WHO'S WHO: Farokh Khorooshi, film director and founder of Hampstead2020

PUBLISHED: 16:10 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 16:31 07 September 2010

Farokh Khorooshi is an Animal Action director who has lived in Hampstead for 25 years. He is a committee member of NW3 Hampstead and chairman of Redington and Frognal Resident Association (Redfrog). He is the force behind the Hampstead 2020 project. H

Camden's Green Party councillors are extremely disappointed that the council's Liberal Democrat and Conservative administration decided at last week's executive meeting not to adopt the London living wage as a minimum for its own employees and those of contractors who provide tendered out services.

The London Living Wage - an hourly wage of £7.60 - has been calculated by the Greater London Assembly's living wage unit as the amount that is required to live above the poverty line.

It has been adopted by other London councils such as Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Ealing as well as the GLA itself.

Camden employs some staff on wages below this rate. Indirectly, through contractors who provide key services, it employs many more. They include care workers, cleaners and catering staff.

It is predominantly people of ethnic minority origin and women who make up this marginalised underpaid workforce.

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives took the view that the extra 10p-20p a week on people's council tax which may be needed to cover this (and the cost may be much less) was too much to pay for ending this exploitation.

They also disclaimed responsibility saying that many of these people do not live in Camden.

We are appalled. Paying people poverty wages is not acceptable irrespective of where people live.

Ensuring dignity for all through a fair wage is non-negotiable.

And trying to fix council tax at an arbitrary level without any regard for social justice is gesture politics at an extreme.

There was just one small success which is that Camden's own employees are now to have the benefit of the London Living Wage.

Cllr Maya de Souza

Green Party, Highgate ward

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