By Claire West

On the opening day of the annual TUC conference in Manchester, UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, stands with public service workers armed with facts and figures about the vital local services they provide. Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:

"Every year, public services care for hundreds of thousands of people, serve millions of school dinners, and work to keep hundreds of thousands of children safe. The public should not be fooled into thinking that cuts can be made without hitting vital services.

"The coalition's cuts are driven by ideology, not necessity. Not only will they hit the poor in our society hardest, they will cause a double-dip recession.

"This misery should be spared, there are real alternatives to swingeing cuts in public spending. Clamping down on tax havens for the super rich, making tax fairer, and introducing a Robin Hood tax on banks would raise billions.

"At the TUC this week, UNISON is leading calls for an alliance of trade unionists and community groups, to stand together and fight the government's damaging plans."

Analysis by the union has shown that every year in the UK:

- 649,923,300 school dinners are served.

- 345,011 children get extra help from teaching assistants.

- 1550 hospitals are cleaned.

- 310,776,757 books are borrowed from libraries.

- 711,805 adults are helped by home care services.

- 634,353 children are protected by social workers.

- 977,600,000 bins are emptied