UK

Brighton ‘stinks’! Rubbish piles high on streets of town as bin lorry strike enters TENTH DAY

Brighton residents have been forced to barricade themselves in their homes and shut all the windows to escape the ‘disgusting’ smell of rotting bins.

Locals said the rubbish had become unbearable and had attracted rats as a strike by refuse collectors continues to engulf the city.

They called for the Green-led council and the powerful GMB Union to be forced to enter talks and work out a compromise.

The bin crisis comes after dozens of refuse workers from the union walked out as part of industrial action last Tuesday.

Organisers say on a ballot return of 79.6 per cent every single worker was in favour of industrial action. They are in dispute with the council and are complaining about pay and working conditions.

The union called on Brighton and Hove Council to settle a dispute over the imposition of daily changes and the removal of drivers from long-term bin rounds.

The council agreed it would call in an independent mediator if talks with union representatives failed to solve the spiralling crisis.

Councillors are meeting for talks today to try to resolve tensions and are trying to push through a third offer to the union.

But union members are also threatening to escalate the industrial action by calling for another strike the moment the present strike ends.

Locals said the rubbish had become unbearable and had attracted rats as a strike by refuse collectors continues to engulf the city

They called for the Green-led council and the powerful GMB Union to be forced to enter talks and work out a compromise

They called for the Green-led council and the powerful GMB Union to be forced to enter talks and work out a compromise

The bin crisis comes after dozens of refuse workers from the GMB Union walked out as part of industrial action last Tuesday

The bin crisis comes after dozens of refuse workers from the GMB Union walked out as part of industrial action last Tuesday

Organisers say on a ballot return of 79.6 per cent every single worker was in favour of industrial action. They are in dispute with the council and are complaining about pay and working conditions

Organisers say on a ballot return of 79.6 per cent every single worker was in favour of industrial action. They are in dispute with the council and are complaining about pay and working conditions

The union called on Brighton and Hove Council to settle a dispute over the imposition of daily changes and the removal of drivers from long-term bin rounds

The union called on Brighton and Hove Council to settle a dispute over the imposition of daily changes and the removal of drivers from long-term bin rounds

One local told the Today programme: ‘We’ve had to keep all the windows shut because just opening during the day – it’s horrible, really horrible.’

Another said: ‘Absolutely disgusting, there are rats everywhere. All the streets are just covered in bins, I’ve got four or five bin bags sitting outside my home waiting to be taken.’

One man said: ‘The piles of rubbish are growing daily and the stench is absolutely appalling. The risk to public health is extremely worrying as vermin is everywhere.’

‘The GMB is hugely powerful in Brighton and Hove and it is holding the council over a barrel yet again.’

Another added: ‘This is a public health risk and, on this basis alone, there should be decisive intervention to rid the streets of rubbish.

‘I saw rats at dawn scurrying away from overflowing bins in Hove. Another lamentable failure by public health officialdom in this city.’

One local told the Today programme: 'We've had to keep all the windows shut because just opening during the day - it's horrible, really horrible'

One local told the Today programme: ‘We’ve had to keep all the windows shut because just opening during the day – it’s horrible, really horrible’

Another said: 'Absolutely disgusting, there are rats everywhere. All the streets are just covered in bins, I've got four or five bin bags sitting outside my home waiting to be taken'

Another said: ‘Absolutely disgusting, there are rats everywhere. All the streets are just covered in bins, I’ve got four or five bin bags sitting outside my home waiting to be taken’

One man said: 'The piles of rubbish are growing daily and the stench is absolutely appalling. The risk to public health is extremely worrying as vermin is everywhere'

One man said: ‘The piles of rubbish are growing daily and the stench is absolutely appalling. The risk to public health is extremely worrying as vermin is everywhere’

Another added: 'This is a public health risk and, on this basis alone, there should be decisive intervention to rid the streets of rubbish'

Another added: ‘This is a public health risk and, on this basis alone, there should be decisive intervention to rid the streets of rubbish’

Piles of bin bags up to 10ft high have been dumped in the street spilling waste on to pavements and roads in Brighton and Hove.

