YEP Says, April 15: Now let’s see every firm pay the Living Wage

0
Have your say

COUNCIL workers will welcome the announcement that local authorities across West Yorkshire have agreed to pay the Living Wage to their employees.

COUNCIL workers will welcome the announcement that local authorities across West Yorkshire have agreed to pay the Living Wage to their employees.

The hourly rate of £7.85 has been calculated as the minimum required to ensure a reasonable quality of life.

Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield promised back in 2013 that the authority would “become a fair wage council next year”.

It didn’t happen, but now that there is finally a firm commitment it does throw up some issues. For a start, the budget cuts faced by the council mean this added expenditure will have to be carefully factored in.

Then there is the fact that the Living Wage is set by an outside organisation, meaning the authority has no control over future increases.

Yet that does not alter the fact that introducing a Living Wage is fundamentally the right thing to do – and private companies should now follow the public sector’s lead.

Evidence shows that it improves productivity and staff satisfaction – making it a good move for business. More importantly – the Living Wage affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

The main parties have stopped short of promising to make it law, but that should not stop firms from paying a fairer wage to their workers.

New lease of life for Tower Works

ORIGINALLY opened as a pin factory way back in 1864, Tower Works in Holbeck is a unique part of Leeds history.

Its three imposing chimneys are modelled on famous towers from Renaissance Italy.

This relic of Leeds’s reign as an industrial powerhouse lay derelict for a quarter of a century – but its regeneration is now central to plans for the the new south bank.

It’s great to see Tower Works get a new least of life. When Leeds is home to so many identikit buildings, it’s important that we cling on to those with heritage and character.

Even better, this should give one of them a future every bit as bright as its celebrated past.

One of the drug testing wipes which turned blue after coming into contact with traces of cocaine.

YEP Says: Shining a light on an unglamorous drugs habit