Birmingham councillors have united to condemn the council's inaction over recent bin strikes that have affected the city for weeks.

Trade union Unite is in the midst of a dispute with Birmingham City Council over its plans to modernise the service, which they claim will save taxpayers £5 million a year. The union claims this will result in the loss of 120 jobs.

Councillor Deidre Alden, Conservative spokesman for Cleaner Streets, Recycling and the Environment, said the situation is a "complete and utter shambles." She added: "Labour has invested £60 million in the waste service since they regained control of the city in 2012- and have ended up with a service which costs more than it did to run before.

They have overspent year on year

"They have overspent year on year- even when the Government gave them more money than they were expecting, they still overspent massively. They have shown they are unable to manage a budget. It was obvious for weeks that this strike was coming and they should have had a proper plan in place to deal with rubbish collection in the city whilst industrial action was going on."

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: "We are almost at the end of the first three-week cycle of our contingency plan to visit every household in the city and have made significant progress despite the escalation of Unite's industrial action to three strikes of one hour duration each day- the impact of which is far greater than the length of the action.

"An offer has been tabled to Unite to take the disputed points from our proposal to modernise refuse collection to ACAS. We think this is the best way to achieve a resolution as soon as possible so the citizens of Birmingham are no longer impacted by the strike."

The City Council claims that due to funding cuts, spending on waste management has been reduced from £71 million in 2011 to £65 million in 2017.

It also said they are not meeting national productivity levels and need to improve.113 supervisory roles will be removed for those workers assisting bin crews.

Refuse workers will also have to work seven hours a day over a five-day week instead of the current nine hours over a four-day week working pattern.

More interested in conflict

Talks between Unite and the authority have broken down. Union bosses said the council is issuing redundancy notices to workers, leaving them with little option but to go on strike. They accused council bosses of being more interested in conflict.

On Thursday, staff were offered opportunities ranging from new positions on the same pay grade, promotions or redundancy.

Councillor Roger Harmer, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group, accused Labour of "gross mismanagement." He said they have made a huge mistake by ruling out putting the waste collection service out to competitive tender, adding they have "thrown away their strongest negotiating card." He attacked Unite for "exploiting the strong position the leadership of the council have given them."

Ian Cruise, an independent councillor for the Longbridge area, accused the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor John Clancy, of "failing to engage his brain before opening his mouth" over his statement that the backlog of rubbish was not down to the strikes.

He said these comments were callous.

Reputation of Councillor Clancy is at stake

The Longbridge councillor said the reputation of Councillor Clancy is at stake, as the City Council is in discussions with the Independent Improvement Panel about its abilities to manage itself without government intervention. He said failure to resolve this dispute and making "flippant remarks" shows weak leadership and a serious lack of ability to deal with basic issues or service reform.

Councillor Cruise added: "It is an embarrassment to the City Council and the city of Birmingham."

The next series of strikes are due to take place this week for three hours every day under September 1st. Unite has announced plans to vote on continuing the strikes until Christmas.