Employment areas pinpointed as local plan weakness

Employment areas pinpointed as local plan weakness

Borough news
Transforming Oldham’s economic fortunes should be the number one priority of Oldham Council, which is why it is alarming that the local plan consultation has failed to update the Business Employment Areas from the previous local plan, says Liberal Democrat Councillor Mark Kenyon. The shadow cabinet member for economy and enterprise highlighted the inclusion of the new Saddleworth School site in the list of Saddleworth Employment Areas – which was taken directly from the previous local plan without being updated. “There are locations across Saddleworth, and the wider borough, which have thrived in the years since the previous local plan, and we should be identifying those for support, as well as those locations which will be the next successes in the local economy. “The economic landscape of Oldham has changed…
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FSB report: Govt must avert a jobs crisis in Autumn

FSB report: Govt must avert a jobs crisis in Autumn

Parliamentary news
Responding to the new report from the Federation of Small Businesses, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Trade Sarah Olney MP said: “With furlough set to expire next month and countless small businesses still uncertain about their future, the Government should have already announced a cut to employers’ NICs to support as many jobs as possible. Ministers should be using every tool at their disposal to support small businesses and avert a wave of job losses in the autumn. “And thanks to the Government’s terrible EU trade deal, thousands of British exporters are struggling under a mountain of paperwork and red tape. That's not the kind of trading relationship with Europe the Government promised. The very least they can do is stop ignoring small businesses and announce new funding under an expanded…
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A workers’ watchdog without new funding won’t make a real difference

A workers’ watchdog without new funding won’t make a real difference

Parliamentary news
In response to the Ministerial Statement on upholding employment rights and plans for a new 'workers' watchdog', Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Business, Sarah Olney MP, said: “This is a long-overdue step towards properly enforcing workers’ rights, but we need to see far more action from the Government. “It is unacceptable that this announcement comes without new legislation or funding. This body must be written into law as soon as possible, and receive enough funding to employ at least one labour inspector per 10,000 workers.  “Making a real difference to workers’ lives takes more than a new watchdog. The Government must strengthen workers rights in key areas, such as giving zero-hours workers a 20% higher minimum wage and gig workers basic protections such as sick pay.”
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Government must compensate people forced to miss work in order to quarantine

Government must compensate people forced to miss work in order to quarantine

Parliamentary news
Responding to news that people arriving in the UK from France and a number of other countries will have to quarantine for 14 days from 04:00 Saturday 15 August, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: “It's right that the Government is taking steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 by updating the 'travel corridor' as the situation overseas evolves. "However, the Foreign Office must acknowledge the significant disruption and disappointment this will cause. All impacted customers must have the chance to reschedule or be offered a full refund, and the Government must underwrite these commitments. "Ministers must also get real about the financial pressures on those forced to choose between obeying the quarantine rules and going out to work, and agree to compensate people who will lose out…
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Government must do more to get young people into work

Parliamentary news
Responding to a Sutton Trust report finding that 61% of employers offering work experience placements have had to cancel and that 39% of graduate employers say they expect to hire fewer graduates or none in the next 12 months, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said: “Young people are rightly worried about their job prospects in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis. Politicians and employers must do all they can to safeguard their future. “Despite recent announcements, Government seems unprepared for the scale of the challenge ahead. The Chancellor’s new traineeships plan seems a drop in the ocean, and schemes keeping businesses alive are due to end in just a few months, pulling the rug out from under employers.  “To protect the next generation we need far more decisive…
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Garth Harkness writes to Manchester Mayor

Garth Harkness writes to Manchester Mayor

Borough news, Saddleworth News
Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness wrote the following letter to Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham: Congratulations on being elected Greater Manchester’s first Mayor. I am sure you are aware that this week is Refugee Week. On behalf of the Oldham Council Liberal Democrat Group, I would like to raise with you the issue of the support we offer in Greater Manchester to refugees seeking employment and how we could enhance it. As you will be aware, refugees are former asylum seekers whose claims to remain and work in the UK have been allowed by the Home Office. Refugees in Greater Manchester want to work, but experience unemployment on a scale hugely disproportionate to the wider population. According to research published by the Manchester Refugee Employment Partnership in 2013, at that…
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