Rubbish deal edges closer

The long-running rubbish dispute is edging towards a resolution.

RubbishPicThe long-running dispute between Brighton and Hove City Council and the union representing the city’s bin lorry drivers is edging towards a resolution.

Both sides met earlier this week for fresh talks, with the council tabling a new proposal to the GMB leaders on Wednesday - when it was reported the two sides were “centimetres apart”.

Last night (Thursday), Mark Turner, GMB secretary, told Brighton and Hove Independent that the difference was now a matter of millimetres.

He said: “We are meeting our members tomorrow (Friday) to put the council’s current proposals to them.

“These proposals are millimetres away from us being able to recommend them to our members.

“We are likely to conduct a ballot of our members throughout next week regarding acceptance of the proposals or not and will deliver a decision on Thursday (November 6), as this is a very important issue for our members and obviously, the public.”

The dispute between the union and the council has led to a series of strikes, leaving residents frustrated as the lack of resolution meant rubbish often went uncollected.

The GMB has not yet set another strike date and is hopeful the two sides can finally reach an agreement, although all options will be discussed at the meeting today (Friday).

Refuse lorry drivers want the council to recognise the additional qualifications and skill required to drive their sizeable vehicles and reward them with a pay rise.

Brighton and Hove City Council, meanwhile, is struggling to balance its books amid substantial cuts in funding from central government which run into the tens of millions of pounds.