Milton Keynes leaders launch Living Wage City

The Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Revd Alan Wilson, was among the community leaders at the launch of Milton Keynes as a Living Wage City.

Following an announcement of the new national Living Wage of £7.85 per hour compared with the Minimum Wage of £6.50, Council Leader Peter Marland said: “It’s only right that every worker gets a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work. MK should become the first Living Wage City.”

Bishop Alan, one of several faith leaders present, said: “It is good to see people turning out to raise awareness of social inequality and do something about it.”

At an event organised by Citizens:mk and hosted by KPMG, an audience of 50 guests heard first-hand accounts from workers about the impact that the Living Wage has had on their lives.

Tracy Schembre, pastry chef at The Open University said: “My husband and I both work full time to make ends meet, so family trips to the cinema and bowling have been few and far between. Now I have the Living Wage we can put that extra money aside so once a month we can now have a family day out without worry, which in turn has brought our family unit closer and happier together.”

Alan Burrell, Director of Estates at the OU, said: “We think it is important, as a socially-responsible employer, that all of our staff including contractors are able to provide for themselves and their families. We know that there are potential benefits for the OU too, such as increased motivation and morale. “

Mike Kelly, Head of Living Wage at KPMG, said: “We want to see areas such as Milton Keynes become Living Wage Zones – a defined geographical area in which at least 75 per cent of employees are paid the Living Wage.”

After the event, Living Wage supporters went on a short ‘action walk’ to thank and give cookies to employers on Silbury Boulevard who have responded to a recent Living Wage Survey.


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