I know some of you will already be hitting the comment button just from reading the heading! Over the last few weeks since the weird and snowy weather struck very many of you have been in touch, exasperated and angry, about the lack of rubbish collection.
The team and I have been in constant touch with the council, doing our best to help get things sorted for you. With all this contact I’ve learned a lot about what happened and what will happen going forward.
So first let me explain why exactly the snow caused the disruption.
Our council was very prepared with anough grit and salt and equipment to deal with the challenge - this has been a problem in the past if you remember. But the contingency plans when there is an extraordinary event like this means that refuse staff and drivers are redirected while the snow is falling. They drive the gritters and spread the salt and grit on pavements to keep us safe. Basically it’s ‘all hands on deck’.
This means that for a while normal refuse collection is suspended as it causes a lot of disruption to the staffing rosters and many staff are literally working through the night on snow management.
On top of that some parts of the city become too dangerous to drive refuse collection lorries.
So, once the period of snowfall finished, rather than starting as they left off with the collections times getting out of sync, they resumed the normal collection cycle which meant those who missed out during the days of snow had to wait a week or even two weeks to get their rubbish collected.
Now don’t shout at me as I’m just relaying what I have learned so we’re all in the picture!!
There are areas of our constituency that have really suffered most and I’m thinking of parts of Portslade and Poets Corner in particular. Each time you have contacted me I’ve passed this on to the council in the hope they can act swiftly.
I know that frontline refuse collectors are working so incredibly hard, and have been totally flat-out to keep our city going. For some of them it’s been like doing two jobs at the same time, so thank you.
But it is simply unacceptable that some streets have not had rubbish collected for so long. If you’re still waiting please email me on Peter.Kyle.MP@parliament.uk and I’ll do everything I can for you.
There’s also more info here and links to where you can submit details and comments to the council directly: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/environment/recycling-rubbish-and-street-cleaning-0
One thing I can promise you is that lessons will be learned. I’ve been in regular touch with Cllr Gill Mitchell who leads on this for the council. She’s one of the hardest working councillors I’ve ever come across and knows that even though her department did remarkable things to keep the city running, things need to be even better next time there’s two huge dumps of snow in March!
As always....let me know what you think, although somehow I recon I don’t need to prompt you this time! All the best, Peter