GREEN councillors booed and hissed while a member of the public presented a petition criticising the council’s running of the city.

A petition, which claims Brighton and Hove is “buckling under the pressure of the Greens’ ludicrous plans”, attracted more than 5,500 signatures on

Addressing the council, “proud resident” Andy Maclay said that the “clear incompetence of the Green Party” has made him feel embarrassed to live in the city.

Some Green councillors were heard booing and hissing in the hall as Mr Maclay made his remarks - with the council leader describing many of his claims as "unsubstantiated".

Mr Maclay said: “Just when we need the most help, businesses are closing or leaving the city and residents are living with filth on their streets.”

He listed the Green administrations alleged failures since taking office last year as including the “avoidable” bin strike, “vandalism” of the Green Wall, Brighton and Hove’s poor track record for recycling, and weeds growing on paved areas.

He went on to criticise the chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, Green councillor Amy Heley.

He said the “one-dimensional transport policy" of the council was being "driven by a poor lady who is clearly not qualified or experienced enough to run a critical department at a major UK resort”.

“It is the Green Party council leader who has a responsibility to recruit the very best people to run our city’s council departments,” he said.

Mr Maclay claimed that the councillor was “being used” by the council to take the blame for the council’s “preoccupation” with cycle lanes, a reduction in parking spaces for residents and businesses, the highest parking charges outside of London.

He said: “If the Green Party operated in the real world and the private sector, the leaders and policymakers would have been sacked months ago.”

In closing Mr Maclay called for the Green councillors to resign and for another council election, which should take place “when part-time residents, such as students, are not here".

Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty defended the administration’s record.

He said: “If people stopped talking down Brighton and Hove, maybe we would be in a different place.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty listed some of the council's achievements to the applause of Green councillors in the hall.

He mentioned setting up recovery grants for Covid-19, the creation of a new youth employment hub, the restoration of Stanmer Park, the installation of over 200 electric vehicle charging points across the city, a two-way cycle lane in Madeira Drive, and building or purchasing the most council homes across the city this year than in any year since 2013.

Cllr Mac Cafferty also said that hotels in the city are back to 84 per cent occupancy, that Brighton and Hove saw fewer businesses close due to the pandemic than the national average, and that the city was recently voted the best place to start a new business.

He said to Mr Maclay: “When we actually look into the evidence of the unsubstantiated claims in your petition, there’s nothing in many of them whatsoever.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty said that critics of the administration, like Mr Maclay, have the opportunity to vote for new councillors in two years’ time.

He said that “there is always room to reflect on positives, as well as negatives.”

Cllr Mac Cafferty added: “I firmly believe that this administration is working its hardest in spite of the many circumstances that are very much against it.

“We have hundreds of achievements we have been able to get underway in just a year and, with a majority in 2023, the sky’s the limit.”

Conservative councillor Alistair McNair said that his reaction to the petition “was not one of surprise but rather why it had not happened before.”

He claimed to have received a letter from a disgruntled resident outlining the daily challenges they faced living in Brighton.

Cllr McNair read the letter to the council, which recounted the person’s challenges in travelling across the city, including loose paving slabs, roads being blocked by protests and rubbish strewn across the pavements.

He recited: “By the time I arrived at Hove Town Hall, I looked like I had trekked through a jungle - dog poo, grass, sweet wrappers, orange peel, and political leaflets clinging to my soles.

“I had more bugs on me than the Green Wall - which almost passed away due to cuts.”

The letter provoked laughter from some of the councillors in the chamber, which prompted independent councillor Kate Knight to call for debates to be held in a “more friendly and mature way”.

She said: “I thought a lot of the criticism of the administration was unjustified, personal and snidey.

“However, it’s not a good look when the administration is booing and hissing when a member of the public is addressing the council.

“I also don’t think it is a particularly good thing to turn the whole thing into a joke.

“When you are in the administration, you may have achieved some really good things, but you also make mistakes and it’s not inappropriate to admit where you could have done some things better.”

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