Council bosses urged to make secret bin memo public

Rubbish overflows on Easter Road. Picture; contributed
Rubbish overflows on Easter Road. Picture; contributed
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GREEN councillors are urging city bosses to make public the confidential memo about bin collections that was leaked to the Evening News.

We told yesterday how the internal document claims bin men are failing to work their contracted hours – sometimes finishing their shifts up to four hours early.

It says a long-standing working practice known as “task and finish” – which sees bin men go home after completing their usual route, instead of working until the end of their shift – is bringing the council “into disrepute” and leading to “unsafe working practices” as staff rush to finish early.

Green convenor Councillor Steve Burgess, who last month obtained information that revealed complaints over missed bin collections were up by a third in the Capital, insisted it was crucial that politicians had access to the full set of facts.

He said: “It is no secret that relationships between the Labour and SNP ruling coalition are strained, to the extent that it appears that one part of the Capital coalition is leaking against the other.

“But petty politics need to be put aside. The scale of the problems in the waste service are such that all councillors need to get access to all the information about the underlying reasons.

“The Green group of councillors is meeting senior officers in the next few days to determine what needs to be done to put the waste service right.

“We need all the facts in front of us if that is to be meaningful.”

The private briefing note, which was sent to several senior councillors, said an ongoing “service review” will provide an opportunity to get rid of task and finish and reform the service.

It said the practice “is a breach of working hours arrangements”.