There is no end in sight to the bin strike as the city braces itself for the second day of action today.

Rubbish built up across Brighton and Hove yesterday as workers started their week-long walkout.

Scores of workers picketed the Hollingdean depot as talks between the union and city council “got nowhere”.

The news comes as:

  • Nine Green councillors signed an open letter backing the workers on strike.
  • Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas visited the picket line yesterday and pledged her support.
  • Jason Kitcat pulled out of opening today’s People’s Day event.

The strike officially began yesterday morning at 6am with scores of workers meeting outside their main Hollingdean depot.

Appalled Green MP Caroline Lucas and senior Green figures on the city council visited the workers and union leaders to pledge their support.

As well as handing out chocolate bars they are also reported to have put £250 into the union fund.

Mark Turner, GMB union branch secretary in Hove, said: “Her support means a lot and should send out a clear message to Mr Kitcat that he needs to start listening.

“We don’t want to take this action, we want to get back to work.

“We would urge them to return to the table with a sensible offer.”

Mr Turner added that the union had been in contact with council officers yesterday but no official talks had been held.

A meeting has been arranged for Monday.

Meanwhile, across the city, rubbish continued to pile up, with residents reporting the worst hit areas as Old Shore ham Road in Portslade, Queen’s Park and the streets surrounding the Seven Dials Roundabout.

Today will see GMB union members march from their Hollingdean depot to the council’s King’s House on the seafront.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny will head the event.

The strike action has split the ruling Green Party over recent months.

The issue resulted in nine Green councillors, along with 11 party members – including deputy leader Phelim MacCafferty – signing an open letter in support of the Cityclean workers.

It read: “We feel we have no option other than to write this letter.

“We are appalled that the sit uation has escalated to the point where council employees are forced to take strike action in order to be heard.

“We are concerned that as activists from a party which has spent years arguing for workers’ rights that on this occasion the argument is wrong.

“We continue to oppose the imposition of pay cuts as per the decision of our Emergency General Meeting in May.

Further, we will show solidarity with the workers affected by this decision.

“We are Green Party members because we believe in its core value of social justice.

“Imposing a reduction to the take-home pay of some of our lowest-paid workers runs completely contrary to this.”

Cityclean employees welcomed the statement of support as they picketed their Hollingdean depot yesterday.

Speaking to The Argus yesterday, Mr Kitcat played down any divide in his party over the issue.

Addressing his fellow Green Party members’ open letter, he said he was in agreement with them.

“They are just a group of people interested in workers’ rights and clearly want to reach an agreement.”

When asked why he didn’t sign the letter, he added that it would be “inappropriate” given his position.

The council leader also denied that he was stepping down from opening the People’s Day event due to the dispute.

He insisted that it was instead due to issues of bias over the upcoming by-election.