May 272017
 

In the vital last 12 days before June 8th we’re asking as many of you as possible to write to your local papers letter page this weekend or this week at the latest.

Most local and national papers will only publish letters of 250-300 words so here are a couple of suggested letters to send/edit. For the most marginal seats we’re also publishing a list of contacts for local papers but for anyone else please also write and you should be able to google your town name and local paper to find details. Mark anything you send Letters to Editor

Template Letter 1 specifically about some disability issues

The legacy of the Conservatives is shocking and we are now shamefully the first country in the world to have been found guilty by the UN for the grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights following a lengthy inquiry.

 It would be impossible in a letter to outline all of the vicious attacks against disabled and older people made by the Conservatives since 2010 but a few of the main cuts include £4.6 billion of cuts from social care funding, 700 disabled people a week losing their entitlement to Personal Independence Payments and access to adapted vehicles, loss of a third of their income for many disabled people from their ESA disability benefits in spite f the additional costs of being disabled. Many disabled people have also lost £14 – £28 from support for their housing costs due to the Bedroom Tax yet are unable to downsize or have homes which have been adapted to meet their needs which makes moving impossible.

Britain’s benefits, including pensions, are already among the least generous in Western Europe. Women born in 1950s have had up to 6 years retirement income stolen from them and now the triple lock on pensions, winter fuel allowances is being threatened by the Conservatives.

 Due to cuts to Disability benefits 2.8 million disabled people are existing in deep poverty – that is they have 50% below the median income.

And even though we’re not yet a third world country shockingly nearly 400 citizens died from malnutrition or hunger in 2015 up 27% since 2010.


Words 258


Template Letter 2 – general about cuts to public services

Public services which we all use at some time in our lives since the Conservatives came to power have been slashed to the bone. On June 8th vote to protect them against another 5 years of Conservative cuts.

Since 2010 Social Care has been cut by £4.6 billion and 440,000 disabled people are no longer entitled to state funded care.

Hospital trusts are on course for a financial deficit of up to £850m at the end of this financial year. A Tory MP Dr Wollaston said “Local clinical commission groups are being forced to hold back £800m to prevent an even bigger black hole at hospitals. Again, this is patient care that is being cut back.”

Mental Health Services have all but disappeared and there has been a £41.3 million reduction in spending to 2015. Devastating cuts mean there are days no crisis beds are available anywhere in the UK..

Our Police service has lost 22,000 police officers and 15,000 support staff. Both security experts plus the Police Federation warned there were not enough police to keep our streets safe. Due to the lack of police we now have armed soldiers patrolling our streets for the first time ever since 1926.

Cuts to our Ambulance and Fire Services have resulted in have resulted in fewer Paramedics and fire fighters, and fire station closures. Response times for both of these life-saving services have lengthened due to this.

Now the Conservatives are coming after Education funding and funding per pupil is reducing in real terms meaning mainstream schools in England must find efficiency savings rising from £1.1 billion in 2016–17 to £3 billion by 2019–20.

These are only a few of the cuts the Conservatives are responsible for all of which affect our safety and our futures.


Words 297

Contact

Bedford editorial@timesandcitizen.co.uk

Berwick http://www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk/contact-us

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Colchester http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/contactus/

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Northampton http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/contact-us

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Kentonline http://www.kentonline.co.uk/contact-us/contact-editorial/

Cornish Times http://www.cornish-times.co.uk/

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Sutton http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/contactus/

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Barnet http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/contact.cfm

Chester http://www.chesterstandard.co.uk/about/contact.aspx

Ealing http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/contact_us/

Enfield http://www.enfield-today.co.uk/

Hendon, Finchley, Barnet, Potters Bar, Edgware and Mill Hill http://www.times-series.co.uk/

Harrow http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/contactus/

Tottenham http://www.thetottenhamindependent.co.uk/contactus/getintouch/

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Surrey http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/contactus/

Yorkshire http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/contact-us

Brighton http://www.theargus.co.uk/contactus/

Norwich http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/home/contact-us

Oxfordshire http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/contactus/

Plymouth http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/contact.html

Richmond and Twickenham http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/contactus/

Wirral http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/contactus/

Buckinghamshire http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/contact/

 Posted by at 22:25
May 272017
 

In the vital last 12 days before June 8th we’re asking as many of you as possible to write to your local papers letter page this weekend or this week at the latest.

 

Most local and national papers will only publish letters of 250-300 words so here are a couple of suggested letters to send/edit. For the  most marginal seats we’re also publishing a list of contacts for local papers but for anyone else please also write and you should be able to google your town name and local paper to find details. Mark anything you send Letters to Editor

 

Template Letter 1  specifically about some disability issues

The legacy of the Conservatives is shocking and we are now shamefully the first country in the world to have been found guilty by the UN for the grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights following a lengthy inquiry.

 

It would be impossible in a letter to outline all of the vicious attacks against disabled and older people made by the Conservatives since 2010 but a few of the main cuts  include  £4.6 billion of cuts from social care funding, 700 disabled people a week losing their entitlement to Personal Independence Payments and access to adapted vehicles, loss of a third of their income for many disabled people from their  ESA disability benefits in spite f the additional costs of being disabled. Many disabled people have also lost £14 – £28 from support for their housing costs due to the Bedroom Tax yet are unable to downsize or have homes which have been adapted to meet their needs which makes moving impossible.

 

Britain’s benefits, including pensions, are already among the least generous in Western Europe. Women born in 1950s have had up to 6 years retirement income stolen from them and now the triple lock on pensions, winter fuel allowances is being threatened by the Conservatives.

 

Due to cuts to Disability benefits 2.8 million disabled people are existing in deep poverty – that is they have 50% below the median income.

And even though we’re not yet a third world country shockingly nearly 400 citizens died from malnutrition or hunger in 2015 up 27% since 2010.

 

Words 258

 

Template Letter 2 – general about cuts to public services

 

Public services which we all use at some time in our lives since the Conservatives came to power have been slashed to the bone.  On June 8th vote to protect them against another 5 years of Conservative cuts.

 

Since 2010 Social Care  has been cut by £4.6 billion and 440,000 disabled people are no longer entitled to state funded care.

