THE council’s Labour group leader has dismissed a call for him to use his union ties to call off the bin strikes.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, Brighton and Hove City Council’s Conservative leader, called Warren Morgan to use his influence following the announcement by Cityclean on Friday that they are to strike three times over the next two weeks.

Coun Morgan responded: “Coun Theobald needs to end his petty political point scoring and start coming up with some credible policies if he expects to be taken seriously as an alternative to the failed Green administration in 200 days time.

“I’ve said we would get to grips with the refuse collection service, make cleaning our streets and improving our recycling service a top priority for a Labour-led council with responsibility moved to the senior Policy and Resources Committee chaired by the leader.

“Issues like the one that have led to the current dispute should be resolved much earlier, industrial action should be a last resort not a negotiating tool, and this dispute should be brought to an end now.”

He added: “Instead of trying to score party political points, Coun Theobald might better spend his time persuading his Conservative government not to cut another £100 million from the money the council needs.”

Bin workers will walk out on Thursday, next Tuesday, September 30 and the following Friday, October 3.

The action has been called after talks over a long running pay dispute broke down.