Town halls and schools affected by strike

Lorraine Norris, chief executive of Preston Council
Lorraine Norris, chief executive of Preston Council
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Disruption is expected across the county as public sector workers walk out in a one-day strike.

More than one million people are expected to join the action on Thursday July 10 throughout the country, including council staff, health workers, teachers, civil servants and firefighters.

Council services will be disrupted as a result of the action, described as the biggest in years.

In Preston, offices in the Town Hall and Lancastria House will be closed to the public, as will the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

Both Fulwood and West View leisure centres will be open, but there may be some disruption because of staff shortages.

People will not be able to book funerals or cremations for July 10 at Preston Cemetery or Preston Crematorium, but the books of remembrance will be open for people who wish to pay their respects.

Council bosses said workers would try to collect grey bins, but asked people to leave them out if rubbish wasn’t collected, to be taken in the following days.

Lorraine Norris, Preston Council’s chief executive, said: “This is a national strike and we expect a significant number of staff will support it. There is likely to be disruption to council services.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Unison, Unite and GMB have informed us that they plan to strike on Thursday. The National Union of Teachers is also planning to strike.

“While it’s difficult for us to tell what impact this will have on county council services and our schools, it is inevitable that there will be some disruption. We have well-established procedures to ensure that we will continue to provide services for vulnerable people across the county who need urgent support.

“Parents should check with schools to see how they will be affected, or visit the Lancashire County Council website for information about school closures.”

However, in South Ribble, it is expected to be “business as usual” during the industrial action, with people directed to the council’s website if there are any telephone delays. Services at Chorley Council are also expected to be running as usual.

Unions expected to join the strike include UNISON, GMB, Unite, the National Union of Teachers, PCS and FBU.

John Lewis, UNISON North West’s head of local government said a pay rise was “long overdue”.

He said: “People don’t go on strike lightly but our members see no alternative to taking action now.”