 

Hospital trusts are on course for a financial deficit of up to £850m at the end of this financial year. A Tory MP Dr Wollaston said “Local clinical commission groups are being forced to hold back £800m to prevent an even bigger black hole at hospitals. Again, this is patient care that is being cut back.”

 

Mental Health Services have all but disappeared and there has been a £41.3 million reduction in spending to 2015. Devastating cuts mean there are days no crisis beds are available anywhere in the UK..

 

Our Police service has lost 22,000 police officers and 15,000 support staff. Both security experts plus the Police Federation warned there were not enough police to keep our streets safe. Due to the lack of police we now have armed soldiers patrolling our streets for the first time ever since 1926.

Cuts to our  Ambulance and Fire Services have resulted in  have resulted in fewer  Paramedics and fire fighters, and fire station closures. Response times for both of these life-saving services have lengthened due to this.

 

Now the Conservatives are coming after Education funding and funding per pupil is reducing in real terms meaning mainstream schools in England must find efficiency savings rising from £1.1 billion in 2016–17 to £3 billion by 2019–20.

 

These are only a few of the cuts the Conservatives are responsible for all of which affect our safety and our futures.

 

Words 297

 

Contact

Bedford   editorial@timesandcitizen.co.uk

http://www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.brecon-radnor.co.uk/contact.cfm

Colchester http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.creweguardian.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/contact.html

http://www.dewsburyreporter.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/contact-us

Eastleigh  http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/contact/

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/all-about/letters-to-the-editor

 

Halesowen and Rowley Regis https://www.expressandstar.com/contact-us/

 

http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/contact-us/

http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/contact

http://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.morleyobserver.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/contactus

http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/contact.html

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/contact-us/contact-editorial/

http://www.cornish-times.co.uk/

 

Darlington, Durham,Middlesbrough,North Yorkshire,Bishop Auckland,Northallerton. http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/contactus/who/

 

http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/contactus/our_details/

https://www.shropshirestar.com/contact-us/

http://www.gazetteseries.co.uk/

http://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.devonlive.com/contact.html

http://www.denbighshirefreepress.co.uk/about/contact.aspx

http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.fakenhamtimes.co.uk/contact-us

Wolverhampton https://www.expressandstar.com/contact-us/

http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/contact-us/

http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/contact-us

 

http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/contact.html

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/contact-us/contact-editorial/

http://www.cornish-times.co.uk/

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/contact-us/

 

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/contact-us/

http://www.tivysideadvertiser.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.leek-news.co.uk/contact.html

Contact Us

http://www.chingfordtimes.co.uk/

http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/contact.cfm

http://www.chesterstandard.co.uk/about/contact.aspx

http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/contact_us/

http://www.enfield-today.co.uk/

http://www.enfield-today.co.uk/

http://www.times-series.co.uk/

http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.times-series.co.uk/

http://www.thetottenhamindependent.co.uk/contactus/getintouch/

 

http://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/contact-us

http://www.theargus.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/home/contact-us

http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/contact.html

http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/contactus/

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/contact/

 

 

 

 Posted by at 22:05
May 272017
 

Available for download NOW – tell everyone you know!

Captain Ska’s “Liar, Liar” is officially released today. We have one week to get it in the top 40s, forcing the BBC to play it over the airways!

Click on the following links to download:

ItunesAmazonBand CampSpotify

(Please note Captain Ska previously released a version of Liar Liar in 2010 so don’t download the wrong one! Correct track is called ‘Liar Liar GE2017’)

Still_for_Liar_Liar_.jpg

Band member and song writer Jake said:
“We’ve re-mastered our Liar, Liar song for this General Election because we want to do all we can to expose the horrific effects Tory policy has had on ordinary people. Theresa May lies her way through interview after interview without addressing the real issues.”

“We’re sick of her and her party of millionaires privatising and cutting our public services while it’s poverty and deteriorating living standards for the rest of us. The money is there to improve the lives of the majority but it’s in the hands of the wrong people.”

“We want to do all we can to make sure Theresa May is kicked out of Downing St on 8 June. I’m confident we’ll get into the UK Top 40’s which would mean the BBC will have to play it on their chart show next Sunday.”

All money spent on downloads of the track between 26 May and 8 June 2017 will be split between food banks around the UK and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Get downloading folks!

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

 Posted by at 12:42
May 262017
 

This is a follow up of a previous article on the Health and Work Conversation: Claiming ESA under Universal Credit: Nobody is unfit for work anymore. Click here to read the article

During the Health and Work Conversation, claimants will be asked to fill a questionnaire[1].  It is important to know that this questionnaire can be filled at home and not straight away.

This questionnaire asked questions to help claimants to have a better conversation with their work coaches, and to help them find the best support for claimants according to DWP. What follow are the comments of a Consultant clinical psychologist Dr Jay Watts on the unsuitability of this questionnaire for people with mental health conditions:

JW: It is important to read this new demand on claimants with the wider context in mind. This context is one where the DWP is experienced as punitive, willing to sanction claimants at every turn, with little understanding of the nature of mental health problems, and professionals linking the rise of suicides and mental health epidemic with an austerity regime that belittles and scapegoats disabled people. Professionals like me lack confidence in the DWP’s capacity, or interest in, excluding a wide enough proportion of ‘vulnerable adults’ from this process, who may be made suicidal by yet another requirement. This process is to occur before claimants have their WCA and is mandatory. FOIs tell us that the DWP will presume claimants are fit to work before the WCA, though this demand will be damaging to many. It is likely to increase the time claimants are left waiting before their WCA verdict, leaving claimants in a purgatory that is damaging to mental health.

Some thoughts on the form.

This is not a ‘conversation’ because the terms of reference have been predecided.

DWP: “It’s about helping you get into work when you’re able to in the future.”

It should not be ‘when’ it should be ‘if’. To set up a ‘when’ and indeed to insist on this ‘conversation’ is deeply damaging – it sets up failure in comparison to a (newly created neoliberal) norm. There are many people with mental health problems who will never be able to work. This form is yet another method of equating worklessness with worthlessness, and undermining the other ways disabled people contribute to society.

 

DWP: You and your work coach will use simple tools to talk about an action that you want to do, and plan how you can do it.

