A MOTION of no confidence in the leader of Bromsgrove District Council over recent delays to bin collections was voted out.

The motion, which was submitted by Labour councillor Michael Thompson, was quashed at a tense full council meeting on Wednesday night.

Conservative members also voted against a motion for the council to launch an 'urgent investigation into the recent failings'.

Independent cllr Steve Colella claimed the service delays, which the council says was a result of staff sickness and a £55k overspend on agency workers, resulted in recyclable material being mixed with general household waste.

Cllr Thompson said: "The streets were full of unemptied bins for four weeks. An overspend this significant so early on in the year is a symptom of incompetent management so severe that they cannot plan for holiday and sickness leave."

Cllr Sue Baxter described waste collections as the council's 'most visible frontline service', and admitted she had been approached by residents concerned the authority was running out of money.

But leader cllr Geoff Denaro said the issue had been resolved quickly, and insisted an immediate investigation had already begun. The Conservative Group criticised the motion of no confidence as 'political play-acting'.

Cllr Denaro said: "The delays were due in large part to a viral infection among some of our crews, which resulted in 13 staff members going off sick at the same time eight workers were on holiday.

"There was no loss of service. Grey bins were collected the next day or the day after that.

"An immediate investigation has already begun and we hope this will identify some of the causes.

"I'd like to thank employees and crews who have worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks to get us back on track."

The delays resulted in 17 formal complaints being made to the council.