Rosie Cooper MP

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west-lancashire.jpgWest Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has expressed her disappointment with West Lancashire coming in the top five list of living wage blackspots according to the Trades Union Council (TUC). The TUC’s Fair pay fortnight ran from 16 February to 1 March.

In some parts of the Northwest two in every five jobs (42.1 per cent) are paying less than the living wage, the TUC has revealed as part of the Fair Pay Fortnight.

TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library shows that nationally on average one in five jobs pays under the living wage – currently set at £9.15 in London and £7.85 across the rest of the UK – but in some parliamentary constituencies many more people working there earn less than this.

Across Great Britain, more than five million people get paid less than the living wage. However here in the North West that figure rises to nearer one in four and in some parts is much higher. Blackpool South tops the list of living wage black spots in the North West, with 42.1 per cent of the jobs based there paying less than the living wage. This is followed by Heywood and Middleton (39.8 per cent), South Ribble (38.1 per cent), West Lancashire (37.7 per cent) and Leigh (36.7 per cent). Both Blackpool South and Heywood and Middleton feature in the top 10 of living wage black spots nationally, 7th and 9th respectively.

For working women the picture is even bleaker. Across the UK, 26.6 per cent of women are paid below the living wage, rising to 28.9 per cent here in the North West. In constituencies across the region, again the figure is much higher. In both Heywood & Middleton and Blackpool South, more than half of women are paid less than the living wage (53.9 per cent and 50.7 per cent respectively), followed by Leigh (49.1 per cent), West Lancashire (48.3 per cent) and South Ribble (47.9%). Three North West constituencies feature in the top 10 this time, Heywood and Middleton is 5th, Blackpool South is 7th and Leigh is 10th.

At the other end of the income scale, in some parts of the North West workers fare much better. Just 12.4 per cent of jobs in Blackley and Broughton pay less than the living wage, followed by Salford and Eccles (12.7 per cent), Manchester Central (15.6 per cent), and Crewe and Nantwich (16.5 per cent).

MP Rosie said:
“It is disappointing to see West Lancashire near the top of the list of living wage blackspots.

“I have campaigned in recent times for gender pay gap transparency and have been actively campaigning for the closing of the gender pay gap.

“There are far too many hard-working families in West Lancashire who despite being in work still find it difficult to make ends meet. High prices and falling real wages add pressure to the cost of living, which is why I am backing action to secure a living wage.

“We need to build on the national minimum wage to ensure that paid work keeps pace with the cost of living and therefore can ensure those in work are able to live, not just merely survive.”

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said:
“Extending the living wage is a vital step towards tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty here in the North West and Britain as a whole.

“Working families have experienced the biggest squeeze on their living standards since Victorian times, and these living wage figures show that women have been hit the hardest.

“Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom, and it’s time that the government and employers recognised that Britain Needs a Pay Rise. Without action on pay and the living wage it will take years to get spending power back into our economy.

“The number of living wage employers are growing rapidly, which is great news and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers to sign up and pay it.

“But we need to see a far wider commitment to pay the living wage from government, employers and modern wages councils – to drive up productivity and set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.”

Rosie Cooper MP unhappy with West Lancashire living wage blackspot

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has expressed her disappointment with West Lancashire coming in the top five list of living wage blackspots according to the Trades Union Council (TUC). The TUC’s Fair...

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is seeking the installation of more electric car charging bays across West Lancashire.

The issue has come to light after a constituent who owns electric vehicles contacted Rosie to raise the issue of the lack of charging bays in West Lancashire.

MP Rosie has written to Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council to highlight the issue and ask that the councils look at installing more charging bays.

Rosie has also written to supermarket chains Tesco and Asda who both have large stores and car parks in the area.

Whilst the supermarkets are still some way off offering charging bays at their stores in West Lancashire, West Lancashire Borough Council have confirmed that they will be installing three charging points across the borough.

Lancashire County Council have also responded positively with their sights set on bidding for some of the £500m of government funding made available to support the Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle market, with record sales of electric cars now being recorded.

MP Rosie said:
“Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles sales are now over 1% and rising, but at the moment there are very few places to recharge the vehicle.

“More needs to be done to support drivers who are choosing to drive vehicles with lower emissions.

“It is encouraging to hear that Lancashire County Council is looking at ways of providing a network of charging points, and that further funding could be secured through new investment, which it will be bidding for.

“Whilst it is unfortunate that Tesco and Asda cannot confirm the installation of charging bays at their stores in the near future, it is great to hear that West Lancashire Borough Council will be installing charging points.”

Rosie Cooper MP campaigns to increase electric car charging bays in West Lancashire

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is seeking the installation of more electric car charging bays across West Lancashire.The issue has come to light after a constituent who owns electric vehicles contacted Rosie...

Rosie_Cooper_MP_at_Aughton_St_Michael's_with_Chair_of_Governors_Mr_Denis_O'Brien__Isaac_Wood_Y2__Layla_Bell_Y1__Holly_King_Y2__Joshua_Trew_Y1_and_Headteacher_Mrs_Fiona_Cottam.jpgWest Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper visited Aughton St Michael’s CE Primary School to meet with the Headteacher, Fiona Cottam, Chair of Governors, Denis O’Brien, and pupils.

Rosie was given a tour of the school meeting each class, and hearing of the success of the chess-playing pupils. Aughton St Michael’s is the top ranked state school in the country for chess and have just hosted the Ormskirk District Schools’ Chess Tournament.

MP Rosie’s visit also coincided with the school’s Wear Red/Green Day, where students had organised a non-uniform day to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and the Ebola Fund, helping to prevent the spread of the disease.

The children organising the non-uniform day raised £250 to share between the two charities.

MP Rosie said:
“It was a pleasure to be shown around the school and the grounds of St Michael’s School by Headteacher Fiona and Chair of Governors Denis.

“I always enjoy visiting schools in West Lancashire, seeing the lovely grounds and hearing of the incredible achievements of the pupils and projects our young people are working on.

“The selflessness and empathy of these young children was on show during their non-uniform day whilst raising money for charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the fight against Ebola.

“While only recently, all three of the school’s teams from under-9 and under-11 age groups qualified for the National Primary Schools’ Chess Competition.

“I would like to thank Fiona and Denis, and all the children who spoke with me on my visit, for making it a pleasant trip and I wish all the pupils sitting their SATs the very best of luck and to those competing in the upcoming chess competitions.”

Chair of Governors Mr Denis O’Brien said:
“I am glad our MP Rosie Cooper accepted my invitation to visit us here at the school. I was keen to show her around and let her experience the warm, friendly atmosphere at Aughton St Michael’s.”

Headteacher Mrs Fiona Cottam said:
“We got to show Rosie around the school, on the day of a charity drive by our pupils and tell her of recent success in our inter-school chess competitions. We hope Rosie enjoyed the visit.”

Rosie Cooper MP visits Aughton St Michael’s School

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper visited Aughton St Michael’s CE Primary School to meet with the Headteacher, Fiona Cottam, Chair of Governors, Denis O’Brien, and pupils. Rosie was given a tour of...

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