Northampton

Strike disruptions hit services in Northamptonshire

About 200 schools in Northamptonshire are facing disruption caused by the national strike over public sector pensions.

Of the county's 320 schools, 137 are shut and 41 partially closed. Hospitals, council offices, courts and libraries are also affected.

Unions plan to march through the centre of Northampton.

The government said the strike would "achieve nothing".

Dave Prentis, the Unison union's general secretary, said: "A bad situation will only be made worse by imposing a £3.6bn tax on public sector pensions, by holding down public sector pay and by throwing hundreds of thousands of public service workers on to the dole."

In Corby, the borough council's One Stop Shop, Lodge Park Sports Centre and the East Midlands International Pool are closed for the day.

About 35% of the workforce at Daventry District Council are members of trade unions that have balloted for industrial action.

Daventry District Council's chief executive Ian Vincent said "every effort" was being made to minimise disruption.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said it was "unfair and unrealistic" to expect taxpayers to foot the increasing public sector pensions bill.

The prime minister's spokesman said: "The strike will achieve nothing - it would be far better to continue with talks."

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