Scores of council staff in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge joined a nationwide strike in protest at changes to their pensions on Tuesday.

Several council-run services were disrupted when workers walked out for 24 hours in protest at changes to the local government pension scheme, but the towns were not severely affected.

A sign appeared on the door of the district council's cash office in Highbridge explaining why it would be closedStreet cleaning was not performed along Burnham’s seafront and the council offices in Highbridge were closed, where staff set up a picket line, as pictured above.

A sign appeared on the door of the district council’s cash office in Highbridge explaining why it was closed.

However, unlike Bridgwater, where one school was forced to close, all secondary and primary schools in Burnham-On-Sea stayed open.

Mr Kerry Rickards, Chief Executive of Sedgemoor District Council, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The Council is sympathetic to the position adopted by Unison and other unions and it certainly is not ‘business as usual’ given that so many staff feel strongly about their pension.”

“Nevertheless, the council has prioritised where services should be delivered and with a lot of goodwill amongst those who remained in the work place, priority areas have been covered; however, this cannot be sustained over the longer term.”

Nine public worker unions voted for the action after talks broke down over plans to scrap a rule allowing workers to retire on a full pension at 60.

One of those on the picket lines in Highbridge on Tuesday was Shaun Cahill, a council housing officer. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “There are very strong feelings about this issue.”

“I’ve contributed for more than 28 years to our pension scheme and want to retire after 40 years service, but under the new plans I won’t be able to do that. I’ll have to work longer – everything has been changed.”

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Council says strike won’t disrupt Burnham too heavily

 
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