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Barking & Dagenham council boss does the rounds as bin strike continues

PUBLISHED: 09:33 21 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:18 21 May 2015

Council chief executive Chris Naylor disposes of rubbish during the ongoing refuse strike over pay cuts.

Council chief executive Chris Naylor disposes of rubbish during the ongoing refuse strike over pay cuts.

Archant

The council’s chief executive has defended the authority’s response to the refuse strike after a day spent collecting bins.

Chris Naylor, who joined two environmental service officers on their rounds in Barking and Dagenham yesterday (Wednesday), said he could “understand people’s frustrations” but was hoping to find a resolution with GMB strikers.

“I was with two guys, and the real thing that struck me about it was the pride they have in the borough,” he told the Post.

“My impressions were that in some parts of the borough bins are full, but in others it was clear that their bins had been emptied recently.”

Yesterday the Post revealed how fifty tonnes of waste were cleared on the first day of a 13-day strike by GMB binmen.

Despite heavy criticism of how the council has dealt with the strike action, triggered after cuts to existing 30-minute start-of-shift safety checks, Chris Naylor has defended the council’s position.

“People are disappointed by the level of service, but I didn’t get a lot of hostility from people. They have started to use the drop off points.

“We think that 9/10 times paying people for 15 minutes is sufficient. If it takes longer, they can incorporate it into their working day.

“We are turning every other possible stone to reduce costs.

“Clearly we need to find a way of emptying peoples’ bins. We would like GMB to suspend their action,” he told the Post.

A spokesman for the union has said they will continue striking for “as long as it takes”.

There were mixed responses to the action on social media.

“The guys have shown backbone and said the guys at the top should take a hit this time!” wrote Antony Betts on Facebook, while on Twitter, Claire Truby asked: “Why should we pay our council tax? Plus they’re making more work for themselves.”

Further strike action is currently scheduled to take place until June 7.


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