THE Conservatives have claimed to be the only party that can address future industrial disputes "once and for all," and put "residents and their services first".

While Tory councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council welcome the end of the bin strike, deputy leader Robert Nemeth expressed concern at how the issue was dealt with by the Green-led administration.

He said: "We are certainly pleased for residents that a short-term solution to Brighton and Hove's long running rubbish issues has been found.

"Looking ahead though, we remain concerned about the way in which the Green administration has been undermined by both the Labour group and the GMB union, and obviously have reservations about how the issue has been handled by the Greens generally.

"If the issue is to be dealt with once and for all, residents must surely consider voting for a political party that is not conflicted on who they represent as the Labour group has clearly been, and a party which is willing to consider all options to resolve the matter once and for all.

"The Conservative group is the only party locally that can stand up to bullying tactics and put residents and their services first."

Cllr Nemeth has previously suggested that the Labour group on the council may have colluded with the GMB to orchestrate industrial action to undermine the Green administration - something that Labour co-leader John Allcock has fervently denied.

Cllr Allcock said: "Councillor Nemeth makes some concerning accusations, none more so than suggesting that 'the whole debacle feels orchestrated,' of which he has provided no evidence.

"We hope that the Conservative group see the need to distance themselves from these unhelpful and unfounded comments."

Prior to a meeting of the council to approve the resolution to end the bin dispute, Cllr Nemeth expressed concern at how much the deal could cost taxpayers.

"There are far reaching consequences to take in regarding future demands and, of course, the financial cost that taxpayers will now face indefinitely," he said.

In the meeting of the policy and resources committee on Tuesday, Conservative Councillor Joe Miller said that the Cityclean service should be privatised and called for a full report on the service reductions, tax and fee increases necessary to fund the deal negotiated with the GMB.

In a statement, Green councillors said they are hopeful the deal reached with the GMB will act as a positive way forward for industrial relations.

A spokesman said: "It's clear to us that workers at Cityclean have raised long-term issues that have affected their trust.

"We urge all councillors to work together to address this, as it's clear many issues stretch back over a number of years."

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