In a meeting with local community organising alliance Croydon Citizens, regional branch of national community organising charity, Citizens UK, the Croydon Partnership committed to paying the London Living Wage and becoming an accredited Living Wage employer. The partnership consists of Westfield and Hammerson and is responsible for the planned £1bn shopping centre in Croydon.
Karyn Storey, a student at Coulsdon College and a member of Croydon Citizens said,
"It was great to hear the Partnership's pledge to become a London Living Wage employer. Young people in Croydon need to know there will be jobs in our borough that enable us to live and not merely survive.
“We look forward to working with the Croydon Partnership and celebrating when they complete their accreditation process.”
The Croydon Partnership committed to paying the London Living Wage to all directly employed and sub-contracted staff and also to promoting the voluntary Living Wage scheme throughout the borough. The London Living Wage is currently £9.15 per hour, a rate that is calculated annually by the Greater London Authority according to the basic cost of living in the UK.
The commitment follows Croydon Citizens actions last year which got cross party support for the London Living Wage in the run up to the local elections, with both outgoing leader of the council Cllr Mike Fisher and current leader Cllr Tony Newman giving their support to the campaign in front of 150 people at the Croydon Citizens accountability assembly in April 2014. Cllr Newman also formally committed the council to accrediting as a Living Wage employer.
Suzan Algeo from St Jude's Church and co-chair of Croydon Citizens said,
"There are many people in our community who are struggling to get by and provide for their families on less than the Living Wage. That's why it's so important that the Croydon Partnership are following Cllr Tony Newman and showing leadership on the Living Wage in Croydon.
“Gaining a commitment to pay is an important first step, but accreditation will cement these promises and ensure both directly employed staff and sub-contractors are paid the Living Wage now, and in the future.”
Steve Yewman, Development Director of Westfield said,
"Westfield has been a long term supporter of the London Living Wage and so we will continue championing it as it's the right thing to do. We look forward to being able to make our announcement as accredited Living Wage employers as the Croydon Partnership develops."