Community Coalition and the Neighbourhood Plan

The Hanover & Elm Grove Community Coalition includes representatives from community and residents groups across the ward and interested individual residents and has formed to work of developing a neighbourhood Action Plan for our area. For more info on the developing plan, who is involved and how you can join in see our NAP pages HERE

The community coalition is holds regular meetings which are open to anyone who lives in the ward, wiht the next one on May 1st at the Phoenix Gallery – for more on these, look HERE

The next public event, looking to engage people in the developing NAP will be on Sunday April 29th, where we will be joining in at Spring in the Patch, with information about the plan and your chance to comment, and will also be teaming up with Hanover Action who will be running activities around local recycling and their ‘Bloomin Hanover’ plan to fill our streets with floral abundance.

We hope you will drop by on the day and share your thoughts about our neighbourhood


Save Hanover!

Two fantastic campaigns have sprung into life this week, as our community steps forward to try to save important local features. First up – a pub:

1. Save The Greys

The Greys pub on Southover Street has long been famous for fine food, great beer, and its intimate and friendly atmosphere, with music nights that attract high profile, international folk, country and blues artists.

Over the past five years, however, this extremely popular local has seen multiple changes of management and been starved of investment. It is now in danger of closing its doors forever.

The Friends of the Greys was formed to try and offer up a better, brighter future for The Greys and the building has been granted Asset of Community Value status by the Council; but we now have only until late December to make a successful bid to Save The Greys!

Who are The Friends of The Greys?

We are a group of old, new and in some cases, ex-residents who, not only love The Greys for all its history and warmth, but who want to realise a sense of community and shared values within this amazing, diverse corner of Brighton & Hove.  The Greys as a Community Free House has the potential to offer all residents a social space in which they can contribute and share in projects aimed at enhancing and strengthening their community.

What a Community Free House will mean

Our vision is to reinvent The Greys as a social enterprise owned and run by the residents of Hanover and the wider public of Brighton and beyond. We aim to provide a daytime resource for community groups, offering space for creativity, learning, support and wellbeing initiatives run by, and for, residents.

We will also focus on providing the very best of British and worldwide real ales and craft beers, locally sourced food, and reinvigorating the Greys tradition of live music. Any surplus will be ploughed back into local community causes.

We are working hard to develop a business plan and identify potential sources of external funding.  We are also planning a share offering to be launched later in the autumn, giving the public the opportunity to become owners of this new Community Free House – and enjoy benefits as members of this social enterprise.

 To find out more, visit the website or click on the image in the lefthand sidebar

2. Save the Trees

Next up, Hanover Action have launched a crowdfunder to replace dead street trees in the area:

Saving our diminishing tree canopy in Brighton and Hove.

We are fundraising to replace dead street street trees in Hanover & Elm Grove.

£350 Initial Target:

This will help us to replace two trees:

1. A Silver Birch (Betula pendula) tree in Ewart Street (Hanover) that forms part of the silver birch planting in the whole street.

2. A Wych Elm outside Elm Grove School, Elm Grove.

These two tree replacements are possible with our initial £350 target and the offer of match-funding from local Councillor David Gibson’s ‘Ward Councillor Budget Scheme 2017-18’. Agreement has been secured from Brighton & Hove Council for enabling works (Highways Basic Maintenance would prepare grinding site and reinstate hard surfaces ).

Our £1,500 Stretch Target!

We want to exceed the initial £350 target so we can replace other dead trees.

3. This include a Wych Elm tree at the junction of Totland Road-Hartington Road, that forms part of the avenue of Elms that runs from the Lewes Road all the way up Hartington Road.

4. A Wych Elm at 225 Elm Grove:

These last two trees will be replaced in negotiation with Brighton & Hove Council for the enabling works. Due to lack of Council funding this may include a larger financial contribution to enabling works, and reinstatement of pavement, etc.

Please help us however small your donation 🙂

Find their crowdfunder at or click on the picture in the sidebar.

Clean streets

Hampden Road makeover

Last week some residents of Hampden Road got together to repaint a grotty looking wall – and here’s the result! Excellent work by those involved and thanks to the council for sorting out paint for the junction box.

