alan slater photoFair Funerals

All funeral directors should give out clear pricing to their customers. 

Funerals today can easily cost thousands of pounds, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that you would want to know how much it was all going to cost, before the funeral takes place.  However, when TCC members tried to do this they found that some funeral directors were very reluctant to discuss their costs.  Some went as far as saying “Well, you want to give them a good send-off don’t you?”.  At this very vulnerable time, it is easy for an unscrupulous funeral director to take advantage.  Unfortunately, you’re the one left with the bill afterwards. 

TCC began researching the issue, and found that there is no regulation in the funeral industry.  It turns out anyone can set themselves up as a funeral director, without necessarily having any skills, training or experience.   Whilst many are supportive, professional, and honest, this is not the case for all funeral directors.  Many choose to become members of a trade association, like the National Association of Funeral Directors, or the Society of Independent and Allied Funeral Directors, who enforce a code of conduct and regularly inspect the premises.  Being a member of either of these associations means the funeral director is obliged to give out pricelists, and give a written estimate of their costs.  However, even if the funeral director takes up membership, there is no way they can enforce these rules.  The very most the NAFD or SAIF can do is revoke a funeral director’s membership. 

TCC has been pleased to work with local funeral directors on this issue, as well as the Welsh Assembly.  So far eight local funeral directors have agreed to always give our clear pricing to their customers. 

 

Credit Union with Stella Creasy Oct 12End Legal Loan Sharking  

'Legal loan sharks' shouldn't be lending to the most vulnerable in our society

TCC has visited Westminster to talk to Labour MPs on this issue, as well working with the Citizens Advice Bureau, the North Wales Credit Union, and Shelter Cymru here in North Wales.

Initially focusing on payday loans, TCC met with Wrexham MP Ian Lucas and the Money Shop, successfully negotiating to change wording on the Money Shop’s website so as to not encourage people to borrow more than they need. 

Now focussing on doorstep lending, TCC is gathering stories from people who have gotten into difficulties using companies who bring the loans to you.  For some people this may be the only accessible form of credit, but some companies have been purposely seeking out the vulnerable, lending huge sums of money to people in emergency situations, and people with severe learning difficulties.  If you’ve got a story please get in touch with us. 

 

Living WageA Living Wage for Wales 

People in North East Wales shouldn't be working and still be living in poverty.

Unfortunately the minimum wage in the UK isn’t actually enough to afford the cost of living today.  It currently stands at £6.31 an hour for those aged 21 and over, £5.03 for those aged 18 – 20, or £3.72 for anyone aged 16 – 17. 

The Living Wage is an hourly rate of £7.45 an hour (outside of London), and has been calculated by the Centre for Research and Policy.  It means not just having literally enough to you keep alive, but having food, shelter, and also having the opportunities and choices you need in order to participate in society.  It is about having a minimum, socially acceptable quality of life. 

Whilst overall the number of children living in poverty in the UK has decreased in recent years, the number of children living in poverty in households where parents are in work has actually risen – being estimated by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as 2.1 million at the end of 2010. 

TCC believes that it is wrong that people in Wales can be working a 40 hour week and still be living in poverty. 

We are working with local employers and County Councils to encourage them to pay their employees a Living Wage.  TCC also sits on the Welsh Government’s policy task group on the Living Wage, hoping to see the government put their commitment to a Living Wage into practice. 

In 2012 TCC has had two great successes on the Living Wage: the Diocese of St Asaph and the Presbyterian Church have both committed to the Living Wage.  To see the full press releases please click here and here.  


Hanson Cement Liaison Committee

Hanson Cement PadeswoodThis liaison committee is attended by representatives from Hanson Cement, the Environment Agency, Flintshire County Council planning department, and county and local councillors.  It offers a chance to receive updates on operations at the site, and raise any concerns. TCC sits on the Padeswood Hanson Cement Liaison Committee, and has been involved with improving monitoring at the site for many years.

TCC circulates information from these meetings to our member groups.  However, the liaison meeting is open to anyone who is interested in coming along.  If you would like to receive minutes from the last meeting, or attend the next, please contact TCC for more information.