OPINION

Talks continue to settle the strike by bin lorry drivers

I know many residents are keen to understand what progress is being made on the bin dispute. Talks are ongoing and at a sensitive stage so I can’t say everything just yet sadly.

For the past few weeks, council management have been meeting with GMB representatives and have made an offer to address the issues being raised, including about bin lorry rounds being moved.

Councillors are not involved in the day-to-day management of drivers at Cityclean but in the past week we have attended talks as we are keen to listen and ensure the concerns of staff are heard.

We want to help resolve the dispute raised by the GMB with the employer.

We also know from contact with residents both since becoming the leadership of the council and in opposition that people in our city want to see a bin collection service that works.

The desire for a well-functioning waste and recycling system is one that we share and we hope talks can lead to this outcome – for residents and for staff.

In news from Westminster, the richest man to get elected to the House of Commons took £20 a week off our city’s poorest citizens last Wednesday with the Conservative government cut to universal credit.

All while the cost of food and essentials rise massively. This is so wrong. Calculations show this could harm a massive 30,000 people in Brighton and Hove.

This is an essential lifeline to households who have faced the pandemic, job insecurity, school closures, fears about health and the toll of lockdowns.

Introducing the largest ever overnight cut to welfare support at this point is sickening. The impact will be particularly felt by children, with the cut potentially pushing 200,000 children below the poverty line all over the country.

And this is happening in the same year young people have already been acutely affected by lockdown measures and government failures on free school meals.

As usual, Conservative rhetoric about “getting into work” doesn’t stack up.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty is the Green leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Barry Labour Reply

    Greens. Encouraging waste to be dumped on pavements. So useless. Flakey. Will be out soon. Do nothing

  2. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    What planet exactly does this pathetic bloke live on??

    This article is just attempted political point-scoring on a range of subjects, all blaming the Government for everything.

    May I remind him that the pressing local issue at the moment is the bin strike, which is what this opinion piece pretended to be about, but it isn’t (further talks on Tuesday?? What happened to Sat, Sun and Mon??) If he thinks in his woodentop world that the bin strike – and the city being held to total ransom by ‘up to 54’ HGV drivers – is anything to do with the Government, then he should either be sectioned or he should run away like Kitcat.

    Leadership is a simple, unambiguous word and means that the leader is proactive, visible and fronts up to issues. It also means that the person concerned has at least a strong personality, the ability to reassure voters that he is doing everything in his power to resolve the situation. No signs of that here – he’ll just send some other Green councillors to talk to the GMB on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, where are the very overpaid and ineffectual Geoff Raw, Nick Hibberd et al in all this?? AWOL, presumably.

  3. nick Reply

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The greens locally are all blah, blah, blah. Good words, no positive action

    With an impending strike did the councillors or the council leader meet with the workers to hear their issues? No. As the council leader admits here, they didn’t meet until the strike had begun. That shows a lack of leadership and empathy.

    Yes, you can accuse the conservatives of rhetoric that doesn’t stack up. But the greens really excel at that. A terrible recycling rate – both the quantity and the items recycled. When in opposition, the greens said more types of items need to be recycled. When in “leadership” they’ve said that this can’t be done. Twice. Now they’ve backtracked a bit and are having a consultation on increasing the types of plastic collected (still to such a poor level most other council’s would blush!). Moving very slowly.

    And it’s not just poor recycling. It’s terrible polluting road scheme design, lack of consultation (leading to terrible impacts such as reduced/dangerous disabled parking provision). Lack of park and ride (still!). Poor provision for electric cars. No incentives for electric car buyers (other councils offer reduced/free parking, using some bus lanes etc).

    And away from transport (which the local greens think produces all carbon but is around a quarter), the council is still installing fossil heating in their own new builds. Why?!

    And on other basic services, such as graffiti, housing, litter, parks etc they are doing badly.

    But why not blame others? It’s much easier than getting your hands dirty. Working for the residents of the city – why do that when you can grandstand on national issues?! Yes, councils are under financial pressure across the country – but most are doing far, far better than ours. Please green councillors do your jobs – work for the city and our hard-pressed residents. We deserve better

    • Fiach Maguire Reply

      “keen to listen and ensure concerns of staff are heard” what nonsense. That is not your job, Councillor. Your job is to efficiently run this city, a job you are patently not capable of doing. How about the concerns of the tax payers who employ you? Brighton has been one of tge dirtiest cutues in the UK for years. Clean it up now!

  4. PT Reply

    The greens are useless. Sound good on paper. Reality like the bin situ are rubbish.

  5. NAOMI Reply

    Fail. On so many levels.1) stay with the topic: the GMB strike. 2) take responsibility: it’s a COUNCIL service, outsourced by COUNCIL, still ultimately COUNCIL,responsible for the health and safety of the city. As elected!
    In the absence of drivers, it would be more useful than the waffle, to guide residents and businesses as to what to do with their rubbish. I’m not putting mine around overflowing street bins, for example.
    I support the drivers – no strike without fire! Obviously been smouldering for some time, but no transparency with us… incompetence!

  6. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    It’s not outsourced, which makes the council’s inaction even worse. They are directly responsible for this fiasco and several others (like the new computer system for ‘My Account’, which doesn’t seem to work properly).If it were outsourced, they could at least attempt to blame the contractor.

    • Greta T Reply

      Resign. You aren’t fit to run a city.

  7. Paul Temple Reply

    Yes we all know you don’t like Boris Johnson Phelim, but we really don’t care just sort out the refuse collections.

  8. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Wake up, B&H News. The BBC has much more recent news re the strike on its BBC England page – Jamie Lloyd speaking and hedging his bets re upsetting the GMB, warning of the cuts (to what?) to follow if the council gives in, but recognising we are in an emergency situation. Overall, the article says that Brighton stinks, which it does, in very more ways than the smell from the rubbish. Make of all that what you will, but at least Lloyd is more polite than the abysmally incompetent and foul-mouthed Amy Heley.

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