Council calls in contractors to start clearing rubbish today

Posted On 17 Oct 2021 at 12:01 am

Brighton and Hove City Council said that it was calling in contractors to clear the rubbish posing a fire safety risk in the bin stores under blocks of flats from this morning.

At the same time work is expected to start to clear “side waste”, posing a health and safety risk in some streets.

The council announced the measures as it prepared for more talks today (Sunday 17 October).

The council yesterday said: “Following an intensive day of negotiations between the council and GMB on Friday (15 October), disappointingly there is still no agreement … on the measures and actions needed to resolve the dispute and end the strike.

“However, a further meeting will be taking place tomorrow (Sunday 17 October) at which both parties will once again focus on agreeing a formal resolution proposal.

“The proposal includes a significant and generous pay offer from the council, benefiting some of the lowest paid staff across the whole council, as well as the Cityclean service.

“The council has today sought two dispensations from the GMB to collect rubbish from bin storerooms in blocks of flats and to collect side waste.

“A dispensation request is a legally permitted ask of a union to allow some striking staff to do work, which if not undertaken, presents a significant health and safety risk.

“The dispensation request is to allow some staff to work should strike action continue again on Thursday 21 October.

“A break in the strike will take place between Monday 18 October and Wednesday 20 October.

“Waste removal contractors have also been appointed to start clearing side waste from the worst affected areas and from bin storerooms early on Sunday morning.

“This is because of the council’s serious concerns around public health and safety and because of the fires which have been started in recent days at overflowing communal bins.

“The very high level of rubbish mounting around communal bins is also blocking pavements and spilling into the road.

“And in the view of the council’s Health and Safety Team this now a significant risk for drivers and all pavement users but especially disabled people, people with prams and pushchairs and the elderly.

“Rubbish bags are also splitting and attracting vermin.

“The contractors will use specialist equipment to clear away the large volume of refuse and then will work alongside Cityclean staff to help get the city clean as quick as possible.

“The council is lawfully able to hire a third-party contractor to deliver its services during industrial action.”

The council added: “This has been a lengthy and intensive negotiation process to get to this point.

“At a special meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee on Wednesday 13 October, councillors from all political groups in a formal resolution emphasised the need for council officers to obtain best value for taxpayers and address low pay.

“The agreement we’re trying to reach is a serious offer for a serious situation. None of us want to see the piles of rubbish mounting up and to see the city we all love and care about in such a sad situation.

“But it’s vitally important that the council’s negotiation team work through the financial and legal implications of any agreement.

“The council fully respects the decision made by some Cityclean staff to strike and we’re keen to address the issues that have been raised by staff, protect the health and safety of our residents and get the city clean as soon as possible.

“The use of contractors has only been taken to address the growing and serious health and safety issues.

“We hope that the GMB will continue the discussions so that we and they are able to agree a proposal which can then be taken to the council’s Policy & Resources Committee early next week.”

  1. Catherine K Reply

    So sad. The greens are doing such a great job and such a shame we have got in this situation. Caroline Lucas and her band of Merry men and women! Will get it sorted. We will all need extra mindfulness session after this! It’s bin rubbish. Lol lol

    • Russell Reply

      Mindfulness! What a mindless comment. Idiotic. The Greens have ruined the city. Before the strikes refuse collection was unreliable. Street cleaning was inadequate and pavements and verges covered by weeds and litter. The cycle lanes have created traffic log jams and are the Councillors have no regard for local opinion. As a resident of the city for more than 25 years this is the worst it has been. The Council should have brought in third party contractors immediately.

      • Catherine K Reply

        Anger is not necessary. Folk like you Russell can do mindfulness and feel relaxed and less angry. Get a bath run pop on some candles then afterwards read a book in your garden with a green tea. You will feel happy then.

    • Chaz. Reply

      Maybe one of your mindfulness moments can enlighten us on La Lucas.
      She has been silent since the Green mess started.
      Complicit or complacent?
      Her and the Green party of course.
      Greens out, adults in.

  2. Richard Daughtrey Reply

    get the greens out as soon as possible , so that we can get back to reality

  3. Hove Guy Reply

    Get the rubbish out, and get the Greens out, as soon as possible. Not much difference between them actually.

  4. Hovelassies Reply

    Why did it take over 1 week to deal with this ublic health risk? Negligence and ineptness by BHCC CEO and Director of Public Health and not-one holding them to account.

  5. Nathan Adler Reply

    Perhaps this will wake some up now into the understanding that the Green Administration is not fit for purpose and that Chief Exec Geoff raw needs to go along with them. Utterly shambolic and the city and its filth is being displayed across the country with national media.

  6. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Catherine K takes every opportunity she can to promote ‘mindfulness’ (and doesn’t always spell it correctly), so I suggest we all ignore her and don’t say anything that provokes another ‘mindfulness’ response. Candles in the bath, green tea (please don’t mention the word green) all went out in the 1980s. She may well be on magic mushrooms now.

    Nathan is right – the Greens must go, somehow, and so must Raw, for serial incompetence, and without a pay-off. I will never know how he got the CEO job (having been in charge of the relevant department during the last big bin strike) and I am doubtful that any competent outside person would want the job of trying to run this city, with the political mess that it is, but past CEOs, who have been much better than Raw, have been forced out one way or another.

  7. Serena Evans Reply

    Is it true they’ve been clearing the areas around Councillors’ properties first?

    • Robert Reply


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