Stockport’s Liberal Democrats were delighted to see their motion calling for a lifting of the public sector pay cap gain support at last night’s council meeting.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dem Group at Stockport Town Hall and presenter of the motion, said: “An overwhelming majority of councillors voted to accept our motion, which called for the public sector pay cap to be lifted and for the costs associated to be met by government.
“With public services facing a recruitment crisis and public sector workers seeing their real wages slipping as inflation increases, we have sent a message to government that they need to act now to support our nurses, police, fire fighters, local government employees and the others we all depend upon each day to keep our country running.
“Despite their own Prime Minister indicating movement on this in recent days, it was very disappointing to see that the local Conservative councillors failed to support our motion and, indeed, spoke out against our proposals to give public sector workers a fair deal.”
Stockport Liberal Democrats are working to ensure that the needs of bisexual employees and residents are reflected in council training and that the annual Bi Visibility Day is marked by flying the bisexual pride flag and by lighting up the town hall in its pink, purple and blue colours.
Cllr Lisa Smart, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council, is delighted to propose a motion to this effect at the next Full Council meeting, written with support from members of BiPhoria, Manchester.
Cllr Smart, said, “As a society, we have definitely made progress on LGBT+ Equality over the past few decades but there is still a distance to travel. On Thursday evening we will be talking about the barriers still faced by those members of our community who are bisexual.
“More than one in four bisexual employees hide their sexuality at work, compared with one in six among gay and lesbian employees. Bisexual people are more likely to experience mental health problems in general and are twice as likely to experience depression and/or anxiety.
“Often in the council chamber we can have robust debates and strong disagreements about issues. My hope is that we can unite and come together to support the bisexual members of our community, take some steps to celebrate the bisexual community and let them know that they are valued in Stockport.”
In the photograph below are Cllrs Lisa Smart and Mark Hunter along with Jen Yockney MBE, who received her honour for services to the bisexual community, with other Liberal Democrats, all holding the bisexual pride flag.
Amidst mounting speculation that the UK government may finally be prepared to act, Stockport Liberal Democrats have put forward a motion to a meeting of the Council on Thursday this week calling for the Public Sector Pay Cap to be lifted.
Currently all public sector workers, including nurses, police officers and local government workers are subject to a 1% cap on any pay rises, despite the fact that inflation is running at nearly three times that amount, and many families continue to struggle as a result.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dem Group at Stockport Town Hall and mover of the motion, said “Frankly, it is a disgrace that public sector workers have been treated in this way for so long. When the cap was introduced, economic circumstances were very different, and it was only ever intended as a short term measure. Instead, the Conservative government have continued with the policy and many public sector workers find their pay is falling behind that of employees in the private sector, which is simply unfair.”
“We are calling on the government to do the right thing by the public sector and recognise the immense contribution of so many nurses, police officers and local government workers among others and give them a fair deal. It will simply not be good enough if government chooses to cherry pick individual groups of workers, it is about time they lifted the pay cap for all in the public sector, “ concluded Cllr Hunter
Last week Cllrs Mark Hunter and Lisa Smart were delighted to accepted an invitation to visit the South Manchester Muslim Community Association in Heaton Chapel and were very pleased to learn more about their activities and involvement in the community.
Lisa particularly enjoyed taking part in the calligraphy class and they both enjoyed seeing the facilities and learning about the Community Association’s work at first hand.
Stockport Lib Dems enjoyed taking part in the first Stockport Pride last weekend. The event was very well attended with lots of people enjoying the variety of stalls and the food and drink on offer.
Pictured below are Councillors Iain Roberts and Lisa Smart with Lib Dem activist Richard Flowers, all enjoying the sunshine at Stockport Pride.
Pictured below is the Most Reverend Libby Lane, the Bishop of Stockport, visiting the Liberal Democrat stand with Cllr Lisa Smart.
A survey by the Liberal Democrats has found that 53% of people who called 101 – the non-emergency Police phone number – gave up before speaking to the Police.
Most people who did get through waited for more than five minutes, with some waiting for 30 minutes or more for the call to be answered.
The scale of the problem was uncovered by Claire Halliwell, Stockport Liberal Democrat spokesperson on crime.
“Thousands of crimes are going unrecorded and people are wasting hours sitting on the phone. It also means the Police are missing half the picture on crime. Important intelligence is being missed, meaning the Police may not be targeting their efforts efficiently,” said Claire.
Helen Foster-Grime, Lib Dem communities spokesperson, emphasised concern about the affect this is having on victims of crime when they are at their most vulnerable.
“The Conservative government must take the blame for ill-advised cuts to police funding since 2015. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has responsibility for how the police budget is spent and we will be writing to urge him to sort this out. Cutting funding for the 101 number is a false economy,” said Helen.