St Martins Place Community Cleanup

On Weds October 25th, University of Sussex is organising a streetclean on St Martins Place and anyone wishing to join residents, students and city clean staff sprucing up the street is welcome to attend. Lucy Walker from the university says it will be “a very informal hands on, sleeves up call to action. We’ll be sweeping pavements and clearing any recycling or rubbish.” For more info contact Lucy

If you think your street needs sprucing or you and your neighbours would like to do some work on your street and would like some help or advice, do get in touch.

The Social and Environmental Sustainability of Clothes

Interested in sustainability and clothing issues? We have been asked to help promote this event by Mike from Finsbury Rd who attends the LAT. Looks interesting – anyone wanting to go or know more, contact Mike by email at

I’m running a one-off event for which I need committed environmental people to contribute to research with colleagues at the Open University on sustainability.

This will involve attending a focus group/workshop at the Hanover Centre, Southover Street on Thursday 3rd July (8 – 9.30pm), looking at people’s views on sustainable and ethical clothing and there will also be some chance for discussion, a bit of a snack and I hope we’ll have some props, displays too and a bit of fun. You don’t need to know anything about clothes!

The aim of the focus group is to understand how we can encourage consumers and also retailers to change practice. For this we want to get views of individuals who are: already committed to related sustainability/eco issues and explore some questions together. It is part of a short piece of exploratory work – being undertaken in Brighton because of the Green concentration – and it will help inform a major research project planned to influence DEFRA and policy.

The poster below summarises the main theme. It would be great if you were able to take part in the focus group – please let me know as I need to have an idea of numbers for snack, handout and seating purposes.

Please let me know

Best wishes


Mike Clothes

A bit about Mike
Mike is a freelance researcher, living in Brighton, who specialises in community projects, co-operatives and social justice causes.

He is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Co-operatives Research Unit at the Open University since 1998 where he has researched social enterprise organisations. Mike is also a research associate at the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR), where he has been involved since 2004 on projects concerned with community development, advocacy, state/third sector representation mechanisms, community participation, impact and measurement, and the role of community asset ownership. Before this, Mike worked in the sector for nearly 20 years at the Development Trusts Association, Community Matters and Save the Children. He holds a PhD from the Open University and an MA in Social Policy from the University of Sussex. He has spoken at academic and practitioner events in Germany, Mexico, Poland, Sweden and Japan. Mike is a member of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN, UK), Social Policy Association (UK), European Social Enterprise Research Network (EMES, Belgium) and ISTR (Baltimore) He has published work on social enterprises, civil society and advocacy and remains active as a volunteer and activist in local community action.

Choosing the best wildlife sites in Brighton and Hove

(A Guest post by council ecologist Mathew Thomas)

Dear Local Action Team,

I am writing to invite Local Action Teams in Brighton and Hove to take part in choosing the best wildlife sites in Brighton and Hove. Once chosen, these sites will be protected from development and will be the focus for future conservation work.

Over the past couple of years, around 150 potential sites in Brighton and Hove have been visited and surveyed in detail, both in the inner urban area and surrounding countryside. As well as recording important species and habitats, the surveys have taken account of the value of local green spaces as places simply to walk and enjoy nature.

The next stage is for the compiled survey information to be presented to selection panels. The panels will assess each site against pre-agreed criteria and decide whether they should be formally recognised as a ‘Local Wildlife Site’. The panels will also be able to recommend sites to go forward for designation as Local Nature Reserves, which are protected by law.

It is important that the selection panels take full account of local knowledge, views and values, as well as more ‘scientific’ criteria, so you do not have to be an acknowledged expert in a particular species or habitat to be involved (although acknowledged experts are very welcome too!).

The selection panels take place at the following times and venues:

  • 7pm, Tuesday 23rd April, Portslade Town Hall, Victoria Road, Brighton, BN41 1YF (for the Hove, Mile Oak and Portslade areas).
  • 7pm, Monday 29th April, Saltdean Community Centre, Saltdean Park Road, Saltdean, BN2 8SP (for east Brighton, Rottingdean and Saltdean).
  • 7pm, Tuesday 30th April, Brighton Town Hall, Bartholomews, Brighton, BN1 1JA (for central Brighton, Wild Park and farmland to the north).

