Refuse collectors and street cleaners are going back to work in the interim whilst they consider a new offer from the Brighton's Green Council. It is hoped the council has done what is necessary this time to avoid a potential second week of strike action, however during the recent strike there was an interesting development.
Shop owners in some parts of the city such as George Street took matters into their own hands and cleared up the area surrounding their shops as it was having a direct impact on their bottom line. Those on strike reacted to this by saying that the shop owners were taking strike breaking action, but others such as Cllr Warren Morgan took a more pragmatic approach. Cllr Morgan went on record to say “I don't agree that people sweeping up outside their homes or shops is strike breaking”.
So we actually had an interesting situation where not only did residents and businesses not receive a core service that they had paid for through taxation, but they were compelled to carry out that vital service themselves.
Anyway here is a something to think about for the future. If businesses are happy to clean up the area in which they operate to protect their bottom line, should they not get a discount in their Council Tax? Perhaps reduce Council Tax in the city so people have more spending power, and reduce business rates so that particular barrier to entry for small businesses is lessened, and then just let the shop owners take responsibility for the area in which they operate. This could be a move that via lower taxation could help spur an economic revival of shopping areas in Brighton, where currently too many shops stand empty.