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The Labour Party in Great Yarmouth tonight submitted a motion calling on the council to support raising the pay cap on the lowest paid council workers in our borough, these are workers who are part of the National Joint Council (the national negotiating body for local authority workers supported by Unite, GMB and Unison) whose basic pay has fallen by 21% since 2010, suffered a 3 year pay freeze and whose local terms and conditions have also been cut.

NJC workers at GYBC have had to tolerate over seven years of real terms cuts to their living standards. We would urge the government to implement the NJC joint pay claim and fund it from central government. Local government budget cuts have had a devastating impact on local communities across the UK, and those dedicated public servants who work tirelessly to maintain services across councils are struggling to make ends meet.

 The motion was defeated in the council chamber as Tory councillors painted an economic picture that even their own Chancellor couldn’t deliver with a straight face while acknowledging the swingeing cuts inflicted upon Great Yarmouth by the Tory government, now supported by their new turncoat friends from the now almost defunct UKIP party.

 Cllr. Trevor Wainwright, Leader of the Labour Group says

 “These council workers are some of the lowest paid public sector workers, ignored by central government yet relied upon to deliver local services against the most severe cuts the public sector has seen in generations.

The defeat of this motion is a further snub to our dedicated staff after the Tories and UKIP conspired to reject paying them the Real Living Wage previously

At a time when other public sector workers are seeing a relaxation of the pay cap it beggars belief that this council will not support a call to central government to do likewise for our workers”

 

2nd November 2017

Labour's motion on removing the pay cap for the lowest paid council worker's defeated by Tories and turncoat kippers

  The Labour Party in Great Yarmouth tonight submitted a motion calling on the council to support raising the pay cap on the lowest paid council workers in our borough,...

A further £125m of cuts coming to Norfolk County Council over the next four years

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Norfolk County Council has to slash £125m over the next four years as Tory cuts start to bite, a string of proposals aimed at reducing services has been made.

The Tory administration says that ‘co-locating services’ such as libraries, children’s centres and day centres will help save the council money.

Cliff Jordan’s Tories also propose cutting half a million from subsidies and grants, further backoffice savings and more reductions on highways maintenance.

Labour councillors slammed the Tory leader and his administration for the lack of detail on his proposals.

The most controversial proposal is the halving of the children’s centre budgets, although the capacity to host them in other council buildings and the safeguarding issues that may arise as a result of such have been given seemingly little thought in what the administration is presenting to ratepayers.

As yet the council has not said which children’s centres are at risk of closure or relocation and what if any reductions in capacity might have on the service.

Steve Morphew, leader of the opposition Labour group, said:

“If the cut is going to be £10m to £5m and there’s 53 at the moment, what’s the assumption on how many will be left?

I hear the management speak, but we don’t have the answers to questions we are going to get from families who say ‘what’s going to happen to services we currently get?’”

Labour councillors will be ‘loudly challenging’ for more details on the proposals, the consultation with the public will commence on Monday and we’ll be posting details here and encouraging people to have their say over the next few weeks.

Join us campaigning over the next few weeks where we’ll be going door-to-door and holding street stalls across the borough.

List of Children's Centres in the borough

  • Caister Children's Centre
  • Gorleston and Hopton Children's Centre
  • Greenacre Children's Centre
  • Priory Children's Centre
  • Seagulls Children's Centre
  • Trinity Children's Centre
  • Village Green Children's Centre

Mike Smith-Clare, Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown division county councillor said:

"Yet again Tory administration hits our local communities with destructive cuts and hollow concerns. Nothing is safe in Conservative hands - from Children’s centres to police stations we are witnessing the systematic dismantling of our frontline provision.

Enough is enough!"

Norfolk County Council to consult on further cuts

A further £125m of cuts coming to Norfolk County Council over the next four years Norfolk County Council has to slash £125m over the next four years as Tory cuts...

Universal Credit is broken!

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Universal Credit has been in the news a lot again recently, a combination of several in-work benefits the six-week delay in claimants receiving a payment has been responsible for people being driven into debt and destitution. Rent arrears in the borough have sky-rocketed and the town’s food banks are overstretched.

There are many reasons why this system needs to be rethought as people are finding themselves worse off than they were. Sanctions, which have always been an issue with the benefits system as it meant that one of your claims could be suspended for a few weeks to a few months. However, a sanction on Universal Credit sees all of your benefits suspended. Reasons for sanctions include being a few minutes late for an appointment, not applying for a job you’re not qualified for and not attending an appointment whilst being at a work programme.

Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour Group on Great Yarmouth Borough Council says:

 “Despite the Labour Group’s opposition.

Sixteen Months ago Great Yarmouth was used by the DWP as a Test and Learn Pilot Area for Universal Credit, despite being assured that GY would have a gradual rollout of UC.

The last 16 Months have seen an increase in rent arrears, an increase in evictions in the Private Sector, an increase in homelessness, and Food Bank use increasing by 87%.

To a large degree this is because of UC, and the impact it is having on residents lives. ”

Great Yarmouth was one of the pilot areas for Universal Credit so how has it affected its constituents? Currently, there are well over 6000 claimants in Great Yarmouth and you don’t have to look very far to see the problems within the system.

Andy White from Gorleston a self-employed welder from Great Yarmouth whose partner does the admin work for his business (as well as care for their daughter) has been able to claim £571 a month in Universal Credit but it’s only enough to cover their rent of £475 a month, the rest barely enough for them to buy food or other amenities. Although his Universal Credit claim recognises that he’s in “gainful employment” through his business, they don’t think the same for his partner. She is still expected to look for a full-time job as well as doing the admin for her partner and care for their daughter. Read more about Andy’s story here...

Universal Credit was piloted in Great Yarmouth and since then there has been an 87% increase in people using food banks as claimants are finding themselves having to make the decision of either paying their rent or eating. If that’s not already shocking enough, claimants who have been sanctioned find themselves not being able to pay rent too which means they find themselves plunged into debt or worse, evicted from their property which makes their already difficult situation harder. Read more here...

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary says:

“The social security system is meant to protect people from debt and arrears, not exacerbate their situation.”

The failings are clear when it comes to Universal Credit. The Labour Party are campaigning for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be paused and fixed before it causes more people to find themselves plunged into poverty.

Sign the petition to show your support.

-- Carl Guyton

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is broken! Universal Credit has been in the news a lot again recently, a combination of several in-work benefits the six-week delay in claimants receiving a payment has been responsible...

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