Labour have launched a specific manifesto with people with a disability following extensive consultation with disabled people and their carers across the country.
Over the last seven years, disabled people – including people with physical or mental impairments and long-term health conditions – have borne the brunt of the Tory cuts, which has seen the number of disabled people living in poverty rise to 4.2 million. Continue reading
The future of the local charity the Portsmouth Counselling Service (PCS) is in doubt following decisions by the City Council and Clinical Commissioning Group.
The PCS is one of the most valuable services provided by the voluntary sector in Portsmouth as it deals with some of the most vulnerable people in Portsmouth. Continue reading
Key points made by Cllr John Ferrett, Leader of the Labour Group, in response to the Majority Group’s Budget Proposals, Portsmouth City Council, 8 December 2015
(Note: Click here to hear the full speech – go to 3 hours 29 minutes from the start.)
- John welcomed the Conservative Group’s decision to reconsider their recommendation to do away with Trade Union Facility Time. He was critical of the trade union representatives’ tactics in using the staff consultation meeting to launch a political attack on the council leader rather than concentrating on issues of priority concern to their members such as cuts to jobs and services. He referred to the invidious position that all councillors were in over the budget cuts, noting that no-one stood for election to make cuts but that as a council it was a legal requirement to set a balanced budget. He urged the trade unions to adopt a constructive and partnership-based approach to working with the council to justify the provision of fixed allowances by ensuring their work was focused on members’ interests rather than based on political and ideological considerations.
Portsmouth City Council is proposing to end all trade union secondments, which release trade union representatives from their day jobs in order to represent members, offer guidance and negotiate on behalf of all Council staff.
Portsmouth City Council is legally obliged to pay trade union reps for the time they spend representing the workforce, but secondments simplify arranging time off and cover. By ending secondments the Council will increase costs, create long delays in resolving workplace issues and expose themselves to legal challenges.
Reductions to the local police force and other crime and disorder agencies may be starting to take their toll in Portsmouth, as recently released community safety statistics show that crime is on the up in the city.
According to recent data collated by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, the city’s crime and disorder strategic partnership, overall crime levels have gone up across the country, whilst Portsmouth has seen a larger increase in police recorded crime (at 9%) compared to the national average of 3%. Worringly violent crime has gone up and at the same time, youth crime has increased for the first time since 2007/8. Continue reading