THE COUNCIL'S treatment of the city's heritage has become a "rolling shambles" and residents feel ignored, says a leading Tory.

Steve Bell, leader of Brighton and Hove Conservatives, said the Regency area of the city, home to many monuments and the Royal Pavilion, has "visibly declined and been allowed to deteriorate".

He said residents have been left "feeling that the council and councillors have not been listening to them and simply do not care about the part of Brighton in which they live".

Councillor Bell said that, under the current Green administration, historic lanterns have been put up for sale on Facebook, veterans' groups were offended when a war memorial was left in a filthy condition for important ceremonies, road layout changes have been made without residents' consent and public gardens have been turned into a "muddy quagmire", with a sinkhole appearing near Victoria Fountain.

He said the council's homeless bill of rights has allowed tents and begging in public spaces, and basic public infrastructure including street lamps have been left broken, "leaving women feeling unsafe in some parts of the city at night".

Cllr Bell said: "The way this council has treated Brighton's Regency and our city's heritage has become a rolling shambles and the residents have felt completely ignored.

"What's clear is that the council really do need to listen to the groups within the city with an interest and expertise in Regency, particularly the heritage groups, and get to grips with turning around Regency.

"From parking to cycle lanes and historic buildings, these groups are the eyes and ears for the city and know what's going on.

"As a council, we don't just own these historic monuments, we have a duty to look after them as custodians not just now but for future generations to ensure they are preserved for posterity."

He called for the area and its historic public gardens to be restored to their former glory, as the city's economy "relies on the Regency area being kept in pristine condition".

His comments come after Regency councillors Tom Druitt and Alex Phillips announced they would not stand at the next election in 2023.

Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty accused Cllr Bell of "running down the reputation of the city" and blamed funding cuts from the government for restricting their ability to protect public services.

He said: "They accuse the council of not caring for our heritage while their own ministers have cut funding for English Heritage by almost 30 per cent in the last decade, with spending on museums down by a third, and £100 million stripped from local council services.

"While we fight tooth and nail to protect public services and invest in our city, including local heritage, arts and culture, once again, the Tories come empty handed and pretend their government policies don’t have an impact.

“Perhaps instead of running down the reputation of the city, the Tories could stand up for Brighton and Hove for a change by lobbying their own party to reverse cuts and restore the funding local communities rightly deserve.”

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