A council has been accused of unjustly calling itself a London Living Wage employer amid claims a contractor is pulling a care service over staff pay concerns.

Conservative councillors claimed at Waltham Forest Council meeting last night (Thursday, July 13) East Thames Housing was scrapping a deal with the local authority due to a lack of funding.

The housing association announced in February it was withdrawing from its contract to provide care at Verdon Roe Court, a community care scheme in Flaxen Road, Chingford.

In a written question, Tory councillor, John Moss, claimed East Thames axed the agreement because it was not receiving enough cash from the council to pay its staff London Living Wage.

Cllr Moss said: “At present the council is seeking a new partner and in the interim is paying sufficient to meet these costs.

"The difference is £1.71 per hour, a total annual figure at this home of less than £100,000.

“How can this council justify calling itself a London Living Wage employer when it does not pay enough in its contracts to allow our partners, who are supporting some of our most vulnerable residents, to do the same?”

Last week, the council announced it had been given the accreditation as a Living Wage Employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The local authority said it paid all its staff a minimum of £9.75 an hour and would work to ensure all council contractors were also receiving the same rate.

Responding to claims, council leader, Clare Coghill, denied East Thames’s decision to pull the plug on care provision at Verdon Roe Court was down to changes to funding levels at the scheme.

She added: “The Living Wage Foundation recognise that there are a number of challenges due to funding constraints within the care system.

“We will be establishing a working group to consider whether and how the council can achieve the London Living Wage across those care contracts where it is not currently paid.

“The outcome of this work, and agreed way forward, will be shared with the Living Wage Foundation as part of their ongoing liaison with the Council regarding our accredited status.”