TODAY is the day public services across Sussex are expected to come to a standstill.

In Brighton and Hove, thousands of union members are set to parade through the city in what is expected to be the largest action of its kind in 30 years.

Pupils will be off today as multi-union strikes force the closure of almost 200 local primary and secondary schools.

Members of the National Union of Teachers, GMB, UNISON, UNITE, the Fire Brigades Union and the Public and Commercial Services Union are all expected to be involved over pay and pensions.

Protests in Brighton will centre at the Hollingdean Depot and Hove Town Hall at 10am before heading towards The Level for noon.

City centre traffic is predicted to be heavily affected and council services across the county are predicted to be affected or closed completely.

Pickets will also be taking place in a number of other work sites. Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, Conservative Group leader, is urging Brighton and Hove City Council bosses to do everything possible to minimise disruption.

He has written to the council’s chief executive Penny Thompson seeking reassurances that everything possible has been done to ensure that services continue to be delivered in spite of the strike action.

He called on trade union bosses to call off the strike at the last-minute – describing it as “blatant political sabre rattling” ahead of next year’s general election.

Holly Smith, shop steward at Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “I’m going on strike because as a shop steward, the amount of members coming to us for help with personal debt issues and help in applying for welfare is shocking.

“Members working hard full-time should not be in a position where they need to rely on benefits to survive and feed their family.

For full coverage of the strike see and in The Argus tomorrow we will have a full round-up and reaction.