 

JW: The ‘simple tools’ are not proveably based on positive psychology. But the language of positive psychology runs through every word of this document. One of the core principles of psychology is that intervention should only occur when recipients are able to consent freely. This process is mandatory, and It thus represents a misuse, dare I say it abuse, of power. This is even more problematic in the wider context where many disabled people have been cut off from mental health support and social care. How can it be ethical to deny someone with a history of sexual abuse desperately needed and asked for therapy via the NHS on one hand, whilst insisting they comply with a forced exercise under conditions of extreme stress to return them to work with the other.

 

What if there is no “action” the claimant wants to do, or is capable of. Not dying is a big enough task these days. Work coaches are to have minimal training, with FOIs suggesting courses will run for 1.5 days max. This is inadequate to understand the complex nature of mental health problems.

 

DWP: “There are no right or wrong answers”.

JW: Nonsense. There clearly are. What are the consequences of this? Will a copy of the ‘work conversation’ be shared at JobCentre+? If yes, even if these are explicitly not supposed to be used for sanctioning, not having the ‘right attitude’ during the work conversation will bias people to sanction.

 

DWP:  ‘Do you need to take part? Yes

JW: Why yes to ‘do you need to take part’. For many people work is impossible and the idea they should work can feed in to or trigger mental health deterioration. Having to do this could quite literally produce the conditions that make suicide the only option.

 

DWP: What kinds of things do you like doing in your life and at work?

JW:  The inability to like anything, to enjoy life, to feel pleasure or anything but emptiness, is a core symptom of many mental health problems. This is made worse by people’s material circumstances for example poor housing, and poverty. Shining a light on what people like, or the lack thereof, can therefore be dangerous especially in a context where claimants feel obliged to perform. Claimants tell mental health professionals again and again that they simply do not feel safe enough to complete DWP forms openly. These types of questions situate claimants as performing dogs, a task that can be the final straw for many. Liking anything obviously a distant country when in mental distress/poverty. It is an absurd question and most people will not be able to fill in this form as they actually feel due to being so scared of the DWP taking away means to live. Ditto ‘what are you good at?’

 

DWP: ‘How does your health affect your life and your ability to work?’

JW: This is a very difficult question; people do not have the answer to this easily accessible. Claimants are likely to underestimate the effects of health on life, because guilt fuelled by the ‘striver or skiver’ discourse means people emphasise the good days, leading to inappropriate work plans which will place further pressure on claimants. Work coaches will be under huge pressure to produce encouraging statistics for their supervisors and the DWP, shaping how they ask questions ad hear answers.

 

DWP: ‘What work have you done in the past, if any?

JW: Many mental health and physical disabilities start after a few more functional years of adult life. There has often been a period where activity was possible before breakdown. This question is potentially dangerous in that it asks people to reflect on potentially a lost time that can never be got back, forcing into relief the difference between now and then. This is likely to provoke a mourning, an increased depression, a shame, that causes a deterioration in mental health. It may make claimants feel ‘you are not what you were, you should be, and you are not wanted otherwise’ with devastating effects.

 

DWP: ‘What are some of the things that have made you proud in your life and at work?

JW: It is none of DWP business. Again it could be damaging if nothing comes to mind, or if something special is thought of which then gets connected with the DWP (so basically a good memory and, say, fear get tied together so the good memory gets polluted). This is not a safe conversation for this environment.

 

DWP: ‘Is there anything else in your life that makes it difficult for you to work?’

JW: Claimants could answer: not having treatment for my mental health issues due to NHS cutbacks, unstable housing, being continually threatened with sanctions and having my benefits cut by the DWP, but most people will feel too scared to say it as it is, or won’t have that awareness of quite how much say austerity is a causal factor because of the ongoing governmental agenda to make claimants feel it is they who are failing somehow as work is really a possibility for all.

 

DWP: Tell us how and what you want to do’.

JW: There is no freedom to answer this properly.

 

The stated aims of ‘My 4 steps’are to boost confidence and motivation to work again. This form will not help with this. It is more likely to undermine confidence and worth with potentially devastating consequences.

 

DWP: ‘Step 1 want’.

JW: What people want is often something like being able to leave the flat. This is something that work coaches are simply not qualified to help with. The whole four-step programme is again obviously based on ideas from CBT and Behavioual Therapy though not proveably. These should not be worked on outside a trusting therapeutic relationship, where power dynamics are considered, and when the person feels safe. All these requirements are not possible in a ‘work conversation’ DWP setting.

 

How are these work coaches going to be trained to work with disabled people? What are they going to do when suicidal material comes up? GPs and secondary services no longer have capacity to help when a referral cites suicide risk.

 

How are they going to screen for people who could be made suicidal by this task. Guilt and shame are central to so many mental health problems (and obviously the governmental discourse have made many claimants feel like this). This form will press on those emotions, making live more unbearable and increasing suicide risk. The suggestions in the form that this is not for now will not help. They set up a trajectory of moving to work which is not achievable for many, making people feel they do not have a worth otherwise. This is not only unethical but will end up increasing healthcare costs.

 

Some people want help to return to work. Claimants and professionals have repeatedly told the DWP that this should be made available outside the DWP setting, where informed consent is genuinely possible, and where hindrances can be explored safely. Making these ‘conversations’ mandatory is not only likely to be ineffective and damaging for those for whom work is impossible, but will place additional strain on claimants who already feel persecuted by the increasing number of hoops the DWP demand claimants jump through. Demanding claimants fit adhere with an ideal which is unrealistic for many, and which suggests other ways of living are undesirable and meaningless, will adversely affect the mental health of many claimants, increasing the number of suicides connected with an increasingly brutal governmental regime.

 

 

[1] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/403431/response/983255/attach/3/1816%20HWC%20Claimant%20Booklet.pdf

 

 Posted by at 13:11
May 252017
 

What you will read may be very distressing for you, but we are looking at the worst-case scenario and identifying measures to help you and other claimants.  It would be good to have some feedback on the Health and Work Conversations from people who have made an ESA claim. More we know about it, and more we can fight this.

What you should not do, is to decide not to claim ESA. That is what DWP wants you to do.

 

Some documents released by the DWP have shown the direction of travel in terms of claiming ESA under UC.

Under the old regime, a person wishing to claim ESA was placed in the ESA assessment phase, attracting the lowest ESA rate (JSA rate), and also no conditionality, and this until a Work Capability Assessment could decide whether the claimant was fit or unfit for work.

