Council bosses have been slammed for failing to mend broken paving slabs.

Environment officers on Brighton and Hove City Council at first refused to send inspectors to investigate pavements for cracked slabs unless residents told them exactly where they were.

They said the pavements had been inspected in September and the council would not look at them again until March unless exact locations were pinpointed.

When the broken slabs were finally inspected, after residents had asked councillor Mark Barnard to intervene, he was told they did not meet the council's repairs criteria.

Councillor Barnard said: "It seems to me the council would rather leave the slabs as they are than spend money repairing them.

"If they are left unrepaired, someone could trip and injure themselves and might be entitled to claim compensation from the council.

"It seems quite straightforward to me. Either these slabs are broken or they are not, and if they are, they should be repaired."

"When I raised this with council officers, I was told the pavements in Sherbourne Road had been inspected in September.

"The officers said the council did not have the capacity to inspect the whole road again and that unless we could pinpoint a specific area, there was nothing they could do.

"To be fair, when I gave them a location, they did send an inspector up to have a look.

"But I have now been told the slabs fall below the council's intervention level for repair.

"Surely it would be cheaper to simply replace the broken slabs than risk facing a possible legal bill of thousands of pounds as a result of a compensation claim?"

A council spokeswoman said residential streets such as Sherbourne Road were inspected once every six months while busier roads were inspected every three months or once a month, depending on their location.

Repairs were carried out according to a strict criteria which included how dangerous the defects were to the public.

She said: "In this case, the location highlighted by the residents was inspected a second time but the defects were not deemed dangerous."