RESIDENTS of Hyndburn will feel the effects if next week’s council workers’ strike goes ahead.
But as local government workers across the country prepare to strike over pay, Hyndburn Council and Lancashire County Council are trying to ensure they face as little disruption as possible.
Unions Unison and Unite have scheduled a two-day strike on Wednesday and Thursday after rejecting a 2.45 per cent pay rise, which is below the current rate of inflation of 4.3 per cent.
Those taking action include binmen, social workers, librarians, school meal workers and caretakers, surveyors and teaching assistants.
In Hyndburn, bin collections normally done on Wednesdays and Thursdays have been rescheduled.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "There will be an effect in Hyndburn if the dispute continues. We are trying to keep this to a minimum by reorganising some schedules.
"However, if an agreement is not reached in the near future, there may be problems with the operation of cemeteries or refuse collection, and in this instance we are trying all we can to make sure people only feel a ripple effect."
The county council is asking people to keep an eye on its website to stay up to date.
Ged Fitzgerald, chief executive of LCC, said: "We are currently in the process of negotiating exemptions from the strike for certain staff whose absence might put vulnerable people at risk or who are involved in providing essential services during emergencies.
"But services will definitely be affected and many may be closed or unavailable.
"We are asking people to avoid contacting us in the way they normally would on the dates of the strike if at all possible, which will allow us to concentrate on keeping our really key services up and running."
The coumty council said it would be up to individual headteachers and school governors to decide on school closures.
As the Observer went to press, most schools in Hyndburn were planning to stay open – but this could change.
A spokeswoman from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School in Oswaldtwistle said: "As far as I know the school will be open but if there is a change we will inform people as necessary.’’
For information about LCC services visit www.lancashire.gov.uk
Rescheduled dates for refuse and recycling collections:
- Refuse normally collected Wednesday 16 July will be collected on Friday 18 July
- Thursday 17 July to Monday 21 July
- Wednesday 16 July to Wednesday 30 July
- Thursday 17 July to Thursday 31 July