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Boston & Skegness Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidiate Paul Kenny was delighted to join his GMB colleagues on the national march in London on 18th October 2014

ATT00001Boston & Skegness Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidiate Paul Kenny was delighted to join his GMB colleagues on the national march in London on 18th October 2014.  Paul accompanied Jim Clark, Mid Lincs GMB branch secretary; GMB officer David Shamma;  Cllr Paul Goodale; and Ben Cook, who will be standing as a Labour candidate for Boston Borough Council  at the local elections in May. Paul joined the march – Britain needs a pay rise – because he believes that workers in Boston and Skegness are not getting a fair days pay under the present Tory government. He also believes that the minimum wage should be at least £8 an hour, and that is one of his campaign messages for the election in 2015.

Posted on October 21, 2014 8:39 am by Paul Gleeson

The Party of the many, not the few

Paul KennyPaul Kenny Labours Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Boston & Skegness welcomes Ed Miliband’s recent speech where he set out Labours approach.

“When I became leader of the Labour party four years ago, I challenged us to defy precedent by being just a one-term opposition.

Today, I believe we can fulfil that ambition and earn the trust of the British people again. But I also know there is much work to be done to make this happen, work I am determined we will complete over the next seven months.

For all the Conservatives’ bravado and self-congratulation at their conference, the landslide defeat in Clacton and the collapse of their vote in Heywood and Middleton have shown how far the Prime Minister is from securing the majority they crave. The recent byelections confirmed the discontent across a Britain deeply scarred by division and inequality between a privileged few and the struggles of working people from every walk of life. When the Tories insist that our country is on the right track or claim that there is no cost-of-living crisis, they just prove they are on the wrong side of the bulk of British people who know the recovery has not, for all the ministerial boasting, touched their lives.

But all this does not automatically translate to support for the Labour party. Attention has focused on Ukip as first it recruited Tory MPs and donors and now it begins to win Tory seats. Although it draws much of its support and ideology from the Conservative right, I recognise Ukip is also tapping into a seam of discontent and despair that Labour cannot – and will not – ignore. It is a sentiment that has developed over decades during which industries that used to provide decent prospects have disappeared at the same time as immigration has wrought huge changes in some communities.

People doing tough jobs, trying to provide for their families and give their children a decent shot at succeeding no longer believe they live in a country working for them. Some who feel left behind by our economy and left out of our politics have turned to Ukip in anger, while still more have grown weary about the claims made by all political leaders. Our task is to turn the despair and cynicism on which Ukip thrives into a positive force for change. We can only do so if we understand that many people are turning to Ukip because of disappointment with Conservative and Labour governments. From my first day as Labour leader, I have been clear that the next Labour government would neither just pick up where the last left off nor risk ignoring the legitimate concerns of working people.

That is why we have developed a new approach to immigration. We will neither follow the Tories in making promises they cannot keep nor try to ape Ukip by conniving with the pretence that all the problems of working people would be solved by turning our backs on Europe. Instead, we are responding to people’s concerns in hard-headed fashion: recognising how immigration has helped our country as a whole but setting out effective measures to prevent the undercutting of pay or loosening the ties that bind our communities together.

I will not cede the issue of immigration to those offering fear or falsehood. So I will continue to chart a new way forward, combining stronger border controls and laws to stop the exploitation that has undermined wages of local workers, with reforms to ensure those who come here speak English and earn the right to any benefit entitlements. Such measures are part of a compelling and credible plan for Britain’s future that will restore the values people believe in – contribution, responsibility, fairness – to the way our country is run.

We will reward hard work, which is why we are the only party committed to raising the minimum wage to £8, significantly closer to average earnings, as well as truly ending the abuse of zero-hours contracts. And our goal of raising living standards means wholesale change in the way our economy works – from bank reform and energy prices to real support for small businesses and the self-employed – so we can restore the link between family finances and the wealth of our nation.”

