A government-led watchdog will continue to monitor Birmingham City Council due to the ongoing bins dispute - just weeks after praising improvements and suggesting it could disband.
In an e-mailed report sent today, the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel (BIIP) warned that the strikes had been a “serious setback” to progress at the authority, and had caused “major inconvenience to the city’s residents”.
It comes as the High Court ruled in favour of bin workers, granting an injunction to prevent redundancies.
In August, panel chairman John Crabtree had praised “progress and forward momentum” at the council, and said the panel should suspend its operation with only minimal contact in future.
But as the bin strikes rumbled on, rubbish piled up across the city’s streets, and the council leader John Clancy stepped down amid questions over whether he abused his powers, Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid asked for an update.
Today, Mr Crabtree replied to say he was “disappointed” to have to report the setback.
He added that he had met with Cllr Ian Ward, the interim council leader, and Stella Manzie, the council's interim chief executive, who had agreed it would be "helpful" for the panel to continue "until it can demonstrate that the changes in culture and governance still required are truly embedded."
Cllr Ward said he would continue to work with the panel.