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NEWS RELEASE    
 
From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council 
for immediate release 17th February, 2015
 
Labour’s Priorities are Not the Mayor’s Priorities

Bristol Labour councillors made big gains in the council budget this year winning support for extra spending on:

·         Libraries - £1.2m

·         Hartcliffe Way Recycling centre - £2m

·         Keeping the Diamond Card free bus pass for older people in Community Transport areas.

·         Increases to Council apprentices’ pay up from £2.80 to the Living Wage by stages.

·         Extra funding for Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service - £150,000

·         Funding a mental health worker to train teachers to promote mental health in schools £51,000

·         Extra funding for the Bush respite care centre - £300,000

·         A new East Bristol pool moved up the priority lists - £4.5m capital investment

·         Reversing the £500,000 cuts to our parks maintenance - £500,000

·         Dealing with seagulls nuisance - £200,000

The funding came, for the most part, from re-directing generalised funds the Mayor earmarked for his Commissions and also extending payback time on the investment in the Residents’ Parking Zones.

 

Cllr Helen Holland said:

“We want to make it clear that the Mayor’s priorities are not Labour’s priorities. The funding we have diverted away from his some of his favoured projects will benefit the most vulnerable and low paid citizens in Bristol.

“Local government has been squeezed by the coalition and Bristol is seeing real cuts in services, but we have listened to local residents, protecting the city from the worst of the proposed cuts.”

Cllr Helen Holland – 0117 987 2238

or Labour Councillors’ office -  0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 
NEWS RELEASE    
 
From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council 
for immediate release, 9th February, 2015
 
"Labour's priorities are not the Mayor's priorities" 
 
Labour in Bristol have ripped up the Mayor’s proposals for spending extra cash, believing that totally different priorities are needed for some of the city’s most vulnerable, for reshaping libraries and to ensure that the Green Capital Year leaves a lasting legacy.
 
“While crippling cuts have been imposed on the City Council by the Coalition government we must spend any extra resources as best we can. At the moment the Mayor has vague proposals to implement his commissions’ findings and no-one is sure what Bristol’s Green Capital legacy might be. Labour has clear priorities,” says Cllr Helen Holland, the Labour leader.
 
Labour will halt the £500,000 cuts to parks maintenance planned by the Mayor by using Green Capital legacy funds.
 
“We find it astonishing that in Green Capital year the city’s parks will be hit hard, and our park keepers laid off. We know that park keepers bring real value to our parks, working with local groups, ensuring that scarce resources are best used, and helping to reduce anti-social behaviour in green spaces,” says Cllr Holland.
 
Labour will also amend the capital budget diverting funds from the next phase of Residents’ Parking Zones to invest in a new Hartcliffe Recycling centre.
 
“The Mayor seems determined to plough on with Residents Parking even in areas where there is currently no problem, whilst doing nothing to improve recycling. We know that recycling rates are lower in the south of the city and the promised Hartcliffe Way Recycling Centre would boost Bristol’s recycling rates, which have recently reduced. That would mean a real Green Capital legacy for decades to come,” says Cllr Holland.
 
Other money allocated to implement the Mayoral Commissions Labour believes needs to be better targeted. 
 
“We know that the Mayor's Fairness Commission had real concerns about isolation amongst older people, so stopping the Mayor's proposal to prevent Diamond Card pass holders from using community transport needs to be an immediate priority,” she says.
 
Thousands of people across the city have engaged in the consultation about the future of the library service, but are concerned about the threat of cuts. Labour's additional money will fund the changes needed, enabling our libraries to modernise and provide better services to communities.”
 
Labour would also spend money on extra funding for transition at the BUSH respite care home, extra support for the Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service reversing the Mayor's proposed cuts to these services, and ensuring that residents get the right help to get benefits they are entitled to. 
 
Labour would also fund an increase in the council apprentices pay and conditions of service to bring them up from £2.80 towards a Living Wage.
 
“Labour believes that members of the Mayoral Commissions would welcome specific funding to help deliver their ideas, and help the vulnerable who are being left behind by the current cuts,” says Cllr Holland.
 
Labour are also not impressed by the allocation of ��100,000 to be spent on celebrations for the Bristol 800 celebrations. 
 
