Firefighters across the south will launch a fresh wave of strikes today in a bitter row with the Government over pensions, with no sign of a breakthrough in the long running dispute.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out for two hours at noon and again for an hour at 11pm. Strikes will be held for the same times over the next eight days.
Fire brigades will again put contingency plans in place, including using contract staff. Fewer fire engines will be available during the action.
The union has been campaigning for the past few years against controversial Government plans to change pensions. The FBU claims firefighters will have to work longer and receive lower pensions when they retire. The union accused the Government of "walking away" from talks earlier this week.
Teachers at a school in Hove are striking today in protest over plans to turn their school into an academy.
Hove Park School will be closed today as the decision looms over whether the school will become an academy in September.
The Conservative schools spokesman has thanked parents and carers who voted in the ballot on whether a school in Hove should become an academy.
The vote over Hove Park School's future saw 71% of parents disagreeing with the headteacher's plan to make the school an academy.
However, only 35.6% of ballot papers that were sent out to parents were returned.
I would like to thank all the parents and carers who have taken part in the ballot – it is great that so many of them care passionately about the future direction of Hove Park School.
The ballot will feed into the wider ongoing consultation and will form part of the information that the Headteacher and Governors will need to digest in order to come to a final decision. The Conservative Group remains strongly supportive of the Headteacher and the Governors, who have done a fantastic job of turning the school around in the last couple of years.
We have complete trust in their ability to make whichever decision they feel is in the best interests of the pupils attending the school and will back them all the way.”
Teachers at a Sussex school in the middle of a battle over plans to turn it into an academy are due to go on strike today.
Hove Park is closed to students, with a picket line expected at its entrance from 7am this morning.
Campaigners want to stop the school being converted into an academy, which would bring it out of local authority control.
ITV Meridian spoke to parent Natasha Steel.
David Cameron believes disruption caused by today's public sector strikes is "wrong", his official spokesman said.
Asked whether the Prime Minister felt strikes in the public sector could ever be justified, the spokesman said: "Does the Prime Minister think that people in this country - parents, commuters, users of public services - should have their routines disrupted? Of course he doesn't think it is right."
Asked for the PM's assessment of the impact of today's strikes, the spokesman responded that Cameron would say "any disruption any user of public services experiences is wrong".