Monday, 23 March 2015

Stan Wilson

Today I received the sad news that my friend and former colleague on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Stan Wilson has passed away..
A former Labour Councillor, serving on Redcar Borough Council from 1963 to 1966 Stan became a stalwart member of the Liberal Party in Redcar from the early 1970’s.
Stan, a real character, whom we had known since he had acted as agent in the Cleveland and Whitby constituency at the 1979 General Election, was almost on our doorstep to greet us when we moved to Redcar in May 1984. As we opened the door on the day we moved in there was a card from Stan welcoming us to the town and informing us of the date of the next meeting. 
Stan was my Lib Dem ward colleague serving Newcomen Ward from May 1987 to May 1999 after he had retired to Sowerby following a long career in teaching and youth work. He was a great inspiration to me and many other people whom he encouraged to stand for the Council. He always seemed to have time to stop and chat to everyone he passed in the street or met in meetings. 

For many years Stan acted as a Steward at Lib Dem Conferences and was eventually awarded a life membership of Conference. 
Stan was well known as a keen local sportsman playing football for Redcar Albion, Shildon and for a short spell on the books of Darlington FC as an amateur. He turned out as a playing member of Redcar Cricket Club in no less than five decades.
Stan leaves a wife Stella and two sons Peter and Trevor.
The funeral takes place at Sowerby Methodist Church, Front Street, Thirsk, Yorkshire, YO7 1JQ, on Monday 30th March at 1pm, followed by an internment.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Lib Dems and Inds to pay living wage to Council staff

Liberal Democrats and Independents on Redcar and Cleveland Council today announced a rise in pay for council staff that will ensure all receive a “living wage”.
From 1 April 2015 the Redcar and Cleveland Minimum Wage will be raised to match the National Living Wage, which is £7.85 per hour.
All staff will receive a 2.2% pay rise, except those on £100,000 or more, whose pay will still be frozen.
Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Glyn Nightingale (Ormesby ward) said:
“Labour froze pay for council staff in 2008. Now all except those on over £100,000 will get a 2.2% pay rise. And the Living Wage will be introduced.
“People who work for the Council will continue to be motivated to do their best for local people.”
"Council officers have made a major contribution to bringing change in the organisation through the Shaping Our Future initiative."
Councillor Josh Mason, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for the Redcar Constituency and Deputy Leader of the Council, added:
“This move will ensure that all Council staff earn at least a Living Wage. It is also right that those who earn the most do not receive an increase.

“This is part of our commitment to a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Lib Dems and Inds serve up historic 1%+ Council Tax cut to residents

Since taking control of Redcar & Cleveland Council with Independent partners, Liberal Democrats have found a way to offer residents a cut in Council Tax bills and made it a reality by voting it through at today's budget setting meeting of the Council.
Labour regularly increased Council Tax when in control, and in 2012 gave Redcar and Cleveland residents the biggest Council Tax rise in the country.
This year, local people will get a cut of just over 1%. This has been done without cutting any services. It is believed to be the first ever Council Tax reduction by the Council.
In return for not raising Council Tax, the Council will get £631,000 from Central Government. In addition, the Council will be using surplus savings to pay for the cut, and not accepting the recommended rise in councillors’ allowances.
Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Glyn Nightingale (Ormesby ward) said:
“Labour’s faulty financial planning caused them to make the wrong assumptions about how much money there would be. They hiked up living costs by keeping money in the Council’s coffers and refusing Government money.
“It’s time to start returning the money to residents. And we have found a way to do that without cutting services.”
Councillor Josh Mason (pictured), Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for the Redcar Constituency and Deputy Leader of the Council, added:
“This budget will help to deliver a stronger local economy and a fairer deal for Council Tax payers.

“Ed Miliband talks about the cost of living crisis, so why did his party never do anything about it in Redcar & Cleveland?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Lib Dems offer new hope in Redcar pier fight

Since taking control of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Liberal Democrat Cabinet members have asked officers for a report on the possibility of providing a traditional pier at Redcar.
The Ind/Lib Dem led Council will be looking at basic structures and trying to find a realistic option that is achievable. A feasibility study is expected in the next three weeks.
The Council is examining various funding possibilities but none can be addressed until the pier is included in the Council’s masterplan.
Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Chris Abbott (Newcomen ward, pictured right) said:
“Liberal Democrats in Redcar have a long history of fighting for a real pier in Redcar.
“I was sad to see the demise of the Redcar Pier Association, but residents can rest assured that the fight for a proper pier for the town goes on.”
Councillor Josh Mason, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for the Redcar Constituency and Deputy Leader of the Council (pictured centre), added:
“My family’s roots in Redcar go back over 300 years. Many of my ancestors were involved in fishing and marine professions. This is part of our area’s DNA and it’s important that we celebrate our heritage and promote tourism in the future.”
Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Councillor Ron Harrison (pictured left), said:
“The political will now exists to begin to make a proper pier in Redcar a reality. It’s time regeneration of the borough included things that people ask for. There are exciting ideas in the pipeline that we have asked officers to investigate.”