General News

Rubbish! – Angry Greens accuse Labour of broken pledge on bins

Gary Hart October 12, 2018

Labour administration has overseen failure of City Clean and broken pledge on bins say Green Councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council.

ACCORDING to a new report to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Greens say Labour has broken its contract with residents over bin collections, and residents could wait two years before seeing any improvements to City Clean services.

At a meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday (October 9) Councillors heard a review of plans to improve the City Clean service. The report listed a damning series of failures, causing missed collections and overflowing bins.

Staff reductions, failure to recruit and poorly-managed rounds were cited as key factors in the poor performance of the service, with the report stating that “a culture of continuous improvement has not been encouraged in City Environment for a number of years.”

Referring to the growing number of complaints about overflowing bins, street litter and inaccessible customer service, Green Councillors slammed the Labour administration for City Clean’s failings, pointing to a Labour group pledge drawn up in 2015 stating that “the leader and senior councillors will directly oversee work to improve the service.”

Cllr Leo Littman
Cllr Leo Littman

Councillor Leo Littman, Green spokesperson for Environment, Transport and Sustainability said: “Four years ago, when trying to persuade the residents of Brighton and Hove that they could competently run the council, Labour laid out a 10-point contract with the city.

Point 1, the most important of them all, read: ‘We will make collecting refuse, increasing recycling and cleaning the streets a top priority. The leader and senior councillors will directly oversee work to improve the service.’

“The failings of City Clean speak for themselves. Labour Councillors have failed to oversee the service, shown no leadership and have proven their incompetence at delivering even their own pledge.”  

He added: “Council leaders of all colours have had issues with refuse collections during periods of industrial action, but we are currently in the unique position of having missed collections, unanswered complaints, and residents and visitors having to navigate their way around rubbish-strewn streets, at a time when there is no industrial action.

“As Councillor West made clear in committee, the outgoing Green Council handed over a whole raft of measures to Labour, aiming to improve the situation: communal waste collection, garden waste collection, recycling wheelie-bins and commercial collection. All started under the Greens, all bungled by Labour. Labour cut funding to City Clean, meaning that, unlike elsewhere in the country, our streets are often filthy and our refuse and recycling often goes uncollected. Three and a half years after Labour’s pledge, City Clean is now effectively in special measures, and we hear it will take two years to fix this. Is this really what Labour meant when they promised to ‘Get the Basics Right’?”

Responding for Labour, a spokesperson said: “The Labour Council inherited a service in very poor shape following a prolonged and damaging strike under the Greens.  We are working with the staff and unions to modernise and improve the service at a number of levels, but most importantly to stabilise the bin collection rounds.”