NEWS about the seafront benches being vandalised is disappointing and I look forward to their restoration.

But I wanted to respond to comments by Cllr Nemeth who again claimed that councillors are spending too much time focusing on national issues rather than focusing on making improvements locally.

Conservative councillors don't want to focus on "national issues" because of one simple fact. All of the local issues they raise are caused by years of underfunding by Conservative governments and a failure to tackle the rising costs of adult social care.

Councils simply do not have the resources to fund everything they need to. And they don't have the staff to perform miracles.

Residents and councillors have every right to be angry about how services aren't performing to the level they would like to see. I'm upset about it too. I want us to be able to do everything we need to do.

But this distinction between local and national issues is false.

Let it be clear that when I was a councillor in opposition, the state of the seafront railings was something I raised.

As a councillor representing a seafront ward, I met with Labour councillors and officers in charge at the time about this issue.

I was delighted this year when the seafront shelters and railings were repainted.

We've also launched a trial of a scheme that aims to tackle graffiti - even on private property, which councils are not required to do.

We'd like to roll it out further soon, but this comes at a cost. Each year we have to make difficult decisions about how to balance the books.

The comments from Cllr Nemeth are just another example of Conservatives complaining about the impact of their own government policy on the capacity and resources of local councils.

I'd urge Conservative councillors to recognise that and join us when we talk about the impact national policy is having locally. Rather than putting their fingers in their ears.

Councillor Hannah Clare

Green Party councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide

Deputy leader, Brighton and Hove City Council