Light at the end of the tunnel in Brighton bins dispute – but faulty trucks mean collections still missed
Brighton and Hove’s troubled refuse collection could soon be turned around as the long-running dispute between the council and lorry drivers comes to a conclusion.
The GMB union and Brighton and Hove City Council have been at loggerheads over the issue of pay for years – it was even the subject of this website’s second ever story in October 2009.
Several strikes and many months of work to rule later, the issue has become a political hot potato, and was one of the most fiercely debated on city doorsteps this election.
The outstanding issue is now one of driver’s allowances – and GMB says that could be resolved in the coming weeks.
However, unreliable refuse trucks may mean that residents continue to see missed collections for the time being.
Organiser Gary Palmer he was optimistic the dispute was finally reaching an end.
He said: “I have seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory in the past but I have every reason to believe it will be resolved this time.
“It’s slow but progressing. I don’t see an escalation again, I can only see things moving along in the right direction.”
However, he said a resolution is unlikely to be forthcoming before May’s elections – and blamed continued problems with collections on the trucks.
He said: “We haven’t withdrawn work to rule because there are still final bits of negotiations, but it’s not really being observed.
“There are an absolute multitude of issues with the vehicles, mainly because there hasn’t been the investment over the years.”
Richard Bradley, Head of Cityclean, said: “We experienced large numbers of vehicle defects on Thursday May 7.
“This had a significant impact on our services and some collections of refuse and recycling remain outstanding.
“We are working hard to get up to date with collections by this Friday, May 15. We are sorry for the disruption this has caused.”