Disruption is expected from strike action

Schools, fire and council services face major disruption today from public sector strikes.

The National Union of Teachers is taking action over pay, pensions and working conditions, while the Fire Brigades Union is staging its 15th strike since September over pension reform.

Unison, which represents local government and school workers, has called the walk-out over a three-year pay freeze and pay cut last year and a one per cent pay offer.

Northumberland Joint Branch Secretary Ian Fleming said: “It’s with a heavy heart that we’re taking this action in concert with other unions and workers across the country, but we feel we’ve no choice.”

In Morpeth, St Robert’s First School, Newminster Middle School and Collingwood School are closed, while Grange View First School in Widdrington, Ponteland High School and Morpeth King Edward VI School are partially closed.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service will provide a service during the strike, but has warned it will not be business as usual and people should take extra care.

Northumberland County Council says critical services will be maintained, but there will be an impact on day-to-day operations.

Lynemouth, Morpeth and Morpeth mobile libraries are closed, and bin collections may be affected. If general waste is not collected, the bin should be put back out for emptying on Monday.

However, County Hall, tourist information centres and facilities run by Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure are open, and housing services will not be affected.

For council service updates throughout the day visit www.northumberland.gov.uk