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VIDEO: Workers anger at town hall cutbacks

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Council workers held a demonstration outside Blackpool Town Hall in protest at jobs cuts.

Banner-waving staff marched round the town hall after listening to speeches from union leaders during yesterday’s lunchtime rally.

Blackpool Council is proposing to axe around 700 jobs over the next two years as part of savings of £36m from the council’s budget by 2016.

Staff are being asked to accept an increments pay freeze, five days unpaid leave and will have to pay for car parking once they relocate to new council offices in the town centre.

Local government unions Unite and Unison, supported by Blackpool Against The Cuts, organised the event.

Jed Sullivan, convenor for Unite at Blackpool Council, said: “People are very angry, and also very worried about their jobs and where it is going to end.

“They were prepared to take a bit of a hit to help the greater good but there is more and more erosion of their pay and conditions.

“The council is moving staff from the outside areas of Blackpool to the town centre but at the same time implementing parking charges for staff of £60 a month.”

Workers spoke of their concerns.

One, who works for adult and children’s services, but did not want to be named, said: “In 15 years my wage has gone up less than £10 a year - it is barely a living wage.

“At the same time a lot of the service users are very vulnerable, and the service to them is being cut back.”

Another worker, from the Supported Living Service, said: “People in my job have all had their working hours cut back by five hours a week, which is a loss of about £235 a month.

“More than half the staff have gone, and we’re really worried about further redundancies and cuts to the service. People can see the writing on the wall.”

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