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Strikes may hit schools but little else, council claims

Monday, 28th November 2011.

Essential county council services will keep running on Wednesday, despite the fact that many public sector unions are planning to take strike action in response to the Government’s proposed pension reforms.

Suffolk County Council says adult care services, including home care and residential care, will be largely unaffected as will the social work teams who have responsibility for safeguarding children and adults.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service will remain unaffected, with fire unions not involved in this industrial action.

Parents and carers are urged to make alternative childcare arrangements, with a significant number of Suffolk’s schools set to close as a result of the strike.

Suffolk’s school closures website has the very latest information and is updated daily as schools notify the council of any change to normal arrangements: http://schoolclosures.suffolk.gov.uk

Suffolk County Council offices will open for business as usual.

Elsewhere, the majority of libraries will remain open; however some regular activities and events may be subject to change. The latest updates are available from the county council’s website www.suffolk.gov.uk

Cllr Colin Spence, the council's portfolio holder for public protection said: “It is of the greatest importance to me and my colleagues that we keep as many of our services running on November 30 as possible - especially those that protect vulnerable people.

"After discussions with unions, and through working in partnership with other agencies across the county, I am pleased to say that we are confident this will be the case on Wednesday.”

Most public sector unions have now completed ballots, with members of several major unions voting in favour of strike action. These include Unison, which represents many local government employees, and others covering the health, civil service and teaching professions.

Andy Fry, the council's director of public, who also chairs the Suffolk Resilience Forum, said: “Although this is a dispute between Government and trade unions, our priority is to keep Suffolk people safe and maintain crucial public services.

"By working in close partnership with local councils, emergency services, the NHS and the other public sector bodies that comprise the Suffolk Resilience Forum, we have developed a co-ordinated response to the industrial action which seeks to minimise disruption.

"If anyone has any concerns, or needs to know how the strike will affect them, I would urge them to visit the Suffolk County Council website.”

For a comprehensive round-up of all affected services, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk

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