THE council leader has slammed the Tories for having "no proposals" for how to fund celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

It comes after Brighton Conservative leader Steve Bell called on the council to offer support for local events and "spruce up" the city ahead of the Jubilee this summer.

However, council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty said that government cuts to local public services over more than a decade have left the council facing "difficulties in funding the many diverse projects our city deserves".

He said: "We are doing all we can to ensure our council can deliver both celebratory events and essential services.

"The Conservatives have no proposals for how they would fund both.

"The best gift our city could receive from government for the Jubilee would be recognition of the funding that councils, like all public services, need to keep essential services running and our city looking its best."

The Tories have suggested the council bring back an annual City in Bloom competition in the summer.

They also want to restart the Victoria Fountain in Old Steine Gardens, and for the restoration of Madeira Terraces to begin.

These ideas would "restore civic pride, provide a boost post-pandemic and bring back some colour to the city," according to Cllr Bell.

Cllr Mac Cafferty said that preparations by the council for the Jubilee are "well underway", with plans to be made clear in the coming months.

He also said that the council would "welcome" any sponsorship from businesses for celebrations or repairs, and that "sprucing up the city is something that we are focussed on year-round".

He said: "Despite the circumstances of Covid-19 and cuts, we've already launched several intensive deep-cleans of our city with more to come.

"We have injected extra funding for litter and tagging removal, initiating the city's first 24-hour graffiti removal pilot, installing more CCTV to stop seafront littering and setting up the first ‘zero tolerance’ beach waste campaign."

While Cllr Mac Cafferty said that "good progress" is being made on the restoration of Madeira Terrace, he said that repairs to the Victoria Fountain have "no easy short-term fix" due to "complex structural problems" and said repairs are likely to be costly.

A four-day weekend of celebrations is planned across the country for the Platinum Jubilee in June, with the 95-year-old monarch opening up her private estates to the public.

Some of the world's biggest stars are also set to perform outside of Buckingham Palace to mark the special occasion.

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