DEAR, oh dear. The Argus letters page has recently contained a number of highly misleading and very wide of the mark correspondents.

Paul Johnston (Letters, December 3) says that the last Labour government was “responsible for the current state of the country’s finances”.

This is patent nonsense.

This country and many others were subject to the global financial crisis caused by the criminally reckless behaviour of their financial institutions when they built up billions of pounds of bad and unrecoverable debt.

It was only the intervention of Gordon Brown and leaders of other developed countries that saved the whole financial system from crashing down which would have affected millions of ordinary citizens.

LS King (Letters, December 3) says, on a different topic, that the council has the funds to spend £7 million on phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme in Brighton.

In fact, £6 million of this is coming from a grant provided by a regional body called the Local Enterprise Partnership and not council finances.

Agreed, the council is providing just over £1 million but the £6 million is only available if the council pay something as well.

LS King goes on to ask what councils are doing about the huge reduction in central funding they have suffered over the past few years (most councils have suffered a 77 per cent cut in finances since 2015).

He/she can be reassured that all councils have been lobbying the Government both individually and via their collecting body the Local Government Association.

Lara Jay (Letters, December 3) then asks if the money allocated to the Valley Gardens scheme could be used elsewhere, for example the seafront arches? It can’t.

As mentioned above, the funding for the Valley Gardens scheme is specific to the scheme itself.

That’s why we’ve been lobbying for lottery money as well as other sources of funding for the arches.

It’s also worth remembering that both the Valley Gardens scheme and the i360 were proposed by the Greens when they were in power and were supported by almost all Tory councillors at that time.

Labour opposed both as they didn’t think it was the right time, financially, to be embarking on such major schemes.

When Labour came to power, however, the Tories and Greens made it clear that they would outvote us on the Valley Gardens scheme so we agreed that we would work in cooperation with them.

The i360 was a done deal though and we are left with a potential underwritten debt of £36 million which was not of our making.

The i360 is run by a private company and as such we have no involvement in its operation.

Councillor Peter Atkinson North Portslade