Council gets ready for strikes over pensions

Norfolk County Council insisted it will be ready on Wednesday when teachers, care staff, and government workers stage a mass walkout.

Schools will close and council services are set to be stretched when unions across the county go on strike in a dispute over public sector pensions.

Norfolk trade unionists will gather at City College on Ipswich Road, Norwich from 11am and march on City Hall. Marchers will also take to the streets of King's Lynn, Dereham, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

The county council said it had been told of 43 schools which will be affected, either shutting down for the day or partly closing.

They are urging the public to only call the council with emergencies.

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Cliff Jordan, cabinet member for efficiency, said: 'We are doing our utmost to limit the effects of next Wednesday's action on frontline services and will try to keep essential services running, wherever possible.

'We anticipate a large number of Norfolk's schools will be closed on Wednesday and parents and carers should expect to be kept informed by the headteacher concerned.

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'Outside of schools we expect most county council services, such as care services, park and ride, recycling centres and libraries, to be open for business but we will try to let people know of any disruption as soon as possible.'

County Hall will be open but the customer services department will give priority to emergency social care and highways calls.

Norse Care, which runs 26 care homes in Norfolk, is also putting contingency plans in place.

Richard Edwards, regional secretary for the PCS civil service union, said: 'Millions of people earning modest wages, which have been frozen for two years, are being asked to work longer and get less for their pensions and pay more at a time when prices are soaring.'

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