(Picture courtesy of Neil Elkes’ Twitter.)
Where is John Clancy, the Labour Leader of Birmingham City Council? The bin strike – now five weeks old and no end in sight – is causing untold misery for residents, but there’s no sign of the Leader leading on this crucial issue.
Today I’ve been on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2, and I attended a residents’ rally outside the Council House along with Lib Dem Leader Jon Hunt, and both times I raised the question “Where is the Labour Leader?”
In my view, he should be out there listening to people, talking to people, and working all the hours there are to find a solution to this problem. Everyone knew this strike was coming, and yet Labour seem to have gone into it with no coherent plan to deal with the mayhem which was bound to ensue. Bin bags full of food waste and used nappies, rotting on the streets for 3 weeks in hot weather is a very serious matter. There are health risks, and rat numbers are likely to increase.
A recent press story had a “no comment” from the Leader, statements on this subject always seem to be made by a “Council spokesman” not a Labour politician, and Vanessa Feltz (who was sitting in for Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 today) admitted on air that they had tried to get John Clancy on the programme – but had got nowhere.
This crisis is now so bad, it’s making national news, and Birmingham is being talked about for all the wrong reasons. Our Leader needs to take a grip – and fast, or stand aside and let someone else take over.