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Cornish Police March on Day of Action

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10:43am 10th May 2012
(Updated 10:43am 10th May 2012)

Cornwall and the UK are being hit by a day of strikes and action.

Up to four hundred thousand public sector staff are taking part.

It includes everyone from lecturers, job centre and health workers.

Six hundred police from Cornwall and Devon are marching in London, angry at plans to slice seven hundred jobs from the force to save money.

The Police Federation had to lay on double the number of coachs expected to transport officers to the capital.

Because they are not allowed to strike they have had to take the day off as holiday to attend.

Duchy Federation rep Gary Seaton is travelling up from Launceston. He said, "Morale is the lowest I've ever known it in twenty-seven odd years in the police service. It is unbelievable. Officers are so overworked. They're so disheartened at the way this government has treated them."

Officers warn that people living in the southwest have yet to see the true impact of the cuts, since they are being phased in over four years.

Dave O'Toole from the University and College Union is meeting protestors in Truro.

He warns the cuts are hurting our children's education:

"That's very real for Cornwall. We're seeing the removal of the EMA, which is the Educational Maintenance Allowance, and that's a real big issue in an area such as this where students have to travel long distances to come into colleges.

"It is not business as usual. We're not just exercising our right to demonstrate, we're exercising our right to withdraw our labour. The whole point of a strike is to disrupt."

10:43am 10th May 2012

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