Nottinghamshire Council workers to strike over cuts

Thousands of workers at Nottinghamshire County Council will stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday in protest at “savage” spending cuts and the threat of 1,000 job losses.

Unison said up to 3,000 of its members at the Conservative-controlled council will walk out as part of a campaign to warn the authority that the cuts will “decimate” local services and hit the most vulnerable.

The union said the cuts included the closure of 35 specialist day centres, a “massive” hike in charges for social care, and cuts from the youth offending service and from services to children and young people.

National officer Heather Wakefield said: “The cuts will hit the elderly, the disabled, people with learning disabilities, children with special needs, and people with mental health problems.

“These cuts are not inevitable – the council has £159 million in cash reserves. Instead of inflicting misery on local people, why not use this money to help some of Nottinghamshire’s most vulnerable residents?

“This budget will wreak total devastation on local services – from the cradle to the grave. Millions cut from Sure Start, early years and childcare. Children with special needs missing out on support, and youth offending projects cut.

“Unison council workers in Nottinghamshire are going on strike to protect their jobs, but also to protect the local services they know are at the heart of this community.

“We want local people to join us in pressing for an alternative, fairer budget that will promote economic growth and protect vital local services.”

Council workers in other areas including Manchester and Portsmouth are also threatening industrial action in protest at cuts in jobs and services, while an increasing number of rallies and demonstrations are being held across the UK against the Government’s austerity measures.