Sedgemoor Labour’s ‘Living Wage’ Motion Passed at Full Council

Monday, 14 January 2013
Sedgemoor Labour leader Cllr Mick Lerry
Sedgemoor Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry “Labour Group is setting the agenda”

Sedgemoor District Council passed a Labour motion at its last full Council meeting to actively promote the Living Wage and acknowledge all organisations in Sedgemoor who pay the Living Wage, rather than the minimum wage. Sedgemoor works with employers and organisations via Local Labour Agreements which ensures that local people are given training and help to get jobs.

In speaking to the motion, Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour) commented that a large number of people were paid below the living wage levels and it was important to have a local economy where prosperity was shared.

‘Calculated according to basic cost of living’

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. Currently it stands at £7.45 per hour and is announced in November each year. The Living Wage is a calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The UK Living Wage is calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy . The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law. It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage. The minimum wage rate depends on a worker’s age and if they’re an apprentice. The main adult rate (for workers 21 and over) is £6.19 an hour. The rate for 18-20 year is £4.98 an hour.The rate for 16-17 year olds is £3.68 an hour . The rate for apprentices is £2.65 an hour. Continue reading “Sedgemoor Labour’s ‘Living Wage’ Motion Passed at Full Council”

Lib Dem disintegration played out in public as Highbridge by-election candidates announced

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The by-election for the Sedgemoor District Council ward of Highbridge and Burnham Marine set for Thursday 24th January and brought about by the surprise sudden resignation of Lib Dem leader Joe Leach has entered a new phase as the final list of candidates published shows the party in complete disarray with 3 of the 5 Liberals and ex Liberals of varying shades.

Highbridge – the most marginal of all Sedgemoor wards – has swung between all the parties dramatically since the creation of Sedgemoor in 1973 with 15 Labour Councillors, 10 Liberal, 6 Tory and 2 Independents being elected at different times often with minimal majorities. Continue reading “Lib Dem disintegration played out in public as Highbridge by-election candidates announced”

Labour Group Condemn Public Funds spent on Tesco Planning Application

Sunday, 9 December 2012
Sedgemoor Labour leader Cllr Mick Lerry
Sedgemoor Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry “This is NOT
a minor matter- any refusal to scrutinise would
be seen as a smokescreen”

A day which had started with Sedgemoor Corporate Director Bob Brown admitting after weeks of pressure from the Sedgemoor Labour Group that part of the Tesco planning fee for the controversial Northgate development had been paid out of public funds – but  in fact by the County Council – ended with Battle lines drawn at the Corporate Scrutiny committee meeting as Tory Councillors attempted to vote down an urgent motion to investigate the matter .

Addressing the meeting, Cllr Julian Taylor (Labour Bridgwater Eastover) outlined the facts of the case saying that it was “Morally indefensible that council tax payers money should be spent subsidizing a multi billion pound corporation” and that it was now “right and proper that the Council called a special meeting of the Scrutiny committee to investigate how this happened with all the correspondence involved along with the Chief Executive who made the decision.”

Cllr Ian Tucker (Labour Bridgwater Dunwear) said “The council has got to be seen to be acting fairly.”

Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour Bridgwater Victoria) moved the motion to call a special investigative meeting saying “We need this meeting now to clear this up. This is not a minor matter it relates to the Governance of this Council and public money has been used to clear an impasse where both Councils are landowners who seek to benefit from the sale. We want to know what discussions have been had between SDC & SCC and any refusal to scrutinise this would be clearly seen as a smokescreen. ” Continue reading “Labour Group Condemn Public Funds spent on Tesco Planning Application”

RICKY HOLCOMBE SELECTED AS LABOUR CANDIDATE FOR HIGHBRIDGE BY-ELECTION

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Ricky HolcombeThe By-Election for the Sedgemoor District Council ward of Highbridge & Burnham Marine  caused by the resignation of   SDC Lib Dem leader cllr Joe Leach has been called for Thursday 24th January 2013.

The Burnham & Highbridge Labour Party have selected former Coal Miner Ricky Holcombe as their candidate. Ricky, who lives   in Burnham on Sea,  has been a trade unionist and a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years .

‘Tory cuts to services’

Announcing his candidacy today Ricky said ” I left school at 16 and started work as a coal miner and took part in the 1984/85 miners’ strike. I witnessed first hand what a Conservative government did to communities of decent, hard-working people. Amazingly we have gone back in time 25 years in 18 months to be faced with cuts to services, privatisation and commissioning of the NHS,  attacks on pensions, the transformation and masked privatisation of the education system, the highest unemployment ever including over a million under 25 and  the biggest onslaught on welfare and employment rights that this country has seen.” Continue reading “RICKY HOLCOMBE SELECTED AS LABOUR CANDIDATE FOR HIGHBRIDGE BY-ELECTION”

The impact of Tory Policies on education in Somerset

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Across the County Council the Tories have done a DOUBLE CUT to services…. One as a result of the cuts made by central government and one imposed by Tories in Somerset because they say the County council needs to reduce accumulated debts. The second cut is seeing about £30 millions of extra cuts.

Both the Lib Dems and the Tories have done nothing to deal with the low funding Somerset gets for education from Central Government. Somerset children get £400 less per year for their education, than the national average. That means, fewer teachers, fewer teaching assistants, worse buildings and less in the way of support and opportunities. Both parties have let Somerset children down – children deserve better. Both parties are seen as a ‘soft touch’ by central government. Continue reading “The impact of Tory Policies on education in Somerset”

Labour Group to hold Sedgemoor Chief Executive to account over Tesco planning fees payment

Friday, 23 November 2012

When Tory controlled Sedgemoor District Council hastily demolished the Splash Swimming pool to make way for a Tesco megastore in the centre of Bridgwater the Labour controlled town council opposed the move. Some members even joined in with an occupation such was the strength of feeling amongst local people.

Three years later the Tory majority on Sedgemoor had forced through the Tesco project against Labour opposition and in September 2012 the Planning application from the Multinational supermarket chain was submitted. Strangely nothing happened for over a month. When Labour councillors demanded an explanation at Full Council it transpired that there were ‘technical issues’ to resolve – after further digging it became apparent that this was because there was a major dispute about the ammount of planning fee Tesco should pay. It turned out that this was finally resolved by the Chief Executive Mr Kerry Rickard deciding that Sedgemoor would pay the fee on behalf of Tesco , so keen was his Authority to get the superstore into the town.
Continue reading “Labour Group to hold Sedgemoor Chief Executive to account over Tesco planning fees payment”

Candidate selections under way across the county

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

With the Conservatives on the defensive Nationally due to  their unpopular programme of cutbacks and the LibDems totally discredited by their decision to prop up a Tory minority Government, the Labour Party in Somerset is viewing next years County Council elections as a great opportunity to offer the people of Somerset a real alternative.

The County Council is currently Conservative controlled and has been pushing through a raft of unpopular major cutbacks, privatisations and outsourcing, reducing services everywhere. The Lib Dems popularity clearly peaked at the last election and disillusioned voters have been turning away from them in droves. Continue reading “Candidate selections under way across the county”