Brighton and Hove City Council spokespersons cite "health and safety" at every opportunity and they do so again to excuse unsightly crash barriers and police tape around small Christmas trees (The Argus, December 17).

They thereby further erode whatever remaining credibility they have.

Brighton's street decorations are pitiful not because health and safety requires it but because no one is thinking, no one is planning and no one is managing.

For example, if anyone had been even half awake, they would not have allowed the fiasco to develop at Hove Town Hall which Councillor Fitch called a "building site" and a "murder scene".

Who thought it was satisfactory to put a Christmas tree in a rusted oil drum and who thought two bags of building sand were an appropriate way to prop it up?

Who thought it was acceptable to cordon off the whole area with those barriers and yellow tape and who couldn't find a string of lights for more than a week after the tree went up?

And, most important of all, which senior council officer had responsibility for ensuring the city was up to scratch for the Christmas tourist and shopping season?

These questions need to be answered if next year is not to be a farcical repeat of this.

-Trevor Pateman, Brighton