ONE statistic in particular from The Argus report on the state of the Old Steine Gardens really does say it all about the current performance of Brighton and Hove City Council.

According to the report, only one of ten lamp posts in the area is currently working and "graffiti has been painted over walls and rubbish has been pictured mounting up on street corners" (The Argus, September 10).

The leader of the council has responded in these pages by blaming others for the state of the Old Steine Gardens, suggesting this is somehow the government's fault.

But really, ensuring that street lights are working is one of the most basic functions of a city council and the fact that this is not happening does not reflect well on the Greens' management of the city.

There can be no excuses about cost because the council has just recorded a £10 million surplus for the year.

Come on leader of the council, stop blaming everyone else and get a grip on the situation at Old Steine Gardens, starting with fixing these nine broken lights.

Councillor Mary Mears

Former Conservative leader of Brighton and Hove City Council 2008-11.