SOUTHEND Council is set to back a campaign to compensate women born in the 1950s who, with little notice, were forced to carry on working following a change in retirement age.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign has fought for ten years to bring justice for 3.8million women across the country whose retirement age rose from 60 to 65, and later to 66, under the 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act.

The WASPI Campaign has called for between £11,666 and £20,000 compensation to those affected, with the most going to women who were given the shortest notice of the increase in their state pension age.

On Tuesday, the Southend Labour Group called on the council to back the campaign.

At a cabinet meeting, Anne Jones, Labour councillor for Westborough Ward, delivered a speech from Labour leader Daniel Cowan, who was unable to attend the meeting.

She said: “1950s-born women have suffered great pension injustice and unnecessary hardship as a result of poorly communicated pension equalization. This has had a profound effect, not only on the affected women but on the wider community.

“Women who would have retired and engaged in caring responsibilities for grandchildren are carrying on working, increasing the pressure on local childcare places and facilities. Women who may have engaged in voluntary services may not necessarily have the free time to do so and women who would have contributed towards our leisure and retail economies were left watching the pennies instead of watching the theatre, visiting galleries and supporting local shops.”

Ms Jones, who revealed her mother was one of thousands of WASPI women who had died waiting for compensation, said: “The Government has the power to compensate these women and ensure that no more WASPI women die before they receive pension justice as one does every 13 minutes.

John Lamb, councillor responsible for regulatory services, added: “I believe we need to make sure these women are not dealt with in a way that would be different than if you were a man. The rights they had should be properly dealt with and fairly dealt with throughout and I do not believe that was the case when this was brought out. We should be bringing pressure not only on our MPs but on the Government to properly compensate for the people that lost out on this.”

Cabinet supported the motion to write to Southend MPs and the Government backing the campaign.