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Video: Labour, Tories and LibDems join forces to block Real Living Wage in Wirral as only Greens back anti-poverty measure

Councillors from three parties on resources committee vote not even to consider increasing wage to liveable level as committee chair talks over councillor trying to argue for it

Labour, Tory and LibDem councillors have voted not even to consider the issue of paying the Real Living Wage to all workers delivering Wirral Council services. Twenty-three local authorities in England pay the ‘RLW’ to contractors and staff working for outsourced providers too.

But in Wirral borough on Merseyside, two years after all parties agreed to pay the Real Living Wage, more than half of care home providers in the borough don’t pass on the wage to workers – and video of a council committee session show a Green member of the committee, former Labour councillor Jo Bird, being talked over and condescended to by the Labour council leader as she tried to raise the issue for the sake of low-paid staff. The same individual had given the first opportunities to speak to the Tory group leader and Wirral Council’s chief executive, who is paid around £180,000 a year:

The Real Living Wage of £9.90 per hour is not paid to all workers delivering council services in Wirral, exacerbating poverty at the best of times and causing huge damage to families and communities in the midst of a corporate greed-driven ‘cost of living crisis’.

At Wirral’s Policy and Resources Committee on yesterday, Cllr Bird proposed that a further report be submitted to the Policy & Resources committee on the state of affairs regarding the Real Living Wage being paid to all workers delivering council services, not just those employed directly by the council. In response, several senior Wirral councillors spent a large part of the meeting talking against such a report.

Cllr Pat Cleary, leader of Wirral Greens and also on the committee, told other committee members:

All that we are asking for, is the report that we were promised, that would detail what the cost to the authority would be, if we were to pay the Real Living Wage to everybody who is employed delivering council services. Its perfectly reasonable.

Please treat the Real Living Wage with the respect it deserves. Its an important issue, which is important to highlight.

Cleary also took the council leader to task for the tone used against Bird for making ‘a perfectly reasonable request’ and the double-standard applied when other councillors have actively derailed meetings without receiving anything like the same kind of treatment. The derision shown to Cllr Bird – at the time the borough’s only Jewish councillor – continues the shameful treatment meted out to her locally by the Labour party, while the national party expelled her as part of its ongoing purge of left-wing Jews.

All Labour, Conservative and LibDem councillors present voted against the amendment for a Real Living Wage report, leaving only Wirral Green councillors apparently concerned enough about the poverty facing many involved in providing the council’s services to actually want to address the issue.

The toxicity of the Labour right at local government level has long brought disrepute to the party. That has not changed, except that the same arrogance, callousness and condescension is now the norm at national level since Keir Starmer became what currently passes for the party’s leader.

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  1. When I read the headline of this article I knew immediately that it was Jo Bird that Skwawkbox was referring to. She is the only one on the Council with the decency and social conscience to make the case for the low paid workers .
    The fact that she was belittled for doing so by Starmers labour Councillors is unsurprising and typical. Jo will not let these petty little people stop her from fighting for what she knows is right. She is worth more than the rest of them put together. Solidarity Jo

  2. More shitty behaviour from abusive Wirral Council. But we’ve grown accustomed to it around here. In fact, it’s to be expected.

    Back in the day, the right-wing Labour administration, featuring many of the VERY SAME councillors actually shielded two social services department senior abusers of disabled people. Two of them had steadily plundered £736,756.97 from the bank accounts of their own sitting duck, learning disabled council tenants over a period of nine years.

    But accountability came there none. Why? Because despite their obvious guilt, the then Council CEO gagged and paid off the abusive pair and allowed them to leave two days before a damning external report was published.

    They were both protected, granted a clean bill of health and the pair of them picked up senior roles later.

    One of them ended up as a director at a charity.

    The other one got the role of Director of Adult Services at Reading Council. Imagine, a proven abuser allowed to oversee the lives of thousands of Reading’s vulnerable citizens. Wirral Leaks found out about this, then I set about doing something about it. She was quickly removed from her post, but I got no thanks from somebody called Councillor Tony Jones and ended up being blocked by the mayor and a whole host of guilty, right-wing Labour, Tory and Liberal Councillors in Reading.

    I did a VIDEO on it here, which includes the failure of a tribunal judge and his two assistants (one of whom was supposed to be a ‘leftie’) to find any fault. Warning. You’ll need a strong stomach for this:

    1. Thank you for that information Wirral ..
      A sobering story ..

      I take it that no other News
      Outlet was interested others than those
      mentioned in the talk? This is the sort of
      thing Private Eye used to publish!

      What happened eventually to the two

      1. I don’t know because I haven’t looked. But I think I can safely assume they will be employed in senior roles, disclosure and barring won’t have singled them out for attention, and they won’t be struggling or attending foodbanks.

  3. PS I too guessed that Jo Bird would be
    involved – the nastiness on the Council
    towards her now (as Green) is exactly
    the same as that displayed towards her
    when a Labour Councillor ..

    Incidentally what did her previous Branch
    have to say about all this? (I mean the one
    where she represented them as
    a Labour Councillor.)

  4. It just gets worse. There is little/no difference any more in politics, and that means no effective opposition. The end result is the Government are no longer held to account with such an ineffective ‘opposition’

    1. They don’t care. Self-enrichment, vanity, love of the court jesters at BBC. Is it worth it when all they achieve is life-long membership in a weird cult, trinkets and ever-growing hatred from the working class?

  5. My educated guess is that at next year local elections the Greens are going to make gains against Labour.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if at next year local elections the Greens take another 4 Labour seats at least, like they did this year.
    Wirral will remain under not overall control and Labour will not longer be the biggest Party.

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