Conservative council leaders have rejected a plan put forward by Jonathan Chatfield and John Williams to ensure that all council staff are paid a fair 'living wage'.
Jonathan is fighting to build a stronger economy and a fairer society across South East Cambridgeshire and said that South Cambridgeshire District Council should show leadership by making sure all their staff are able to make ends meet and get on in life.
At a recent full meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Jonathan Chatfield seconded a motion by fellow Lib Dem John Williams that would have introduced a safety net to ensure that the lowest hourly rate paid to council employees would always be at least the Living Wage figure – currently £7.45 outside London. But Conservative councillors rejected the idea, the leader of the council saying it should be left to market forces to decide pay rates.
Jonathan and John Williams pointed out that according to statistics by the Office of National Statistics and Cambridgeshire County Council the district of South Cambridgeshire had the highest cost of living in the county and was one of the most expensive places to live in the country and therefore the council had a moral duty to protect those employed by it on the lowest wage rate. Also research in London had shown that the Living Wage had a positive impact on staff moral, something desperately needed at South Cambridgeshire District Council.
Although admitting it would have very little impact on the Council financially (as only a few people are currently paid below this rate), the Conservatives refused to accept this as a policy going forward. Using their majority on the Council they voted it down.