The Work and Health Conversation

Under Universal Credit, a person wishing to claim ESA will be first called for a Health and Work Conversation (HWC).  This conversation is basically a Work Focus Interview, and is mandatory, which means that a claimant can be sanctioned for not attending.  Attending does not only mean being physically present at the interview but also fulfilling all the requirements set by DWP for a WFI:

Regulation 57 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008:

57.—(1) A claimant is regarded as having taken part in a work-focused interview if the claimant—

(a) attends for the interview at the place and at the date and time notified in accordance with  regulation 56;

(b) provides information, if requested by the Secretary of State, about any or all of the  matters set out in paragraph (2);

(c) participates in discussions to the extent the Secretary of State considers necessary, about  any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (3);

(d) assists the Secretary of State in the completion of an action plan.

 

(2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are—

(a) the claimant’s educational qualifications and vocational training;

(b) the claimant’s work history;

(c) the claimant’s aspirations for future work;

(d) the claimant’s skills t

hat are relevant to work;

(e) the claimant’s work-related abilities;

(f) the claimant’s caring or

 childcare responsibilities; and

(g) any paid or unpaid work that the claimant is undertaking.

 

(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(c) are—

(a) any activity the claimant is willing to undertake which may make obtaining or remaining  in work more likely;

(b) any such activity that the claimant may have previously undertaken;

(c) any progress the claimant may have made towards remaining in or obtaining work;

(d) any work-focused health-related assessment the claimant may have taken part in; and

(e) the claimant’s opinion as to the extent to which the ability to remain in or obtain work is restricted by the claimant’s physical or mental condition.

 

So the main difference with the previous regime is that people with a fit note from their GP saying they are not fit for work, will be (are being) called for a mandatory WFI.

They also will be asked to fill a questionnaire which is also mandatory and to undertake an optional exercise called My values.  You can read about the questionnaire here

According to the DWP, some ‘vulnerable’ people will be exempted from this conversation. [1]

The DWP defines vulnerability as “an individual who is identified as having complex needs and/or requires additional support to enable them to access DWP benefits and use our services.” but has not yet released the guidance given to Work Coaches on who will be exempted from the HWC.  As these conversations have already started, this guidance exists and should be released immediately by the DWP.

Unfortunately, based on the DWP ghastly track record, it is likely that pressure to attend will be placed on people unable to attend because of their health conditions. DPAC has already encountered a case of a person with mental capacity issues and a life threatening health condition being requested to attend a HWC.

 

After the Health and Work Conversation

Unlike under the previous regime, when ESA claimants with a GP fit note saying they were unfit to work were not expected to fulfil any work related requirements until a WCA said otherwise, ESA claimants under UC will be by default assumed to be fit for work and expected to fulfil all Work Related Requirements  until their  WCA . [2]

Claimants to whom the All Work Related Requirements apply:

  • claimants who have a fit note and are awaiting a WCA
  • claimants who have been found not to have limited capability for work at the WCA and are appealing against this outcome
  • claimants who have some paid work but are earning below conditionality earnings threshold
  • claimants who do not fall into any other group

 

What All Work Related Requirement means:

 

Claimants in this group must be available for full-time work of any type and look for this within 90 minute travelling time from their home. Restrictions can be applied to looking for work, the type of work and hours of work where it is appropriate due to the claimant’s capability and circumstances.

Claimants must be engaged in work search and work preparation activities for at least the number of hours they are available for work. Claimants must take all reasonable action to obtain paid work. 

Work Coaches must set work search activities for the claimant to search for work for their expected hours (This is the number of hours that the claimant is available for work or 35 hours, whichever is the lower figure) less deductions from this for the allowable time spent undertaking agreed work-preparation activities , voluntary work and paid work. 

 

Only one restriction for people with health conditions is mentioned in the document: claimants who have a fit note will not be required to take up work that they are not capable of doing until their fit note ends

 

Any other derogation to the All Work Related Requirements will be at the discretion of work coaches.  For most claimants, work coaches will not have more medical information than the fit note (the diagnosis) or in some cases, the WCA outcome when they have not be found to have Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity, and they should not be able to ask claimants for this kind of information without breaching the Data Protection Act.  These work coaches are also not medically trained. Any Work Related Requirement will be based on the diagnosis, and on what the claimant would have told them during the HWC conversation and in the questionnaire.  Also based on that, claimants would have to complete an action plan and sign a claimant commitment.  Failure to do so could result in a sanction.

This is deeply worrying because:

1) an extra step is introduced before the WCA which is already stressful enough

2) all claimants assessed by their GP as unfit for work, will be considered by default fit for work by the DWP.

3) work coaches are medically untrained and unable to comprehend whether a work related requirement can have a detrimental effect on the health of a claimant

4) GPs medical judgement is undermined by medically untrained staff.

5) DWP definition of ‘vulnerable’ may be so restrictive that some claimants with very serious health conditions could be requested to attend a  HWC and sanctioned for failing to do so

[1] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/398247/response/972681/attach/2/1341%20Reply.pdf

 

[2] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/301588/response/743734/attach/4/FOI%204794%20part%202.pdf

 Posted by at 20:54
May 252017
 

At the 2015 election, 49 Conservative candidates won seats in which they polled fewer votes than the combined total of Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru, and Mebyon Kernow.

This list shows which came closest (Liberal Democrat 19, Labour 29, and SNP 1):

Aberconwy – Labour;

Bath – LD;

Bedford – Labour;

Berwick upon Tweed – LD;

Bolton West – Labour;

Brecon and Radnorshire – LD;

Brighton Kemptown – Labour;

Bristol North West – Labour;

Bury North – Labour;

Calder Valley – Labour;

 

Camborne and Redruth – Labour;

Canterbury – Labour;

Cardiff North – Labour;

Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South – Labour;

Cheadle – LD;

Cheltenham – LD;

Colchester – LD;

Corby – Labour/Labour Co-op;

Croydon Central – Labour;

Derby North – Labour;

 

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale, and Tweeddale – SNP;

Eastbourne – LD;

Gower – Labour;

Hazel Grove – LD;

Kingston and Surbiton – LD;

Lewes – LD;

Lincoln – Labour;

Morley and Outwood – Labour;

Oxford West and Peterborough – LD;

Peterborough – Labour;

 

Plymouth and Moor View – Labour;

Plymouth Sutton and Devonport – Labour/Labour Co-op;

Portsmouth South – LD;

Reading East – Labour;

St Austell and Newquay – LD;

St Ives – LD;

Southampton Itchen – Labour/Labour Co-op;

Sutton and Cheam – LD;

Telford – Labour;

Thornbury and Yate – LD;

 

Thurrock – Labour;

Torbay – LD;

Twickenham – LD;

Vale of Clwyd – Labour;

Warrington South – Labour;

Watford – Labour;

Waveney – Labour;

Weaver Vale – Labour;

Yeovil – LD.