“It does seem frivolous to be spending money on celebrations while people are suffering. Labour feels we should stave off cuts to crime reduction projects involving PCSO patrols, domestic violence and hate crimes,” she says.
 
Finally Labour feels that the Mayor has simply delayed any progress on replacing the East Bristol swimming pool. Speedwell was closed in 2005. A replacement pool, attached to the Brunel Academy school, has been an aspiration ever since. Labour will press for the proposed swimming pool to be moved up the priority list for the capital investment programme.
 
“Labour has different priorities from the Mayor. The coalition government austerity programme limits what is possible but we have sought to help the low paid and the vulnerable where we can, to ameliorate what many see as a threat to our libraries and to identify a lasting Green Capital legacy. This is the approach we offer to all Bristol citizens in spite of financial constraints,” says Cllr Helen Holland.
 
CONTACT: Cllr Helen Holland -  0117 987 2238
or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865
 
NEWS RELEASE      
From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council
 
for immediate release, 19th January, 2015
 
Keep Fast Food Takeaways Away from Schools – say Labour
 
Labour councillors are to ask that the Mayor intervene to stop a new fast food burger store being built on Fishponds Road.
 
Cllr Mhairi Thelfall wants the Mayor to create a 400m exclusion zone around schools for hot food takeaways and place restrictions on the number of fast food takeaways that can operate along a single High Street.
 
“I’ll be asking the Mayor to implement these restrictions as planning guidelines for the whole of Bristol. Elsewhere 21 other councils in England and Wales have similar policies in order to combat obesity and empower people to make healthy choices,” says Cllr Threlfall, Labour, Eastville.
 
This question will be put formally at the Mayor’s Question Forum tomorrow (Tuesday).
 
Campaigners against a new Macdonald’s for Fishponds Road will be lobbying the council when it meets on Tuesday evening. It’s been supported by hundreds of parents and others from the local community who are against this fastfood outlet in their area.
 
“Bristol’s own health and wellbeing strategy states that we must ensure - ’neighbourhoods are planned and designed to support healthy lifestyles’. I want the Mayor to adopt these planning restrictions, for the future health of all Bristolians,” says Cllr Threlfall.
 
Cllr Mhairi Threlfall - 07702 000 192
or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865
 
NEWS RELEASE      
From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council
 
for immediate release, 16th January, 2015
 
Save Our Park Keepers – say Labour
 
Labour are backing park keepers as the Mayor looks to save £500,000 on maintaining our parks, green spaces and grass verges.
 
Park keepers are likely to disappear in Bristol at the end of April as the contract for grounds maintenance is taken back in house and the city council workforce take on the job.
 
“Our experience is that park keepers take a real pride in their work and want everything to look its best. It’s this attitude that makes our parks attractive to people of all ages and 
makes them increasingly popular.
 
“If there isn’t enough money then the Mayor must find the money and if he doesn’t councillor should be seeking an amendment to the council budget to support our park keepers.
 
“Why the Mayor is prepared to risk losing our parkies when he is leading Green Capital Year I just don’t know. But if he is looking for a lasting green capital legacy then Bristol’s 
parkland and open spaces look like a good choice,” says Cllr Chris Jackson, Labour, Filwood.
 
The idea is that under the new system travelling teams of grounds maintenance workers will descend on an area and then move on.
 
“We know that parkies give much more added value. They foster good relations with park users, reduce vandalism and litter and encourage more people to use the park and make more frequent visits. Parkies are a treasure which we are in danger of throwing down the drain. I don’t doubt they had a lot to do with the improvements to parks which then gained the Green Flag accolade. They are greatly valued by local people,” said Cllr Jackson.
 
Cllr Chris Jackson - 07968 503208
or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865
 
NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 
for immediate release, 12th January, 2015
 
Bristol Housing Crisis – radical new approach needed

 

Labour in Bristol say there needs to be a much more radical approach to the housing crisis the city faces.

Last year just 100 affordable homes were completed in the city even though there are 14,000 families on the housing waiting list.

At the next Council meeting (Jan 20) they will be urging the Mayor to release council land to trial new forms of construction, press government on the use of pension funds and set up local savings bonds to generate funds for new homes building.  Note: Under council procedural rules this motion is the Golden Motion and is guaranteed to be debated.

