That was the reaction from the people at the heart of the worst ever cuts in Southampton's history - the public.

After a spell of confusion about just what had gone on inside the council chamber as Labour unanimously voted through more than £16m worth of cuts, there was shouting and swearing from residents in the public gallery at the city's council chamber.

Dozens of people, many who had first taken part in a protest outside the civic centre, had sat through two and a half hours of heated political banter and heckling to try and sway opinion at the last hurdle.

But in the end, the predictable happened, and despite their impassioned pleas the most savage budget cuts in history were passed in a vote lasting no more than 30 seconds.

The decision was so quick it caused one spectator to stop proceedings and ask the mayor to clarify what had happened so she could go back to her youth organisation which is facing the axe and relay the news.

It was met with shouts of "this fight isn't over" as defiant workers left the chamber at the end of e meeting.

Reacting to the news, Cllr Royston Smith, leader of the Tory party, said: "It did not need to be as extreme as this because they have got more money from the government than they were expecting.

“They could have used that to protect more jobs and easily frozen council tax but they have chosen not to.

“They have not voted l of economic sense but out of political dogma. It's going to mean people pay more and get less."

But council leader and Labour group leader Richard Williams said: "It's really unpleasant but we have to act within the law and clearly we had to make some choices that quite frankly expected to have to do or wanted to do.

“It's a difficult situation that we have found ourselves in."