Labour make new call for Lichfield District Council to take a lead on introduction of living wage

Labour has renewed calls for Lichfield District Council to take a lead on the living wage.

The local branch of the party say 23 workers are currently paid below the £7.85 figure recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

Lichfield District Council’s Conservative leadership have previously been accused of ignoring calls for the introduction of a higher rate of pay.

This led to accusations from UKIP that Labour were making unfunded spending promises.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

But Labour’s leader on the council, Sue Woodward, has reiterated her view that the local authority needs to take a lead on the issue.

“I find it staggering that Lichfield District Council is still dragging its feet on this issue, especially as we now see supermarket chains, such as Lidl and Morrisons committing to pay the Living wage.

“I feel strongly that the council should be leading on this issue with a campaign to make Lichfield a Living Wage City, in a similar way to the successful campaign to make Lichfield a Fairtrade City.”

A Freedom of Information request by the local branch of the party has revealed that 23 people at the council are paid below the living wage – equating to 6% of the workforce.

Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of the local authority, says the low number of employees affected and national plans on the horizon meant it made no sense to make the change at this stage.

“The Government are introducing new living wage from next year and there’s only a small amount of people not already above that level who are with us,” he said.

“It is such a small number affected, that before too long I anticipate that everyone will be above that anyway.

“We would be doubling up the work to do it now and then do it again next year.”

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