By Chris Cornell / HousingWelfare / / 0 Comments

On the 4th of January the Labour Group will be asking the council to consider promoting a “Community Switching” scheme for Gas and Electricity tariffs to save local residents money.

Collective or Group Switching schemes (such as www.ichoosr.co.uk) are set up to work with Community Organisations and Local Authorities who promote enrolment of residents in a Collective Switching scheme.

These schemes primarily gather the names of residents who have expressed an interest in switching energy tariffs and once signed “signed up”, the group go out to auction in the energy market several times a year, with huge leverage, and lower tariffs. The residents signed up are sent a no obligation offer a few days after the auction, it’s then up them, if they decide then the switching schemes will oil the wheels to make sure it’s hassle free.

Using the council’s reach means that even reluctant switchers can save up to £250 a year which is a lot for people on fixed and low incomes.

A very simple idea,  apart from active and effective publicity, the cost is minimal and the risk sits with the Collective Switching Organisation (such as ichoosr for example).  Schemes are already in place and helping hard pressed residents in several local Councils namely Dover, Dartford, Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling and Tonbridge Wells.

If you are in support of this idea or want more information please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

By Canterbury Labour Party / Welfare / / 0 Comments

Whitstable Job Centre will close on Friday 13th October and the irony of this macabre date is not going unnoticed.  The Whitstable Labour Party has been petitioning DWP to retain the service for the last four years and on its last day is planning a protest to say a final goodbye.

In April 2014 Whitstable Job Centre, reduced its hours to 2 hours a day and was threatened with closure.  After a successful campaign the closure was delayed but a final decision has been made, with Herne Bay Job Centre also scheduled for closure before Christmas.

Local Labour activist Chris Weller said “local job seekers will now be forced to travel to Canterbury Job Centre every 2 weeks to sign on and find a job. For many the £7 fare is incredibly difficult for people to save up for, representing well over 10% of what a 18-25 year old can expect to get a week. Disabled job seekers are also particularly hard hit”.

The job centre PCS Union supports the Labour campaign and highlighted that the threat to Whitstable and Herne Bay Job Centres. Nationwide 10% of Job centres are set to close in the next year 5 in Kent. The Job centre bosses have refused to comment.

The protest will take place on Friday 13th October, between 10am and 12. The local MP is expected to attend and show her support. Join us