At a Full Council meeting of Redcar and Cleveland Council, the authority’s Labour Group proposed a council motion asking the council to back thousands of local women who – because of their age bracket – have lost out on boosting their state pension.
The motion, which was carried unanimously by all the councillors across all parties at last Thursday’s meeting – backed the local “WASPI” (Women against state pension inequality”) Group  which campaigns to defend the rights of women born on or after 6 April 1951,  
The proposer of the successful motion,. Guisborough Labour Councillor, Shelagh Holyoake said
“This motion support local women in the borough – and there are thousands –  who expected to retire at age 60, but whose state pension age was pushed back – in some cases to age 66 – by two pieces of government legislation.”
“The first, enacted in 1995 by John Major’s Conservatives, meant that women’s state pension age would rise from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020, to bring it in line with men’s on gender equality grounds.   The second, enacted in 2011, by David Cameron’s and Nick Clegg’s Conservative / Liberal Democrat administration, decided that the age should in fact rise to 66 by the end of this decade so as to follow the rise in men’s pension age from 65 to 66 between 2018 and 2020.”
“The central core of the WASPI argument is that although this was agreed in Parliament, next to no announcements were made to women in this age bracket by the Pensions Agency (an arm of Government) so that they could plan adequately for their retirement “
“WASPI is campaigning for the Government to look at again at these issues and to bring on to the statute book a new “bridging” pension entitlement to provide a top income until the currant state pension age is reached.  WASPI is also launching a judicial review of the decision and this is expected in the High Court early in the new year.”
“We estimate that thousands of women in Redcar and Cleveland and across Teesside have been disadvantaged by this ruling, and there are groups – divorcees, widows and single women – who will be particularly hard hit.   Added to the flagrant wage inequality which still exists despite equal pay legislation, this maladministration of the state pension scheme is yet another burden placed on middle aged working women already unfairly bearing the weight of today’s Government austerity onslaught”
“I am pleased our Council has now joined this fight”