If you, or a member of your Local Action Team would like to attend one or more of the selection panels, please reply to me by e-mail, indicating which (or all) panel meetings you would like to attend.(see below for contact)

Each selection panel is limited to 20 people and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so please reply promptly to secure your place. All confirmed panel members will receive more information shortly.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the SNCI project, please contact me by e-mail or on 01273 292371.

Thank you for your interest

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Thomas


Brighton & Hove City Council




Vote Hanover, Vote Paul!

A guest post from Paul Norman (@PaulinBrighton ) from Hanover 10:10 who is well on the way to raising TEN GRAND for the Hanover Centre for roof insulation – though he needs your help! Please read, be inspired and follow the link at the end to vote for Paul and help improve your community centre.


Raising interest in a more sustainable lifestyle that drives down carbon means you have to focus…. but how? What are the priorities? What are the problems in practice? With these issues in mind Hanover10:10 have developed a project with our well-used Hanover Community Centre building. This former Victorian school currently has little insulation, and none in the roof!   

We have developed the Hanover Centre Carbon RACE (Reduction, Awareness & Community Engagement) to lead an eco-retrofit of the building. We have had huge support from the local community, with residents attending volunteer insulation events, and have involved University of Brighton students in this community-focused, educational, and practical project to insulate, make adaptations, consider energy generation, and show how these are transferable to the local housing. 

The student technical projects have mapped out the works, priorities (and challenges!) that we face and now we need to work out how to pay for it. Luckily our project was selected last December as one of 10 nationally for an EDF competition to reward sustainability initiatives. We had to report, blog and communicate our work. Now the public decides! Voting opened during the Olympics on 6th August and we are now in a clear 2nd place. But, we need to be 1st to get the £10,000 no strings attached prize, and so immediately funding our “shovel-ready” works at the Centre.

Please Vote for £10,000 for Hanover Centre enviro-refit


Hanover Street Focus

Back in March, a group of neighbours met with Tony from the council to carry out an audit of our streets: the plan was to inspect Hanover, to note down what was wrong and needed fixing, and also to think about what positive changes we could make to improve our area. (The image at the top of this post was taken from – the website of an American artist which documents a series of inspirational neighbourhood projects – well worth a look.)

The survey forms have been examined and we have a fair list of what needed doing on that day – a summary of street-by-street issues is below. The next step is our Street Focus day, which will take place on Friday 18th May meet up at the Hanover Centre at 10am.

We are hoping that City Clean will do a deep clean of certain streets on that day and challenge residents who have left out rubbish bags. The graffiti team will remove graffiti across Hanover during that week. Residents can help with tasks such as removing stickers and cable ties from lamp posts, some sweeping up of rubbish etc. We will supply the equipment. You should wear strong shoes and bring gloves. Please meet in the garden at the Hanover Centre (if its not raining) to collect tools and to split into small groups to do various tasks. We have booked the First floor hall for refreshments and to leave bags etc.

This starts to tackle some of the negative aspects which need sorting out, but this project is also intended to look at positive ways we can make Hanover a better place. Following comments left on the audit sheets we are also looking at another area of activity.

Let Hanover Blossom – we are encouraging residents to have flowers on show in the streets. For some people there is enough room outside their homes for a planter – but please do not obstruct the already narrow pavements. Other people will have window boxes. We are less keen on hanging baskets because it is a drought year and hanging baskets use a lot of water. We will be advertising an event with the local food project (VEG) to get people started in planting flowers and show them how to plant up window boxes. We will also be showing people how to make a vertical planter from recycled wooden pallets.

Please put up the attached poster in your window and tell your neighbours about these events. There is a lot of support for improving the streets and if we do this, others will be more likely not to mess them up. If you want me to print you a colour poster, please leave a message for Tony  requesting one and your address ( telephone 293926) and he will drop one through your letterbox.

Here is the full summary of the March audits.