Bosses and staff at McKean Developments rolled out the welcome mat to their special guest, as well as the posse of camera men and reporters who were there to publicise the moment.

It was certainly a break from the usual routine but what shone through was the firm’s commitment to the wellbeing of its staff, many of whom have been with the company for many years.

At a time of austerity when families are under increasing pressure and foodbanks are doing worryingly brisk business it’s encouraging to see a private sector firm making a positive move of its own volition.

The proliferation of zero hour contracts over recent times is a real cause for concern as companies prioritise profit above all else.

Governments take steps — some more than others — to curb the capitalist impulse of business that has been shown to lead us down damaging paths.

But authorities can only truly succeed if private firms like McKean decided for themselves they want to raise the bar and play fair with their employees.

As Jackie McKean pointed out, it’s particularly important that firms which benefit from public sector contracts buy into the Living Wage scheme.

The health of these businesses depends on taxpayers’ money and that’s why we support calls to ensure that all firms bidding for public sector work should be compelled to prove they pay their staff a fair wage for a fair day’s work.

Remember we always welcome readers’ contributions and there are few things we like better than a letter landing in our inbox. Local newspapers depend on communication with the people who live in their patch and The News is no different. So if there is anything you would like to promote, whether that be an amazing achievement, an issue that should be highlighted, then please do let us know.

You can send us an email, give us a call or use our social media websites to get in touch.