Essex CC leader Chris Pearson has brushed off a 3,000 demonstration organised by striking firefighters as a 'public...
Essex CC leader Chris Pearson has brushed off a 3,000 demonstration organised by striking firefighters as a 'publicity stunt', reports the East Anglian Daily Times (p1).
Demonstrators on yesterday's march at one point tried to storm the council chamber, where the full council was meeting for the last time before the county council elections. The county's firefighters were on strike for the fourth time in ten days yesterday over a£1.5m cut to the fire service's budget.
Mr Pearson said talks between the council and the firefighters' union were still taking place 'behind the scenes'.
He said: 'At the end of the day Essex is the piggy in the middle between a penny-pinching government and a union that has been whipped up to demand a large slice of a small cake.'