I ALWAYS thought that a rise to our council tax was to avoid cuts to our services.

However, this council seems to want it both ways with the 2.9 per cent council tax hike and cuts and is yet again is threatening our public library services.

Bizarrely it simultaneously has the funds to spend £7 million on removing the Brighton Pier roundabout without public consultation to add to the £11 million wasted on Valley Gardens which virtually no one wanted and worsening gridlock problems welcoming visitors to our city.

Perhaps it is not lack of money but what spending decisions are made with the public purse which is the real problem.

Plus a failure to generate income, for example, by allowing a host of council-owned commercial properties to fall empty across the city, often for years and failing to collect unpaid council tax and fines.

The council has also clearly failed to read the Government’s own report Libraries Deliver 2016- 2021 which demonstrates that public library provision is not only cost-neutral over time, but actually saves councils money on the social care and welfare bill.

Libraries are both a safety net and a lifeline to many as well as a joy and a social hub to others.

In an age where social isolation and depression are the number one social ill, public libraries tick more boxes than any other council service in what they can offer if well run and adequately resourced.

Councils should see libraries as an easy win, not an easy target.

Plus not everything is on the internet, even if it were healthy for human beings to spend their every waking hour online rather than on life.

The biggest imbalance in the library service is that the Jubilee Library hoovers up nearly half the budget in PFI (private finance initiative) costs.

Furthermore it is very noisy and not near a bus stop for those with mobility issues. Time to relocate it to cheaper and more accessible large premises?

Finally the curb on central government funding to councils was supposed to be a temporary measure during the recession.

Where is the class action among councils to demand an end to it?

Austerity clearly isn’t working and various quarters are claiming the recession is now over, so its time for an undertaking from central government regarding the future.

LS King Brunswick Street East Hove