 

 

 Posted by at 18:43
May 212017
 
Trash the Tories Sticker

DPAC supporters have been busy posting facebook adverts in marginal constituencies to reach thousands of voters asking them to make sure to register and vote.

Before June 8th we need to post and pay for more adverts on facebook to tell voters the truth about Tory policies towards not just us but also children and young people, women and now pensioners. So far this has cost around £3,000.

These facebook adverts are the most cost effective way for us to run a strong and stable campaign against May and her cronies but we need another £2,000 for a final set of adverts the week before the election.

Supporters have also been out and about all over the country distributing thousands and thousands of leaflets between us all and we have also spent money on travel costs for people to come to our street protests over the past few weeks.

If you can help us fund the next round of adverts by donating even just £1 please donate via paypal  on the right hand side of this page. We must #TrashTheTories not only our futures but our children’s and our parent’s futures depend on it.

 

 Posted by at 12:50
May 192017
 

this is a press release from the national Pensioners’ Convention which shows just how savage the attacks against pensioners will be if the Tories are re-elected.

Conservatives offer “Frankenstein’s monster” of a plan to solve care crisis

Posted on May 18, 2017

Conservatives offer “Frankenstein’s monster” of a plan to solve care crisis

Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has described the Conservative manifesto pledge on social care as a “Frankenstein’s monster of a plan” which bolts together a number of bad policies.

Jan Shortt, NPC general secretary said: “The Conservative’s manifesto pledge on social care offers the worst of all possible worlds for millions of older people and their families. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a plan which bolts lots of bad policies together and still fails to tackle the real unfairness in the care system.”

“Every single pensioner needing care at home will now be forced to pay, regardless of their income, because for the first time ever the value of their home will be taken into account, whilst the number of those in care homes that will benefit will be relatively small by comparison. What makes it worse is that to pay for this proposal, around nine million pensioners are going to lose their winter fuel allowance and all pensioners will see the value of their state pension fall once the triple lock is removed.”

“This plan has completely failed to spread the risk and cost of social care across society as a whole, and in effect has left the burden on the shoulders of millions of older people and their families. It’s actually quite unbelievable that the Conservatives, who rely on the support of older voters, would make such a controversial and punitive proposal. They clearly have no intention of solving the social care crisis.”

 Posted by at 12:34
May 182017
 

Watch the video and then you might like to ask Transport for London to watch the video and explain themselves (contact details below the video)

A video testimony by activist Doug Paulley,

Trying to get home from Westminster in my wheelchair, I discover the lift at Kings Cross is out of order, with no advance warning. The results are stressful, and an indictment of TFL’s treatment of disabled travellers.

Transport for London’s contact details are:

Twitter: @TfL

Online: Use our online form

you might also like to complain to London Travelwatch

London TravelWatch

London TravelWatch is the official watchdog organisation which represents the interests of public transport users in and around the capital. It is independent of TfL and can help with complaints about public transport in London.

Online: Complain to London TravelWatch
Email: enquiries@londontravelwatch.org.uk

 Posted by at 12:00
May 152017
 

Anthony, a film maker, is making some videos for DPAC to use in the election about cuts people have faced or problems people have had with social care or benefits cuts.

We’re particularly interested but not exclusively looking for:

  • people who have or may lose DLA, or had a Motability vehicle taken away after a PIP assessment
  • anyone who is the parent of a disabled child or
  • anyone who has had to give up taking part in activities such as work, recreation or has loss of independence due to austerity cuts.

Anthony is based in London and would prefer to interview who are in London or within a short travel on public transport to London, however it may be possible to arrange for him to get to other parts of the country.

If you or anyone you know would be willing to take part in making a short video please could please email us at mail@dpac.uk.net

 Posted by at 17:16
May 142017
 

#TrashTheTories

Maidenhead – Saturday June 3rd  meet for  2pm at rail station forecourt.

Theresa May "Our Blood on Her Hands"Please join us if you can as Maidenhead which is Theresa May’s constituency has been chosen for Disabled People Against Cuts last national demonstration before the General Election.

With the station as the starting point at 2pm DPAC will take its message #TrashTheTories to the heart of Theresa May’s constituency to highlight the horrors that disabled people have faced on a daily basis since they came to power in 2010.

The UN has found the UK government guilty of the grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights and we will be making it clear that enough is enough, to the voters of Maidenhead.

The Tories have heartlessly attacked disabled people with their vicious anti-austerity cuts which have hit disabled people 9 times more than any other group and those with the highest support needs 19 times more.

In all the years we have been campaigning, it has never felt so desperately important to get the public to understand; Tory policies are starving, isolating and ultimately killing us.

Trains to Maidenhead leave from Paddington station about every 15 minutes and take between 30-47 minutes. The train company is Great Western and return fare is £11.80.

Some funding is available to cover travel costs and if you need help with these email us mail@dpac.uk.net

 

 Posted by at 12:35
May 122017
 
[from People’s Assembly ]

Captain SKA’s track ‘Liar Liar’ has been remastered to target Theresa May and the Conservative Party for the General Election. It’s a scathing attack on Tory Government’s record. It will be available to download from Friday 26 May. 

In 2010 the original track hit no.1 in the UK Reggae charts – the target at that time being Cameron, Clegg and the Coalition Government. In the run up to such a crucial election we want to think big and get it into the official top 40s – obliging the BBC to play it on the airways reaching millions. 

It only takes a few thousand downloads to get it in the top 40s. We need your help to spread the word to your friends, family, workmates. 

Today we’ve released a short teaser video – please share on social media, spread the word and get ready to download it on Friday 26 May. 

