Bromley Council workers took to the streets again striking over Bromley Council’s "mass privatisation" of services.

The industrial action took place from yesterday (April 27), and is due to continue until Tuesday (May 19) affecting libraries, parks and adult services.

Unite members organised demonstrations over what they claim is the wholesale movement of public services into private hands, the withdrawal of time for Unite representatives and cuts to pay and conditions.

Yesterday the group was outside Orpington library and today (April 28) they took to Petts Wood library before finally visiting Beckenham library tomorrow.

Kathy Smith worked as a library assistant in Central Library since 1997, before becoming the Unite secretary for the Bromley branch.

She said: “They're taking away trade union time; for the last eight years I've been seconded to the civic centre but they're withdrawing that.

“They're privatising all our services and paying tax payers money into the hands of private companies for their shareholders.

"The only time the council will get control after outsourcing is when the contracts come up, but that could be every 10 years, and by then the owner might have changed hands several times.”

News Shopper:

Kathy Smith and Onay Kasab 

The targeted walk-outs will affect parks next Tuesday (May 5), with all branch members except school staff striking on Friday (May 1), next Thursday (May 7) and Tuesday (May 19).

The action will also affect the Astley care centre, in Magpie Hall Lane, and passenger services from Wednesday to Monday (May 13 - 18) protesting over changes to adult services.

Regional officer Onay Kasab said: “It's vital we make a stand, if we don't this council will privatise everything they legally can, and we may have lost services forever.

“The effects could be huge if privatisation goes ahead.

“We absolutely think we will be able to return some services, our members are willing to make the sacrifice and we’ve got to support them.”

The council needs to find £50 million in savings over the next four years out of a budget of roughly £200 million, and said it was "inevitable" some services would have to be provided differently in the future.

A council spokesperson said: "We regret that further industrial action is being called for when the one day and hourly strikes earlier this month were supported by fewer than four per cent of our workforce.

“We would like to reassure residents that the Council is doing everything in its power to minimise any adverse impact on critical services.”