A powerful committee is being set up to help make Brighton and Hove greener.

Councillors will be responsible for taking a detailed look at climate change and how the city council can cut its carbon emissions.

But Gill Mitchell, leader of the Labour group on the council, questioned why this group was being created when another committee, the sustainability partnership, already exists.

Council leader Mary Mears, Councillor Ayas Fallon-Khan, cabinet member for central services, and Councillor Maria Caulfield, cabinet member for housing, will be executive members of the committee.

The city's housing stock is a key area where carbon emissions could be cut through measures such as home energy efficiency.

Deputy leader and sustainability spokesperson Denise Cobb will routinely attend meetings to provide a link with the sustainability partnership.

Coun Mears said: "Sustainability issues like climate change are a huge challenge and this new cabinet committee, together with a more representative city partnership, represents a real strengthening by this administration of the focus they will receive.

"We are committed to protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of life for our residents.

"This new committee will ensure both that we carefully consider the big, cross-cutting issues facing the city and that we lead by example and practice what we preach."

The committee will invite other cabinet members to take part in discussions and make recommendations to the full cabinet or take decisions itself.

Coun Cobb added: "As the council's sustainability spokesperson I am looking forward to working with this new committee and the city's sustainability partnership to ensure the big sustainability issues remains high on the agenda.

"We will be looking at big issues like cutting greenhouse gases through sustainable energy and reducing the city's resource consumption as well as at the council's own in-house environmental management record."

But Coun Mitchell said: "This is another layer of bureaucracy.

"The new sustainable partnership should be the engine for innovative thinking on sustainability. It should have the ability to report directly to the cabinet."

The creation of the committee should be confirmed at a meeting of the cabinet next Thursday.

The move follows an announcement by Coun Mears at a full council meeting in April.

A council spokesman said: "Setting up this new committee underlines the importance of sustainability to the leadership and it will cover issues which do not already come under the sustainability partnership, for example environmental management within the council itself.

"The committee will be chaired by the council leader and the make-up of councillors reflects the fact that sustainability crosses the responsibilities of many cabinet members."