Business leaders heard what £102 million of budget cuts at Brighton and Hove City Council could mean for the city.

Council chief executive Penny Thompson and executive director Geoff Raw outlined the budget scenarios at a meeting of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP).

Ms Thompson showed slides of the Valley Gardens project, describing it as “the lungs of the city”.

But on cuts, she said: “Services for the most vulnerable are the most expensive.

“They are not going to be immune from reductions – reductions will be made across the board.”

Ms Thompson said in the face of cuts of £26 million next year, public services should be provided by the private sector, the community volunteering sector and the public sector.

On the demands placed on the council, she said: “It does seem slightly ironic that we are at the height of austerity while the sense of entitlement is so high.”

She added: “Brighton and Hove has managed significant cuts without most people noticing.”

The city council has to cut £102 million from its budget over the next four years – which the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership equates to £70,000 a day, stating “radical surgery” was required.

The council’s planning department will have to save £230,000 by increasing fees and reducing staffing - despite calls for reinforcements.

Economic development will see a cut of £35,000, thought to reflect the department’s importance in attracting funding from business rates.

Between 200 and 250 council jobs will have to go altogether, on top of those lost already.

Tony Mernagh, executive director of the BHEP, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that budget cuts of this proportion will change the face of council services forever and have implications for businesses and the local economy.”

During a Q&A, construction entrepreneur Mike Holland suggested introducing a tourist tax as a way of “raising £1 million or £2 million here and there”.