Birmingham's bin service £1.5m in the red after crippling strike

Birmingham’s bin service £1.5m in the red after crippling strike

Birmingham’s troubled bin service is on course for a budget overspend of at least £1.5 million following last year’s strike.

A failure to implement a deal struck with the Unite union to end the 2017 dispute means the city council is still spending £300,000 more a month on overtime than planned.

And council Labour leader Ian Ward told colleagues it was likely the over spend would go on until September.

The deal struck was supposed to see binmen move from four to five day working, with some given new duties.



Councillor Deirdre Alden pictured on Gillot Road, Edgbaston which has problem with wheelie bins

But Labour cabinet member for clean streets Coun Majid Mahmood (Lab, Hodge Hill) said: “Collection crews are still operating a compressed working week.

“Anumber of actions still need to put in place.”

He said that, following further talks, a report would go to the council cabinet on July 24.

Coun Mahmood, who faced his first council question time as bins boss, was also challenged over the poor condition of the fleet of bin lorries.



Coun Majid Mahmood.
Coun Majid Mahmood.

Conservative bins spokeswoman Coun Dierdre Alden said a broken recycling lorry had been on the streets of Edgbaston dropping broken glass on the streets because there was no back-up vehicle available.

She said Labour had left the fleet to decline to the extent there was no spare capacity.

Coun Mahmood replied that the fleet had a five-to-seven-year lifespan and was ageing.

He said the refuse collection budget had been cut by £16 million, or 20 per cent, since 2010.

He added: “We have capital funding set aside for waste management and one of the issues we will be looking at is to upgrade lorries.”

Coun Mahmood also vowed to step up enforcement efforts to tackle fly-tipping and called on councillors and communities to share information.

In particular, traders and businesses who did not make commercial arrangements to dispose of trade waste would be targeted, he warned.

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