Rochdale Lib Dems ask Manchester City Council to review Employment Policy!

February 21, 2006 2:38 PM

Rochdale Liberal Democrats are asking Manchester City Council to review their long-standing policy of employing residents within the boundaries of the City of Manchester. Their much-criticised policy applies to hundreds of entry level, manual and low-level jobs within Manchester City Council. Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Rochdale Council - Councillor Alan Taylor said, "We believe that their policy is legal - but is it morally correct when people from within their boundaries can apply for any job within the boundaries of Rochdale Borough? I am calling for Manchester City Council to review their policy - if they don't do this we may have to look at doing the same. Take for example - the residents of Middleton. They live on the doorstep of Manchester, have an 0161 number, a Manchester Post-code but cannot apply for many jobs with Manchester Council. Obviously Manchester brought this policy in when unemployment was higher than it is now and I think this policy was reviewed in fairness to residents across Greater Manchester."

It is the responsibility of every Council to provide equal opportunities - as huge employers it would be irresponsible to do otherwise. We believe that by insisting on Manchester Residents only - Manchester City Council are simply not doing this. They should review this urgently!

Rochdale MP - Paul Rowen agrees, he says, "This has been a contentious issue for many years - Manchester City Council have simply been able to get away with this and it's time that every other authority in Greater Manchester stood up to them. For hundreds of lower paid jobs - this rule has been in place for years but higher paid roles such as Head of Departments they chose to ignore this. This has effectively led to an un-level playing field - with Manchester City Council effectively cherry-picking other authorities! Here in Rochdale the Council works hard to find jobs for local people but there is nothing to stop people from outside the Borough from applying for jobs across all areas of our Council."

A simple look at www.Manchester.go.auk illustrates the fact, at the bottom of many job adverts is the sentence; "Applications will only be considered from people permanently resident within the boundaries of the City of Manchester."

It appears that Manchester City Council are acting legally - a Spokesperson for ACAS said, "It sounds more unfair, than unlawful. Unfortunately, it does not count as discrimination as people are being refused simply because of where they live and not on Sex, Gender, Disability, Religion or Belief. We can understand why people may feel this is wrong."

Milnrow and New Hey Councillor Keith Swift said, "This is a serious issue that I will be raising at a future AGMA (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) Meeting. There will be representatives from every authority in Greater Manchester, this needs to come to a head and I hope that any inequalities that currently exist are ironed out."