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Parts of Brighton and Hove 'forgotten' by bin crews
“Forgotten” suburbs of Brighton and Hove are bearing the brunt of the missed bin collections during last week’s strike.
Streets in Hangleton, Mile Oak, Portslade and elsewhere were still left with bins piled high with rubbish and recycling yesterday, with bags spilling onto the pavement.
Familiar It is a familiar scene for those living in the city – subjected to mounds of rubbish and divided over whether to blame the Government for its cuts or Brighton and Hove City Council for its management of the Cityclean service.
George Mower, 67, of Hardwick Road in Hangleton, says it’s the “same old story”.
He said: “We always get forgotten – we are the forgotten area.
“They should just disband Cityclean and we should dump our rubbish in the street.”
“I can’t understand why they strike.”
Mr Mower said changes need to be made so that bin bags are not piled high on the pavement when collections stop.
“Someone needs to get a handle on it,” he added.
Paul Bridges, of Poplar Avenue in Hangleton, said his bins had not been collected since the strike: “It’s disgusting considering what we pay,” he said on Twitter.
Dawn Barnett, the Conservative ward councillor for Hangleton and Knoll, said the service was normally fine.
“The bin men are usually very good,” she said.
“The strike has inconvenienced people but you have to have sympathy with Cityclean.
“The majority of our residents comment on what a good refuse crew we have up here.”
Portslade has also been affected by the strike, with recent hot weather adding to the problem.
Harry Miles, of Valley Road, in Portslade, said: “One is now overwhelmed by the stench of festering household waste walking through Drove Crescent and surrounding streets in North Portslade because many residents simply leave rubbish piling up in the street.
“Common sense should now dictate that the rubbish be kept off the street out of the sun until the next usual collection date.”
The overspill appears mainly contained to the west of the city, with Whitehawk and Bevendean in good order and Woodingdean not having the same problem yesterday.
Freshfield Road in Brighton, the long incline linking Eastern Road to the top of Elm Grove, did not have the same level of rubbish either despite having a section with a Thursday collection.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said the council picks up her rubbish “as and when they want to”.
She said: “Two weeks is no good for any of us. These bins are too small for us and if the bags are left out the seagulls rip them open.”
Elsewhere Hollingdean, which is on a Thursday bin round, others were waiting for a collection.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said every suburb gets the same standard of service and “that standard should be high”.
He added: “There are likely to be other areas with a backlog caused by the strike, which we’ll be clearing as soon as possible.”
‘Don’t hold your breath’ The “forgotten” streets are due a collection today.
The GMB union has said that because of the double amount of rubbish to be collected today, it is unlikely it will all get picked up.
And this could have a knock-on effect for other areas with collections tomorrow as the slack is taken up.
Mark Turner, branch secretary of the GMB union in Brighton and Hove, said there had been no discussions before the strike as to how the work missed on the day of industrial action would be covered.
He said: “In the past crews would be asked to pick up the work the following day.
“This time the council has not had that discussion with us.
“We are surprised, one week on, that the council has not called us into a meeting to discuss how we recover this work.”
Mr Turner was not confident that all of today’s outstanding refuse would be collected.
“I wouldn’t hold your breath,” he added.
And he said the problems could get even worse if there are breakdowns or a shortage of crews.
“Our members will do a normal day’s work. They will not be doing two days’ work,” he added.
He said recycling would be in an even worse state as it was collected fortnightly.
Anyone due a recycling collection last Thursday is not now due to get it collected until next Thursday, July 24, meaning no collection for a month.
The council confirmed that last Thursday’s national strike meant rubbish and recycling collections were missed, causing a backlog.
A spokesman said there would be extra rubbish collections today and extra recycling collections next Thursday to compensate.
Anita Cacchioli, head of city infrastructure, said: “We would ask residents to put out their rubbish and recycling for collection as normal and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
NOT every backlog is being linked to the effects of last week’s strike.
Lynne Jackson, 58, of Links Close in Portslade, appeared in The Argus on January 7 when her road was filled with rubbish but says the mess is worse this time, having built up over six weeks.
She said: “People are flytipping here now, thinking it is a tip.
“There is muck from split bags. I have tried to get hold of Cityclean but no one is doing anything. I am fed up with it.”
Like Mr Mower, of Hangleton, Miss Jackson felt Portslade was also a
“forgotten” area for refuse collection.
More centrally, Alan Donald, of New England Road in Brighton, said wheelie bins in his street had not been emptied for three weeks, despite him contacting the council every day.
On the point of missed collections and extended delays, a spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Reports of missed collections are being passed to managers for investigation.”
Last Thursday’s strike in Brighton and Hove saw one of the biggest gatherings of picketing workers in the country.
More than a million workers nationwide downed tools in the largest one-day strike over pay by public sector employees since 2010.
Conservative councillors in Brighton were critical of the strike, questioning its mandate and raising
concerns about the impact on residents.
Group leader Geoffrey Theobald said the low turnout for the march reflected the lack of
mandate for the action.
And he said the missed bin collections will have a knock-on effect.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said the coalition’s austerity policy was to blame.
She said it is “simply unacceptable” that workers continue to suffer pay cuts and freezes and promised to continue to lobby the
government to increase public sector pay.
The rubbish and recycling problems have been compounded by new rounds introduced last October.
Unions repeatedly warned the council that the changes, which saw a number of vehicles taken off the road to save money, have left workers with too much to do.
While the threat of strike action in this case, lifted on April 25 this year, was down to issues with Cityclean, the recent national strike over pay and pensions had the same impact on local