County anti-cuts demo is planned

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A PEACEFUL lobby of Hampshire County Council has been organised for tomorrow afternoon.

Trades union Unison has called the demonstration, to take place outside The Castle, Winchester at 12.30pm, to protest against budget cuts.

The cuts, which are expected to include the axing of 1,200 council jobs, and, the union fears, public service reductions, are to be decided from 10am.

And the union hopes for a large number of people to join it to call for an alternative financial agreement.

Unison Hampshire branch secretary Gina Turner said: ‘Cuts of this scale will impact heavily on front-line services. This a regressive step and if the council does decide to implement such wide-scale cuts, it will be a dark day for the residents of Hampshire. We are concerned for the most vulnerable in the community, particularly many who utilise the vital facilities offered by both the adult and children’s services departments. The council is sitting on reserves of more than £130m, the third biggest council reserves in the country, and it’s baffling they could decide to cut jobs and services rather than spend some of this money.’

Unison Hampshire acting deputy branch secretary Tim Cutter said: ‘The economy needs jobs and Hampshire residents need well- maintained local services, yet the Conservative-led council is choosing cuts. We call on all those opposed to the cuts to join us tomorrow and stand up for their services.’