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Public sector strike to disrupt some Lincolnshire council services

Hundreds of public sector workers across the country will go on strike on Thursday, July 10, over pay, pensions and workloads.

Locally, the strike will affect Lincolnshire County Council, local district councils, Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, teachers, civil servants and members of a number of other unions.

In Lincoln, those taking part in strikes will form picket lines outside their places of work.

A march by demonstrators is also set to take place from 11.30am on Brayford Wharf North, which will culminate with a rally at 12.30pm in City Square.

Services affected

Due to the strikes, a number of local services could be affected, depending on how many staff support the strikes.

The City of Lincoln Council believes that Lincare Control Centre, bin collections, council car parks, Central Market, crematorium, street cleansing, grounds maintenance and leisure centres will operate as normal.

However, it is thought the Hartsholme Country Park visitor centre is likely to be closed as well as some public toilets.

In a statement, the council noted: “It is not yet known whether sufficient staff will be present to open City Hall to the public on Thursday. Customers are advised to avoid making non-urgent visits to City Hall and should defer non urgent telephone calls until Friday.

“Emergency council house repairs should still be reported via the usual number 01522 534747 and these will be responded to as soon as possible.”

North Kesteven District Council is warning residents that there may be some impact on certain council services, particularly refuse collection.

Mark Taylor, Head of Environment and Public Protection, said: “The district council has contingencies in place for such times and will be attempting to collect as many bins as possible on Thursday with the staff that we have.

“We would ask customers to please bear with us during this difficult time – if your collection day is Thursday please put your bins out as normal; and leave them out until we have been able to empty them.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire County Council is assuring residents that some services are exempt from strike action, such as the Adults Emergency Duty Team, Children’s Emergency Duty Team, children’s residential homes, Lincolnshire Secure Unit and FAST teams.

Debbie Barnes, Lincolnshire County Council Executive Director, said: “As a responsible authority we have been making plans for this industrial action for many weeks, and have agreed service exemptions with the trade unions to ensure that vital life and limb services are maintained.”

“We have also put plans in place to minimise any disruption to other council services including a restriction on annual leave for the proposed day of strike action, and have asked managers to plan services around possible reduced staffing levels.”

Schools have also informed the authority on how the strike will affect them. The majority of Lincolnshire schools and academies will remain open as usual, but there are a few schools which will be partially open or even closed.

Parents can find out if their child’s school is closed by visiting the council’s School Closures page.

Debbie Barnes added: “We have advised schools that if they will be without staff they have to consider whether they have adequate cover to ensure the safety of children – this will determine whether they should close or partially close for the day or remain open.

“Schools that are closing should be informing parents and carers as soon as possible so that they can make arrangements for their children.”

Further strikes

For Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, the July 10 strike is the start of a number of walkouts staff will be holding over the summer.

This week, the Fire Brigade Union announced fire crews would strike over eight consecutive days across the country, starting July 14.

The strikes come due to a fallout with government over pensions and the age at which a firefighter can retire due to fitness levels.

The strike will affect services in the county, but plans are in place to still provide an emergency response when needed.

Dave Ramscar, Chief Fire Officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has plans in place to ensure that we continue to provide an emergency response within the county.

“We accept that any planned industrial action will impact on our ability to deliver business as usual, but we are confident that the implementation of our plans will enable us to continue to answer 999 calls and to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.”