A voluntary organisation was given three conflicting reasons why it failed to secure a three-year grant for funding

Discrepancies in the paperwork of council officers were discovered after Brighton, Hove and District Leaseholders Association (BHDLA) inspected its own file.

The contradictions were raised at a meeting yesterday of the scrutiny panel set up by Brighton and Hove City Council to answer criticisms about its handing out of grants.

Even panel members were concerned about the opposing statements.

Conservative councillor Gary Peltzer Dunn said: "What is the point of having information provided when it does not seem to tie in with anything else?"

The concern centred on a document released by the council, which claimed to contain the reasons why certain groups had grants cut or failed to receive any funding at all.

The document stated the association failed to win the funding it applied for because it had already received £1,500 this year and was considered to have "significant reserves".

In September, it was told its application for funding failed because it "did not meet the programme criteria".

This contradicted an appraisal form in the association file stating the application was rejected because there were "insufficient funds available in the grants budget".

Shula Rich, who chairs the association, told the panel: "The whole thing gives the impression that somebody stuck a pin in a list of voluntary organisations then tried to justify the choices.

"The new justifications don't match the original appraisals. In the case of this association, they contradict it. The concocted reason is we have significant reserves. The appraisal says we haven't got significant reserves.

"This would be farcical if it weren't a tragic waste of time and money."