THE GMB union have walked out of talks with the council in the ongoing bin dispute.

Brighton and Hove City Council had made an offer to the union including additional pay, but claim that union representatives "walked out of the room before discussing this offer" with the council.

Councillor Hannah Clare, deputy leader of the council, said: "There are long term issues with the City Clean service that we're keen to resolve, and we believe that discussion is crucial.

"Only by staying around the table can a good outcome can be reached, both for staff and residents of the city."

The collapse of the talks comes as industrial action over pay and working conditions enters its seventh day.

Should the union and the council fail to reach an agreement, residents could face four week's worth of rubbish building up on Brighton and Hove's streets.

Cllr Clare said the door remains open to further talks, adding the council is "really keen to discuss this latest offer with the GMB and hope they will reconsider their walk-out today and resume talks."

Bins have been seen overflowing across the city as the industrial action enters its second week.

GMB are calling on the council to settle the dispute around the removal of drivers from long-standing rounds and other changes.

A ballot by the union for a two week walkout received unanimous support last month, with the union announcing last week a further fortnight of strike action from October 21.

Labour have called on the Green-led council to call in an independent mediator to resolve the dispute and end the strike.

In a statement, the party said: "Labour is clear that when industrial disputes reach an impasse, it can be really beneficial to bring in some independent and objective advice and expertise.

"With the bin strike having been ongoing for almost a week now, and rubbish and recycling piling up on the streets of Brighton and Hove with residents suffering, Labour are keen to find a solution to end the dispute."

The GMB union have said that council, led by Phelim Mac Cafferty, should "stop burying their heads in the sand and take notice of the seriousness of the dispute".

The GMB have been approached for comment.

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