All proceeds during the election campaign will be split between food banks across the UK and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – directly helping those suffering most at the hands of the Tories and also to help sustain a campaign for the alternative to austerity.

WATCH THE TEASER VIDEO:

 Posted by at 21:24
May 122017
 

Digital Games for Rehabilitation and Recommender Apps with Privacy Management for Disabled People

I am a senior lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Glasgow and am a member of DPAC Glasgow.  I am  carrying out this survey with an Italian colleague. We are both disabled.

The survey covers two related studies on (i) digital games in the rehabilitation of disabled people and (ii) mobile recommender apps with privacy management for disabled people.  It has ethical approval from the University of Glasgow

Please do consider participating.  Please contact me if you would like further information

Contact details:  Dr Marion Hersh, marion.hersh@glasgow.ac.uk.

Survey link (English version):  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3515817/Digital-Games-for-Rehabilitation-and-Recommender-Apps-with-Privacy-Management-for-Disabled-People

Survey link (Italian version):  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3552385/Giochi-per-la-riabilitazione-delle-persone-disabili

There are also companion versions for teachers, therapists and other professionals working with disabled people which will be available online soon.  Please contact me for the links. 

Further information: There is increasing interest in the use of games in education and rehabilitation and a large and ever increasing number of mobile apps.  There may therefore be potential for the use of games in the rehabilitation of disabled people and the development of recommender apps to aid disabled people in finding products that meet their needs.  Both rehabilitation games and mobile recommender apps may obtain information about the user and the context.  This raises the issues of privacy management.  However there are few studies which examine these issues from the perspective of disabled people.   This research is aimed to fill these gaps.  We aim to collect information, opinions, suggestions and expectations about the use of (i) digital and interactive games in the rehabilitation of disabled people and (ii) the use of recommendation apps with privacy management for disabled people.  This brief questionnaire is intended for disabled people and the parents of disabled children under 16, who will complete it on their behalf.

 

 Posted by at 12:55
May 102017
 

Homes for all protest Flyer - 25th May 5pm Parliament Sq and 24th June Noon Parliament Sq page 1Homes for all protest Flyer - 25th May 5pm Parliament Sq and 24th June Noon Parliament Sq Page 2

8 June 2017 General election

Housing at a crossroads

This general election needs to focus attention on housing, a major concern for voters.  Five million people are on council waiting lists; buying a home has never been more unaffordable; private renters typically spend half their income on rent; homelessness has doubled since 2010; good homes are being demolished in the name of ‘regeneration’. 

There are many places where people are being priced-out and communities broken by rising housing costs, benefit cuts and the shortage of genuinely affordable homes.  Huge damage is being done to our society by insecure, unaffordable, sub-standard housing. 

We need action to improve the situation for private tenants, living with constant rent rises and only two months from eviction. In Britain housing costs are at the highest ever as a proportion of incomes, with private renters paying the highest rents with the least security in Europe. The next government must take action to improve and extend tenancy rights and control rents.

Axe The Housing Act Logo

We believe building more homes that are genuinely affordable and secure is essential.  This requires long-term government investment and freeing local councils to build the homes we need. Council housing pays for itself and is a permanent community asset.

We are also concerned about the role of housing associations (HAs), set up as ‘social landlords’ to help people in housing need but becoming increasingly commercial.  We call on the next government to make HAs more accountable, restore regulation and demand that they build more homes for rent at not-for- profit social rent levels.

Housing is at a crossroads.  Recent policies, and in particular the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and benefit cuts, are taking us in the wrong direction.  Unless these change, millions more will be forced into insecure and unaffordable private renting or homelessness, as non-market housing alternatives are destroyed.

We call on all politicians seeking our votes to commit themselves to:

  • Repeal the Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • Stop demolition of council estates
  • A national programme of council house building
  • Decent, secure homes and rent control for all

 

 Posted by at 22:10
May 092017
 
Trash the Tories Sticker

Loud hailer meme for the #TrashTheTories Campaign

On this page you’ll find details of all of the online activities we have planned for DPAC’s #TrashTheTories election campaign

We’ll update this page with new information regularly so keep checking back


Memes you can use in your own tweets and Facebook posts

You can download all the graphic images for the #TrashTheTories Campaign here  to use yourself and share.

ESA Cut Memes you can download memes made by Rachael Swindon for DPAC for all the Tory MPs who voted for the ESA Cut here. You can read more about this here


Play Theresa May’s Election Bullshit Bingo



#TrashTheTories TV Programme Tweetouts

We are running a rolling tweetout to hijack the hashtags of popular TV programmes

Here are the times, channels and hashtags of the programmes we are targeting along with a link to a tweetlist with tweets already set up with the programme hashtag that you can use (or use your own tweets)

Keep Checking back, well be adding new programmes to target every few days

 

Time

Prog

Channel

HashTag(s)

Link to Tweets

Monday

19.00

Emmerdale

ITV

#Emmerdale

Tweetlist

19.30

Coronation St

ITV

#Corrie

Tweetlist

20.00

Eastenders

BBC1

#Eastenders

Tweetlist

All day

Twitter

#MondayMotivation

Tweetlist

Tuesday

19.00

Emmerdale

ITV

#Emmerdale

Tweetlist

19.30

Eastenders

BBC1

#Eastenders

Tweetlist

20.00

Holby City

BBC1

#Holby

Tweetlist

All day

Twitter

#CharityTuesday

Tweetlist

Wednesday

19.00

Emmerdale

ITV

#Emmerdale

Tweetlist

19.30

Coronation St

ITV

#Corrie

Tweetlist

All day

Twitter

#WednesdayWisdom

Tweetlist

Thursday

19.00

Emmerdale

ITV

#Emmerdale

Tweetlist

19.30

Eastenders

BBC1

#Eastenders

Tweetlist

22.45

Question Time

BBC1

#BBCQT

Tweetlist

All day

Twitter

#ThursdayThoughts

Tweetlist

Friday

19.00

Emmerdale

ITV

#Emmerdale

Tweetlist

19.30

Coronation St

ITV

#Corrie

Tweetlist

20.00

Eastenders

BBC1

#Eastenders

Tweetlist

21.45

Have I got news for you

BBC1

#hignfy

Tweetlist

22.00-23.05

The Last Leg

Starts 19-5-17

Channel 4

#LastLeg

#IsItOK

Tweetlist

All day

Twitter

#FridayFeeling

Tweetlist

Saturday

10.00

Saturday Kitchen

BBC1

#SaturdayKitchen

Tweetlist

20.05

Casualty

BBC

#Casualty

Tweetlist

Sunday

09.00-10.00

Marr

BBC1

#Marr

Tweetlist

10.00-11.00

Peston

ITV

#Peston

Tweetlist

19.00-20.00

Antiques Roadshow

BBC1

#AntiquesRoadShow

Tweetlist


 