So on May 7th let’s support the party that supports the many not the few.

Vote Labour in Boston & Skegness

Promoted and published by Boston Labour Party on behalf of Paul Kenny, all at 17 Bradford Rd, Boston. PE21 8BJ

 

Posted on October 20, 2014 8:40 am by Paul Gleeson

LABOUR: PUTTING FANS AT THE HEART OF FOOTBALL’S FUTURE

Labour will today (Friday) unveil plans to give football fans a voice in every boardroom and buy a significant slice of the shares when the ownership of their club changes.

Clive Efford MP, Labour’s Shadow Sports Minister, will launch the proposals for the biggest legislative shake-up in the governance of English and Welsh football clubs since the advent of the game.

The plan, which has been drawn up in consultation with 95 football supporters’ organisations, would require supporters to come together to form a single accredited trust in return for the right to:

  • appoint and remove up to a quarter and not less than two of a football club’s board of directors;
  • purchase up to 10 per cent of the shares when a club changes ownership, if they so wish.

Supporters have told us that this is the only way to ensure those running clubs share information, power and responsibility with them. Labour’s proposals mean fans  could hold the owners of their club to account on all issues on and off the field including ticket prices, shirt sponsorship, ground naming rights, and changing the colour of the strip or the name.

Labour will now consult further on the detail of these proposals with supporters.

Clive Efford MP, Shadow Sports Minister said:

“Too often fans are treated like an after-thought as ticket prices are hiked-up, grounds re-located and clubs burdened with debt or the threat of bankruptcy.  Only this week, the BBC’s Price of football survey showed how average prices have risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011. We have reached a tipping point in the way football is run.

“The Labour Party has listened to the views of fans about changing the way football is run in England and Wales. And we want to ensure they are heard by the owners of the clubs too.  We will now consult further on proposals to enshrine on the statute books the idea that football have a special place in people’s hearts – and should be the heart of our communities.”

Jon Cruddas MP, head of Labour’s Policy Review, said:

“The Premier League is a huge success. But football is more than a business. Football clubs are part of people’s identity and sense of belonging. Our plan is to give fans a stake in their clubs. Labour believes in sharing power and responsibility with people, and giving football fans a voice is part of our plan to change our country by devolving power to our cities,  towns and communities. We believe in a society that gives power to people.”

Background:

In the last two decades English and Welsh football has undergone a transformation in terms of its commercial success, and in the quality of football and the experience of the spectator.

The Premier League is a hugely successful product, both in footballing terms, but also commercially. But football is more than a business: football clubs are rooted in people’s communities and they are an important part of many people’s identity and sense of belonging. They also have a vital function to play in local economies.

Despite their importance in the lives and communities of their supporters there are no effective means for fans to have a say in how their clubs are run or to safeguard their long term interests.

This lack of accountability has led to:

  • Supporters’ interests and identity being ignored: from clubs being relocated away from fan-bases (Coventry) to team colours and names being changed to satisfy traditions on the other side of the globe (Cardiff, Hull);
  • Debt and insolvency: which have seen some of our oldest football clubs (Portsmouth, Leeds, Birmingham) forced into administration. 36 football league clubs (exactly half the total number of members) have gone into administration since 1992;
  • Unsustainably high ticket prices: despite record turnover, average ticket prices in England and Wales remain amongst the highest in Europe – only this week, the BBC’s Price of football survey showed how average prices have risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011.

Policy detail:

Right to appoint up to a quarter or a minimum of two of the directors

Labour would legislate to give a legally enforceable right to the Supporters Trust to appoint and remove up to one quarter and not less than two of the members of the Board of Directors.

This would be underpinned by the right to obtain (under an obligation of confidentiality) financial and commercial information about the business and affairs of a football club.

Supporters would not be able to block takeovers or change corporate strategy.

