Manchester council cuts: hundreds join protest march

Manchester cuts march
Image caption Protesters marched down Oxford Road on Saturday

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Manchester in protest at the effect of budget cuts on services.

Voluntary groups, nursery workers, council staff and union members marched down Oxford Road on Saturday before gathering outside the town hall.

On Wednesday, Manchester City Council is to sign off a budget that includes £170m in cuts over two years.

The authority said massive reductions in government grants had forced it to make the cuts to some services.

They include plans to close services such as libraries and leisure centres and transfer the running of Sure Start children's centres to partner agencies.

About 2,000 jobs - or 17% of the workforce - are also being lost at the Labour-run council.

Last month, leader Sir Richard Leese told the BBC people should be "shocked" by the level of cuts and urged them to vent their anger.