Opposition councillors on Birmingham City Council are demanding fresh leadership in the wake of its former Leader, Councillor John Clancy, resigning after recent bin strikes.

The Labour Leader resigned hours before he faced a vote of no confidence on Monday during the strike's 74th day, especially the fall-out over the deal he tried to strike with Unite the Union. This was later cancelled. He was due to face calls for his resignation from councillors across all sides of the political spectrum.

Ian Cruise, Independent Councillor for Longbridge, said: "John Clancy's resignation as Leader of Birmingham City Council is not before time.

His actions have not only endangered the legal standing of the Council, but were also putting Birmingham within touching distance of government intervention.

He clung on as Leader for the sake of his own ego

"Following his mishandling of the bin dispute where he wrote cheques he couldn't cash, where he ignored legal advice from council officers, was under pressure from his own Cabinet, political group and Labour MPs to quit, he clung on as Leader for the sake of his own ego.

"Once it became apparent Communities Secretary Sajid Javid was in touch with the Chair of the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel about events over the last fortnight, there was nowhere left for Councillor Clancy to turn.

He had to quit. I hope the Labour Group make a better choice of their next leader and elect someone with the necessary skills to not only resolve the bin dispute, but ultimately take Birmingham City Council forward."

Councillor Clancy issued a statement saying that speculation over his role would endure as long as he remains Leader of the City Council, calling much of the news reported about the incident "ill-informed." He apologised for his mistakes and said he has made a decision to spend more time with his family due to his personal life.

The Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, will be Interim Leader until a new one has been elected.

The bin strikes were temporarily suspended until the City Council issued a statement saying that they would make Grade 3 Leading Hands in the refuse service redundant on September 1st to protect its legal and financial position.

This decision was made by Cabinet on 27th June. Unite then recommended that its members go back on strike.

Birmingham's Labour MPs wrote a letter of dismay to Councillor Clancy last week, calling the City Council "an obstacle moving forward."

Nothing much has changed

Councillor Deidre Alden, Conservative Spokesperson for Cleaner Streets, Recycling and the Environment, said: "At last, Birmingham's former Leader, Councillor John Clancy, has done the decent thing and stepped down. However, for Birmingham residents, nothing much has changed. They still have rubbish piled high in the streets, pest problems, increased litter- and absolutely no indication of when the crisis is going to be solved.

"It is notable that one of the reasons Councillor Clancy gave for finally stepping down, is that the situation was starting to hurt the Labour Party.

What an insular view! It's a pity he didn't think more about how it was harming the city and its people- dragging our reputation through the mud and causing untold misery to residents.

"The Cabinet also have questions to answer about their role in this whole sorry affair. But in the meantime, they and the Interim Leader, Councillor Ian Ward, need to buckle down and try and bring an end to this dispute once and for all."

"Rat hotels" have been building up on the streets of Birmingham and attracted flies that residents said spread disease.

His cack-handed interventions in the bin strike have only made the situation worse

Councillor Roger Harmer, Deputy Leader of Birmingham's Liberal Democrat Group, said: "I welcome John Clancy's resignation as Leader of the City Council.

His cack-handed interventions in the bin strike have only made the situation worse.

"Birmingham's residents are suffering the consequences and it was time for him to go. These Cabinet members who supported him should be considering their positions too. Birmingham desperately needs new leadership and this includes the Cabinet who need to be far more open with the citizens of Birmingham in their handling of the bin dispute and the other problems we face."