In Parliament this morning, Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, raised Cambridgeshire County Council’s Scrooge-like proposal to force large numbers of council staff to take three days unpaid leave over the Christmas period. He told the House of Commons of the proposals during Business Questions, the weekly session in which MPs can request debates and answers from Ministers on various subjects.
The Cambridge MP asked:
“Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council have sent a miserable Christmas present to their staff this year, by demanding that they take three days unpaid leave at Christmas – effectively a 1.2% pay cut. Can we have a debate, or a ministerial statement, to explain the mess that the Government has made of local council finances?“
Andrea Leadsom MP, the Conservative Leader of the House responded:
“I’m sorry to hear of the situation for staff in his local area, and would wish them all a very Happy Christmas in spite of it. He will be aware that the Local Government Finance Statement will come forward soon, and I suggest he raises it with Ministers then.“
Mr Zeichner comments: “I don’t think that council workers will be particularly impressed by the Government’s response that they “wish them a Happy Christmas“ in spite of this paycut, which is a direct result of the Conservatives‘ choice to implement austerity and cut local authority funding. I hope that the County Council reverse this “Grinch“ decision, and show hard-working staff that they are valued over the holidays.“