UNISON members at County Hall, Taunton, staged a protest calling for “fair pay”.

Belinda Burton, branch secretary of UNISON Somerset county branch said workers in the South-West are among the “hardest-pressed in the country” due to low pay and high costs of living.

They held a protest on Tuesday (April 1).

She added: “Local government workers in the county have faced four years of devastating cuts to jobs but also to the vital services they provide – and today our members are saying enough is enough.

“75% of the local government workforce in Somerset are women, who are increasingly undervalued and who are not prepared to sit back and let their families slide further into poverty.

“Rather than the race-to-the-bottom approach favoured by this Government what we desperately need is a commitment to implement a living wage."