Union’s warning in council cuts rally

Blackpool Town Hall
Blackpool Town Hall
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Union chiefs say they aim to “put the pressure on” Town Hall bosses over levels of staffing.

The warning comes ahead of a protest which will see Blackpool Council workers demonstrate over requests for them to take unpaid leave, accept incremental pay freezes and pay car parking charges.

UNISON branch secretary for Blackpool Council, Julia Orry.

UNISON branch secretary for Blackpool Council, Julia Orry.

The protest, which will take place outside Blackpool Town Hall tomorrow at 12.30pm, has been organised by the public service union UNISON.

Julia Orry, UNISON’s Blackpool local branch secretary, (pictured) is calling for members of the public to support the protestors.

She told The Gazette: “Our argument is the council should be giving something back, we’ve given a lot now over the years.

“We can only take so much.

“This could sway the council about the car parking and we’ve spoken to the council to say that they should be sympathetic.

“I believe they could possibly sway if we put the pressure on.”

She added: “I’m hoping the public will be on our side.

“I do believe enough is enough and we have to fight.

“It’s hitting the people of Blackpool because services are being cut.”

As reported in The Gazette in November, a total of £36m is set to be cut from Blackpool Council’s budget by 2016, with £16m of that to be slashed in the next year.

Around 250 jobs a year are set to be lost, with a voluntary redundancy scheme currently being offered to employees.

All departments are being forced to make savings, although the main cuts are to adult services, transport, tourism and leisure.

Blackpool Against The Cuts (BAC) and Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Trades Council are supporting the demonstration.

James Sorah, of BAC, said: “We will be supporting Unison in their fight against cuts to public services but we are in no doubt the blame lies with central government and cuts they are making to local government funding particularly in deprived areas like Blackpool.”

Blackpool Council has declined to comment.

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