Uncollected, the bags are being torn open by rats, foxes and seagulls and decaying rubbish strewn around the smart Georgian streets.

Tins, drinks cartons, plastic containers, decaying food waste and nappy bags have been spotted spilling out of torn black bin bags due to where rats, foxes and gulls.

The Green-led council issued advice to all residents asking them to break down boxes and cartons and store waste in their homes until the dispute is settled.

It has led to fury with some demanding the council and the union be forced to consider mediation.

The strike action, which began just days after the Labour Party conference in Brighton and could last two weeks, affects up to 120,000 households. 

One driver said: ‘You build up a relationship with the people in your area, now we’re being taken off the round. Some of these drivers have been driving these vehicles for 14 years on a regular round.

‘They’ve been taking them off, putting them on to rounds they’re unaware of, so we’re missing people’s bins because we don’t have the information.’

Piles of bin bags up to 10ft high have been dumped in the street spilling waste on to pavements and roads in Brighton and Hove

Piles of bin bags up to 10ft high have been dumped in the street spilling waste on to pavements and roads in Brighton and Hove

Uncollected, the bags are being torn open by rats, foxes and seagulls and decaying rubbish strewn around the smart Georgian streets

Uncollected, the bags are being torn open by rats, foxes and seagulls and decaying rubbish strewn around the smart Georgian streets

Tins, drinks cartons, plastic containers, decaying food waste and nappy bags have been spotted spilling out of torn black bin bags due to where rats, foxes and gulls

Tins, drinks cartons, plastic containers, decaying food waste and nappy bags have been spotted spilling out of torn black bin bags due to where rats, foxes and gulls

The Green-led council issued advice to all residents asking them to break down boxes and cartons and store waste in their homes until the dispute is settled

The Green-led council issued advice to all residents asking them to break down boxes and cartons and store waste in their homes until the dispute is settled

The strike action, which began just days after the Labour Party conference in Brighton and could last two weeks, affects up to 120,000 households

The strike action, which began just days after the Labour Party conference in Brighton and could last two weeks, affects up to 120,000 households

Councillors on Wednesday discussed how much it would cost to award binmen a pay rise – with the figure ranging from £0.5million to £14.2million.

Green deputy council leader Hannah Clare told the BBC this morning: ‘There is a meeting being held this morning and we’re really hopeful for a resolution.

‘We’re hoping that on the back of two quite significant offers, and now a third quite significant offer that does address pay, we’re able to come to a resolution.’

Nick Hibberd, council executive director for economy, environment and culture, said: ‘To provide the best service for the city and to support staff, there are occasions where it is felt appropriate to make crew changes, or move a member of staff from one round or crew to another.

‘Changes are requested to prioritise areas where rubbish and recycling has unfortunately built up due to unavoidable staff shortages, vehicle breakdowns or for performance reasons.’

The two parties have been involved in talks to try and break the deadlock but they have failed to come to a compromise.

A tweet from the GMB Sussex branch at the weekend, said: ‘We have given them the solutions and how to get the workforce back.

‘We are still waiting for their official response we are available any time any place anywhere.’ On Monday Labour politicians called for an independent mediator to be brought it to resolve the dispute.

Councillors on the Labour group said: ‘With the bin strike having been ongoing for almost a week now, and rubbish and recycling piling up on the streets of Brighton and Hove with residents suffering, Labour are keen to find a solution to end the dispute.’

Councillor John Allcock, co-leader of the opposition, said: ‘The previous Labour administration succeeded in avoiding strike action by keeping lines of communication open, negotiating and when necessary bringing in an independent mediator to help resolve disputes.

‘This is what we are calling on the Green administration to do now. Bring in an independent expert who has the trust and respect of both parties to help end the strike in the interests of residents.’


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