Standing up for city playgroups

Local parents are organising a protest in Guildhall Square on Tuesday 2nd May, at 12.30.

Council spending cuts mean that local pre-school groups could close.

Organisers, Holly Harrison and Roxanne Chappell, set up a Facebook event to build support. They say:

Continue reading “Standing up for city playgroups”

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Portsmouth Council workers now earning £1,154 less than Living Wage

living-wage

This week marks the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement which seeks to secure decent pay for low paid workers. Living Wage Week is an opportunity to promote understanding of the campaign for a real Living Wage and to encourage more employers to sign up.

The Living Wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation is independently calculated to be the minimum hourly rate necessary to sustain workers and their families. It is currently set at £8.45 an hour, significantly higher than the misleadingly named National Living Wage announced last year by George Osbourne which now stands at just £7.20 an hour.

In 2014 Portsmouth City Council publicly committed to pay its workers the rate defined by the Living Wage Foundation. The Tories then took control of the administration in 2015 and effectively repealed that decision by choosing to freeze the hourly rate of the lowest paid council workers at £7.85 until the bogus national living wage caught up.

This means that around 174 of the lowest paid council employees are now earning up to £1,154 less than the rate defined by the Living Wage Foundation. This might be small change to council bosses but to hardworking families it could prove to be the difference between just getting by and being plunged into poverty.

The decision taken by Portsmouth Tories is in stark contrast to the strategy adopted where Labour is in power. In London the Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan announced earlier this week that the London Living Wage will increase to £9.75 an hour, the higher rate reflecting the greater costs of living in the capital.

Portsmouth Labour Party is committed to fighting for decent jobs, housing and public services for all and calls on the council to implement a proper Living Wage for all employees.

Cal Corkery

Portsea people raise concerns over congestion

traffic-2Residents in Portsea have raised their increasing concerns with their local ward councillor, Stephen Morgan over congestion and traffic flow on local streets this week. 

The level of traffic being funnelled through Queen Street/Angelsea Road junction and Unicorn/Market Way junction is currently saturating the network, leading to severe delays for both public transport and general traffic on Hope Street/Market Way and Queen Street/The Hard, and within the Naval Base. Continue reading “Portsea people raise concerns over congestion”

Labour raises concerns over future of local counselling service

counsellingThe 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 “Labour raises concerns over future of local counselling service”

What has Portsmouth’s Tory council done to help the homeless?

homelesscampLabour housing correspondent Cal Corkery writes:

Many people will have noticed the growing homelessness crisis in our city. The official rough sleeper count in Portsmouth trebled between 2010 and 2015 as more people are forced onto the streets by insecure employment, benefit sanctions and a lack of affordable housing. Continue reading “What has Portsmouth’s Tory council done to help the homeless?”