On February 24th Nottinghamshire County Council met to set its budget. Unison members at the council were on strike and the union also organised a march and rally.
Unison had originally wanted to march from Bridge Field in West Bridgford, but Tory-run Rushcliffe Borough Council refused permission for the union to use the land, claiming that do otherwise might be seen as “supporting a political initiative”. Unison condemned the decision, but relocated the start point to Victoria Embankment.
Unison had organised coaches from around the county and union members were joined by campaigners from Notts SOS, members of the CWU and FBU, the Labour Party (keen to get a dig at the Tory county council) and others. Based on discussions with people there and union officials there were probably around 650 people in attendance. Not a awful turnout, but certainly disappointing.
The march was to make its way across Trent Bridge to County Hall, but protesters were only allowed to use one lane of the bridge, in an area marked off by cones, with three van-loads of police to make sure people didn’t accidentally wander into oncoming traffic. The effect of this was to trap people between the fence overlooking the river and a line of coppers as if they were in the world’s thinnest kettle.
From Trent Bridge, demonstrators followed Loughborough Road, again only allowed on one lane of the road and then into County Hall via the car entrance for a rally (separate report to follow).