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School Strike Costs Cornwall £20m

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 18th October 2013. (Updated at 7:37am 18th October 2013)

The schools strike could have cost Cornwall £20m.

Teachers at more than a hundred primaries and secondaries across the Duchy walked out on Thursday, in a row over pay and pensions.

But business leaders say that forced a lot of parents to take time off work.

The one day action is being hailed a success by unions, but split opinion among parents on Pirate FM's Facebook page.

Now the man in charge of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce says it will have had an economic impact on the Duchy.

Kim Conchie told Pirate FM: "You could say it affects Cornwall worse than other parts of the country. We have so many micro businesses and small businesses here in Cornwall, many of which trade from home. I think their productivity probably halves on days when they have the children at home.

"It's more difficult for people to take time off work. A big, blue-chip organisation could probably stand it if someone takes a day off at short notice. But in small businesses, people tend to be multitasking and essential to the running of the business. It will really hit affect those businesses very badly, where that's happening."

Thomas Cheeseman runs a shop in Looe. He said: "It's been busier to be honest with you. Trade is probably a bit up on the week. There have been more people about generally. Maybe parents have been involved, maybe teachers have gone off and gone shopping.

"I think I've had a few teachers in the shop spending a few pounds - so that's good."

But another trader added: "We've had a few more children in than we normally would at this time of year, but they've not been spending. I think they're just wandering around wasting time."

Teachers say there is the chance of a national one-day stoppage between now and Christmas.

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