The option of up to 10 per cent of share ownership

The buyer acquiring control of the club (defined at a 30 per cent level) would be required to offer the Supporters Trust up to ten per cent of the shares they were buying in that transaction at the average price paid by the buyer for relevant securities in the year proceeding the change of control. That offer would be open for acceptance for not less than 240 days but the completion of the change in control could happen in the meantime.

This automatic option would be capped once a Trust had acquired 10 per cent of the club’s shares, though that would not prevent the Trust from buying more shares if it wanted.

Accredited Supporters’ Trusts

The legislation would contain provisions requiring Supporters Trusts to become Industrial and Provident Societies. They would be accredited to an umbrella body and would be required to meet certain governance standards, including a compliant constitution, the election of a Board with one member one vote, and provision for membership fees.

The umbrella body would be required to offer training to supporters before taking up positions on Boards.

We have received expert legal advice that these reforms are compatible with European law.

 

Posted on October 17, 2014 8:42 am by Paul Gleeson

Lord Freud – This attempt at an apology is not the end of the matter

A Labour Party Spokesperson said:

“This attempt at an apology is not the end of the matter. Lord Freud claims he merely accepted ‘the premise of the question’ but it was he who said some disabled people are ‘not worth the full wage’ and it was he who suggested paying people just £2 an hour. In fact he said he would go away to look at this issue, suggesting that this Government would consider it.

“Someone holding these views shouldn’t be in government. Disability charities have already condemned Lord Freud’s comments in the strongest possible terms, senior Tories have called for Lord Freud to resign, a ministerial colleague has said these words will ‘haunt him’, yet David Cameron has so far failed to act.

“If David Cameron continues to keep Lord Freud in his government we will have yet more proof of how he stands for just a privileged few at the top.”

Posted on October 16, 2014 8:46 am by Paul Gleeson

Let’s see the living wage being introduced into Boston Borough Council

Boston’s Labour councillors are calling upon Boston’s Conservative councillors to introduce the living wage to all of Boston Borough Councils staff as we believe in this day and age that employees should be paid enough money so they don’t have to rely on benefits to top up their wages. That is why we believe that £7.65 is the right amount of money that should be the minimum rate paid per hour.

The people we include in this are the people that empty our bins, clean our streets, buildings and public toilets. They deserve to be respected with a good and decent wage. We are sure that our senior officers would support this basic principle. We all know that if you pay your staff a decent wage that you get respect and a better staff moral from the workers.

The living wage is not a new concept in local government. There are many other local authorities such as North Kesteven who already pay all their staff at least the living wage. So if that conservative authority can do it – why can’t Boston? We will continue to campaign for the living wage to be introduced into Boston Borough Council. We are heartened to hear the news that people are now talking about the minimum wage being increased up to £8 an hour by 2020 under a Labour government and we welcome this move. We recognise that there are a lot of hard working families in Boston and they deserve a fair days wage for a fair days work.

Posted on October 15, 2014 8:36 am by Paul Gleeson

Ministers need to listen to calls for reforms to the Modern Slavery Bill

cooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the Home Office announcement that action on slavery in supply chains will be included in the Modern Slavery Bill, said:

“At long last the Government has recognised that more should be done on international business supply chains to stop slavery. We have been calling for stronger action from the start and we will look at the detailed proposals to make sure they go far enough. Reports of people being forced to work for no money, beaten and threatened with violence in the supply chain of products destined for UK shop shelves have shocked us all, and action is needed to protect human rights and promote ethical business.

“Ministers also need to listen to calls for other reforms to the Modern Slavery Bill including stronger measures to protect trafficked children and outlaw exploitation.”

Posted on October 14, 2014 8:29 am by Paul Gleeson

Payday loans force more people into ever increasing debt.

The number of people struggling with payday loans has risen by 42% in the past year, according to a debt charity. The charity StepChange is asking the City regulator to take further action to protect consumers who suffer from such financial hardship. It said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should impose an even stricter cap on payday loan costs. The FCA said it would study the idea, along with all the other responses to its recent consultation.

