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Southampton City Council's waste boss Andrew Trayer quits after investigation
THE council boss caught in the heart of an industrial dispute that left more than one million rubbish bags strewn across the streets of Southampton has resigned.
Andrew Trayer, pictured, the city council’s waste and transport boss, was removed from his £75,000-a-year job after council chiefs launched a confidential internal investigation.
The respected senior manager was suspended from his post pending the outcome of the inquiry but has now quit the council.
Mystery still surrounds the reasons for the disciplinary action taken against Mr Trayer which prompted rumour and speculation among workers at the council’s new £14m City Depot. It is understood the probe was not related to financial matters and the police were not called.
A council spokeswoman said Mr Trayer’s resignation was a “personal decision” but refused to confirmor comment on any disciplinary action that was being taken. The council insists such issues are “both internal and confidential matters”. “With Mr Trayer’s resignation, this internal matter is now closed,” she added.
Mr Trayer, who worked for the authority for more than a decade, last year found himself in the middle of a summer of strike action by binmen over pay cuts imposed by the then ruling Tories.
Three months of industrial action by binmen and street cleaners saw mountains of household waste build up all over the city, costing the council £1.1m.
Traffic wardens, social workers, Itchen Bridge toll collectors and librarians were among the council employees to walk out in the bitter row over pay cuts, which Conservatives said safeguarded 400 jobs.
Staff said they had been given no explanation by council bosses as to Mr Trayer’s decision to quit. His job will be split between senior managers while the council decides whether to recruit a new head of fleet, waste and transport.
Latest figures showed recycling rates fell to 24.8 per cent between April and September last year, compared to 27.2 per cent in 2010, as a result of the industrial action.