1.15pm: Police believe around 400 protesters are marching to the Town Hall

12.41pm: All refuse collections are taking place in Colchester as usual.

12.36pm: Colchester Council has cancelled recycling collections in Welshwood Park, Roach Vale, St John's Road, Wivenhoe's Old Town and Cook’s Shipyard development, Greenstead's Avon Way, Longridge, Hawthorne Avenue and Forest Road and ar Barnhall, Old Heath, Abbots Road and Rowhedge Port because of the strike.

12.30pm: More than 100 union members, armed with placards and watched by police, gather outside Colchester Institute ahead of a march to the town hall.

12.24pm: The majority of patient procedures at Colchester General Hospital, apart from cancer operations, have been cancelled.

12.13pm: Bin men have been spotted around Colchester collecting rubbish despite some Colchester Council staff manning the picket lines. The council had previously said it was going to deliver services as "normal".

12.10pm: Mounted police are out in Colchester town centre keeping an eye on the strike action.

12.00pm: Striking Colchester museum staff have set up a picket line outside Colchester Castle. Worker-on-strike Amy Cotterill said the Government's pension offer was a "stealth tax" as it would not go towards their final pensions.

11.30am: As many as 70 people are on picket lines outside Colchester General Hospital's two entrances in Turner Road

11.15am: Ten police staff are on picket lines outside Colchester Police Station. They include PCSOs, custody officers and front desk staff.

10.30am: Reports of abuse being shouted at people on picket lines. Police officers are believed to be making inquiries.

9.30am: Lectures are cancelled at Essex University as many of the 400 University and College Union members go on strike. During the day 80 members are expected to man the picket lines at three entrances to Colchester campus.

9am: Colchester town centre's streets are quieter than usual, as fewer people go to work.

THOUSANDS of public sector workers in Colchester and surrounding towns and villages are today striking over planned pension reforms.

Hundreds of teachers, NHS workers, civilian police workers and council staff, including binmen, are today set to pound the streets.

Picket lines are going up this morning at Essex University, outside customs house in Harwich, and outside some of the region's police stations.

The main event should start at Colchester Institute at 12.45pm, where protesters and students will march to the town hall.

Colchester Council plans to try and collect as many bins as possible, but if rubbish remains outside at 4pm, residents should take it back in.

Post your experiences and thoughts on the strike action below.