A STRIKE by public sector workers and teachers on Thursday, July 10 will close almost half of Halton’s 61 schools and partially shut 13 others.

The borough’s four libraries and direct links will be closed and other council services including bin collections face disruption.

Local government members of Unison, Unite, the GMB and Public and Commercial Services Union, the National Union of Teachers and Fire Brigades Union are mounting a 24-hour walk.

So far, 29 schools have confirmed they will close as cleaners, caretakers and dinner ladies join office workers to protest over a one per cent pay offer.

Paula Barker, Halton Unison branch secretary, said: “We are sorry for the disruption but we hope the public will support us.

“They know how committed our members are to provide vital services to the most vulnerable people in our society.

“It is abhorrent that our employers failed to come to the table. Our members on the lowest scale are worried about how they can feed their own families.

"It is a national issue. The enemy is the government. We understand that our local authority has its hands tied because they have had an appalling settlement figure from the government.

“We are after a fair deal. We have lost 20 per cent since 2010 because of the rising cost of living.”

A Halton Council spokesman said: “Due to antipicated industrial action by council employees, there is likely to be disruption to council services with many buildings closed to the public on Thursday, July 10.

“In the case of genuine emergencies only please call 0151 907 8363.

Residents are advised to leave their bins out from 7am on the days following the strike, not including Saturday or Sunday.

The council's two household waste recycling centres at Johnsons Lane Widnes and Picow Farm Road Runcorn, which are operated by Veolia Environmental Services, will be open as normal on Thursday, July 10.