For three weeks, Birmingham has suffered as a result of Unite disrupting the City Council's plans to modernise its waste collection services. The union's argument is that the authority is issuing staff redundancies prior to implementing their measures to justify their recent strikes against the proposed plans to save taxpayers £5 million a year.

Local councils throughout the country should always be striving to save money and Unite is shamefully exploiting the leadership of Birmingham City Council by disrupting measures to "privatise" the service.

If anything, it is inevitable, as Councillor Roger Harmer, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group said, that the refuse collection services will be privatised.

Services need to be transformed

The authority's offers to retain staff are reasonable. Many have been offered promotion and new jobs with the same staff grades they fall under now. Of course, others have been provided with the option of voluntary redundancy. They are right to argue that services need to be transformed, especially if it is true that Birmingham is falling behind other cities in terms of its productivity.

But if, as Councillor Harmer said, Labour is mismanaging £30 million it was provided with via central government funding to pay for the bin service, then this is sheer incompetence on the council's behalf.

It is typical of many Labour-run authorities to blame the Conservatives when they cannot manage their own services.

Whilst there is evidence to suggest the city's funding has decreased since the Tories came to power in 2010, it is also apparent that they do receive the money to pay for their waste collection services. There was no need to privatise it.

As Councillor Deidre Alden, Conservative Spokesperson for Cleaner Streets, Recycling and the Environment, said: "They have overspent year on year, even when the Government gave them more money than they were expecting."

The City Council has misspent its money in many areas

One source disclosed that the City Council has misspent its funds in many areas.

These include 20 miles-per-hour speed limits, wheelie bins, European Union policy staff and new Jaguars for the executive board members. They added that what is worse about the new speed limits is that they are not being properly enforced by the authority, which makes them nothing more than a waste of money. If Labour is so eager to save cash, why are they spending it on services that they do not require?

The City Council can blame the Conservatives all they want on lack of central funding for the bin strikes, yet they got themselves into this mess. It demonstrates Labour cannot be trusted to deliver quality services.