Seagull Weekly Briefing 14/06

Candidate launch protested, beloved store divested, unequal pay claims contested and more

Seagull Weekly Briefing 14/06
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. I feel like I've been using my jovial introduction here to complain about the weather quite a lot, but actually I haven't as much as I thought so I'll do so now: this weather sucks so much; it's 13 degrees, rainy and miserable as sin. It's June! I know I'd be complaining if it were 30+ degrees but at least give me a few weeks of mid-20s, or at the very least a few more blue skies. Ugh. Anyway, news.

News This Week

Election candidate's launched scuppered by protestors

Source: Chris Ward

Protestors sabotaged Chris Ward's campaign launch last week.

The Labour candidate for Kemptown and Peacehaven, who was chosen by the party to replace Lloyd Russell-Moyle after his suspension, started his campaign at St George's Church in Kemptown on Friday 7th June.

He was quickly drowned out by people asking what Labour are doing about the ongoing Israel Palestine war, and about his former work as director of Hanbury Strategy.

People asked when Labour were going to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and questioned Mr Ward on the imposition of party candidates, saying the constituency should be allowed to choose their own candidates and that he was not wanted in Kemptown.

Mr Ward and his team were then seen leaving the venue, having cut their event short before speeches could begin.

He later took photos on Madeira Drive with his team and a few supporters, including senior Labour figure Chris Bryant.

Century old family-run hardware store to close this autumn

Dockerills, a hardware shop which opened in 1915, is set to close at the end of September.

Initially based in Edward Street, it moved to Gardner Street in 1940, and finally to its current site in the 1970s.

In a statement from the family, they said:

After a lot of careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close our shop doors. With declining foot fall and increasing operational overheads, the high street has changed considerably over recent years and our business has suffered as a consequence.

Unfortunately, the fifth generation could not develop a sustainable retail business model moving forward.

This comes as B&Q announce the opening of a 'B&Q Local' in the former Poundland on North Street.

Want to read more stories like this? Subscribe for our weekly email newsletter here.

🖋 News in Brief 🖋

  • Portslade Sports Centre will be the venue for the general election count on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th July. Why not the Brighton Centre as it usually is, you may ask? Because Bluey's Big Play is at the Brighton Centre from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th July. This means there will be no access to the Sports Centre or surrounding area from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th July.
  • ACORN Brighton, the community union, will be holding a hustings event in Brighton Pavilion on Wednesday 26th June, 7-8:30pm at Community Base. Pavilion candidates have been invited from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Conservatives, with Sian Berry (Green) and Ashley Ridley (Liberal Democrats) having already confirmed attendance.
  • Twelve parks across the city are being refurbished this month and next month: Hove Lagoon, William Clarke, Stanmer Heights, Kingswood Flats, Mackie Park, Milner Flats, Wolseley Road, Hollingbury Park, Ovingdean, Manor Road, Happy Valley, and Mile Oak Recreation Ground.
  • Ivor Caplin, former Labour MP for Hove and a junior defence minister in the early 2000s, has been suspended from the Labour party.
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected].

The Big One

Source: The Brighton Seagull

What's happening?

GMB union has written to the council with claims of unequal pay, which they say could affect 'thousands' of women.

What timeline are we talking about here? GMB say 'several years'.

What roles do the claims cover? All we know is it's roles across the council.

What have the council said? They've asked GMB to provide details, saying:

The GMB has not yet provided the council with any detail in relation to yesterday’s [Monday 10th June's] press release about potential equal pay issues they claim exist.

We are also not aware of the GMB raising any equal pay issues previously.

We will proactively work with both UNISON and the GMB on any issues, if and when they are raised, as we always do.

They said they're taking the allegations 'very seriously', and are yet to receive details of the claims.

What have GMB said? Lib Whitifeld, GMB senior organiser, said:

For years this low paid, predominantly women worker force has been paid less than those in male dominated jobs—jobs rated equivalent under the council’s own job evaluation scheme.

The money stolen from our members has a significant impact on their day to day lives; they’ve struggled to pay their bills and forced to work longer hours rather than being with their families.

This council is responsible for not only the loss of pay, but the stolen time and quality of life of these workers.

They must now settle with all members the full amount, set things right for the future and issue a unreserved apology for this appalling discrimination.
That's all for this week—please subscribe, and forward to friends who might be interested!