Lib Dem bid to force Living Wage fails

Councillor Mark Wilkes outside the Mercia Retail Park in Durham. (8548193)

Councillor Mark Wilkes outside the Mercia Retail Park in Durham. (8548193)

First published in News
Last updated

AN attempt to force the North-East’s biggest council to pay the Living Wage by next spring has failed.

Eighteen months after Labour-led Durham County Council agreed to look into introducing the minimum pay level, currently £7.65 outside London, it is yet to be adopted.

At today’s (Wednesday, July 23) full council meeting, Liberal Democrat Mark Wilkes tabled a motion calling on the authority to pay the Living Wage as soon as possible and no later than April.

He said it would cost £371,000 a year but the council had £134m in reserves.

The council’s Labour leader Simon Henig said the authority was facing cuts of £30m for each of the next three years and in such circumstances its reserves were entirely prudent.

Labour’s Mike Dixon, who tabled the original Living Wage motion in December 2012, said a working group looking into the issue had discovered serious implementation problems.

Conservative leader Richard Bell said the issue should be thrashed out at a national level, prompting Cllr Wilkes to accuse him of “reverting to Tory type – to keep the poor poor”.

Cllr Wilkes also accused Labour of being champagne socialists and caviar communists, while Cllr Henig said the Lib Dems had cut taxes for the highest paid.

A Labour amendment to Cllr Wilkes’ motion was passed, committing the council to adopting the Living Wage only if it is found to be affordable and setting no deadline for doing so.

Cllr Wilkes said it was an absolute disgrace.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:29am Thu 24 Jul 14

DURHAM CITY says...

Yeah as long as Simon is ok ? keep up the Pressure Councillor Wilkes shocking
Yeah as long as Simon is ok ? keep up the Pressure Councillor Wilkes shocking DURHAM CITY
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree