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Income fairness group 'too political' for Bromley town centre stall
A CAMPAIGN group for salary fairness says the council is "denying freedom of speech" by stopping it from running a stall in Bromley town centre.
Bromley Income Equality Group (BIIG) has been told it is "too political" to have a Friday stand in the High Street despite Christians and Scientologists being granted permission.
The council has also refused BIEG's request for a new council Fairness Commission to help ensure a more equal pay scale for council employees.
BIEG member John Courtneidge, of Bromley Road, Beckenham, said: "Council leader Councillor Stephen Carr has said he ‘doesn’t believe in the living wage’ but I don’t know why.
"The fact they haven’t let us have a market stall, that’s a freedom of speech issue.
"I don’t understand why we couldn’t have a stall.
"They said our display was ‘too politically sensitive’ but we’re non party-political and all we got was support for our cause."
The 61-year-old Quaker added: "The evidence is income inequality promotes violence.
"In all the countries where there are more unequal salaries between people, there is a higher homicide rate."
The group has contacted Beckenham MP Bob Stewart, Cllr Carr and the council’s democracies department in its quest for fairer salaries.
Executive Councillor for Resources Councillor Graham Arthur said: “There is sometimes a vacant pitch in our thriving market in Bromley town centre and whilst we do allow local religious groups and charities to use the pitches along with local businesses, this does not extend to political parties or groups which are formed for campaigning reasons.
"This, of course, does not stop a political party or group campaigning in the High Street but this is separate and distinct from the market."
For more information, visit: facebook.com/BromleyIncomeEqualityGroup?filter=2
FAIR SALARIES FOR COUNCIL WORKERS
- Councils in Islington, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, York, Blackpool and Tower Hamlets have all set up Fairness Commissions since 2010.
- Government research has revealed Bromley is in the top third of the most unequal UK boroughs for salaries.
- Research by the Department of Work and Pensions suggests Bromley is the second most polarised borough in London, behind Kensington and Chelsea in terms of benefit recipients.
- This means the population of those on benefits is highly concentrated in certain areas.