With temperatures set to soar over the next couple of days, Conservatives are calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to take action to clear rubbish from the city’s streets before it becomes a serious health and safety risk for residents and visitors.
Under pressure from the GMB Union, the Council has so far been reluctant to employ so-called ‘strike busters’ to empty bins but Conservatives believe that the health and safety of residents should now take priority.
The Conservatives have also thanked the many residents and businesses who have taken the initiative by clearing up the streets around their homes and businesses.
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, said: “We have been urging the GMB to keep talking to the Council and to be constructive and realistic in their negotiations but with apparently no progress being made we say enough is enough. The health and safety of residents must come first and the Council has legal obligations to ensure that this is the case. There were several fires in the city yesterday and there have been many rat sightings by residents. My fear is that if things carry on as they are, it is only a matter of time before a serious incident occurs.”
Conservative Group Deputy Leader, Cllr. Dee Simson, added: “Residents and businesses have been fantastic in their response to the bin strike – communities are really coming together. However, there is only so much they can do on their own. I urge the Council to be more creative in helping get the city’s streets back to normal. For example, have they considered bringing in temporary skips in the worst affected areas? Or even using offenders on Community Service to clear the seafront and other tourist areas? We are at the height of the summer season now and this strike is doing serious damage to the city’s hard-won reputation as a top seaside destination. Our hard pressed businesses must be given more support by their Council.”
Conservatives are also urging the Council to start planning properly in the event of further strike action.
Conservative Group Deputy Leader, Cllr. Garry Peltzer Dunn, added: “If, as seems likely, this dispute is set to carry on into the summer, I think that the Council needs to be better prepared to prevent a re-run of this week’s debacle. The regulations do allow the Council to bring in temporary workers to cover for striking staff and I would urge them to make preparations to do so, should this prove necessary.”