With local elections looming next year, there could not be a worse time for Birmingham City Council to face re-election. For too long, the Labour Party has taken this city for granted, locally and nationally. Their mismanagement in this latest fiasco proves that new leadership is required to deal with this crisis.

A "sorry saga" that could have been avoided

Yesterday's High Court ruling represents something more profound for the Labour-run council. This is a substantial defeat which destroys their reputation in the eyes of their local electorate.

It completely shatters their authority. It is a demonstration of their sheer ignorance of how local government protocol works. That is why Mr. Justice Fraser was correct when he made his clear remarks that this is nothing but a "sorry saga" that could have been avoided.

Many Birmingham residents are no doubt dismayed that Mr. Justice Fraser feels it is appropriate to take this case to a full trial. He dismissed the City Council's suggestion that a legal trial would not be in the public interest. They are wrong, it is. But the worst outcome from this episode is the added cost for the taxpayer. And what is worse is that the city's residents have to suffer. They will be anxious up until November that the bin strikes may start again depending on the final result of the trial.

This is an appalling waste of time and all Birmingham wants is a normal refuse collection service.

Mr. Justice Fraser feels there is sufficient evidence to prove that John Clancy did not possess the authority to make a deal at ACAS with Unite. He dubbed this event as the 'Clancy Agreement.'

Birmingham's residents will never forget the unnecessary misery imposed on them

Refuse workers may claim this is a victory, but that does not matter to those who have had their lives disrupted and their streets ruined by a drama that could have been avoided entirely.

Birmingham's residents will never forget the unnecessary misery imposed on them by the people they pay via taxes to collect their waste. And it is taxpayers who will have to pay the price if a trial starts in November.

This is an opportunity for other political parties to stress that socialism does not work in Birmingham. For too long, Labour has destroyed the city's public services and wasted thousands of pounds.

This is the most significant defeat Birmingham Labour has faced in a long time. This is a chance for other parties to take advantage of that and oust this pathetic group. It's time to clear the trash.