Protestors fight street cleaning cuts

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A passionate protest took place outside a meeting of Luton council’s executive committee on last night (Nov 22), as members of the Unite Union voiced their anger at potential job losses.

A review of street cleansing services was agreed by the executive, which means 21 frontline jobs could go, reducing the work force from 86 to 65, as part of the £413k reductions.

Council leader Hazel Simmons promised consultation with the employees and trade unions, but Unite officer Richard Gates suggested the council “consult but do not listen”.

Speaking from the public gallery, Mr Gates said: “Enough is enough. We have had two rounds of job losses, we are not prepared to have another round. Throwing more people out of their jobs is not the way to do it. Make a stand. Members of this council, say to the government: ‘enough is enough’.”

Councillor Simmons responsded by saying: “You are not dealing with a government who cares.”

Street cleansing includes removal of fly-tipping, fly-posting and graffiti, weed spraying and control, leaf collection, gully cleaning, removal of drug and prostitution litter and winger maintenance. The proposals would see standards drop from the current high grade A (96 per cent) to B (86 per cent), which the report said would be a “noticeable reduction”.

Lib Dems Councillor David Franks said: “Taking the town back to the dirtiest town in Britain repuation that it had in 90s is hardly the best way to encourage busineses to expand, or encourage new businessses to come to Luton. Very sad.”

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