A low wage culture? Well yes if you live outside the economically overheated South East

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43729508

The BBC has the article on its web site – see link above

With the exception of Norwich, Southend and Worthing all the other communities with low wages are in the industrial north. Turning to the highest paid towns in England they are all in the South East with the exception of Derby.

No government has taken radical enough steps to seriously address this imbalance and please don’t point to the Northern Powerhouse or Poorhouse, as I like to call it, because that is little more than a political sticking plaster to make it look like Government is addressing the issue.

A solution? Try to make Universal Basic Income work. It’s been tried in Canada and in some of the Scandinavian countries but it needs to be really tested as a radical solution here in the UK.

Lydiate – News from the November Parish Council meeting

A few highlights from last Tuesday’s Parish Council meeting

* Parish Council to spend £500 buying boundary planter troughs to go on Lydiate boundary signs for the Lydiate in Flower volunteer group. They will look similar to this Maghull one:-

* A £803 grant bid by Lydiate PC to the Lydiate-only John Gore Trust has been successful. It will help run community events at Lydiate Village Centre.

* Lydiate PC will continue to pay the Living Wage to its staff as opposed to the lower Minimum Wage. Music to the ears of this old trade unionist who helped bring in the LW to the Parish Council some years ago.

* A bid is being made to the Tesco Bags of Help grant fund to raise funds to set up a community garden, working with Lydiate in Flower volunteer group, on the Lambshear lane field where Lydiate Village Centre sits.

* Harking back to my previous postings about the potential for a multi-use sports area on Sandy Lane Park an initial expression of interest type bid is being made to a Football Foundation/Lottery for what would be a massive project to rebuild the present football changing rooms and progress the multi-use sports area idea.

This is the run-down condition of the Sandy Lane Park tennis courts surface. Could they be rebuilt as a multi-use games area – MUGA?

Far too early to raise expectations about what will clearly be a hugely expensive, but most welcome project, if the Parish Council can once again be a successful grant bidder – It raised £0.5m from the National Lottery when the Village Centre was being constructed and which opened its doors in 2010.

Why I am backing Carl Cashman to be Merseyside Metro Mayor

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Yesterday I attended a hustings meeting at Dovedale Baptist Church Hall in Liverpool to hear prospective Lib Dem Mersey Metro Mayor candidate Carl Cashman speak. Carl is an impressive young man who seems to have that ‘X’ factor that many other politicians simply don’t.

So what are Carl’s assets? Well youth is one, being in his 20’s brings us a candidate unburdened by the baggage that many older politicians carry with them. He has a fresh perspective and one that folks seem to like.

Carl has not had a privileged upbringing; he was brought up a a Merseyside Council estate.

He is big on green issues and has been a thorn in Labour’s side as they keep trying to build on Green Belt and green spaces. This is a huge issue across Merseyside.

He’s already a Borough Councillor on Knowsley Council regularly taking on the appalling record of Labour in running that Council. This is the Council that was staring down into the abyss of potentially having no schools where young people could take A Levels recently!

He wants more social housing built. The Merseyside housing crisis is at it’s worst in terms of the supply of such properties.

He wants to find a way of improving the income of those living on the Minimum Wage. A Merseyside initiative to try to address our low wage culture – Why not give it a go?

The people of Prescot and Knowsley have taken this young man to their heart and I hope he gets selected as the Lib Dem Metro Mayor candidate so that more electors can find out why Carl Cashman is going places.

Oh and by the way, yes I know that the vast majority of us don’t want another politician running our lives but this new post (Merseyside Metro Mayor/Liverpool City Region Mayor) is being imposed on us in 2017 whether we want it or not.

It’s a result of the Tory Government and Merseyside Labour doing a second or even third rate deal which supposedly devolves significant powers to Merseyside from Whitehall. The powers are far too limited though and Westminster will still be calling the vast majority of the shots, surprise, surprise!

Carl wants to renegotiate that shabby deal so that we have real power over our own affairs locally. And he does not want power for himself but to push that power down to local communities wherever its possible to do so.

Carl is not a man to be told what to do by Westminster, neither is he a slave to a party political machine. Watch this young man go places.

Ted Kennedy – A powerful speech on America’s minimum wage

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SicFn8rqPPE&feature=youtu.be

Politics in the UK is very much these days a world of few if any real leaders, so lets remind ourselves of a giant of American politics taking on shifty Republicans. Well worth watching and listening to.

Thanks thanks to Roy Connell for pointing this video out to me.

Minimum Wage – The right proposes a centre left way forward!

My posting of 11th January showed Labour proposing a right wing policy (teacher bashing) in an attempt to win votes now the Tories are trying to adopt a centre-left policy by saying they want to increase the minimum wage! Politics can be a cynical world.

Chancellor backs minimum wage rise

George Osborne has called for an above-inflation rise in the minimum wage stating that the economy can now sustain an increase from £6.31, for over-21’s, to its pre-recession value of £7 per hour. The chancellor did not set a timetable for a rise and insisted any final decision rested with the Low Pay Commission. Despite opposition to a rise from employers concerned about the continuing fragility of the economy, Mr Osborne said that real increases in the minimum wage would not harm job creation, citing the recent sharp falls in unemployment. However, John Cridland, director-general of the CBI business group, said: “An unaffordable rise would end up costing jobs and hit smaller businesses in particular. Any increase in wages must reflect improved productivity.” Mr Osborne added that the government was planning another “big increase” in the amount of money people can earn before paying income tax. [A Lib Dem policy that the Tories have been dragged into. To think that the Tories would have assisted the less well off without the Lib Dem foot on the back of their neck is laughable.]

With thanks to the LGiU for this story.