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Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has written to the chief executive of Sports Direct to call on him to ensure that none of the staff at the new Aintree store and gym are employed on zero hours contracts.

Bill Esterson has written to the company chief after it emerged that eight out of 10 of Sports Direct's 20,000-strong workforce are employed on contracts which do not guarantee how many hours they will be asked to work each week.

A new Sports Direct store and gym has been built on the site of the former Paradox nightclub in Aintree.

But the company has been heavily criticised for employing staff on zero-hours contracts, with Labour leader Ed Miliband has slammed calling them "Victorian practices which have no place in the 21st century".

The Labour leader has announced that a Labour government will ban zero-hours contracts.

Writing to the company's chief executive, Dave Forsey, MP Bill Esterson said: "There has been a lot of concern at the use of zero hours contracts as this causes significant uncertainty for staff, with a knock on effect on the wider economy. I am sure that you would agree that uncertainty is not good for business.

"Further to the opening of your store and gym at Aintree in my constituency, I should be grateful if you would confirm that all staff employed by you are on either full time contracts or on guaranteed minimum hours contracts and that you do not use zero hours contracts at this location."

The MP said he wanted reassurances from Sports Direct that its employees in Sefton Central would not be exploited.

Bill Esterson said: "We already have a government that thinks we are still in the Dickensian days, as shown by Tory Baroness Jenkin's 'let them eat gruel' foodbank comments this week. We cannot have employers winding back the clock 100 years on workers' rights.

"Zero-hours contracts are immoral. How can people live not knowing if they'll have any money coming in from one week to the next.

"I don't want to see people in Sefton Central being forced to live like that.

"The TUC revealed earlier this year that there are already 15,000 people in Maghull, Aintree, Lydiate, Melling, Formby, Hightown, Crosby and Thornton working for less than the living wage. That's 40.4% earning less than £7.65 an hour.

"Working families have seen their household income fall by £1,600 under this government.

"We need good employers in Sefton Central providing stable employment for their workforces and paying wages that people can live on. That is why I have written to Mr Forsey.

"From a business perspective giving employees a raw deal is a false economy. You will get more from a happy workforce that knows it is being paid a fair day's pay.

"A Labour government in May will abolish the sickeningly exploitative use of zero-hours contracts. I am calling on employers like Sports Direct to take a lead and scrap them now."

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson seeks assurances from Sports Direct that employees will not be on zero-hours contracts in new Aintree store

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has written to the chief executive of Sports Direct to call on him to ensure that none of the staff at the new Aintree...

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Christmas is coming and places are filling up quickly for Formby Hub's Christmas Day dinner.

Formby Hub is hosting the festive feast for older people in Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell at the Luincheon Club on Rosemary Lane.

The dinner is open to older people, particularly people who live alone.

Formby Hub, which has been spearheaded by Formby Area Partnership under the chairmanship of Ravenmeols Labour councillor Catie Page, is an initiative designed to help eradicate loneliness and isolation among the town's older residents.

Cllr Page said the Christmas Day dinner will help people who may live alone.

Cllr Page said: "Christmas can be a really difficult time for some people. Here in our community there are people who live alone. There are those who have lost people.

"A BBC survey this week found that 28% of British adults feel lonely at some time and 7% of all adults, 10% of those aged over 65, expect to spend Christmas on their own.

"No one should be on their own at Christmas and Formby Hub wanted to do something about that. So we are hosting a Christmas Day dinner so that we could bring some Christmas cheer to people who may need it most.

"But I want to make this clear; this isn't charity, it is community.

"This is a community event designed to be a festive community celebration. Individuals, couples or people with their carers will all be welcome.

"I, together with my Formby Hub colleagues, including Rev Maclolm Dyer and Jean Jones, will be serving the food on the day and we just hope we get a lot of people coming along to join the fun."

Jean encouraged people to check to see if any places were still available.

Jean said: "We obviously need to know numbers in advance of the dinner so we can get the food ready and to make sure that there is space in the Luncheon Club.

"People can nominate themselves to join us on the day, or you can nominate a friend or relative. you just need to give me a call to check availability.

"The meal will start at 12noon, with transport provided, and it will finish at 2.30pm so you can get home just in time for the Queen's speech."

For further information about Formby Hub's Christmas Day dinner, and to check availability, call Jean Jones on 01704 877 444.

 

Formby Hub prepares for Christmas Day dinner for people in Formby, Ince Blundell and Hightown

Christmas is coming and places are filling up quickly for Formby Hub's Christmas Day dinner.

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Christmas came early for 100 older people from Maghull this week when Labour-run Maghull Town Council hosted its pensioners' Christmas dinner.

This was only the second time the town council has hosted the festive feast, which is held at Maghull Town Hall.

Councillors on the town council, together with members of the Maghull Labour Action Team and members of Maghull Community Radio volunteered their time to act as waiters for the day as they served the three-course meal to the festive diners.

Maghull Town Council Labour leader Cllr Patrick McKinley said he was delighted that the town council could bring so many older members of the community together.

Cllr McKinley said: "Our original idea behind the Christmas meal was to get older people from throughout our community together to enjoy a meal and some Christmas festivities. Last year we didn't realise just how popular and successful it would be. It has become a community celebration for our older residents and a way of us saying thank you to them.

"It was a real pleasure to get people out of their homes and together in a friendly community environment where they could meet other people and enjoy a three-course pre-Christmas meal.

"We've got a great community here in Maghull and this was a great community event.

"I would like to thank everyone who was involved, including the caterers, town council staff, my council colleagues, members of Maghull Community Radio and members of Maghull Labour Action Team for volunteering their time to serve the meals on the day. And a special thanks the local businesses who supported the event."

Maghull Town Council clerk Angela McIntyre also thanked the local businesses who supported the event.
She said: "Blueline and Delta both provided taxis on the day and Maghull Coaches also provided two coaches. All free of charge. So we would obviously like to thank them.
"I am really pleased that it all went very well and that the pensioners had a really good time. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a success.  We brought some good cheer to people in Maghull and it shows what the community can do if everyone rallies round and helps out."


Cllr McKinley said the town council's Christmas programme is designed to reach out to people in the community at what can be a difficult time for many.

Cllr McKinley said: "Christmas can be a difficult time for people. Here in our community there are people who live alone. There are those who have lost people.

"There are those who are struggling with the spiralling cost of living and who are having to make the decision to eat or heat.

"This Christmas meal simply brought some Christmas cheer to older people in our community. I am pleased so many people came along and that they all enjoyed themselves." 

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Labour-run Maghull Town Council holds its second pensioners’ Christmas dinner at Maghull Town Hall

Christmas came early for 100 older people from Maghull this week when Labour-run Maghull Town Council hosted its pensioners' Christmas dinner.

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