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Issue:- 27 February 2014

Commissioner signs up to Living Wage

A fair deal for workers in Lancashire; that's what the County's Police and Crime Commissioner has promised after signing up to the Living Wage.  The commitment means everyone employed by Lancashire Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be paid the Living Wage and, crucially, the commitment also extends to contracted staff.  And Clive Grunshaw has now called on the Constabulary's partners to follow suit; and ensure all Lancashire's residents get a fair deal when it comes to wages.

The Commissioner said:- "It is vitally important to all Lancashire's residents organisations pay their employees the Living Wage. That is why I have taken the step of officially committing to Lancashire Constabulary being a Living Wage employer.  The Constabulary has already embraced the Living Wage, and we pay it to all staff. However, this commitment is not merely symbolic. It means when we enter into contracts and agreements with our partners, contractors and agencies, we will make sure all staff working for us as a result also receive the Living Wage.  Paying the Living Wage can make a real difference to people's lives, and I would encourage other organisations across Lancashire to follow in our footsteps and make the commitment."

The Living Wage is an hourly rate which is independently set and updated each year, and is based on the basic cost of living in the UK. In Lancashire it currently stands at £7.65, while in London the figure is £8.80.  The Commissioner will now apply to the Living Wage Foundation for formal accreditation, which will recognise the Commissioner and Chief Constable as Living Wage employers. For more information on the Living Wage Foundation visit:-

North West MEP welcomes cars success

NORTH West MEP Chris Davies is celebrating a win for car drivers and North West jobs after the European Parliament backed plans for higher fuel efficiency standards this week.  New laws, backed by MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, have been passed to require the amount of carbon dioxide pumped out by new cars to be cut from the present limit of 130g/km to 95g/km in the next seven years.  It means that the average new car should each year be able to deliver at least 3% more miles to the gallon.  As a major car manufacturing hotspot, the North West of England will also benefit from the jobs created by new environment friendly cars.

Davis said:- "By any measure the EU requirements to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars have proven a success. By improving fuel efficiency standards they have reduced the cost of driving as well as cutting our oil imports.  They have ensured that our car manufacturers, and the component makers, have stayed as world leaders in technological development. They have also reduced CO2 emissions from an average of 163g/km in 2007 to 130g/km today.  All credit to the whizz kids who design and engineer our vehicles in the North West proving once again that the birthplace of the industrial revolution can be the cradle of the green jobs revolution.  Everyone recognises the competitive pressures faced by the car industry but the EU single market provides it with a level playing field and a degree of protection. If carmakers outside the EU want to sell their cars to our citizens they have to meet our emission standards.  If only all our policies to combat global warming could demonstrate such similar WIN-WIN results."

Relationships in the 21st Century

ON 26 February, 2014, the relationships charity Relate Cheshire & Merseyside hosted an event in Liverpool to celebrate 75 years of Relate. The event was based on the theme of Relationships in the 21st Century, and took a look at the ways in which relationships are changing and what that means for society.

The event, held at the 151 Dale Street building, was well attended by members of the public and professionals from the public sector as well as from local businesses and the third sector. The Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, The High Sheriff of Merseyside, and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, were also in attendance. Relate Cheshire & Merseyside Chief Executive, Sarah Hall, was delighted by the turn out:- "We were really pleased that so many people came along to find out about the work of Relate and the importance of supporting the development of healthy relationships in our ever changing world."

Guest speakers at the event included Relate Chief Executive Ruth Sutherland, who talked about the ways in which relationships are changing, and explained what Relate is doing to adapt to these changes and to offer more support to more people in more ways. BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips also spoke at the event, stressing the value of healthy relationships in all facets of life, and expressing his support for Relate.   If you are interested in finding out more about Relate's work and services available in this area, visit:- or telephone:- 0300 330 5793.

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