EFFORTS will be made to cover “essential services” during a public sector and teachers’ strike next Thursday, July 10.

Somerset County Council has pledged to protect vulnerable people but warns that some services may not be available, while some schools are likely to close for the day.

Hundreds of GMB, NUT, PCS, UNISON and Unite members in the county are set to walk out over pay and pensions – the NUT is also protesting about workloads.

Unions across the South-West will set up picket lines outside schools, libraries leisure centres and tax offices.

South-West TUC spokesman Tim Lezard said: “Taking strike action is a last resort for workers.

“They regret disruption to local services but with the Government refusing to negotiate, they feel they have no option.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are looking at the potential impact of the strike and will put contingency plans in place to make sure services can continue wherever possible.

“Our absolute priority is to protect Somerset’s vulnerable people and we will be doing our best to ensure essential services are covered.

“We are also aware that some schools are likely to be closed and we will be keeping the public updated on the latest situation via our website.”

Cllr Vivienne Stock-Williams, executive councillor for corporate resources for Taunton Deane Council said: “We are aware of the strike date next week and are currently making the necessary contingency plans.

“There may be some disruption but we would hope to continue to provide the vast majority of services as normal where possible.”