Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown, has called for a debate in Parliament on the ongoing bin dispute affecting residents of Brighton and Hove.
Mr Kirby raised the issue at Business Questions in the House of Commons this morning.
The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Lansley MP, acknowledged the seriousness of the problem and praised Mr Kirby for his efforts in persuading conflicting parties to resolve the dispute in the interests of residents. Mr Lansley also commented on the irony of a Green council administration overseeing the current environmental chaos in the city.
Mr Kirby said:
“My constituents and I are appalled at the rubbish piling up on the streets of our city and outraged by the Green’s failure to resolve the dispute. With further strikes scheduled I wanted to raise the issue in Parliament to highlight the urgency of the situation and call on Councillors and trade unions to put residents first.
“The strike is having a direct impact on the people of the city, but the neglect shown by the Green Council also raises wider questions about the responsibilities of local authorities for the health and wellbeing of residents. There are important lessons to be learned from the situation in Brighton, which is why I wanted to call for a debate in House today.”
The seven-day bin strike is due to end today, June 20, but refuse and recycling workers intend to take further action next week in their on-going dispute with the city council over pay and this is expected to further disrupt service delivery.
The dispute dates back to decisions made in January by Green and Conservative Councillors on the City Council, who authorised council officers to implement a ‘modernised pay and conditions’ package for workers. A final offer was made in April which the GMB Union claim included “cuts of up to £4,000 a head from some of the council’s lowest paid employees.”
In the mean time rubbish continues to mount on the city’s streets and businesses in the Tourism Industry are expressing concerns about its effect on visitor numbers to the city.
A meeting is scheduled this afternoon to see if this can be averted.