Last night, 30th April 2014, at the Croydon Citizens Accountability Assembly, both candidates for leader of Croydon Council, Cllr Mike Fisher and Cllr Tony Newman, agreed to accredit the council as a Living Wage Employer. Should Cllr Fisher become leader of the council, this would make Croydon the first London Conservative borough to become a Living Wage Employer.
This is brilliant news for council staff as accrediting as a Living Wage Employer means that not only will all direct staff receive the London Living Wage (currently £8.80 and hour) as a minimum, but also that there will be a plan in place for all sub-contracted staff to be paid the Living Wage. Both candidates also agreed to champion the Living Wage among local businesses agreeing to co-host an event with Croydon Citizens and 20 local businesses to promote the Living Wage and support the campaign for Living Wage jobs at the Westfield-Hammerson development.
Ismael Musoke, 18, from Coulsdon College and one of the co-chairs of the assembly, said:
“I’m really proud to be part of a team that has ensured that regardless of who wins the local election, Croydon Council will become a Living Wage Employer. We made history.”
These pledges came as part of Croydon Citizens first ever Accountability Assembly, held at Croydon College last night. Croydon Citizens is an alliance of schools and faith and community groups that work together for the common good. Following a year of listening in the community to identify the issues that were important to people, over 100 community leaders assembled to put asks to the candidates for leader of the council.
Alongside the ground-breaking Living Wage commitment other pledges including turning all public buildings, such as libraries and the Town Hall, into CitySafe Havens. This would mean that anyone who feels unsafe can seek refuge in the building. Other commitments included reviewing all pedestrian crossings in Croydon to ensure that they are safe for those with mobility difficulties, and a commitment to work with Croydon Citizens and local businesses to ensure that young people have the skills and experience to find work.
Barbara Nalumu from St Jude’s Church and one of the co-chairs of the assembly said:
“It has been a great experience for us to work with both political parties to improve our community. It shows what you can achieve when you’re organised. We look forward to working with all the elected councillors over the next term of office and thank them for their public service.”