, Lewes; the impact on all of us as the region grows can’t be underestimated.
So whether you’re traveling to work on a daily basis, whether you’re using the car on the weekends, whether you’re going out and about on our beautiful countryside, I think the impact on residents needs to be properly managed. By working together as a Greater Brighton region, we can actually improve the wellbeing of residents across the whole region.