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Posted on 4 September 2012 at 23:01 GMT

Bolton anti-cuts protest, 3.9.12, photo Matt Kilsby

Bolton anti-cuts protest, 3.9.12, photo Matt Kilsby   (Click to enlarge)

Protest against 35 million of cuts in Bolton

More than 150 trade unionists, service users and members of the public protested on Monday 3rd September at Bolton council's plans to implement 35.6 million of cuts over the next two years, which will have a devastating impact on council workers' jobs and the services they deliver.

The council has already said that these cuts could lead to as many as 1,000 redundancies over the next two years with more to come in the following two years! We are also clear that every single job and every single service area will be at risk and under review at some point. This is why our protest at the council was so important.

After noisily demonstrating outside the town hall, with the councillors already inside, the protest moved into one of the council chambers where they were due to rubber stamp the proposed cuts.

Inside, the Labour, Tory and Lib Dem councillors engaged in a stage-managed "debate" over the cuts and Con-Dem austerity.

Of course, the Labour councillors again made out that they implement cuts with heavy hearts. But they still refuse to vote against the cuts that are destroying the communities that they claim to represent.

We are pleased that the protest was so well supported at a time that was difficult for attendance for some of our members from frontline services.

However, we should be under no illusions that this was just the start of what needs to be a broad based campaign of trade unionists, service users and members of the public that can put pressure on the council to reverse the cuts, say 'enough is enough' and work with us to defend working class communities against Coalition austerity.

Matt Kilsby, Chair, Bolton UNISON LG Branch (in a personal capacity)

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