“Other councils have far better records on delivering affordable housing we need to see what they are doing that the Mayor is not,” says Cllr Ron Stone, Labour, St George West.

The Mayor’s admission just before Christmas that only 100 affordable homes had been delivered last year - and that he would miss his target of 2500 affordable homes by 2018 - was met with disappointment.

“It’s not difficult to see the growing housing crisis with the widening affordability gap between earnings and house prices, growing numbers of homeless people, council house re-lets taking longer than before, council house exchanges taking longer to approve, the impact of the bedroom tax – all mean that more families are in unsuitable accommodation for longer.

“What’s needed are radical solutions to unblock this logjam. We need to tap in to any new funding offered by this government, find out why other councils can invest their staff pension funds and we seem unable to and examine new construction methods that could help,” said Cllr Stone.

Cllr Ron Stone -  07718 588475

or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 
NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 
for immediate release, 13th December, 2014
 
No “legal barriers” in the way of Bristol City Council becoming a Living Wage Accredited Employer – say Labour 
 
Bristol’s Mayor is to be challenged on his suggestion that there are legal barriers to getting full accreditation for the Council as a Living Wage Employer.
 
At the last council meeting in November – in a reply to questions the mayor said – “we need to be certain that the law permits us to impose contractual restrictions on our contractors in respect of staff pay”.
 
At a visit to the council from the Living Wage Foundation this week it was made clear that no local authority had ever faced a legal challenge as a result of requiring its contractors to pay the living wage.
 
Cllr Mike Wollacott, who is chair of the Human Resources Committee, is to ask the Mayor at the members’ forum on Tuesday if he accepts that there is no legal barrier – and if he doesn’t take that view – could he detail the precise legislation that would prevent the Council requiring its contractors to pay the Living Wage.
 
“It’s been a real struggle just to get the council to pay the living wage to all it’s staff even though everyone agreed it was the right thing to do. Now extending that principle to those employers who seek contracts from the council is looking like an uphill struggle.
 
“The idea was for the Council to give a lead to employers in this city that they ought to be paying the Living Wage. Paying people staff more means that the staff spend more and most of that spend is done in the local area giving a real boost to the city economy. Some employers say they cannot afford it but this is really short-sighted and low pay will keep us in recession for longer,” says Mike Wollacott.
 
“After the imagined legal difficulties have been swept aside I’m hoping that the Mayor won’t find other barriers that would prevent him insisting that council contractors pay the Living Wage. I’m hoping that this is not too optimistic,” he said.
 
Cllr Mike Wollacott - 07827 321377
 
or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865
 
NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 
for immediate release 12th December, 2014
 
 
Green Capital – What about the Mayor’s Carbon Footprint?
 
As Bristol’s Green Capital Year approaches the Mayor is to be challenged about his carbon footprint.
 
The Mayor has made frequent trips practically all round the world, including to China - twice, the United States - twice, Copenhagen, Cannes and Bordeaux, Frankfurt, Switzerland, Brussels and the Republic of Ireland. Many of these journeys, even short hops to France, have been made by plane.
 
Now Cllr Sean Beynon, Labour, Southville is set to ask the Mayor to estimate the impact these trips have had on his own carbon footprint.
 
“I'm not suggesting the Mayor should never fly - that would be silly. However, the Mayor rarely reveals the impact of these many trips, and he should surely be considering whether the cost and environmental impact are worth the benefits. At a time when he's pledged to cut carbon emissions in Bristol by 40 per cent, his own carbon footprint continues to spiral out of control. Perhaps he thinks he's too important to consider his own contribution, and wants to leave the heavy lifting in carbon reduction to ordinary Bristolians?
 
"As Green Capital, the eyes of Europe will be on Bristol. They should be able to see a Mayor leading by example, not jet-setting around the world," he said. 
 
Cllr Sean Beynon – 07967 384179
or Labour Councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

for immediate release 10th December, 2014

 

Help Asylum Seekers who are keen to comply with the Law – say Labour

 

Labour councillors are to ask Council to support the idea that that Bristol’s asylum seekers should have a central location for compulsory signing.

Asylum seekers are required by the Home Office to sign in regularly while they apply to government to be treated as refugees unable to return to their home country for fear of reprisals.

Currently the signing centre is at Patchway Police Station – it was moved from Trinity Road Police Station in the inner city where most asylum seekers live.

