UNISON members organised a demonstration outside Suffolk County Council's office to protest against local government cuts.

The members stood outside on Thursday ahead of the day's full council meeting, demanding that £65m cuts to local funding be overturned.

The proposed cuts say that £11m would directly come out of the services budget and could put 350 jobs at risk across the county.

Members held boards that said “Stop the Cuts in Suffolk” while chanting slogans like, “No ifs, no buts, no more cuts”.

Cllr Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for finance, economic development and skills, said that the reality of council finances is seeing a dip across the country.

He said “Wherever possible, staff savings will be achieved through robust vacancy management to minimise the number of redundancies and associated costs. This will reduce the impact on the delivery of frontline services which is our number one priority.”

Ipswich Star: Neil Bland said cuts could lead to redundancies of servicesNeil Bland said cuts could lead to redundancies of services (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Suffolk branch secretary Neil Bland said that UNISON says one of the concerns is that redundancies may be on the way because of these cuts.

“There is now more work and fewer people, which adds stress to the lives of workers,” he said.

Similarly, Antia Abram, who has been working at the county’s early-year program since 1999, said that she has been noticing the stress levels amongst staff rise because of cuts.

Ipswich Star: UNISON member Anita Abram (second from right) said that cuts have increased stress for workersUNISON member Anita Abram (second from right) said that cuts have increased stress for workers (Image: Charlotte Bond)

“The situation keeps getting worse as time goes on and now you have people who need to take break days because they are stressed and overworked and that is just not okay,” she added.

She also highlighted that the cuts have meant that children with special needs and their families are not going to be looked after as well as they should, and that education for children till the age of five is drastically reducing.

The demonstration at Endeavour House was attended by the likes of former Ipswich MP Sandy Martin and UNISON Eastern regional secretary Tim Roberts both of whom gave speeches about the upcoming general election being a point where people could vote for a change and end cuts.

However, others at the protest said that even if the party in government changes it does not mean that cuts will come to an end and that workers may keep having to fight for their jobs to be protected.

UNISON will also hold a march through the town centre on June 8.