Friday, 28 February 2020

Health workers to petition the Government

We have received this urgent plea from Medact (Medical Action for Global Security). If you are or have been a health worker in its widest sense, please consider signing this letter to the Government to end the poverty divide.
‘The findings of the recent Marmot review throw into stark relief the health inequalities caused by austerity. It links choices made in our economic, social and political system to negative and avoidable health outcomes.
That is why we need your help to call on the Government to put health and wellbeing at the centre of the upcoming budget, and turn this historic decline in life expectancy and health.
The findings of the report are shocking, things have gotten worse. There is a 12 year difference in the life expectancy between those who reside in the most deprived regions compared to those who live in our wealthiest places. There has been a noted increase in the avoidable deaths between 2010 and 2017. Overall the findings clearly show the burden of inequalities in our society falls the hardest on women, children, disabled people and ethnic minorities.
You can read the full report here:
We need your help to call on the Government to intervene in a systematic and sustained way. We want you to ask the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to make the upcoming Government Budget one that transforms people’s health and wellbeing.
Sign the petition and spread the word:
In the lead up to Budget Day, we need to show that health workers are coming together to call on the Government to put health and wellbeing at the centre of this budget, and turn around this historic decline in life expectancy and health.
You can help us further by sharing this petition with 5 of your friends. Also, you can get in touch with us if you would like a paper copy of this petition to take around your workplace:

Thanks for all that you do,
Economic Justice Campaigner

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Five years of Lewes Living Wage; a report

We now have over 30 local employers signed up to pay the Real Living Wage in Lewes. This is the result of five years’ work by a small group of volunteers. During this time we have engaged in a number of activities (see list below), some more successful than others. Our aim has been to make our relatively prosperous town (population 18,000) aware of the need to tackle poverty through improving rates of pay in our area of exceptionally high rents and scarce social housing. We have three foodbanks which are used by an increasing number of people, currently over 275, and we work with these foodbanks.

While we have a number of national organisations with branches in Lewes which are signed up to the Living Wage Foundation, we have been unable to persuade any supermarkets to join, despite persistent lobbying, sometimes at the highest level.

A brief list of some of our activities
- create and update leaflets: distribute them wherever we can
- staff stalls at Farmers’ market, Societies Fair, Labour Party Town Hall event
- set up and maintain a website
- keep in touch with our list of 50 supporters informing about local developments
- publish letters and news items in national and local press
- write articles for local media - Viva Lewes,  Lewes News
- interviews on local Rocket FM Radio
- address meetings: Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Think Tank, Headstrong Club, Lewes Rotary
- keep in touch with Lewes Churches Together
- U3A Lewes Public Lecture by Professor Donald Hirsch on the Real Living Wage
- window display at Lewes Tourist Information Office during Living Wage Week
- speak and leaflet at Depot Cinema showings of I Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You
- made a short film about Lewes Living Wage for our website
- organised a round table forum for local businesses
- held lunch in the Town Hall for local businesses
- we write and speak to our local MP
- we lobby Town and District Councils

Our Town Council now pays the Real Living Wage and has supported us with small grants, and the District Council is now working toward this.

We live once again in a time of the ‘working poor’.  Over 70% of the 4 million children growing up in poverty are in families with a parent in work. The need for a REAL LIVING WAGE remains a pressing issue and we shall continue our campaign.