23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 22-04-2015 08:51

      Warrington Youth Council petitions for the Living Wage

       YOUNG people from Warrington's Youth Council, IMPACT, are calling on employers to pay their staff the living wage.

      Warrington Bus Station: Where IMPACT members began their protest

      IMPACT works side by side with the UK youth parliament and is made up of 12 young people between the ages of 14 and 16.

      The group petitioned at the Warrington Bus Station on Saturday 14th March, in the aim to encourage companies to follow the Warrington Borough Council who have agreed to pay staff the living wage.

      The living wage is an hourly rate based on the cost of living in that area. The living wage in Warrington is £7.85, and the living wage in London is £9.15.

      Exectuive member for children and young people’s services, Cllr Jean Carter said: “The young people from IMPACT are involved in a wide range of projects and have a strong influence in Warrington with local decision makers.

      “The group feels strongly about this issue, as do the council and I am delighted that they are inspiring other businesses to follow the council’s lead and pay the living wage.”

      Warrington UK Youth Parliament member and IMPACT team member, Rose Warburton, said: “We gained a lot of confidence talking to members of the public about the campaign.”

      IMPACT chair, Leah Brown,  said: “We had a lot of different people speaking to us and not all of them knew what the living wage was.”

      Graham Bell, Child and Young Person's Participation Officer, said: “The group have a big impact on the local authorities and MPs. They’re a way of making young voices heard and appreciated.

      “They carried out research for the living wage campaign. It showed 83 per cent said the National Minimum Wage wasn’t enough, and 54 per cent didn’t even know what the living wage was.”

      “Another one of their priorities at the moment is mental health. They want to support positive wellbeing in youths and have so far managed to convince authorities that more staff need to be hired in schools to deal with children with mental health issues.”

      The youth council produce a manifesto setting out what changes need to be made to benefit local youths.

      Members regularly meet with both Steve Reddy, the Executive Director for Families and Wellbeing, and lead councillors where they are able to highlight issues they feel passionately about.

      IMPACT meet every Wednesday from 5-7pm and anyone who lives or attends school in Warrington are welcome to attend.

      By Rebecca Ore