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MP welcomes action to bring in a 'living wage' to Cumbria

February 13, 2014 5:44 PM

Tim in KendalSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that Cumbria County Council will pay their staff the living wage. Tim said that this bold move was 'led by the Liberal Democrats'.

The voluntary 'living wage' level is calculated according to the basic cost of living. The rate, which is not binding, stands at £7.65 an hour. It is higher than the legal UK minimum wage of £6.31 an hour.

Tim also highlighted the successful campaign to save the second fire engines at Kendal, Penrith, Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport.

Tim singled out councillors Nick Cotton and John McCreesh for their 'work behind the scenes' to protect Cumbria's bus services. John was integral in protecting the 44 bus that runs through the Hallgarth estate in Kendal.

The Conservative alternative budget was roundly condemned - containing within it massive cuts to Children's Centres, the removal of the school clothing grant, something used by the most vulnerable children in the county and they planned to close three care homes - potentially including the Applethwaite Green home in Windermere.

According to the council's independent impact assessment of the Conservative proposals, there would be an "adverse impact on… people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, victims of domestic violence, teenage parents, people with drug and alcohol problems, older people and younger people age 16-24."

Tim said: "The UK economy may be in recovery mode, but most people's pay packets have yet to experience a similar revival. That's why I welcome the news that the council is going to bring in the Living Wage. I have long argued that the public sector in Cumbria should take the lead in this area and I'm pleased that it's Lib Dem councillors bringing this forward and voting to make it happen. This is local government taking the lead and making a difference to hundreds of families throughout Cumbria."