StepChange’s latest figures suggest the number of people getting into difficulty as a result of payday loans is continuing to increase. In the first half of 2014 it dealt with 43,716 consumers who were in trouble. That compares with 30,762 in the same period last year. The FCA is already consulting on plans to cap the costs of payday loans. It has proposed, for example, that no one should have to pay back more than twice the original amount they borrowed.

But StepChange said that the proposed cost cap should be tougher. The FCA has also suggested a fixed fee of £15 if someone defaults on repayments. StepChange said the maximum should be £12, to bring it in line with default charges on credit cards. StepChange said it also wanted the FCA to examine other lending markets, including overdrafts, logbook loans, and doorstep lending. The FCA said research into those areas was already underway, and it could not comment further. The consultation on a cap for payday loan costs closed recently. The FCA will make a final announcement on the size of the cap later in the autumn, and it will take effect in January 2015.

Boston & Skegness Labour PPC Paul Kenny has become very aware of the debt problems in our town. He praises Boston CAB for all the work they do in trying to help people with debt issues but condemn the way our Tory councillors have capped the discretionary rates relief for low income working families and now make them pay 25% of the bill. These are the kind of measures which force people to get embroiled in payday loans. Not the kind of way you expect your local councillors to act. But that’s the way the Tories act in Boston.

Posted on October 13, 2014 9:44 am by Paul Gleeson

CMA proposals for payday lending – response from Cathy Jamieson

jamiesonCathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, responding to Competition and Market Authority proposals for payday lending, said:

“Labour has consistently called for greater competition and more transparency across retail finance, including in the payday loan market. Pay day lenders must clearly state the interest, fees and charges associated with their products, to allow customers to make an informed choice.

“However, we believe that more should be done. A Labour Government will extend the levy on the profits of payday lenders and use the additional money to double the level of Government funding for credit unions.”

Posted on October 10, 2014 9:34 am by Paul Gleeson

Emma Reynolds response to Shelter’s ‘Rent Trap’ research

emma reynoldsEmma Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, responding to research from Shelter on the ‘Rent Trap’ which shows 66 per cent of people can’t afford to save to buy a home after paying their rent, said:

“For a whole generation of young people and families the prospect of a decent home at a price they can afford is slipping out of reach.

“To tackle this crisis we need to build many more affordable homes but under David Cameron housebuilding has fallen to the lowest levels in peacetime since the 1920s. The Tory-led Government has also failed to reform private renting leaving 9 million renters with little hope of securing a stable home.

“Labour has a plan to build the homes our country needs, double the number of first-time buyers in the next ten years and to reform private renting by legislating for longer-term tenancies with predictable rents and a ban on letting agent fees to tenants.”

Posted on October 9, 2014 8:30 am by Paul Gleeson

Time to abolish this pointless committee

Time to abolish this pointless committee
Boston Labour Councillors have stopped attending the member’s development committee. This is a body that has little vision and are not prepared to take on issues. For example we are the only councillors who write online annual reports. We have asked the members development committee to incorporate this within the council website, and at the same time, improve the profiles of all councillors.
We believe that you should know what your councillors are doing for you and when you click on most individual councillors profiles on the website, you should be able to see what committees they have attended, which outside bodies they have attended, know how they voted on all the issues raised in council or at the committees they have attended. You should be able to see how you can contact them, what councillor surgeries they offer, what their interests are, what interests they have declared, and how much they have received in allowances.
All this information should be easily accessible on one page for each councillor. The technology is there, it is just the Tories and the other independent councillors who are not prepared to give you information about themselves. Unless they are willing to be more transparent and open, we believe it is pointless turning up at their meetings. There are no good ideas coming out of them and the committee is a waste of time. They just turn up to pat themselves on the back for the “good job” they believe they are doing. We think you deserve better!

Posted on October 8, 2014 8:26 am by Paul Gleeson