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.
The Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council welcome the first Pride festival which will be taking place in the Market Place from 10am to 4pm this Sunday 30th July.
There will be a main stage at Castle Yard with acts including two former participants in the X-Factor and a line-up of local performers along with craft stalls and food and drink. There will also be information and support from organisations including the LGBT Foundation, Lifeline, Stockport Mind and Age UK.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dem Group at Stockport Council and Councillor for Cheadle Hulme South, said: “We are proud that Stockport is an open and inclusive borough and the Liberal Demorats will be enthusiastically supporting the Pride festival, with a number of local councillors and campaigners attending.”
Cllr Lisa Smart, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group and Councillor for Bredbury Green and Romiley, said: “This is a true community event with musical acts and other entertainers accompanied by great food and drink.
“Pride events elsewhere have been a really successful way to bring together the whole community and we encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the festival.”
Just hours after becoming party Leader, Vince Cable attended a meeting of North West Liberal Democrats in Manchester.
Stockport Councillors Mark Hunter, Lisa Smart, Christine Corris, Geoff Abell, Stuart Corris and Iain Roberts were all on hand to welcome him and to discuss our plans to become the largest party on Stockport Council again next year.
Councillor Mark Hunter, North West Regional Chair and Leader of the Lib Dem Group in Stockport, said “It was great to welcome Vince to the region so soon after he became national party Leader. It was great to have the opportunity to hear about his priorities and to raise important issues with him such as investment in the North, the impact of Brexit and how to improve mental health services, especially for young people.”
Pictured are Cllr Mark Hunter and Vince Cable at the event.