 Posted by at 17:30
May 082017
 
Bromley and Croydon DPAC with a Trash The Tories Stall on student campus Photo © Paula Peters

Bromley and Croydon DPAC with a Trash The Tories Stall on student campus Photo © Paula Peters

Following the launch in Westminster last week members of Bromley and Croydon DPAC got stuck in with the new #TrashTheTories campaign on Monday 8 May. We set up a stall outside the Bromley campus of London South East Colleges to encourage young students and staff members to register to vote in the general election and to use their vote to help stop Theresa May’s Conservatives on June 8th.

We had a great response with students committing to register and use their vote. Some were unaware of the election before talking to us but will now use their vote in solidarity with disabled people. Getting out there and talking to people about what 7 years of vicious cuts have done to us can make a real difference in building an anti-Tory vote.
Over 200 copies of our new election leaflet were distributed – you can download a printable version of it here. If you can why not print some to give out, or organise with your friends or local DPAC group to set up a stall outside your local college, in your high street, at a train station or anywhere else you might meet people who you can convince to help us #TrashTheTories on June 8th.

If you want help or advice on setting up a stall – getting hold of leaflets in bulk or anything else about getting involved contact us at mail@dpac.uk.net

If you are unable to participate in street campaigning due to your impairment or cuts to your support you can still get involved with our online shenanigans.
 The Trash The Tories Leaflet that was handed out from the campaign stall
 Posted by at 22:11
May 082017
 

It is vitally important that every disabled, and young person is registered to vote as both groups are under-represented in elections.

We are therefore asking all DPAC supporters to write urgently ie. this week to their local papers.

 

Here is a template letter you can use

 

Dear Editor,

I’d like to invite any readers who aren’t yet registered to vote to register before May 22nd and to use their vote in the forthcoming General Election.

You can register on-line in minutes at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

All you need is your National Insurance number or alternatively you can register by phoning Electoral Services at your local council.

Anyone who may not find it easy to get to the polling station can also ask for a postal vote or proxy vote before May 23rd.

Make your vote count in this election.

 

Yours faithfully,

Doris Day

 

You can find contact details for your local paper by googling.

 Posted by at 21:52
May 072017
 

Do you live in or near Pembroskeshire and have been affected by Tory cuts?

If so, we want to hear your story.

We’re putting a newspaper piece together for Pembrokeshire newspapers and desperately need your stories. Our aim to publish a collection of people’s stories to maximize the impact of the piece.

Please write to us if;

You know someone, or have yourself been affected by Tory benefit cuts?
You know someone, or have yourself had to use food banks?
You know someone, or have yourself been made to go on a workfare program?
You know someone, or have yourself had your disability benefits cut even though you (or they) are unfit for work?
You know someone, or have yourself been made homeless as a result of Tory policies.
You know someone, or have yourself fallen into debt due to working family (or working) tax credits cuts?
You know someone, or have yourself fallen into debt due to bedroom tax or other cuts.
You know someone, or have yourself been forced to use payday loans due to benefit cuts.
Have you been sanctioned unfairly? Do you know anyone who has? Do you have any other stories you would be willing to share with us?
You can remain anonymous if you prefer to do so. Anything you tell us will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
PLEASE tell us your story, the local press in Pembrokeshire are waiting to hear. We need your stories to tell the wider public what is really going on! And we have already been told that we will be published so PLEASE send them in to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Yours, Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Email Lynda; pembrokeshirepeoplesassembly@ gmail.com

Or contact us vis the Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly (against austerity) Facebook page here; https://www.facebook.com/ groups/172685536228983/

Many thanks, 
And we look forward to hearing from you  “

 Posted by at 20:52
May 052017
 

DPAC Lock Up Your Wheelchairs Logo Do you want to share and develop your skills around organising with other disabled people in your area?

Do you want to learn new skills?

If you’re interested then come and join DPAC Disabled People Against Cutson the ‘Lock Up Your Wheelchairs Tour’ in Leeds and other venues around the country.

DPAC has been at the fore-front of street resistance to austerity since their formation in 2010.

Disabled people have led the fight against welfare reforms. Remploy closure, closure of the Independent Living Fund, Atos, Maximus and many, many more issues.

Now DPAC are undertaking a visit to places around the country to hear from local people what the issues and campaign priorities are locally; and to work with local disabled people and their allies in sharing and developing campaign skills.

To address these the one-day workshops will cover areas such as:Planning & carrying out Direct Action which is inclusive & accessible for all.

Media Skills – Messaging, Press Releases, Doing Interviews

Legal Advice – Knowing Your Rights

Keeping Safe & Secure

Banner/Prop Making

Other area specific issues identified by local disabled people

  1. i) we need to confirm venues (Think DPO’s, trade unions buildings,

community centres etc). So the questions are:

 

  1. ii) do you have access to an accessible space for around 20-25 people

that we can use for a whole day – for free?

 

iii) do you know where such a venue might be locally (either free or

cheap)?

  1. iv) can you contact them with a view to getting a date and/or ?
  2. v) if not,

but you want to take part and have no capacity to sort venue, let us

know.

If you are a local disabled person, or non disabled ally and you would like

to attend the tour email us at mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Please also let us know if you have any specific access requirements or

questions.

These sessions will also need some volunteer support on the day from

local allies. Local activist groups, i.e. Antifa etc, BSL interpreters, PAs.

A poster with all dates confirmed and venues will be released soon.

Places on all can be booked via mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Greater Manchester 6th may

Chesterfield 20th may

Norwich June 3rd

Leeds 1st July

at 10.30 am

 

Glasgow 29th July

South London – to be confirmed

 Posted by at 20:38
May 052017
 

Fighting Fracking? Get skilled up! – Come to one of the amazing Anti-Fracking Training weekends in Hebden Bridge 14th -15th May and Nottingham 3rd-4th June. London/Southeast to be confirmed.   

