A Living Wage, a Viable Economy, a Liveable City Region

9 Nov Featured Image -- 1804

Patrick Sudlow:

Whilst Manchester has some of the worst deprivation, all Richard Leese does, is blame others. He has been behind the push to get rid of council services, by outsourcing them. This is especially true of council housing and the council’s housing staff. One social housing provider in Manchester, Places for People, has the highest paid CEO in the sector. The council outsourced a number of services to G4S, which is renown for paying less than the minimum wage

Originally posted on Steady State Manchester:

The difference between the NMW and the Living wage is around £50 per week and £2'000 per year. Which has something to do with why over 50% of those in poverty are in-work.

The difference between the NMW and the Living wage is around £50 per week and £2’000 per year. Which has something to do with why over 50% of those in poverty are in-work.

This week was Living Wage Week. The new Living Wage rate, uprated in accordance with increases in the cost of living, of £7.85ph outside London was announced. At least 21.8% of people in Greater Manchester currently earn less than it, and this is similar across the UK. To mark the event SSM, along with signatories from other Campaign groups including GMB Union, the GM Living Wage Campaign and the Green Party sent an open letter to the leaders (and city mayor) of the Greater Manchester Local Authorities.

The letter urged them to take action on in-work poverty and inequality and demonstrate a commitment to the Living Wage and principles of Fair Pay. It’s below:

Living wage letter signatory logos
Dear Leaders of…

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Global tax evasion, equality and quantitative easing…

4 Nov Featured Image -- 1801

Patrick Sudlow:

I would disagree with comment that UKIP has grown considerably. The media and especially the BBC, have given Farage and UKIP, disproportionately more publicity than they deserve. Whilst the Green Party, with an MP since 2010, a number of MEPs, control of Brighton and considerable influence in some other councils. Does not get the media response it deserves, even being denied again, a place at a leaders debate on BBC TV. It is not just Murdoch’s media empire that is an obstacle to true democracy.

Originally posted on Political Omniscience:

The Group of twenty (G20) committed to finding a global solution for tax evasion after the financial crisis, and in 2009 it agreed to make arrangements for the exchanging of tax information between tax administrations around the world. In October this year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G20 officially endorsed the automatic exchange of tax information between all OECD and G20 countries as well as major financial centres that participate in the annual meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Berlin. A status report on committed and not committed countries or jurisdictions and whether they will start reporting information in 2017 or 2018, is to be presented to G20 leaders during the annual summit held in Brisbane in less than two weeks. Australia along with thirty-eight other countries that include China, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong have…

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Was Plebgate linked to corruption in Mitchell’s foreign aid dept?

27 Oct

Patrick Sudlow:

It is a pity no one has fully investigated Manchester City Council’s inability to properly account for the millions of EU grant money it received? Especially as local communities have been torn apart, simply to allow property developers to enrich themselves, whilst not delivering what they had been contracted to deliver. It does not help, that the EU left Neil Kinnock (former leader of the Labour Party) in charge of the anti-corruption department, despite he, himself being implicated in corruption. The chief investigator in the department did produce a report into the corruption in the EU, to be only sacked.

Originally posted on The SKWAWKBOX Blog:

Very interesting reading, this article – backed by testimony to both the UK and European parliaments.

Mitchell is apparently spending huge amounts of money trying to whitewash himself of the abuse of police officers that led to the ‘plebgate’ scandal (which may not be what you think). But what’s underneath doesn’t wash.

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Manchester’s property bubble

8 Oct

Richard Leese, leader of the totally Labour-controlled Manchester City Council, along with the Council’s Chief Executive, Howard Bernstein.  Are constantly promoting the need for more offices, hotels, retail units and ‘homes-to-buy’, despite the fact we have a surplus.  In other words, supply exceeds demand by some considerable margin, which any visitor to Manchester can easily observe.

In a recent copy of Commercial Property Register, North West, June – Sept 2014.  It can be easily determined we have an excess of office space.  Meanwhile, in the Hotel sector, they are boasting of exceptional hotel occupancy rates.  From the Business News, 2nd October 2014:

In the first eight months of 2014 the city centre had an average occupancy rate of 76% – a figure previously unmatched at this point in the year since records began. This figure has been sustained by record weekday rates (75% average YTD) and strong performing weekend rates (81% average YTD).

In April of this year, the Manchester Evening News published an article about the record occupation rates.  Claiming there were three days where the occupancy rate was at 98%.  This still allows for some slack, and with the average year to date (YTD) figures of 75% weekdays and 81%.  There is still plenty of room at the inn, so why is there any real need for more hotels to be built?  1 in 4 empty rooms during weekdays and 1 in 5 empty at weekends, how is this economical?  If the hotel business was so vibrant and profitable, why did Forte Hotels, put Salford’s 5=star hotel, The Lowry Hotel, up for sale.  Especially it sit across the River Irwell, from Manchester City Centre.  Some of the rooms presently occupied, will be occupied by contractors working on all this new build.

