exposes the truth behind Shop Direct call centre closures in Aintree and
officials have been shocked to discover the truth behind the closure of 2
North West call centres run by Webhelp for Shop Direct owners of the popular
Very and Littlewoods brands.
The closure of the Aintree and Bolton Call Centres, confirmed now, will
result in the loss of over 700 jobs across both sites.
The company originally said the closures are a result of customers
preferring to shop online rather than ring call centres. However, talks with
Usdaw have now revealed that the Aintree and Bolton sites could easily have
dealt with the move to online shopping at little or no extra cost, but the
company has rejected all the union's counter proposals to save jobs.
The real reason for the closures is to move the jobs to a South African call
centre where staff are paid just £2.39 per hour.
Usdaw also believes that the decision to close Aintree and Bolton was taken
many months ago and that Webhelp will ultimately close its Cardiff site,
shipping those jobs to South Africa too.
Mike Aylward - Usdaw Divisional Officer says:- "Our members are on the
floor after hearing the truth behind this morally bankrupt decision to close
Aintree and Bolton. No British worker can compete with £2.39 per hour and
they shouldn't have to. Companies should have loyalty to the workforce and
communities that have made them what they are."
Usdaw will now be holding a ballot of all its members on the Aintree and
Bolton Sites to ask them whether they want to take industrial action to
oppose the closures. The union has challenged the business to be honest with
their customers and ask them whether they would like the Very and
Littlewoods call centres to move to South Africa.
No Lights on bikes, an increasing problem
the last 2 months we have been in contact with the Merseyside Police
Commissioner and Merseyside Police about the rising numbers of adults and
kids, on bikes, without lights. Interestingly, we have been sent a copy of a
letter that can be given to children, but as of yet we have had no
information about adults. One shop owner, who does not want to be
identified, told us this week: "The worse time seems to be late at night. I
nearly hit a chap in his late 30's or early 40's at 2am! A Police car just
drove past and did not even stop the chap. They could make some revenue and
save lives, but they don't appear to be taking action. Why?". We would like
to hear from you, if you have seen people without lights on the roads and
pavements, stating, the time and location. We will then send this to
Merseyside Police for comment. Please email us to:-
firstname.lastname@example.org. If you
do not want to be identified, please state that in your email!
How much are you willing
to pay for your Police?
LANCASHIRE'S Police and Crime
Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has launched the latest phase of his
consultation on the Council Tax precept asking residents how much they are
willing to pay towards Police.
Clive Grunshaw is encouraging residents to have their say responding to a
survey on his website, or on leaflets available from libraries and town
halls across the County.
He said:- "Every year one of my responsibilities is to set the
Council Tax precept. This is the amount of money that householders pay towards
Policing in the County.
Most of the money to pay for the Police comes from Government, but around a
quarter comes from Council Tax.
The Government has continued to reduce the amount it gives us towards
Policing and residents have generously supported a small increase in funding
of around 6p per week (for a band D household) for the last 2 years.
It may seem like a very small amount, but a 2% increase will actually raise
£1.3m and will help safeguard the equivalent of 28 Police Officers or 40
Police and community support Officers in 2016."
The Commissioner said that despite Government announcing the Police budget
nationally had been frozen for the next few years, Lancashire was still
facing cuts to the level of funding it received to fund Policing locally.
He said:- "The Government announced a freeze to Police funding in its
comprehensive spending review last month, however this doesn't mean our
force budget is frozen or protected.
The "freeze" depends on increases in Council Tax for all areas around the
country. In addition investment in firearms units and counter terrorism
nationally will come from the overall budget. This means we will receive
less in Lancashire over the course of the next few years to provide our
local Policing services.
We have saved or identified £74m of savings so far, and this has impacted on
officer numbers which by 2017 will have reduced by 900 with another 700
Police staff roles lost too. When more than 80% of the money the force
spends is on staff then it is somewhat inevitable that the workforce will
need to reduce to save costs.
What an increase in Council Tax of around 2% will do is maintain a number of
roles that would otherwise be lost.
I want everyone to have their say; so I am urging people to share the
survey on their social media feeds with friends and family members who live
In order to ensure we get a representative sample of opinions we also
undertake market research polling 100 people in each of our 14 district
areas asking them the same questions. This is an approved technique that
ensures we get a true picture of the opinions of Lancashire people."
To have your say log on to:-
or follow the Commissioner on Twitter or Facebook @LancsPCC.