Tagged: Kelly Atkinson

Six-point motion to scrap zero-hours contracts for Hartlepool Council workers

Twenty-two Hartlepool council workers are employed on zero hours contracts.

The number has emerged as proposals were made to scrap the deals, with five of the workers also said to be employed on other contracts with the authority.

A motion was put forward to the full council, urging it to carry out a review of the arrangements it has with workers, as well as its contractors.

It set out how within six months a series of points should be adopted, including a right to request a minimum mount of work and compensation if shifts are cancelled at short notice.

Putting Hartlepool First member David Riddle, who was among those to sign the motion, said the six bullet point suggestions were taken verbatim from Labour leader Ed Miliband’s proposals to scrap the contracts.

The motion set out that the contracts “are incompatible with building a loyal, skilled and productive workforce,” with Councillor Riddle stating they made it hard for households to plan finances.

He added he had been employed on zero hours contracts himself and took on staff using the deals in his own work.

He said: “There might be 20-odd people in that situation, but that’s 20-odd too many.”

It was also backed by fellow Putting Hartlepool First members Geoff Lilley, Steve Gibbon and Kelly Atkinson and backed by Independent Jonathan Brash.

Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher proposed an amendment to refer the matter to the council’s monitoring officer for a robust appraisal to be carried out of the policy ahead of further discussions, with members agreeing.

The Labour member said discussions had been held with trade unions and some posts within the council needed an element of flexibility among the workforce.

Councillor Paul Thompson, independent, said:

“This will be expensive, that’s why employers use them, because they know it will cost them more money.

“I know the Labour Party wants to abolish them nationally and I don’t always agree with Ed Miliband on occasions, but this is one such occasion and I agree with him.”

Source –  Hartlepool Mail,  10 Feb 2015

Hartlepool leaders call for Robin Hood tax to save town from cuts

Councillors are calling on the Government to bring in a new Robin Hood tax to reverse swingeing cuts.

A group of six Hartlepool councillors put forward a motion for the authority to support a movement calling for greater taxes on the financial sector.

Supporters say the tax will generate £20bn which could be used to fight poverty and help ordinary families.

The motion to support the tax was put forward by independent and Putting Hartlepool First councillors Jonathan Brash, Pamela Hargreaves, Paul Thompson, Kelly Atkinson, Geoff Lilley, John Lauderdale and David Riddle. It was unanimously supported by councillors at a recent full meeting of the council.

It comes just after the council learned that its funding from central government will be £8.3million less for 2015/16 than the previous year.

Hartlepool has seen £30 million less funding since 2010/11 – putting huge pressure on services.

The motion read:

“This council notes the suffering forced upon local residents as a result of this coalition government’s cuts programme and asserts that there is an alternative to its ideologically-driven attack on public services – namely the levy of a financial transaction tax on the speculative activities that have accelerated the recent enrichment of the few to the detriment of the many.

“The council therefore calls upon Government to enact the financial transaction (Robin Hood) tax and use the revenues from this measure to reverse ongoing shrinkage in central grants to our council and public services as a whole.”

The council will now write to Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, pledging their support for the tax.

It would see a 0.05 per cent tax on transactions like stocks, bonds, and foreign currency.

Council leader, Christopher Akers-Belcher, who is also chairman of the finance and policy committee, said: “I do feel it has merit.

Source – Hartlepool Mail, 30 Dec 2014