The council would benefit from an ‘external reset’

Cllr Tony Janio, leader of the Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council
Cllr Tony Janio, leader of the Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council

A former colleague’s Avatar is just not suitable. The dilemma, therefore, is do I tell them, and risk creating a rift, or stay silent, allowing them to continue with their embarrassing choice.

A similar dilemma rests upon my shoulders regarding the Local Government Association (LGA) ‘Corporate Peer Challenge’ report that found that the ‘complex environment that the council operates in, throws up tensions that are holding things back’.

Put simply, this describes how our residents are receiving poorer services than they deserve. The report found that ‘dysfunctional’ relationships within the council need to be reset’, and that this could only be achieved with external help. I have called repeatedly for this to happen but, to date, the Labour administration has ignored my pleas. The most obvious display of these worsening relationships can be seen in the disruption with rubbish collection, which has led to unwarranted stress for the workers and, as predicted in the LGA Report, a poor service for many residents. Conservatives locally have a very good working relationship with both the council’s management and trade unions, but over the last few months it has been clear that all is not well within Cityclean. Staff and residents have had enough and local Conservatives have moved to fill the vacuum created by an imploding Labour administration.

This will be noticeable over the coming months as initiatives, driven by local Conservatives, will come before councillors that seek solutions to the problems. I have also called for the Labour Party to discuss these issues with me - implementing the ‘external reset’, and even providing extra funds for Cityclean if it can help with the urgently needed restructuring. To do this I will need to break with a few deep held party views, and work together with those moderate Labour councillors who wish to find some workable solutions for the benefit of their residents. This will be embarrassing for them, whilst their hard-left colleagues continue to wreck any attempt to do so, but it needed to be said. Nobody can say that, these days, local politics is boring.

Tony Janio is the Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council