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12.09.17

Birmingham council leader resigns over ongoing bin staff dispute

Cllr John Clancy has decided to resign as leader of Birmingham City Council and head of the city’s Labour group with immediate effect amidst what he called endless “frenzied media speculation” about the city’s ongoing waste staff row.

In a shocking statement, the leader, who has been in place since December 2015, wrote: “It has become clear to me that frenzied media speculation about the Birmingham waste dispute is beginning to harm Birmingham City Council and the Birmingham Labour Party. I can see no end to such speculation, as ill-informed as much of it is, for as long as I remain leader.

“I have therefore decided to resign both as leader of the Labour group and as the leader of Birmingham City Council with immediate effect.

“I would wish to stress that the actions I took along with my cabinet to negotiate an end to an extremely complex and difficult industrial dispute were done with the best of intentions. None of us are perfect, and I made some mistakes, for which I am sorry and take full responsibility.”

Cllr Clancy noted that he was honoured to have led the local authority for the past two years and proud of the achievements made since, especially with regards to its major ICT joint venture agreement.

But he admitted that events in his personal life during this year “have convinced me that there are issues of far more importance than Birmingham City Council, and although this has been said by politicians many times before, on this occasion I really am looking forward to spending more time with my family”.

His statement makes it apparent that the decision to resign is a direct result of the ongoing bin dispute, which threatened jobs of staff at a certain pay grade and pushed unions to announce large-scale strike action.

According to Birmingham Mail, the dispute had heightened to the point where communities secretary Sajid Javid asked an improvement panel to investigate the situation and report back to the DCLG with an “urgent update”. The panel was due to meet with the now-former council leader today.

Cllr Clancy’s resignation also came just hours before he was likely to face a vote of no confidence from Labour colleagues during their meeting this month.

Comments

Tony Carey   14/09/2017 at 18:32

This dispute has dragged on for far too long and at huge expense and inconvenience to the city and it's electorate. I would have thought that having failed to remedy the problems much earlier, Cllr Clancy would have walked weeks ago to make room for someone more competent.

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