From Homes from Empty Homes:

Current Empty Homes Statistics

The data is obtained from council tax information.  The data is supplied by owners of empty homes who report their properties as empty to their council. Councils usually offer exemptions from council tax for empty homes, which gives an incentive for owners to report thier property as empty.Click here for a detailed regional breakdown.

In 2013, the figures for Manchester were, 209,138 total dwellings, of which 5,399, 2.58% were empty, whilst 2,780, 1.33% were long term empty.  So why is Manchester City Council still pursuing a policy of demolishing perfectly fit council homes?  Only to build more ‘homes-to-buy’, nobody can afford.  As well as wasting council revenues on pursuing compulsory purchase orders (CPOs)?  Just so that some speculators can enrich themselves?  The council now videos their council meetings, which people may find either amusing or pathetic, especially as a number of important documents were not available, allegedly

Manchester’s emissions

5 Oct

Manchester City Council recently published their latest State of the City 2013 – 14 report.  Nowadays, the council does not show comparisons between the different wards.  Except for a vague consultation of people’s satisfaction with life and how people from different ethnic backgrounds, from 2010.  Is this because the comparison between different wards, shows that the worst performing wards, are those of the senior councillors, Richard Leese (Crumpsall), Pat Karney (Harpurhey) and Rosa Battle (Bradford) for example.  I have heard a story, that Donna Ludford, the replacement for Jim Battle (ex-Deputy Leader (Ancoats) and now deputy Police Commissioner), has had her friends telling people she is no longer a councillor.  It would appear, she is feeling the pressure from the people of Ancoats who are totally dissatisfied with the performance of Manchester City Council.

My initial interest in the council’s report was in their section on the Environment and Climate Change, pages 148 to 155.  They do admit that the annual objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) have been exceeded.  They try to give the impression that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions have fallen in Manchester since 2005 by 16.1%.  They have in reality fallen by only 10%, having risen from 2,745.2 in  2011, to 2,944.8 in 2012: Manchester’s emissions.  They do not put a link to the Department of Environment and Climate Change’s (DECC), Local Authority Carbon Dioxide emissions which was published 26th June 2014.  Instead, they used outdated information, stating 2012 data would be available in the summer of 2014.  Why did they not delay publication of the more update data was available?  And of course, these emissions are only estimation, and could an under-estimation of the real emissions, especially as emissions due to aviation are not included.

Manchester City Council seem unable to properly account for their on energy usage, therefore are unable to accurately estimate their own emissions.  From what I constantly observe walking around Manchester, is the amount of wasted energy on the part of Manchester City Council.

2013-12-30 23.24.34

Manchester Central Library, at 23:34hrs, when it was shut to the public and no work was being carried out on it.

Manchester Town Hall annexe at 00:55hrs, whilst no work being carried out.

Manchester Town Hall annexe at 00:55hrs, whilst no work being carried out.

Manchester Central Conference Centre at 01:00hrs.

Manchester Central Conference Centre at 01:00hrs.

Manchester suffers from some of the worst health outcomes with residents having a low ‘good’ general health expectation and a low life expectancy.   These are indications that Manchester City Council has failed totally, in addressing major issues that negatively impact on Mancuians.  Despite all their hype, they have failed time and again and Manchester has not been resilient to climate change.

What is a bedroom – There is a minimum size and specification…from the coalition

16 Sep

Patrick Sudlow:

All those affected by the ‘bed-room tax’, should read this and appeal the decision.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

This coalition government DO have a minimum room size and minimum room width and a detailed specification of what constitutes a bedroom and below is a game changer in the bedroom tax and especially in appealing this ill-conceived policy.

In the bedroom tax everything hinges on the term ‘bedroom’ as Housing Benefit is only reduced (the ‘bedroom tax’) if you have a spare bedroom. Nothing is deducted for a spare toilet or any other spare room, it is only on a spare bedroom, however defined.

Until now it has been believed there is no definition of the term bedroom and the DWP infamously issued the U6 HB circular in September 2013 to say a bedroom is merely a room that can accommodate a single bed.

Yet in August 2013 this coalition government put out a highly detailed definition of what is a single bedroom, a twin bedroom and a double bedroom.  A single bedroom…

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Margaret Hodge attempts to talk her way out of Islington paedophile scandal

5 Sep

Patrick Sudlow:

Child abuse was known about in the 1990s, for a Minister to state it was not understood, is diabolical. There was wide-spread political cover-ups of the situation, country-wide. My sister reported a manager in a children’s hostel, of suspected child grooming. Only for her to be moved to housing and for no action to be taken by Labour-controlled Manchester City Council! And Manchester City Council’s Children’s Services are still inadequate, leaving children vulnerable to child abuse; Manchester’s children put at risk

Originally posted on spotlight:

In yesterday’s Guardian, Margaret Hodge spoke about her time as leader of Islington Council, when it was proved that a paedophile network had been sexually abusing vulnerable children in every one of the council’s children’s homes.

Margaret Hodge blasts HMRC over tax hotline

Her own tenure was not without its controversies: within weeks of taking on the job, accusations resurfaced that while she was leader of Islington council, from 1982 to 1992, she had not done enough to follow up allegations that a child abuse ring was operating in her borough. When a victim protested her appointment as minister, she described him as an “extremely disturbed person” and tried to prevent the Today programme from airing his claims; she eventually had to make a formal apology in the high court and pay £10,000 in damages to a charity. “All that happened when we didn’t really understand child abuse in the way that we understand it now. This…

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Reading the Salaita Papers

3 Sep

Patrick Sudlow:

The systemic anti-Semitism and racism, that corrupts modern academia, in the USA. Money should count for nothing, what corporate and ethical considerations has this university in place, if any? Would they quite happily take money of the likes of Hitler or Stalin, which, what they are doing equates to?

Originally posted on Corey Robin:

There are many developments today in the Salaita affair, so I’m going to do this as a two-part post. Part 2 is here.

This morning, the News-Gazette released 280 pages of documents obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act revealing extensive donor pressure on Chancellor Wise.

As news spread in late July about a new University of Illinois faculty hire and media outlets began publishing some of his profanity-laden tweets, a number of wealthy donors threatened to stop giving money to the university, recently released documents show.

The letters about professor Steven Salaita started arriving in Chancellor Phyllis Wise’s inbox July 21, and the writers did not hold back.

“Having been a multiple 6 figure donor to Illinois over the years, I know our support is ending as we vehemently disagree with the approach this individual espouses,” wrote one UI business school graduate.

The letters from donors…

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The Republican, Issue One

27 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

An interesting article about the Peterloo Massacre and one of the important people Richard Carlile, fighting for democracy in the UK. Something that is still, sadly lacking, due to the ‘first-past-the-post’ system.  Unfortunately, far too many middle-class, so-called socialist, think Marxism is the only socialist movement the UK had. Marx plagiarised the work of early British, French and German socialists, to produce a work of contradictions.

Originally posted on conradbrunstrom:

republican1

The Republican Issue One

The Republican was first published on this day, August 27th, 1819.  Its creator was Richard Carlile, who was one of the intended speakers  at the St Peter’s Fields reform meeting before the yeomanry transformed the occasion into the Peterloo Massacre.  Shocked by the spectacle of unarmed men women and children being cut to pieces just because they wanted to hear a bit more about democracy, Carlile wrote an account of the event for Sherwin’s Weekly Political Register which led to his instant prosecution.

The Prince Regent also put pen to paper.  He took the initiative of writing personally to congratulate the troops on how promptly and efficiently they had put the plebs to the sword.

(You see, soldiers who slaughter civilians aren’t committing a crime.  People who point that soldiers slaughter civilians are the real criminals.)

Carlile changed the name of his paper to

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”Israel”, Rotten Fruit of False Knowledge

25 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

Palestine existed since Babylonian times, even the Romans did not call the area Israel. The United Nations was established, because the League of Nations had been deemed to have failed. So the United Nations was established in the USA, and has every since, been manipulated by the USA. One of it’s very first acts, was to establish a state of Israel in Palestine. There has been no Peace in the World, since the inception of the United Nations.

Originally posted on System Humanity:

PatternApple0_9378
“Israel” is a fascinating word. According to the Bible it means, “He struggles with god”. This was the name given to Jacob because he struggled with God all night. And won. A ridiculous statement if taken at face value. As a metaphor it opens a treasure of interpretations. In any case, this all-night wrestling match between a shepherd and the creator of the universe should not be regarded as documentary.

Academic Bible researchers tell us that the entire story of creation was added to the Story of Moses as a prologue hundreds of years after the time of Moses. This makes the name Israel even more fascinating. Who were these Israelite-Egyptians who invaded and conquered the land of Canaan?

For one thing, they were not slaves. They were armed. Slaves don’t carry weapons. The Bible refers to them alternatively as tribes and armies. Moses was negotiating for them with the…

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