Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham City Council charges unions for march

Doug Morgan from the NUT
Image caption NUT spokesman Doug Morgan said the charges were "a bit rich".

Unions have accused Birmingham City Council of trying to sabotage a protest march - by asking for £8,000 to cover its costs.

Thousands of public sector workers are expected to march to a rally at the NIA in Birmingham on Wednesday as part of a national strike over pensions.

The unions claim they have been told they have to pay the charge if the march goes ahead.

The city council said anyone staging a march must cover costs.

Doug Morgan, from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in Birmingham, said: "The council will be making hundreds of thousands of pounds from our protest from the wages that we don't claim on the day.

"So it's a bit rich of them to ask us to pay twice for democracy in Britain."

Unions claim on a previous occasion they were only charged a few hundred pounds.

A statement from Birmingham City Council, which is controlled by a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, said it was willing to agree a route to allow the march to go ahead subject to an acceptable route and a commitment to cover any traffic management costs.

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