“Tory councillors give themselves 300% pay hikes in homelessness hotspot”

“Tory councillors have awarded themselves pay rises of more than 300% in an area blighted by homelessness and food banks.

Matt Dormer, the Conservative leader of Redditch Borough Council agreed to a whopping 150% pay rise for himself.

And councillors with special responsibilities will get an extra £5,000 – a staggering 326% pay increase.

The Tories took control of the council last May and are in charge of their own pay for the first time in years.

Labour had previously frozen pay for a decade and its councillors voted against the new rises.

One said: “At the first opportunity these greedy ***** have taken money from council tax to put in their own, in some case already fat, wallets.”

Another councillor was so horrified she wheeled a trolley into the council chamber containing items destined for a food bank.

A source said: “It was a way of pointing out the absurdity of giving themselves more cash when there are people literally starving.” …

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-councillors-give-themselves-300-14065345

“More than a million public sector workers on less than ‘real’ Living Wage”

“Nearly 1.2 million public sector workers are paid less than the “real” Living Wage, campaigners reveal today.

Some 638,000 local government and council workers, including 389,000 directly-employed staff and 249,000 with third-party outsourcing firms, earn less than £9 an hour or £10.55 in London, according to Smith Institute data for the Living Wage Foundation.

Another 335,000 health workers, including 204,000 directly-employed staff and 131,000 with outsourcing companies, pocket less than the minimum experts say is needed for a decent stand of living.

The tally also includes 98,000 university workers, 60,000 of whom are directly employed by institutions.

The 1.2 million army of low-paid workers perform vital roles such as cleaning, catering and security at public building across the country.

Other workers earning less than the Living Wage include teaching assistants, caretakers, maintenance workers, binmen, sports centre staff and nursery nurses. …”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/more-million-public-sector-workers-14061351

Taylor Wimpey making nearly as much profit as Persimmon (£811 m)

“… The strong results came a day after rival Persimmon reported a £1.09bn profit for last year, the biggest ever made by a UK housebuilder. For every home sold, Persimmon made a profit of £66,265, compared with £53,073 at Taylor Wimpey.

Housebuilders have profited hugely over the past five years from the taxpayer funded help-to buy-scheme, which allows buyers to put down a deposit of as little as 5% on a new build home, while the government lends the buyer up to 20% of the value of the property (40% in London), interest free for the first five years.

More than a third of the homes sold by Taylor Wimpey last year were through the scheme, at 36%, although this was less than the 43% in 2017. The average price of a private home sold by the company was £302,000 – up 2% – while the overall average selling price, including social housing, was flat at £264,000.

Taylor Wimpey’s profits have trebled since the beginning of help-to-buy in 2013. It defended use of the scheme, noting that 77% of sales made through it were to first-time-buyers.

Greg Beales, campaign director at Shelter, said: “Taylor Wimpey joins Persimmon as the next developer making massive profits funded by taxpayer cash whilst doing very little to address the housing crisis in this country….”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/27/taylor-wimpey-reports-811m-in-profits-boosted-by-help-to-buy

Large part of Seaton now in Branscombe and Beer electoral district!

Beer and Branscombe

Previous Beer and Branscombe District wards combined with part of the previous Seaton District ward. New part is called Beer Road.

Properties moved from Seaton to the Beer Road register:

Alleyn Court
Beer Hill
Part of Beer Road (53 properties)
Part of Castle Hill (10 properties)
Durley Road
Part of Fremington Road (18 properties)
Highcliffe Close
Highcliffe Crescent
Part of Marlpit Lane (19 properties)
Previous Beer Road
Paddock Close
Wessiters
West Acres
Westcliffe Terrace

This means that western Seaton will actually be considered an adjunct to Beer and Branscombe and will NOT be represented by “Seaton” councillors and people on the same road will have different councillors depending on which part of the road they live on! And those councillors for western Seaton will have far more voters in Beer and Branscombe!

Madness …

“Rich getting richer while poor get poorer, official figures show – with ‘Brexit and benefits freeze to blame’ “

“The rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer, according to official statistics, dealing a heavy blow to Theresa May’s claim to be tackling “burning injustices”.

They showed the incomes of the richest fifth of households grew by 4.7 per cent last year – while the incomes of the poorest fifth of households fell by 1.6 per cent.

The respected Resolution Foundation thinktank blamed the controversial freeze on benefit levels, adding to problems caused by higher inflation following the Brexit referendum. …”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/inequality-benefits-freeze-ons-brexit-theresa-may-labour-austerity-a8797416.html