“I would have thought it would help the Home Office and the asylum seekers to find a central location as surely the object of the exercise is to get people to comply with the law and that works best when there are no barriers in the way.

“Getting to Patchway by public transport is hardly straightforward for a local person and for asylum seekers – who have no work permit – is a serious drain on what little money they have,” says Cllr Ron Stone.

Labour councillors back the campaign by Dignity for Asylum Seekers and Bristol Refugee Rights who report that those who have to sign-on are dependent on lifts from volunteers. One asylum seeker who is staying in Hartcliffe has a 14 mile trip to meet the Home Office requirement.

Another with learning difficulties could not find the Police Station in Patchway, and could not understand a map and leaflet written in English. Another recuperating from an ankle operation walked from the centre – the trip took him two and a half hours.

“What we have here are people who wish to comply with the law – some making great efforts – why are we making this so difficult?” says Cllr Stone.

Labour’s motion before Council on Tuesday will ask the Mayor and the Police Commissioner to lobby the Home Office to find a more accessible central location for asylum seekers as soon as possible.

Asylum Seekers – Compulsory Signing

Council supports the campaign by Dignity for Asylum Seekers, backed by Bristol Refugee Rights, seeking a more central location for compulsory signing for asylum seekers, which is currently only available at Patchway Police Station.

Patchway Police Station is not accessible for the majority of those who are required to attend, and great stress is being caused because of the location.

We ask the Mayor to work with the Police Commissioner to lobby the Home Office to seek an urgent resolution to make a more central location available as soon as practicable, and to write to Bristol MPs to ask that they also support this request.

Proposer: Cllr Ron Stone

 

Cllr Ron Stone: 07718 588475

or Labour Councillors’ office -  0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 

 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

for immediate release  2 December, 2014

Mayor must make the Arena work for local people too.

Labour councillors will be demanding a number of improvements to the plans for the city’s new Arena to make sure the project brings benefits to as many people in Bristol as possible – including the neighbouring communities in Lawrence Hill and Windmill Hill wards.

In a statement to Cabinet this evening, Labour will ask that urgent action is taken to develop a transport plan for the arena, after councillors were recently told that no work has been done on this to date.

They will be asking for a commitment from the Mayor that the multi-million pound scheme will pay the Living Wage to all staff working there – both in the construction and operation phases, and also demand the same level of apprenticeships through the process that are being asked for from HS2 (High Speed Rail) saying that the Mayor should insist that one apprentice should be recruited for every £1 million invested.

Labour councillors will also say that the Arena project should not be exempt from the Community Infrastructure Levy.

“Local Labour councillors for Lawrence Hill and Windmill Hill wards, adjacent to the new proposed development, feel it is essential that their communities have a pot of money that they can use to address the impact such a large project will have on neighbouring areas,” said Cllr Helen Holland, Leader of Bristol’s Labour councillors.

“Bristol’s ambition for an Arena is one we all support and we do not want to see the Mayor miss this opportunity.”   

Lastly, after councillors won the argument recently that the Arena project should be debated in an open scrutiny meeting, Labour will ask the Mayor to agree to take all future decisions on the scheme at Cabinet meetings, and not behind closed doors by officers, as the report currently recommends.

Cllr Holland added, “To do our job properly, and hold the Mayor to account on this enormous public spend, all of Bristol needs to see that things are being done openly.”

Cllr Helen Holland -  0117 987 2238

or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 

 
 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 
for immediate release 27 November, 2014
 
Bristol’s Budget Consultation - Joint statement
on behalf of the Bristol Labour, Lib Dem, Conservative and Green parties 
 
The four main political groups in Bristol would collectively like to raise their concerns with the Mayor’s proposal, as part of Bristol’s Budget Consultation, for £100,000 for a feasibility study for 
further development of Colston Hall.
 
Labour Leader, Cllr Helen Holland, says: 
 
“A full Options Appraisal, Economic Impact Assessment and Feasibility Study have already been commissioned and carried out for the redevelopment of the Hall, funded by Bristol City Council. Furthermore, a dilapidation survey was carried out by the council two years ago which identified an essential minimum spend of £12 million needed just to make the building compliant, safe and usable for the next two decades. The Hall does not need another feasibility study – what it needs is a commitment to support the transformation programme. There is a real affection for Colston Hall amongst Bristolians, and not only will a redeveloped venue generate increased revenue, it will also attract a wider cross-section of people, with much more opportunity to watch and participate in cultural events.” 
 
Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Gary Hopkins, says:
 
“All political parties are in absolute agreement that the future of Colston Hall needs to be secured, and that means vital funding to carry out restorative works. As the building owners, Bristol City Council need to play a part in securing this future, but we are extremely alarmed that this offer of money for a feasibility study is just a delaying tactic, allowing the Mayor to avoid committing any real funding for a number of years. A clear and specific committal from the Mayor will lever in so much extra funding for Bristol.” 
 
Conservative Leader, Cllr Mark Weston, says:
 
“Colston Hall has developed an ambitious £45 million transformation programme that will ensure the vital restorative work is carried out to secure its future and also position the Hall as a National Centre for Entertainment and Music Education. The city council needs to show its support for this work and agree that the £100,000 identified in the Mayor’s proposals is used towards a more useful aspect of the programme and not for an unnecessary feasibility study.”
 
Green Party Leader, Cllr Daniella Radice, says:
 
"I am pleased that Colston Hall has been mentioned in the budget consultation, but I understand that a feasibility study has already been completed. The Hall has suggested that the money is spent to reduce its future running costs and make it more sustainable, which I support. Colston Hall would like to install solar PV, LED lighting, improve insulation and double glazing. All political leaders in the city need to continue to work together to help Colston Hall get the funding it needs for its future transformation." 
 
Cllr Helen Holland - 0117 987 2238
or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 

9th November, 2014 for immediate release

 

Libraries - consult with people who don’t use them – say Labour.

 

 

Cllr Estella Tincknell, a former city librarian, says that now might be a good time to review the way we use the city’s libraries, but the Mayor needs to prove that the whole review process is not a smoke screen for achieving cuts of £1.2m.

 

Councillor  Tincknell, Labour's Deputy Leader and Spokesperson on Arts and Culture said:

 

"As a librarian I was aware on a day to day basis that our regular visitors were highly appreciative of the library service, but I was also conscious that few people from disadvantaged groups were among them – and they are the very people that Libraries could help by guiding them towards other council services or education or career opportunities.

 

“I want to see libraries working as community hubs which welcome a wide range of people and which offer a mix of information and other services to benefit all communities across the city,” she says.

 

Bristol City Council have begun a consultation with the public about what kind of libraries people want to see for the future. Some of our district library buildings are under-used and across the city taken as a whole only a minority of citizens use our libraries regularly.

 

“If we are serious about re-designing a library service fit for the 21st century we need to consult with people who don’t currently use their local library and ask what they want and would like to see on offer.

 

“Too often we see a process where only existing users are consulted or only those who have computers are asked for their opinion as they are easy to reach at little or no cost. We have Neighbourhood Partnerships and they should be involved.

 

“If some of our local libraries are to function as customer service points for the council as well, or as joint ventures with community centres for example, we need to know beforehand that there is a demand for this from local communities.

 

“It is also vital that the consultation does not perpetuate the exclusion of older and disadvantaged groups who do not have access to online facilities and may not want to come to meetings on dark winter nights. These may be the very people whose needs should be served by a re-imagined library service. We strongly urge all local people to look out for and take part in the Library consultation.”

Contact:   

Cllr Estella Tincknell - 07795 445973

or Labour councillors’ office: 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 
 

for immediate release  7th November, 2014

 

Saving Cuts – where has the money gone? Ask Labour. 

 

Labour councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting will be asking what exactly has been bought with hard won budget amendments they secured last February.

 

At the Budget meeting eight months ago Labour negotiated away cuts worth about £4.5m in all – but on Tuesday at the Council Meeting they will be quizzing the Mayor about what has happened to the £500,000 they saved from cuts to Children’s Centres, £500,000 cuts to parks and grass verge maintenance, £200,000 from cuts to pest control services, the £100,000 that Labour saved earmarked for maintaining sports development in Bristol.

 

“We’re just checking that £1.3m has been spent effectively. It’s a lot of money. I’ll be asking questions about whether any of that money has been spent reducing the nuisance from the exploding seagull population – a plague in my ward, Hartcliffe, and in many other areas of the city.

