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Controversial 'cuts' budget passed at emotional Hackney Council meeting

PUBLISHED: 10:39 03 March 2011 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2011

Cuts were passed despite protests

Cuts were passed despite protests

Archant

Protestors disrupt debate and councillors vote through cuts.

Cuts were passed despite protests

HACKNEY Council’s controversial budget was passed last night amid scenes of protest both inside the council chamber and on the streets outside.

The meeting had to be put on hold for around 20 minutes as protestors in the public gallery turned on Mayor Jules Pipe as he began his speech before the debate on the £44 million cuts.

Cries of ‘shame on you for turning blue’ rang out as Cllr Sally Mulready, Speaker of Hackney, struggled to take control.

The council chamber was cleared and police and security called into the public gallery to calm people down before the meeting could continue.

Outside hundreds of people gathered brandishing placards and chanting songs as Hackney Council agreed the budget which, Labour members say, will protect ‘frontline services’ and draw heavily on reserves (cash the council has saved).

Little was said of what actual cuts were taking place and where they would come with councillors instead arguing among each other over which political party was to blame.

So far the council has only spoken of 170 people taking voluntary redundancy and has kept tight-lipped about enforced job losses.

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