Birmingham’s Liberal Democrats are calling for the city’s under fire bins service to be privatised claiming the in-house service has failed too often.
The party also propose splitting refuse collection services into three areas to be run by three separate contractors.
Lib Dem group leader Cllr Jon Hunt said: “The aim is that the city is no longer held hostage either by over-powerful private companies or by powerful trade unions,
“There are deep-rooted problems with the city’s waste collection services and efforts to solve them in-house have utterly failed in recent years.
“Last summer the city made a laughing stock of itself as it entered a bin strike which left rubbish on the street for weeks and the city’s leadership at sixes and sevens over what to do.
“Meanwhile for two years in a row the waste services have overspent by a huge £12 million a year. This must not happen again. We are putting forward a positive alternative that could see stable and well-run services introduced in the city.”
Coun Hunt (Perry Barr) said that they would break up the giant service into areas served by three main depots at Holford Drive, Perry Barr, Lifford Lane in Kings Norton and Redfern Road, Tyseley to be run by different and competing contractors on eight-year contracts. It would also end the threat of city wide strikes.
And pointed out that each of the three services would still be as large as neighbouring boroughs like Sandwell and Walsall - which are also privatised services. He added that the bidding companies would also be encouraged to include extra services like garden waste and food waste collection.
Deputy leader Roger Harmer (Acocks Green) also pointed out that last week the Labour run council ruled out an opposition vote of no confidence in the service, but failed to replace it with a positive vote of confidence. Instead Labour blamed the historic problems on the service they inherited from the Tories and Lib Dems in 2012.
The privatisation plan will be in the Lib Dem’s manifesto for the May 3 local election.
But Labour has previously said that it will not privatise the service, but in the run up the election has committed to retaining weekly doorstep waste collections for four years.
The main opposition Conservatives are too committed to weekly waste collection as well as planning to restore free garden waste and bulky waste collections.
Birmingham City Council has a patchy track record with privatising services. Amey signed a £2.7 billion contract to look after the city’s highways and footpaths for 25 years in 2010.
But it has been locked in legal disputes with the council for the last four years.