 

“Other Labour colleagues will be asking if Children’s Centres are still able to perform effectively, if the parks will be been neglected and if sport and fitness for young people has suffered.

 

“We want Bristol people to know that when the Labour councillors they elect have the budget amended there is a point to it all and that point is to make Bristol a better city to live in. Of course if we find out that the decision of Bristol’s democratically elected councillors has not been carried out, which I hope is something that would never happen, then the people of Bristol will need to know that too,” says Cllr Mark Brain Labour’s spokesperson on finance at Bristol City Council.

Cllr Mark Brain -  07826 858298

or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 
 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 
for immediate release 11th September, 2014 

 

Living Wage Employer Bristol City Council - we can do better say Labour.

 

It's been a long time coming but Bristol City Council is at last going to become a living wage employer - a report before council on Tuesday (16 Sept) will amend the council's pay policy.

A Labour motion at the last council meeting (July 22) finally bounced the mayor into a formal consolidation of the £7.65 hourly rate for all staff.

For the last 2 years "one-off" cash payments brought low paid staff up to the Living Wage but these "bonus" payments were not part of pensionable income.

Labour councillors locally have been campaigning on this issue since January 2012.

"This is a start.  We hope the council can lead the way towards Bristol becoming a Living Wage City.  We will be taking this campaign to the next stage insisting all of the council's contractors will have to be  Living Wage employers too.

"As well as increasing the pay of some 579 low paid staff this scheme will help the economy locally because those staff spend the vast majority of their pay in local shops and businesses.  This is what we want other employers to realise," says Cllr Mike Wollacott Labour's spokesperson for Human Resources.

"Indeed we do not understand why many employers pursue a low pay culture.  Unpaid interns are common in Bristol.  And while apprentices should be encouraged - they too should get the Living Wage.

"Bristol is often talked about as one of the richest cities outside London yet there is an astonishing gap between the rich and poor here.  Thousands of our lowest paid have to claim benefits to make ends meet for their families.  This means taxpayers funding those benefits are subsidising low-pay employers.  Paying the Living Wage cuts the benefits bill and boosts the economy," says Cllr Wollacott.

Cllr Mike Wollacott: 07827 321377

Or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

Note to Editors

For two years now the council and then the new Mayor have allocated a one-off payment to bring the lower paid staff up to the living wage (£7.45 and hour – current rate £7.65 an hour), but this does not form part of a pensionable income. http://www.livingwage.org.uk/home

 

NEWS RELEASE      

From the Labour Councillors on Bristol City Council

 

for immediate release 14th July, 2014

 

Labour Urges Mayor to set a date on the Living Wage

 

Bristol’s Labour councillors want the Mayor to set a date to comply with the recommendations of his own Fairness Commission which says the council should lead the way and become a Living Wage employer.

Labour councillors have tabled a motion for the next council meeting on July 22nd agreeing with the Mayor’s Fairness Commission report and demanding a meaningful timetable as to when the living wage will be paid to all staff. They want to have this timetable by the September council meeting.

Labour councillors agree with the findings of the Fairness Commission that Bristol should lead by example and become a Living Wage city, so that other Bristol employers follow suit. Labour also wants the Mayor to commit to accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation, incorporating a clause in all Council contracts to insist that all contractors who do work for the council should be living wage employers.

“Even in apparently wealthy Bristol there are huge pockets of deprivation and obviously paying the living wage would do a great deal to help take families out of poverty. The city economy would also gain a boost as well as most household income is spent locally in local businesses.

“The Mayor seems to have dragged his heels over becoming a Living Wage employer, we have heard all the warm words, but seen no action. With the backing of his own Fairness Commission saying it is central to any move to make a fairer, more equal city, and the majority of councillors, agreeing too, it’s time to show leadership on this, and have the Council lead the way.” says Labour Leader, Cllr Helen Holland.

 

 Cllr Helen Holland: 0117 987 2238

Or Labour councillors’ office - 0117 922 2013 or 07957 474865

 

Note to Editors

For two years now the council and then the new Mayor have allocated a one-off payment to bring the 600 lower paid staff up to the living wage (£7.45 and hour – current rate £7.65 an hour), but this does not form part of a pensionable income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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