Tim Nicholls (Letters, April 16) invited me to put the record straight with regard to the cost of the popular Worthing seafront "palms" (cordylines).

In their recent political literature, the Liberal Democrats wrongly state the trees in total cost £20,000 (18 at £1,111 each). They actually cost £5,670 (18 at £315 each).

The cordylines are resistant plants and top horticultural advice has been sought on their nurture and protection from the elements.

The overall public reaction to the cordylines by residents and visitors to the town has been very favourable indeed and heralds the start of

the long-awaited town and seafront investment many people have been crying out for decades.

What saddened me in particular with regard to Mr Nicholls' letter was his comments regarding Sue Murray, chairwoman of the Worthing Hospitality Association (WHA), and his insinuation Mrs Murray was being political in her letter correcting the misinformation regarding the cost of the cordylines.

Her letter in fact focused on praising the "palms" and all those involved in the project.

I have known and worked with Mrs Murray on town issues for two years.

I have been immensely impressed with and admire her dedication and commitment to Worthing and her relentless campaigning for seafront and town improvements, not only on behalf of the members of the WHA but also on behalf of the town overall.

Mrs Murray has been a recipient of a Worthing Publicity Award for all her good work for the town.

Mrs Murray has remained strictly apolitical throughout my dealings with her and has always stated she supports anyone, regardless of political persuasion, as long as they support the positive aims for the town of the WHA.

It is a shame Mr Nicholls sought to sully her very good name in this regard. I look forward to discussing this with Mr Nicholls the next time he pushes a Liberal Democrat leaflet through my letterbox.

-Coun Tim Dice, Heene ward, Worthing