Planned cuts to council services for this year’s budget have been criticised by the Conservatives and Labour.

The two parties have slammed the Green-led administration for Brighton and Hove City Council for a range of cuts proposed for the budget, which include reducing the number of lifeguard stations, scrapping two youth programmes and removing all of the city’s parking pay and display machines.

Conservative finance spokesman Alistair McNair said that the budget proposals show the city council was not providing residents with good value for money.

He said: “Brighton and Hove City Council is one of the highest spending unitary authorities in the country, but is delivering some of the worst services.

“Residents in the city do not have their rubbish collected regularly and continue to suffer high parking charges, which affects struggling families and the disabled and puts off tourists visiting us.”

The Argus: Councillor Alistair McNair said the city's residents are not getting good value for money from council servicesCouncillor Alistair McNair said the city's residents are not getting good value for money from council services (Image: Brighton and Hove Conservatives)

Cllr McNair said residents have lost faith in the Green-led council and accused them of “wasting money on all sorts of luxury items and pet projects at a time they simply cannot be afforded and at the expense of basic services.”

He also said that the council continues to employ more staff, but with no improvement in services to residents.

“The Greens and Labour have not kept a tight reign on the city’s finances or staff and have shown over the past 12 years that they cannot run the city effectively,” Cllr McNair said.

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While a spokesman for the Labour group took aim at cuts from the Conservative government for the “dire” situation, the party also pointed the finger of blame at “Green mismanagement and incompetence”, criticising money wasted on “vanity projects”.

He said: “We are deeply worried about some of the items that have been put on the cut list and we are considering all options available to us to amend the budget at the budget council meeting later this month to save vital services whilst taking a sensible approach to fiscal management and balancing the budget.”

He said that Labour will “intervene to improve the Greens’ questionable efforts at managing Tory cuts” and called on residents to elect a “competent Labour administration to steady the ship” at the local elections on May 4.

Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty said that government cutbacks to council finances had left the administration with limited options and limited funds and that “extremely tough decisions” had to be made.

He said: “This is one of the most difficult budgets the council has faced in my 12 years as a councillor and we’re doing everything we can to protect vital council services.

“We’ve been honest with the city by discussing the tough decisions and the complexity of the problems we face with our valued staff and trade unions, residents, partners, businesses and the city councillors from the other parties.”

Councillors will discuss the budget proposals in a special meeting of council on February 23.