HIGH-STRENGTH BEERS AND CIDERS GOING FROM CROYDON SHELVES – OTHER AREAS SET TO FOLLOW? / COUNCIL TO PAY LONDON LIVING WAGE FOR ALL STAFF – Contractors to be asked to do the same / ….AS MP BACKS COMMONS BILL TO RAISE VALUE OF MINIMUM LIVING WAGE / SAINSBURY’S PARKERS FACE £70 FINES
HIGH-STRENGTH BEERS AND CIDERS GOING FROM CROYDON SHELVES – OTHER AREAS SET TO FOLLOW?
Cheap, high-strength beer and cider will disappear from the shelves of Croydon town-centre off-licences as traders get behind a scheme that will help improve public health and combat antisocial behaviour.
And if the initiative proves a success, it could be rolled out to other parts of the borough, say Croydon council.
“At a meeting earlier this year retailers, the council and police gave strong support to the voluntary initiative. Traders taking part in the
scheme have been sent a poster to display in their windows showing their support for the initiative” said a spokesman.
“It was originally piloted in Ipswich town centre, where police and traders saw a significant reduction in crime and antisocial behaviour,
trade improved for many of those taking part, and people felt safer.
“Croydon recently became a local alcohol action area, which sees the council, police and partners working together to reduce alcohol-related crime and health problems, and this scheme will help tackle those issues.
“And as a ‘Heart Town’ Croydon is working to beat heart disease and reduce risk factors such as drinking too much alcohol” the spokesman added.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “Saying no to super-strength cheap booze sales, supports our efforts to tackle the binge-drinking culture and to help people who are struggling with this addiction.
“It will also help us to combat the crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour associated with these sales.”
In a letter to traders, Cllr Watson thanked them for their support, saying that recent police visits to the town centre already showed a
reduction in the availability of high-strength products that are the cause for concern.
It is hoped that if the initiative in the town centre proves a success, it will be rolled out to other parts of the borough. (Source: Croydon council press release)
COUNCIL TO PAY LONDON LIVING WAGE FOR ALL STAFF – Contractors to be asked to do the same
CROYDON COUNCIL are set to pay the London living wage to all employees – with firms and contractors the council employ being asked to do the same.
The borough’s largest employer says this will mean every council employee will be paid a minimum rate of £8.80 per hour, or £16,518 annually for a 36 hour week.
“This is £2.49 per hour more than the national minimum wage and is calculated as the amount people need to cover the basic costs of living” says a council spokesman.
“Rising costs and falling wages have meant that over recent years many people who are working full time, particularly in London, have found themselves trying to get by on incomes below the official poverty line.
“Wherever possible the council will make it a requirement of its contractors that their staff are paid at least the living wage.
“Negotiations will take place with existing firms who deliver services on behalf of the council and in future any new arrangements will have the living wage principle built into contract terms.
“Community schools will also be encouraged to sign up to the scheme” he added.
Croydon council leader Cllr Tony Newman said: “As a council we’re committed to delivering on our election manifesto pledges, and this is a key one of those.
“The people of Croydon deserve a fair wage for a day’s work – they need to be paid enough to live comfortably in the nation’s capital where they contribute their time and skills to growing the nation’s economy.
“Right now there is only a handful of our directly-employed council staff who are on an hourly rate below £8.80. “They will soon see more money in their pay-packets, and our big aim is that many other local employers follow suite, no matter what size the company.
“The Living Wage doesn’t just make it possible for more people to free themselves from dependency on benefits, it also makes great business sense by reducing staff turnover and increasing productivity.
“We are determined to root out inequality. “This is the right thing to do.”
The London Living wage is a voluntary initiative and means workers get substantially more than the legal minimum of £6.31, which also only applies to people over 21, says Croydon.
“Calculations which have been used to establish this rate of pay include analysis done by the Living Wage Foundation, an organisation backed by some of the country’s largest employers and charities.
“The formula takes into account basic living costs, taxes, benefits, and the contents of each new budget report.
“The council aims to achieve accredited London Living wage status once the plans have been implemented.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
….AS MP BACKS COMMONS BILL TO RAISE VALUE OF MINIMUM LIVING WAGE
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has backed a private member’s bill to raise the value of the National Minimum Wage.
The new law, proposed by Dan Jarvis (Lab, Barnsley Central) aims to reduce the number of hard-working people who are forced to live in poverty because of low pay, says a post on the MP’s website.
“The number of working people claiming benefits in Croydon has soared under the Tory-led Government from 1000 four years ago to over 12,000 today because of the Government’s failure to tackle low pay and job insecurity.
“The new law would require the government to introduce a target to increase the minimum wage over the course of a parliament as part of a national mission to tackle low pay.
“It would also give the Low Pay Commission new powers to raise productivity and tackle low pay in different sectors of the economy.
“The proposal will be debated in the House of Commons in November. “If passed, the new law would ensure the minimum wage increases faster than average earnings, helping to lift the lowest paid out of poverty.
“Labour believe it’s important that work always pays more than being on benefits, and that no one who works for a living should be left to live in poverty.”
Speaking about the proposal in Parliament, Steve Reed MP said: “The national minimum wage was one of the last Labour government’s greatest achievements and ended the scandal of people going to work for as little as £1 an hour.
“But now over five million people are stuck in low-paid jobs and the value of the national minimum wage has been going backwards for several years.
“People in Croydon are suffering from a cost-of-living crisis thanks to this Tory-led Government. “I’m determined that no one who works hard for a living should be left struggling to make ends meet.”
SAINSBURY’S PARKERS FACE £70 FINES
MOTORISTS STAYING for longer than three hours at the Sainsbury’s car park off Westow Street could face fines of £70.
Drivers will also face fines of £70 if they:
- park in a disabled bay without a valid blue badge
- park in a parent and child bay without being accompanied by one or more children up to the age of 12
- do not park in marked bays
Sainsbury’s says the fines apply to both the outside and inside car parks.
A new sign has been installed which records the number plate of the vehicle arriving and gives them a three-hour time stay.
Leaflets have been handed out at the store in Westow Street, Upper Norwood SE19 which declare: “Parking at your store is about to get easier”.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “We offer three hours free parking and the system is designed to make parking easier for all our customers. “Charges may apply if drivers overstay beyond the three hours or, for example, park in disabled bays without a blue badge.
“The automatic number plate recognition system covers both our surface and multi-story car parks” he added.
Historically, the outer parking area was a council car park and has been used as a public park since the development was completed. (The site, prior to redevelopment in the early 1980s, included a much larger council car park).
NFCP understands that Croydon sold this off in 2000 among 2,000 pieces of land borough-wide but we have not yet been able to confirm this.