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Milton Keynes pupils demand road improvements on walk to school

Milton Keynes school children have called for 50 road safety and environmental improvements to mark the town's 50th birthday.

Today 300 pupils walked from their six Milton Keynes schools to Civic Offices to ask the Leader of the Council for 50 improvements to the Redways to make their routes to school safer and cleaner.

Employees from local businesses including Dentons, Santander and Shoosmiths, joined the action and pledged to help support schools on Redway litter patrols later this term.

 

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Need for urgent transfer of 80 children from fire damaged refugee camp

 

 Charities call on government to urgently transfer 80 children from Dunkirk ruins to family in the UK

 In response to the fire which razed the Dunkirk refugee camp to the ground last night, leaving hundreds of people homeless, charities are calling on the UK government to transfer the children from the camp who have a legal right to be with their families in the UK.

Safe Passage, a project of Citizens UK, in partnership with the Dunkirk Legal Centre and Help Refugees have identified 80 children in Dunkirk who have relatives in the UK and the right to be safely and legally transferred. Given the extreme distress that the children now face, charities are calling on the UK government to transfer them immediately.

 Currently no arrangements have been made by French or UK authorities for the safe accommodation of unaccompanied children from the Dunkirk camp leaving the children at real risk of disappearing in the chaos.

 Safe Passage have sent the list of 80 Dublin eligible children to the UK Home Office, and will be sharing that list with their French counterparts.

 Rabbi Janet Darley, spokesperson for Citizens UK’s Safe Passage project, said:

“The children Safe Passage are working with in Dunkirk should never have been in the camp in the first place; they have a moral and a legal right to be with their relatives in the UK. The government needs to learn the lessons of the Calais camp and the fire in Dunkirk and put a fully functioning family reunion system in place between France and the UK.”

 

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Tackle Poverty With the True Living Wage says Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake

 

When we talk about poverty in the UK today, we rarely mean the level of malnutrition and squalor of previous centuries. In fact, it may come as a surprise to many that, of the 13 million people who are living in poverty in the UK, over half are in employment. The APPG for Poverty, of which I am the chairman, is looking at ways of increasing the understanding of poverty amongst all parliamentarians, as well as looking for solutions.

 So, poverty is not all about getting people into work. We must also address the issues of in-work poverty and encourage businesses, where possible, to pay the voluntary Living Wage. I do understand how tough things are for businesses and that some cannot afford to pay their staff more, but I do believe that the time has come for us to consider introducing a policy gradually to bring the National Minimum Wage to the level of the National Living Wage.

 

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St Cuthbert's Care becomes Living Wage employer

The photo shows St Cuthbert's Care Chief Executive, Moira Ashman (front centre) with nursing home residents Dorothy Barrow (left) and Rose Elliott (right) and Carers (back row L-R) Ginse Xavier, Kamila Ball-Kiklowicz and Jodie Finnigan.

Regional charity, St Cuthbert's Care, becomes Living Wage Employer

 St Cuthbert's Care has become the first regional charity of its kind in the North East to become an accredited Living Wage employer with the Living Wage Foundation.

By committing to become an accredited Living Wage employer, the charity has pledged to meet the Foundation's independently calculated assessment of a fair wage, paying a minimum of £8.45 per hour for all employees over the age of 18. St Cuthbert’s Care’s lowest hourly wage rate, effective from 1 April 2017, is £8.50, regardless of age.

St Cuthbert's Care has 370 employees and 30 volunteers, and its core registered services comprise four children’s homes, two nursing homes and a range of provision for disabled children and adults. In addition, the charity provides support across its regional communities.

 

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Goodall Foundation explores spreading Living Wage to its projects

The Robin& Sylvia Goodall Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce that it is now an accredited Living Wage organisation and wants to see the Living Wage paid in its projects.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at the Goodall Foundation-an education charity with an international reach, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors, receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.45, and £9.75 in London. Both of these rates are significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.50 per hour introduced in April 2017.

 The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently, updated annually and calculated according to the real cost of living.

As a new small organisation with a simple, lean infrastructure, it was a simple and smooth process to becoming accredited. But beyond its own accreditation as an employer, the Goodall Foundation is also exploring how to roll out its Living Wage commitment beyond, to its wider network.

 

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West Midlands Citizens secure pledges at Mayoral Assembly

  Leading Mayoral candidates put on the spot at Mayoral Assembly

On March 29th Citizens UK member organisations in the West Midlands organised a Mayoral Assembly attended by over 900 people from across the region for what was the largest non-partisan event of the Mayoral race.

Civil Society leaders asked both the Conservative candidate, Mr Andy Street, and the Labour Candidate, Mr Sion Simon, to pledge to act on local priority issues.{See the impartial candidate selection process below}.

 

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Local group launches Peckham charter

 

 LOCAL GROUP LAUNCHES CHARTER FOR NEW AFFORDABLE HOMES & SHOPPING DISTRICT IN PECKHAM.

More than 300 people packed a meeting at Peckham’s Rye Lane Chapel on Tuesday to launch their Citizens’ Charter aimed at influencing plans for the redevelopment of a local shopping centre into over 400 homes and a new shopping district.The ‘Citizens Charter’ includes demands around the number of genuinely affordable homes on site, the number of jobs for local people, a desire to celebrate the existing culture in Peckham and calls to fully engage the community in the process of designing the new part of their neighbourhood.

 The charter was developed after speaking to 1,000 people in SE15 about what local people are struggling with most in their daily lives, holding meetings, public workshops, and canvassing local traders and shoppers for their views.

 

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Lord Alf Dubs launches guide to help communities settle refugees in UK

 

 Lord Alf Dubs launches new CUK guide to sponsoring or helping resettle refugees in the UK

 A practical guide to support communities who want to sponsor or help refugees settle into local communities was launched yesterday by Lord Alf Dubs who was himself saved from the Nazis by English stockbroker Nicholas Winton on the Kindertransport.

 Welcoming Syrian Refugees: An introductory guide has been produced by Citizens UK, together with Migrants Organise, the Rural Refugee Network and TERN (The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network). Available via this link: https://issuu.com/theuniversityofwinchester/docs/print_refugee_brochure_2?e=2137537/46284033

It is the first guide of its kind to offer practical advice to people who want to get involved in helping refugees on their arrival in the UK, and is inspired by the large number of people wanting to help. The guide is informed by the experiences of Refugee Welcome groups across the UK.It offers practical step-by-step advice to individuals, groups and community organisations on how they can help resettle Syrian refugees. It also provides information on how to form support groups, approach Local Authorities, and what groups will need to provide.

 Citizens UK executive director, Neil Jameson, said: “Many people have been contacting us saying they want to help and it became clear we needed practical guidance spelling out what help, what finances and what level of commitment would be necessary, if we were to successfully help resettle refugees here.

“We hope this guide will enable faster rates of resettlement in communities, demonstrating that the UK has the capacity and the appetite to resettle greater numbers of refugees. It is also hoped that the guide will inspire other teams to come together to aid resettlement, providing them with the knowledge and confidence to turn their good intentions into practical help.”

 

 

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Turning the heat on British Gas over prepayment tariffs

 

Poorer people should pay no more for their domestic energy supply than others.  This message was today sung to the tune of Relight My Fire outside Centrica HQ, the home of British Gas (pictured), by members of East London Citizens (TELCO), part of national community organising organisation, Citizens UK, who want to see a parity of tariffs across all consumers.

Calling for a meeting with British Gas CE Mark Hodges, CUK wants the most vulnerable energy consumers, those on prepayment meters, to be charged at the same tariffs as other users.

 

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More headliners announced for Greenbelt Festival 2017

Second set of lineup announcements for 2017

Boughton House, Northamptonshire, 25-28 August

 

FOUR DAYS OF MUSIC, ARTS, ACTIVISM, IDEAS,
FAITH & SPIRITUALITY IN IDYLLIC COUNTRY HOUSE GROUNDS OVER AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND.


Back at Boughton House for a fourth year with its 44th consecutive edition, Greenbelt Festival is looking forward to celebrating The Common Good.

Adding to the names already released on February 28th

 

 

IDEAS: Food poverty campaigner and writer JACK MONROE, global organisational theorist and business elder CHARLES HANDY. Filmmaker, writer and activist JENDELLA BENSON. Catholic political theologian ANNA ROWLANDS. And quirky States-based theologian GREG GARRETT.
More on all these thinkers, writers, speakers and activists here.

MUSIC: 
Featuring the global fusion sounds of LA CHIVA GANTIVA. From Jordan and Palestine, Shamstep festival band 47SOUL. With his community choir project, RICHARD NAVARRO and LET THE PEOPLE SING. Rising star and soul chanteuse MAHALIA, Liverpudlian melodic pop from CLEAN CUT KID.
More on all these music names – and more – here.

LITERATURE: 
Devon-based poet ANTHONY WILSON curates a bill of Poets for The Common Good, featuring four great British female poets: JOSEPHINE CORCORAN, SASHA DUGDALE, REBECCA GOSS and NANCY CAMPBELL.
More on these literature names here.

PERFORMING ARTS: 
Irish comedic and physical theatre from the LORDS OF STRUT. Immersive circus cabaret from MARY BIJOU CABARET & SOCIAL CLUB. Whimsical walkabout theatre with RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS presented by THEM TWO DANCE. And poignant and frenetic physical theatre with HAPPY HOUR presented by TMESIS THEATRE COMPANY.
More on all this theatre here.

WORSHIP & SPIRITUALITY
Featuring the NINE BEATS Global Collective in residence all weekend. And the SOUL SANCTUARY GOSPEL CHOIR (with Rev. Lucy Winkett) from London.
More on all this here.


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