A demonstration took place today outside County Hall in Wakefield, where councillors were to hold their budget meeting. The council has been planning £67 million of cuts, which threaten the loss of 1,700 jobs. Union representatives are already fearing compulsory redundancies. Other measures include reduction in the frequency of bin collections, and increase in the price of school meals.
Union flags and banners were flying, with members of Unison, the UCU and NUT present. A number of journalists were there to cover the event. Councillors were heckled as they entered the building.
It is, of course, the poorest who will be hit hardest by these cuts. This is especially serious in an area like Wakefield. A recent report by Save the Children revealed that nearly one child in seven in the district is living in severe poverty, and the families of 8,000 children are forced to make choices between heating and food.