CONSERVATIVE councillors have called on the council to take steps to spruce up the city ahead of the Platinum Jubilee later this year.

Tory representatives on Brighton and Hove City Council have put forward policies to make sure the year, which marks 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II first became monarch, is a memorable one for the city.

Among their proposals include the return of an annual City in Bloom competition in the summer, with Patcham councillor Carol Theobald presenting a petition to the council for it to be brought back.

Steve Bell, leader of the Brighton and Hove Conservative group, said: "We strongly believe that this would be a good way to restore civic pride, provide a boost post-pandemic and bring back some colour to the city.

"We also think the absence of this event puts us at a disadvantage to other seaside towns in Sussex and throughout the country which embrace summer displays."

Cllr Bell said that funding for the event was slowly withdrawn by the council until it folded in 2020, but that a small annual budget would allow the event to carry on.

The Conservatives' tourism spokeswoman Councillor Dee Simson is also calling for Brighton's Victoria Fountain in Old Steine Gardens to be switched back on, after being switched off for over a year, in time for the Jubilee celebrations in June.

The fountain, built in 1846, has become "overgrown with weeds, with graffiti covering its surrounds", Cllr Bell said.

He added: "The fountain used to be the centre point and symbol of Brighton and a reflection of a city that took pride in its appearance and welcomed visitors. There also used to be beautifully planted gardens and fencing that were maintained all year round to welcome visitors.

"The council should take a look at some of the pictures from the past to see how well-maintained this area used to be."

His comments come after a residents' association complained that Old Steine Gardens and nearby Victoria Gardens had been left to look like a "Siberian gulag", after a Christmas festival came to a close and was dismantled.

The party has also called on the council to make the decision to start the restoration of Madiera Terraces, and put forward a project to have Hove Beacon re-lit with an LED lighting system, allowing for the traditional beacon-lighting at Jubilee celebrations to take place with an environmentally friendly twist.

"Let's focus on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in our city to make a long-lasting difference to Brighton and Hove in the years ahead," Cllr Bell said.

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.