STRIKES UPDATE: Hundreds of staff from across north Norfolk join strike

Public sector workers from across north Norfolk were among thousands to take part in the country's biggest strikes today - with a reported 70pc of staff from the district council joining the walkout.

Public sector workers from across north Norfolk were among thousands to take part in the country's biggest strikes today - with unions claiming 70pc of district council staff had joined the walk out.

Schools across the district were closed and a picket line formed outside the council offices in Holt Road from 6.30am as staff showed their opposition to proposed changes to their pensions.

Speaking from the line this morning Simon Case, vice chairman of Unison's north Norfolk branch, said: 'We're not happy with the pension changes proposed by the government.

'It will mean that we have already lost 50pc of the value of our pensions and in April they're proposing to lose a further 25pc, but at the same time they want us to work longer and then tax us 3pc. And that 3pc tax won't go towards our pensions, it's going directly to pay off the deficit.

'We're standing here today to say it's wrong.'

He said an estimated 70pc of staff joined the walkout but council bosses reported only 33pc of staff had gone on strike, with 107 of its 325 strong work force absent from the office. The authority said all services, including rubbish collections, were covered throughout today and there had been no disruption.

Most Read

Helen Eales, council leader, went into the office this morning to see how things were running and said it was 'quieter' but people were getting on.

'The council was responding well,' she added. 'Customer services were busy and people were coming in and being looked after.'

Mr Case along with dozens of others from across north Norfolk joined the march to city hall in Norwich this afternoon, and said he was really pleased with the amount of public support he and colleagues received along the way.

Mr Case, who works in the council's planning department, added: 'It was great how many thumbs up we were getting, it was a really great atmosphere and very positive. It's been a good day, I think we've made our point.

'We didn't want to go on strike but we just felt we had to do something to get the message across and hopefully they have got that message.'

The Minor Injuries Unit at Cromer Hospital is due to remain open until 8pm tonight for patients who need to be seen immediately but do not have a serious illness or injury.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter