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Citizens UK welcomes decision on Newham Landlord Licensing scheme

Citizen’s UK welcomes decision on the Newham licensing scheme and renews call for wider landlord licensing across London

 Forty one thousand households in Newham who rely on the Landlord Licensing scheme to protect them from bad landlords in the private rental sector will be protected for a further five years. This comes after Housing Minister Alok Sharma extended the li scheme, although two areas in Newham were not included in the renewal.

London Citizens, the London branch of Citizens UK welcomed the news and has been campaigning on the issue of extending landlord licensing across London boroughs to ensure widespread abuses of tenants’ rights by unaccountable landlords are stamped out.

Although the decision was welcome, the government’s long-awaited decision, which comes after months of campaigning by Newham Council, was delayed meaning a gap of two to three months will exist between the old scheme and the new one.

Pete Brierley said:

“We’re really pleased that Alok Sharma has largely accepted the scheme and want to thank him for listening to the concerns of London Citizens members who consistently hear shocking stories of landlord abuses from across London. It’s great that Newham can now proceed.”

Whilst we welcome the decision on Newham, it is just one London borough and we remain keen to meet his team to discuss whether they will accept other licensing schemes put forward by Councils across London and recognise that this problem is far more widespread in the capital than is currently being addressed by selective licensing schemes already in place.”



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West Ham United Football Club joins Living Wage movement


Picture shows: Lola McEvoy, Living Wage Foundation,Tara Warren, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, West Ham United and Stuart Wright, Chair of Living Wage Advisory Council, who joined Citizens UK leaders and West Ham staff to celebrate accreditation of the football club as a living wage employer.


West Ham United Football Club vice-chairman Karren Brady announces the club is joining the Living Wage movement

Living Wage campaigners at Citizens UK today celebrated the news that West Ham United became an accredited London Living Wage payer at a ceremony at London Stadium this morning.

The Hammers become the third Premier League club to be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, after Chelsea and Everton.

 The commitment sees everyone at West Ham United, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third party contracted staff, receive a minimum hourly rate of £10.20, significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.50 per hour.

The Hammers have been paying all permanent employees at the level of the London Living Wage since 1 June 2015, but previously could not be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation due to some London Stadium staff not receiving the London Living Wage. 

London Stadium’s owners have now committed to pay their employees the London Living Wage and are working on setting a timeline to uplift staff wages, which means that West Ham United can now be officially accredited.  TELCO, the East London branch of Citizens UK is working with London stadium workers employed by third party contractors at the venue to confirm the timeline on their own pay increase to London living wage. This was promised earlier this year by the London Stadium following the Mayor of London’s intervention in support of low paid cleaners working there.

The Living Wage campaign is an independent movement that originates from east London, which is supported by businesses, organisations and people who believe 'a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay'. 

The aim of the movement is to provide an ethical benchmark for responsible pay, and employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis 

The London Living Wage is independently calculated every year based on what employees and their families need to get by. The calculation is based on a social consensus of what people need for a decent standard of living and to participate fully in society, including things like housing, transport to work and heating, but also enough for small birthday celebration or a trip to the cinema.

 West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady said, “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the Living Wage Foundation’s seal of approval as an accredited London Living Wage employer, and hope to act as a good example for all other Premier League clubs and big businesses in London.

“The Living Wage Foundation accreditation is something we have been working towards for a long time, including lobbying the Mayor to help encourage our landlords to commit to paying a fair day’s pay, and we are over the moon to now be in a position where we can finally become a recognised Living Wage employer.

“The football club isn’t just made up of the 11 players on the pitch, and by making this commitment we hope to ensure that West Ham United continues be a place where the best talents want to ply their trade, and London Stadium, Rush Green and Chadwell Heath are environments in which they can achieve their goals. 

"We recognise the contribution of each and every employee at the club, and rewarding and retaining our staff is a major part of that. We take pride in the way we conduct ourselves as an organisation on and off the pitch and by doing the right thing and paying the London Living Wage, we hope this will urge other clubs to soon follow suit.”



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We are very proud of what we have achieved in three years. Take a look for yourself...


Tyne and Wear Citizens Founding assembly attended by 1,000 people

The November founding assembly of Tyne and Wear Citizens was a huge success and we'd like to thank all of our founding partners for making it such a special event.  Nearly 1,000 people from across the region came together to negotiate with political, business and public sector decision-makers on how we can tackle issues affecting our communities ranging from mental health, poverty and hate crime. Watch the video created to open the assembly:

Follow our Facebook page for more regular updates: facebook.com/TyneWearCitizens/

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"They made me feel my dreams are important"


Last month, 120 students from six London-based schools and colleges attended skills build training sessions with Citizens UK’s Good Jobs Campaign team at J.P. Morgan’s offices in Blackfriars.







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Citizens UK’s Safe Passage programme to become an independent organisation

The Safe Passage project, established in 2015 by Citizens UK as a partnership between community organisers, lawyers and faith leaders, will separate from Citizens UK in 2018 and become an independent organisation.

Citizens UK Trustees were advised by a panel of independent assessors that it is in the best interests of both bodies to separate to pursue future objectives. This is due to both the international expansion of the Safe Passage project, and the subsequent differences between the missions of the two organisations. Safe Passage is now operational in Greece, France, Italy and Belgium, as well as the UK.

Since its inception, the Safe Passage project has opened safe and legal routes through which have over 1,000 refugee children have travelled safely to sanctuary. Using a unique mix of advocacy, legal work and field work, the ground-breaking project has opened routes not only to the UK, but also to other countries in Europe. Its achievements have been recognised and rewarded with the Liberty Human Rights Award, the European Citizens’ Prize and the Sheila McKechnie Award.


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Bishops and community leaders urge politicians to get tough with developers on affordable homes

London Bishops and 100 community leaders today released an open letter calling on Secretary of State Sajid Javid to get tougher with supermarket developers who are proposing staggeringly low numbers of affordable housing in new developments and are tying up Councils with expensive legal appeals.

Signatories include the Bishops of Croydon, Stepney, Edmonton, Woolwich and Barking, as well as leaders from the Salvation Army, Methodists, Liberal Synagogues, Islamic Centres and schools and Universities across London.


Picture shows London Citizens' leaders: Rabbi Janet Darley, Father Sean Connolly, Reverend Angus Ritchie and Janet Emmanual, with the letter at the housing assembly on Wednesday 

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Heathrow becomes first Living Wage airport with 3,200 workers set for a Living Wage pay rise

• The Living Wage Foundation announces new UK Living Wage of £8.75 per hour, an increase of 30p per hour
• Mayor Sadiq Khan announces new London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour, an increase of 45p per hour
• The UK rate is £1.25 per hour more than the minimum wage (for over 25s) and the London Living Wage is £2.70 more an hour
• Today, Heathrow Airport becomes the 1st airport in the UK to sign up as a Living Wage Employer (see attached press release)
• Heathrow join more than 3,600 Living Wage employers across the UK and 1,000+ in London


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London faith and community leaders take action on bad landlords

The Bishops of Barking, Edmonton, Stepney, Croydon and Woolwich today co-signed aletter being delivered to Housing Minister Alok Sharma asking him to approve a pioneering property licencing scheme in Newham which is protecting vulnerable tenants from bad and criminal landlords. A decision is imminent, and without backing from Housing Minister Alok Sharma, the scheme cannot roll further, setting a precedent for the rest of London.


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Premier League Clubs in Living Wage Shame Despite £3.6bn Turnover



UPDATE Dec 2017: We're pleased to announce that West Ham United football club has now joined Chelsea and Everton as a accredited Living Wage Employer. So a big thanks and congratulations to West Ham for being the third club to accredit.

The pressure is paying off. Please do get in touch via email, Facebook and Twitter with other football clubs to ask them to follow suit!


On the eve of Living Wage Week community organising charity Citizens UK is launching a Low Pay League Table to highlight the grotesque inequality in football. Stadium workers at 18 of the 20 Premier League clubs are earning less than the real Living Wage - despite the clubs having annual turnovers of hundreds of millions of pounds.

 The staff affected include cleaners, security guards, and caterers with some earning less than £7.00 per hour, with under 25s as little as £6.50 per hour - significantly less than the real Living Wage of £8.45 per hour which is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation to reflect the true cost of living in the UK.

 Astonishingly, it would take one of these workers over 20 years to earn the £290,000 Man Utd striker Paul Pogba earns in one week. At Arsenal, Mezut Ozil, earning £190,000 a week, makes more in 45 minutes than a full-time steward on £7.00 an hour would make in a month.*  At many clubs third party contractors on pay as low as £7.00 an hour outnumber the clubs own staff, who are often paid higher salaries.

 In response to this, Citizens UK is launching a national campaign aimed at encouraging all clubs to end this inequality and pay all their staff a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living.

The campaign launches Friday 27th October with an action at Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane Stadium. Living Wage campaigners and Tottenham residents from London Citizens, the London branch of Citizens UK, will hand in a letter to executive chairwoman Donna-Maria Cullen to request a meeting to discuss accrediting as a Living Wage employer.

Tottenham, one of the Premier League’s wealthiest clubs, with a turnover of £196 million, broke their transfer record this summer with £42 million spent on 21-year-old defender Davinson Sanchez.


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