As well as getting lots of skills, knowledge and practice these weekends will be important for networking with others who are resisting fracking in your region – a place to share ideas and resources to help build a stronger, more cohesive movement. 

Facilitated by experienced trainers from Seeds for Change and Green and Black Cross, this is a great opportunity to find out about non-violent direct action as an additional, effective tool to combat fracking. We hope that, by reaching people from many communities and groups determined to resist this unnecessary, damaging threat to our environment, our training weekends will help strengthen the movement. 
Topics we will cover include: 

Why direct action? 
Practical direct action techniques 
Being creative, capturing the imagination 
Planning and organising an action – what is involved? 
Buddies and affinity groups 
Media – getting the message out 
Legal training 
As well as learning a lot, we expect to build solidarity and have fun! 

To find out more, get in contact and download the application forms, visit the page on the website:https://reclaimthepowe r.org.uk/fracking/direct- action-training/

 Posted by at 20:33
May 042017
 

On a lovely sunny day DPAC activists met up in London from as far away as Edinburgh and Wrexham to take our messages to Tory Head Office that we will #TrashTheTories in the forthcoming general election.

We’d like to thank all of you who came, all of you who joined in on-line and all of you who donate to DPAC either regularly or as a one-off payment for your support which allows these events to happen.

I travelled down with Jae and we met a woman aged 77 years old who was still having to work because her state pension was so inadequate and she couldn’t live on it. While I realise she is a whole 20 years younger than old Philip, who has just retired from abusing foreign visitors to the UK, at the grand old age of 97 goodness knows what will happen to her and other pensioners like her when the triple lock is removed from pensions by the Tories if they win the election.

Video: “DPAC descend on Tory HQ Protesting DWP and austerity #TrashTheTories May 2nd Old Palace Yard” by LetMeLookTV

While we didn’t quite manage our primary objective which had been to occupy the Tory Party office we spent some time gathered outside making ourselves heard and then went off to block a road next to Westminster Abbey. By that stage the numbers of police officers accompanying us seemed to have grown from the original few to dozens but then we had already been thanked by the police for having the protest on such a nice day and getting them out of the office so I assume more of them felt the same way.

We stayed in the road about an hour to an hour and a half and most of us as the police kept saying had been warned. Those of us who had been prevented from going back onto the road at one point filled in our time leafleting the public as they passed.

Anyhow my journey back from Westminster to Marylebone with Jae helped reinforce that much more still needs to be done about disabled access to transport. Normally I never get on a bus before a wheelchair user I’m travelling with but just this once I did and sat down waiting for the ramp to be put out for her to also get on the bus but suddenly it pulled off leaving her sitting at the stop.

Booking assistance to travel once we had both arrived at the train station was fine but of course as she was arriving back in one of our large towns after 10 pm they didn’t think there would be any station staff to help her off with a ramp and the guard (one of those people who Southern Rail and other companies want to scrap) would have to help.

More information on what to do next coming soon or email us at mail@dpac.uk.net with any plans or ideas you have to help #TrashTheTories

By Linda Burnip

View a photo gallery of the protest by Luca Neve

 Posted by at 22:09
May 042017
 
How to Survive Disability Benefits
23 May at 19:00–21:00
Trinity Centre
Trinity Road, BS2 0NW Bristol, United Kingdom
Over the past seven years the government has practically declared war on
those with disabilities, long term illnesses or any other conditions
that make life difficult. Support services that enabled us to work or
live normal lives have been stripped away. At the same time the
politicians and their media lackeys label us ‘lazy’ and ‘scroungers’.
Surviving on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) means navigating an
intentionally brutal bureaucracy coupled with a culture of disbelief. It
also means making it through the dreaded Work Capability Assessments,
that have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of people declared ‘fit
to work’.
Making it through all this is often damaging to our health. It can be
stressful, isolating, anxiety inducing, and seems setup to create the
sort of ‘mistakes’ that can leave people penniless. It doesn’t always
have to be this way! We can come together to support each other through
the processes. We’ll be sharing knowledge, tips and tricks to making it
through ESA and look at ways we can join together to confront the system
head on.
This should be of use to anyone who is on ESA and/or related benefits
such as PIP or supporting someone who is. Please be aware this is a
skill share and there won’t be time for folks to offer comprehensive
advice on individual cases (although we can help direct you to places
that offer further support).
Trinity is a very accessible venue, details are here:
https://www.3ca.org.uk/accessibility If you have any accessibility needs
beyond those listed please contact either the venue or ourselves
As always this event is free to attend, but donations to help cover room
hire are appreciated. Hot & Cold drinks & snacks will be available to
keep you going. We’ll also have some anarchist pamphlets, papers,
magazines and stickers some for free/donation and others for a few quid.
Keep an eye out for future events, including our monthly Capitalism: a
Survival Guide workshops!
Please remember that whilst we encourage debate of ideas, we do not
tolerate attacks on individuals; especially in a way that uses
oppressive or threatening behaviour. Whilst we are not at our usual
venue of Hydra Books this month, we’ll still stick to their safer spaces
policy which you can read here : http://www.hydrabooks.org/safer-spaces/
 Posted by at 21:28
May 042017
 

Stop Camden Council cuts to social care

·       NO hiking up care & transport charges to older and disabled people

·       NO closing Netherwood dementia centre & others

·       YES to free homecare as in Hammersmith & Fulham

Camden Adult Social Care scrutiny committee meets about these plans onMonday 8 May 2017

Town Hall, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE

King’s Cross/Euston tube

6.15pm  join Save Netherwood Campaign, People’s Centre for Change and WinVisible outside the Town Hall

7pm in Council Chamber – our deputations will speak to councillors, please come and support.

Image may contain: 17 people, people smiling, people standing

http://archive.camdennewjournal.com/sites/all/files/nj_camden/imagecache/main_img/images/news/Netherwood.png

Watch on webcast:

https://camden.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/285252

More info: WinVisible 020 7482 2496 win@winvisible.org

Yes to free, quality care —  we’ve earned it!

No to charging, rationing, profiteering and neglect.

 

 Posted by at 17:12