Friday, December 31, 2010

Bin bag pile-up

Residents who read the papers will have an idea of why so little refuse has been collected this week.

The refuse collectors are taking industrial action. On Mondays they strike and the rest of the week they "work to rule" - which means not doing overtime and various go-slow techniques.

The council has hired extra crews to try to clear the backlog but the combination of rubbish left over from the snow, Christmas rubbish and the go-slow has made this a tough job.

We're now being told the backlog in this ward will not be cleared by the weekend - as they are still working on the backlog from Monday and Tuesday.

We do not think this is acceptable. We are pressing the council to take on more temporary staff. We have made it clear to senior managers and leaders of the council that this area is taking a big hit. We don't think the council can buckle in to the industrial action which is about long-running issues over overtime, pay etc which must be resolved. Once this is settled the council plans to take on permanent extra staff to make up for reductions in overtime working (which had become a routine part of the working week and was effectively preventing the creation of extra jobs.).

We also think the snow was used as an excuse for not collecting rubbish (on health and safety grounds). This picture shows a private refuse collection vehicle using Derrydown Road. It wasn't a council vehicle but showed that a council vehicle could easily have got down that road in the week before Christmas - yet it was missed on that Wednesday. Thankfully the black bags have now been cleared from Derrydown after we highlighted this.

Many thanks to all those residents who have contacted councillors about non-collection. Believe it or not we want those calls! We have highlighted every complaint we have received and, as during the snow, will badger managers to take action on roads that are missed. So we do also want to know when a road does get collected. We are doing our own patrols but may not check every road. Drop an email to