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London Citizens set to hold local pre-election Assemblies

Photo from the Merton Citizens launch, 19 April 2018

Local Citizens UK chapters are holding eight borough election assemblies this week with key Council leaders, as the London Borough and UK local elections are just 10 days away.

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Sumaya's Story

Sumaya.jpgSumaya was one of two students last year who secured a paid internship at creative advertising agency, Wieden + Kennedy, through Citizens UK's Good Jobs Campaign. During her time on the programme, she was a first year student at Mulberry Sixth Form studying her A Levels in Media Studies, Psychology and Sociology. She is now in her second year and we have very high hopes for her as she decides upon her next steps.

 

 

 

 

 

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Matthew Bolton named incoming Citizens UK Executive Director

Citizens UK Deputy Director and lead organiser for London Citizens Matthew Bolton is to lead Citizens UK from September, as founder Neil Jameson steps down after 30 years at the helm.

Matthew steps up to the role after community organising with Citizens UK for 14 years and leading the Living Wage campaign between 2008 and 2014, including setting up the Living Wage Foundation, which has now accredited over 4,000 Living Wage Employers. He has led the expansion strategy for Citizens UK across London and the UK and oversaw the London Citizens campaign for an Ethical Olympics, as well as current London Citizens campaigns on affordable housing and rogue landlords.

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Organising around the Living Wage: the story of Heathrow Airport

Last year, we announced the fantastic decision by Heathrow Airport to become the world’s first Living Wage airport, a decision taken by management that ensures the business is doing the right thing and its workers can live in dignity.

I wanted to tell you a bit about the story of how West London Citizens got there, after years of painstaking organising work, in the hope that others can take inspiration from this story in their own Living Wage organising.

In the summer of 2016 West London Citizens (WLC) was campaigning to get Heathrow airport to sign up as a Living Wage employer. The campaign had already been running for two years but needed a boost.

 

West London Churches holding a living wage mass in support of workers

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Amanda Walters and Bekele Woyecha announced as 'Churchill Fellows' - Citizens UK

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Citizens UK Community Organisers Amanda Walters (left) and Bekele Woyecha (right) with Executive Director Neil Jameson (centre), mark their fellowship announcement.

 

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Citizens reject hatred with human chain around mosque

Citizens UK chapters once again mobilised in the face of vile vitriol aimed at Muslim communities across Britain by forming a human chain around mosques in response to so-called 'punish a Muslim day'.

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FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION ASKED TO PAY LIVING WAGE

Young people from the Wembley area have undertaken research to reveal shocking pay-gap their parents, some of whom work at the stadium, face and met outside the Stadium to sing Living Wage themed football chants [Watch video]

Campaigners are inviting the Minister for Sport and fans to support call for Chairman Greg Clarke to put forward a plan to implement the real Living Wage at the FA’s next board meeting.

Over 2,000 workers are reported to receive below the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour, with the majority as low as £7.50 an hour with those under 18 earning even less.

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BISHOP CALLS FOR A MOVE TO THE REAL LIVING WAGE TO TACKLE CHILD POVERTY

Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham and third most senior Church of England Bishop has released a video in reaction to research by the Living Wage Foundation released today. Bishop Paul calls for more to be done to address in-work poverty by moving to a real Living Wage, pointing out that the benefits bill will go down if employers pay higher wages that are based on the cost of living.

Watch Bishop Paul's video recorded for Citizens UK

“Two thirds of all children living in poverty, across the Country are in families where one or both parents are working... The real impact is felt worst in lone parent families, in families where the child is disabled and in families where they have three or more children... So, to improve the lives of children and families, let’s move to a real Living Wage.”

Research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation shows that a worker on the new government minimum would earn an annual salary worth £1,794 a year less than the real Living Wage, based on what employees and their families need to get by. It would take 33 additional working days to make up this shortfall, the equivalent of working over 6 weeks extra every year. [1]

This additional £1,794 could pay for:

•             More than six months’ food and drink bill for an average household - £1,508

•             Over a year’s average gas and electricity bills - £1,250

•             Almost 3 month’s average rent - £1,738

Read more on the research from the Living Wage Foundation here.

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How people-powered public services can help bring us closer together

Today London Mayor Sadiq Khan is launching his social integration plan from our pioneering project, Parents and Children Together. Will Bibby from Nesta and Sally Gimson from Citizens UK and PACT write about how this mum and dad powered group is making a difference. 

Social integration is determined by how equal a society is, the relationships between different people, and how active people are in the communities in which they live.

With an ageing society, an increasingly diverse population, growing inequality, and rising disenfranchisement with democracy, social integration is rightly high on the agenda. We argue that a model of public services that actively seeks out the expertise, experience, and energy of local people to improve the lives of those around them - what we call people-powered public services - can play a major role to increase social integration.

People-powered public services are well placed to help on all three fronts: supporting people to be active citizens through social action, tackling barriers and inequalities by reaching people who need help the most, and promoting shared experiences by creating trusting relationships - whether that’s to support people living with long-term health conditions, bridge the generational divide, or support parents help their child’s development

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Today, the Mayor of London launched his Social Integration Strategy at a local MumSpace in Southwark - where he set out his plan to connect Londoners from all walks of life and announced a new £600k London Family Fund to back innovative projects that bring families closer together.

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NO SAFETY NET FOR UK'S WORST PAID WOMEN

Millions of working women face financial insecurity, according to new research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation and the Fawcett Society for International Women's Day

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Many women on low pay face stark choices, with nearly half (43%) have less than £100 saved, too little to cover a financial emergency.

A poll of women earning below the real Living Wage, conducted by Survation, found that of working women paid less than the real Living Wage of £10.20 an hour in London, and £8.75 outside of London (a quarter of all working women):

Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

"The precariousness of life for women earning little more than the government minimum shows the need for more employers to take a stand by paying the real Living Wage based on what people need to make ends meet. Our research shows that debt and financial insecurity is widespread for low paid women, with many struggling to save for a rainy day."

Read more about the research at LivingWage.org.uk

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