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On Saturday 27th February, Clifton Labour Councillors Danny Myers and Margaret Wells attended St Luke’s Church, Clifton coffee morning, to celebrate the start of Fairtrade Fortnight with local residents. St Luke’s hosts a monthly coffee morning, usually on the third Saturday of the month which includes a fair-trade goods stall, homemade cakes stand and a Clifton Ward surgery attended by Cllr Danny Myers and Cllr Margaret Wells; so that residents can meet and raise any suggestions, questions or thoughts about the local area with Councillors.

 

Fairtrade Fortnight is running from Monday 29th February until Sunday 13th March, visit http://fortnight.fairtrade.org.uk to find out more about events that are happening in York. There are over 1.5 million farmers and workers worldwide in Fairtrade certified producer organisations and over 4,500 Fairtrade products available to buy in the UK.


 

Cllr Danny Myers says:
“St Lukes are doing a very good job, it’s great to come down and socialise with a cup of tea, the fair-trade stall is brilliant and convenient for local residents to pop in and pick up some fairtrade products.


 

“We’re very supportive of Fairtrade Fortnight and the efforts of the local community around St Lukes to promote Fairtrade. From bananas to cups of tea, Fairtrade is an important global business success that tackles inequality, poverty and crime.


 

Cllr Margaret Wells says:
“It was lovely to learn more about how Fairtrade can make a real difference and we enjoy spending time talking with local residents.


 

“As Ward Councillors we are happy to help with all queries, Councillors should be easily accessible and answerable to local residents, and we intend to continue this work by supporting St Luke’s coffee morning every month.”

Clifton Ward Councillors support Fairtrade coffee morning

On Saturday 27th February, Clifton Labour Councillors Danny Myers and Margaret Wells attended St Luke’s Church, Clifton coffee morning, to celebrate the start of Fairtrade Fortnight with local residents. St...

Plans by the Government to dictate to councils how they invest money are to be debated by councillors in York this Thursday.
 
The Department for Communities and Local Government has recently consulted on moves to impose restrictive rules on councils’ investment and procurement policies.  If implemented, the changes could mean City of York Council cannot use procurement or investment policy to achieve objectives like supporting local suppliers and boosting apprenticeships.
 
Labour’s Councillor Danny Myers will propose the motion.  He said:
 
“These proposed regulations are akin to twisting the council’s arm up its back to say how we must invest money, which is the complete opposite of localism.  We are still struggling to understand how such a proposal has got this far, given that it rides roughshod over the role of local councils in reflecting the priorities of the people it serves.
 
“Local government procures around £12 billion of goods and services each year, much of it from the UK, and some from the global supply chain. It is unclear at present whether the Government’s proposals will allow Councils the power to procure contracts from ethical providers and companies that prioritise social, environmental or localised factors”.
 
It has been questioned whether under such restrictions it would have been illegal for councils to take action through their procurement and investment policies against Apartheid in South Africa.  Conservatives’ wish to control local government has led Ministers to using incendiary rhetoric against those wishing to use their investment and procurement policies to effect change, labelling them ‘municipal militancy that threatens national security’.
 
Coun. Myers continued:
 
“This is a damaging and extremely anti-democratic proposal.  I have been contacted by residents concerned that in future, local councillors may not be able to remove support and divest from industries such as fossil-fuels and tobacco, concerns that Labour councillors share. The Government could also hamper local efforts to promote the principles of fair-trade.
 
“Despite all the talk about devolution, the Conservative Government is centralising decision making when it decides that councils cannot be trusted to tow its line.  This is wrong and is why we are highlighting this important issue so that the Government’s plans are challenged before they become set in stone”. 

Government plans to block local decisions discussed in York Council

Plans by the Government to dictate to councils how they invest money are to be debated by councillors in York this Thursday.   The Department for Communities and Local Government...

Labour’s amendment to the Tory-led Coalition budget has been confirmed and will be debated by councillors at this Thursday’s budget-setting meeting.
 
Labour’s three priorities – promoting lifelong health and wellbeing, protecting  frontline services, and improving our communities and the places where we live – have guided their process in determining which Coalition cuts are reversed and where investment is made.
 
Labour’s budget amendment is based on setting a council tax increase 0.99% above the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition’s proposed budget.   This rate is consistent with the majority of councils nationally believed to be set to agree 3.99% increases, and reflects York’s public consultation result which showed a majority in favour of a council tax increase in order to protect key services.
 
The proposed extra 0.99% raises a further £720,000 in income which can be used positively for the benefit of residents.
 
Therefore the Labour budget involves no extra borrowing, and equates to an extra 20p per week, over and above the Tory-led Coalition’s budget, in council tax for a Band C property (the band which contains the most properties in York, closely followed by Band B, for which the increase would be 18p per week).
 
Labour’s finance and performance spokesperson, Coun. Neil Barnes, explains how Labour’s budget amendment will benefit residents:
 
“Our previous announcements have shown how we would protect local bus services, continue to maintain the city’s parks and ensure steps are taken to reduce the risk of surface water flooding.  They have also outlined how we will protect those in council-run care homes from expensive fee hikes, double the amount invested in supporting those experiencing mental health problems and put £200k into public health to offset the impact of Government cuts.
 
“Further measures within our budget will protect the adult learning budget, and ensure increases in ResPark charges do not apply to a household’s first car”.
 
Labour has committed £150k each to a Green Space Fund for parks and open spaces, and to invest in shopping streets in communities outside the city centre, from a transitional grant the council will receive for two years only.
 
“The ruling Coalition have made a lot of noise but provided little in the way of hard evidence to show that they have a vision for the city” adds Coun. Barnes. “This is hugely disappointing for what is supposed to be their first major defining budget. In contrast, each of Labour's proposed investments signals a strong commitment from Labour to our communities and an acknowledgment that some help is required to help boost footfall and support our local businesses”.
 
“We are keen to encourage businesses to generate their own ideas to boost the numbers shopping locally, but the council can also play its part.  And improving the standard of our parks is a sensible decision as we seek more volunteer involvement in the future”.
 
Labour’s budget also includes money to support council services which are likely to be hit harder as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit.  
 
Savings in children’s early intervention services and adult services for those with learning disabilities will be softened by transitional funding that will ease the process of making millions in savings over the next three years.
 
Labour Group Leader, Coun. Janet Looker said:
 
“I’m pleased with the budget we have produced, which reflects residents’ priorities and is realistic about the financial challenges the council faces in the coming years.  When you are losing millions of pounds, you cannot just pull the rug away in some service areas, you have to transition carefully so as not to impact residents too much.  
 
“This is a major difference in our approach to that from the Coalition, as well as in our commitment to people and the frontline services they value. Sound bites are easy, the harder route is to take sensible budget decisions such as a small council tax rise to offset the impact of Government cuts."
 
“Of course we would want to go further in protecting such services, but the huge reductions in Government funding make this impossible”.
 

York Labour submits budget amendment

Labour’s amendment to the Tory-led Coalition budget has been confirmed and will be debated by councillors at this Thursday’s budget-setting meeting.   Labour’s three priorities – promoting lifelong health and wellbeing, protecting ...

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