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The dispute: The Council authorised its officials to sort out the system of allowances it pays to CityClean workers. When workers at the Hollingdean depot were told the details, which implied pay cuts for some of them, they stopped work for two days. They still haven’t cleared the backlog three weeks later. A strike ballot is under way and will finish tomorrow. Industrial action is likely to start in the second half of June.
The disruption: Both refuse and recycling house-to-house collections are being disrupted. Some parts of our area haven’t had a recycling collection for more than a month.
Some crews aren’t picking up waste that has piled up next to bins, and services have deteriorated further as vehicles have been taken off the road after faults have been reported.
However, communal refuse bins are being emptied regularly at the top and bottom of York Villas, so they’re an option for rubbish bags if you’re heading towards town along Prestonville Road or York Grove.
The Council’s priority is ‘getting rubbish off the streets’ – which means they’re leaving the recycling to us. ‘We will not prioritise returning to collect recycling collections that have been missed,’ a spokesperson confirmed.
Service updates are being posted at http://ww3.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=b1000037&node=1571 .
We’re also still waiting for the information we were promised at the last PCA meeting about the plans to replace kerbside recycling south of Old Shoreham Road with communal bins. but in the meantime here’s why we’re asking.
There doesn’t seem to be any real evidence-base for the proposed change. The planners say they think recycling rates across the area, about a third of the city, are around 12 per cent. But that’s the figure they got when they measured recycling in the Brunswick trial area, which has lots of flats and stairs but not so much room for recycling boxes. The proposed area covers a huge variety of households, including many houses with gardens, where recycling is much less inconvenient. Are the overall rates really that low? And if the council doesn’t have any real idea what the rates are now, how will it be able to tell whether the scheme is a success or not?
At least, whether it’s a success in raising recycling rates. It’s likely to cut costs, as the change from household to communal bin collections did, but the planners insist that budget-cutting isn’t the aim of the exercise.
In other news,
Field’s Friend In The House
Caroline Lucas MP has been awarded a half-hour parliamentary debate about the Government’s plan to build a free school on BHASVIC Field, on June 5.