Year-long campaign against budget cuts by flagship Tory-led council comes as local authorities across the UK consider mass redundancies

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A year-long campaign of resistance to local authority cuts in Southampton is continuing, with a call from UNISON and Unite for a lobby of next week’s council meeting.

Officials say it is important to secure a large turnout of members and supporters to demonstrate their determination to continue the campaign against cuts to services, salaries and jobs.

Unions organised a series of stoppages across different council departments during 2011, including refuse collection, social work and port services.

Conservative council leader Royston Smith has rejected alternative proposals drawn up by unions and staff which they say would save services, jobs and retained pay but forced the council to save income.

The lobby next Wednesday (15th February) comes as councillors and officials across the UK are meeting to set budgets against a backdrop of a freeze on council tax called for by Chancellor George Osborne and adopted by most local authorities in England.

Sheffield City council announced yesterday (Tuesday 7th February) it was cutting 570 jobs as part of planned budget cuts worth £55m in the next financial year.

Unions said they were currently “satisfied” with consultations on proposed voluntary redundancies in the city.

The joint unions in Southampton are planning a further day of industrial action in April, to coincide with the opening of the £5 million Sea City Museum. Critics say say Royston Smith personally authorised spending on what they regard as a vanity project, which is partly to blame for cuts to jobs and salaries.

Watch our film report here from the height of the dispute last summer:


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