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Cuts to cleaning will have a visible impact
Cuts to the graffiti removal service will encourage taggers, according to opposition councillors.
The team, which responds to calls from the public about graffiti around Brighton and Hove, is to be reduced from working seven days a week to five under city council budget proposals.
But the £32,000 saving will put off visitors and encourage more graffiti, according to Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald.
He said: “If this stuff is not cleaned off immediately it just invites more and more mess.
"We don’t want to get a reputation as a soft touch for graffiti.
"Going from seven to five days is inevitably going to mean the team are struggling to keep up.”
Labour councillor Warren Morgan said: “However, residents are asking why the Greens are spending an extra £150,000 on Biosphere consultants and One Planet Living officers when they are making cuts in graffiti removal.”
But cabinet member for finance Jason Kitcat said the £150,000 for the sustainability team was being invested to avoid fines of more than £200,000 if the council misses its carbon reduction targets.
He said: “The graffiti team will still be working hard on protecting the city's appearance, it just means they won’t be able to regularly clean-up during the weekend.
"There will still be emergency cover for very offensive graffiti appearing at weekends."
Cityclean, which handles recycling, refuse and street cleaning for the city council, is earmarked for £399,000 savings through “improved service efficiencies”, which Coun Kitcat said would mean some routes being axed or merged. He said the savings would not lead to redundancies.
In December The Argus reported how an extra £400,000 savings in the street cleaning budget would largely come from reducing the number of agency posts, which made up 10% of the 300-strong Cityclean workforce.
Read more on recycling, waste collection and cleaning inside today's Argus.
Balance the Books
Which areas of Brighton and Hove City Council's budget mean the most to you?
The Argus has chosen ten key areas of the budget proposals to find out which ones out readers think should be treated as a priority in the budget.
Make your choice by filling in our online form at www.theargus.co.uk/news/balancebudget