Pressure ramped up to adopt Living Wage

Coun Matthew Tomlinson. Below, Coun Margaret Smith
Coun Matthew Tomlinson. Below, Coun Margaret Smith

Pressure is being put on South Ribble Council to finally adopt the Living Wage.

This time last year, the Conservative-led council introduced a supplement to its lower-graded posts to bring them in line with the Living Wage, which is higher than minimum wage and reflects the increasing cost of living.

South Ribble Council leader Margaret Smith

South Ribble Council leader Margaret Smith

The council has now agreed to extend the policy and has increased the value to recognise the rise in the Living Wage, leading opposition councillors to question why it doesn’t just adopt the Living Wage once and for all.

Labour leader Matthew Tomlinson said at a full council meeting: “Will you not look again at becoming a Living Wage Council as over 300 other councils have already done?

“This is the second year of the supplement now and the roof hasn’t fallen in.”

Previously, the Labour group welcomed the introduction of the supplement but warned it didn’t go far enough.

They argued that there was a danger of it being withdrawn if the Living Wage rate increased.

Council leader and leader of the Conservatives, Coun Margaret Smith, responded: “Yes we are still paying the supplement and we felt at the time that it was the best way forward.

“We will always look to see if there is an advantage of going a different way.

“But personally I feel that this is the most appropriate solution.”

Currently national minimum wage is £6.5 and Living Wage is £7.85 per hour.