HYNDBURN Council has increased its minimum ‘Living Wage’ pay rate for its lowest-paid staff from £7.20 to £7.45 per hour for those aged 21 and over.

Coun Joan Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for pay and employment conditions, said: “Paying our employees a living wage makes good business sense and ensures our lowest paid employees are not overly disadvantaged during a period of public sector pay freezes.

“We are also keen to raise awareness about the Living Wage and hope that our decision will encourage other employers in the area to become Living Wage employers.”

The idea of a Living Wage rate was developed in London but recently a rate has been determined for the rest of the country.

It is higher than the National Minimum Wage because Hyndburn and other councils believe that does not ensure that families can afford the goods and services they need.

It is estimated that more than 10,000 families nationwide have been lifted out of working poverty by the campaign.