Demonstration held against council cuts ahead of decision

Demonstration at Portsmouth City Council over budget cuts
Demonstration at Portsmouth City Council over budget cuts
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Around 100 union members and members of the public held a lunchtime protest against council cuts.

Demonstrators gathered at the Guildhall in Portsmouth to call for councillors to think before they vote and to stand up for the people of the city.

John Woods, a unionson member who led the demonstration, led the crowds in chants of: ‘service cuts - no way - let the greedy bankers pay’ as councillors crossed Guildhall square.

Councillors were preparing to vote on a budget which the protestors claim could cause massive problems across the city.

Mr Woods said: ‘This will see an increase in alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide and homelessness. Councillors are elected to stand up for the city and we want them to do that today.’

The council’s budget includes at least 151 redundancies and cuts of up to £17 million - including large cuts in Children’s Services.

But Councillor Jason Fazackarley said: ‘It’s very difficult. This is a budget which goes against my union views but it is a budget which has been forced on us by central government and it is very difficult to see a sensible alternative.’