Haringey’s residents breathed a sigh of relief this morning as Haringey Accord’s refuse collectors ended their strike and returned to work. Workers voted to accept an offer made this morning, though it became clear quickly that the rubbish was likely to remain on the borough’s streets for some weeks to come.

Lib Dem councillors have been furious that no plans were in place to reduce the build up of rubbish. Labour-led Haringey Council have known that the dispute was very likely to take place since May, yet no contingency plans were put into place.

Brian Haley, the Labour councillor in charge of waste collection in the borough, explained that crews would be collecting rubbish from streets on normal collection days, and that there was now “three weeks worth of rubbish to clear”.

Commenting on the end of the refuse strike, Lib Dem Leader Neil Williams comments:

“This will come as an enormous relief to residents, but questions remain as to how well prepared Haringey was for this dispute, given the very long lead in time. We will be pressing to ensure that a proper contingency plan is put in place by the council to ensure that residents do not have to suffer this sort of misery again.”

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, adds:

“The sickly smell of rotting rubbish is something that residents have been forced to get used to over the past weeks. I am frankly amazed that our Labour council, who have known that there would be industrial action since May, put no contingency plans in place to prevent this. Ensuring that rubbish is collected from our streets is one of the most basic and important responsibilities of a council, and we must ensure that Labour understand that they cannot pass the buck. They must ensure that this does not happen again.”