The minister for disabled people has failed six ti

first_imgThe minister for disabled people has failed six times to explain which minister and government department campaigners should approach to lobby about the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).Justin Tomlinson was asked by the disabled peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell to tell disabled people which minister had responsibility for ILF and “over-arching decision-making power” on the fallout from the fund’s closure.Tomlinson and two other ministers were giving evidence to the Equality Act 2010 and disability committee, which is conducting an inquiry for the House of Lords into the impact of the act on disabled people.Tomlinson (pictured, at the hearing) appeared to accept her suggestion that one department ought to have “ultimate responsibility” but he then told Baroness Campbell that it “depends on which angle you come from” if someone wanted to know which minister was responsible for the issue.He said the Department for Communities and Local Government was responsible for the local authorities that deliver social care; the Department of Health was responsible for policy relating to the Care Act 2014; his department, work and pensions, was responsible for former ILF-users and for keeping “a watching brief” and meeting with stakeholders; while the Treasury decided “ongoing funding”.ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and when it closed on 30 June it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through DCLG to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.In her fourth attempt to secure an answer to her question, Baroness Campbell said: “Who do disabled people go to when they want to collaborate and to help with the reforms in this area?“Do you not think that this leaves disabled people confused and very much torn between departments?”In her fifth attempt to seek clarity, Baroness Campbell told Tomlinson: “We all know the UN committee has come over here because it was brought to their attention that the ILF and the [closure] decision was a possible contravention of article 19 [of the UN disability convention].“Obviously it is an incredibly important issue, so who is the minister responsible who makes the final decision on this?”Tomlinson said ministers “strongly contest the allegations that were made to the UN”, but he said the UN committee’s ongoing work was confidential.And he claimed that there were “stronger protections” for former ILF-users since the closure than there had been under the fund, which had been “discretionary”, and he said that “local provision was far better to match those local needs”.Two months ago, Disability News Service reported how more than a quarter of disabled people who previously received ILF support in one local authority area had had their social care packages cut by at least half since it closed.Baroness Campbell pushed Tomlinson for a sixth time, and asked: “Who would you advise the disability lobby to go to when they want to negotiate on the ILF?“Which minister, because it’s jolly well not fair to ask them to go to all four?”Tomlinson then repeated his explanation of the different roles played by the four departments.When she asked him if he was “monitoring” the ILF closure situation, he replied: “Very much.”Baroness Campbell asked the minister for women and equalities, Nicky Morgan – who is also the education secretary – what role the Government Equalities Office had played in the decision to close ILF.And she asked whether more “proactive” involvement by the GEO could have prevented the policy failures that led to the government losing the first judicial review of the closure decision in November 2013.Morgan promised to find out whether any GEO officials were involved in giving advice to DWP.But Tomlinson said DWP did not believe that greater involvement by GEO would have had an impact on the decision to close ILF.last_img read more

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There are growing concerns and calls for an urgent

first_imgThere are growing concerns and calls for an urgent investigation into admissions by two police forces that they have shared information about protesters with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).BothLancashire and Greater Manchester police forces have now admitted passing oninformation to DWP about people taking part in protests.Theadmissions originally came following claims reported by Disability News Service(DNS) that police forces had been targeting disabled people taking part inpeaceful anti-fracking protests across England.Lancashirepolice then admittedin December that it had shared both information and videofootage of disabled anti-fracking protesters with DWP, in an apparent attemptto have their disability benefits removed.GreaterManchester Police (GMP) then told DNS that it had passed DWP information – butnot video footage – relating to protesters taking part in the anti-frackingprotests at Barton Moss, Salford.Thoseprotests took place in 2013 and 2014, but the force also confirmed that it hasshared information with DWP from protests not connected with fracking.There is nowgrowing confusion over how many forces are involved, what information they arehanding DWP, in what circumstances they hand it over and on what legal grounds,and whether this exchange of information is based on any written agreements.Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, Marsha de Cordova (pictured), called last night (Wednesday) for an investigation into the extent of information sharing between police forces and DWP.  Last week, GMPadmitted having a “sharing agreement” with DWP, even though the departmentexplicitly stated two months ago – and repeated this week – that it had no such“formal arrangement” with GMP or any other force.But GMP hasnow backtracked from this admission, claiming there is no “specific formalagreement or policy in place” after all, and stating that the sharing ofinformation that takes place between the two organisations is carried out underthe Data Protection Act.It hasdenied trying to cover up its relationship with DWP.Labour’sdeputy mayor for policing for Greater Manchester, Baroness [Bev] Hughes, backedher force’s decision to share information with DWP.She said theforce had “a duty to act if they judge that individuals may be breaking, orhave broken, the law”. She said: “Ihave consulted with senior officers within GMP who have assured me that thereis no formal ‘sharing agreement’ in place, and that the police act on a case bycase basis, sharing information in accordance with the Data Protection Act.“Protestorsin Greater Manchester should never be deterred from exercising their right toprotest. “Should theydo so in accordance with the law, GMP will continue to do as it always does andfacilitate such protests.”But deCordova said the sharing of information with DWP by police forces was “aviolation of trust”.She said:“This is yet further proof of the hostile environment that this Conservativegovernment has created for disabled people. “Thisviolation of trust is not only shocking but also could threaten disabledpeople’s access to vital social security. “There mustbe an urgent further investigation into the extent of information sharing andaction must be taken to end this harmful practice.”A DWPspokesperson said: “As we have reiterated previously, there is no formalarrangement with the police for this scenario. “The departmentdoes not request referrals from the police and there is no obligation on eitherthe police or members of the public to provide referrals.“In theevent we receive information from the police, we consider it on its merits.“As is thecase with any responsible government department, we stand ready to assist thepolice in the event they request information from us for the purposes of crimeprevention or detection. “Thisservice is provided under the Data Protection Act for the purposes ofpreventing and detecting crime.”Meanwhile,GMP said this week that it had not shared any information with DWP aboutdisabled activists who took part in the anti-austerity protests that took placeoutside the Conservative party conferences in Manchester in 2015 and 2017.The Conservative party is returning to Manchester for its annual conference in October.A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Labour has revealed where there are MEP vacancies

first_imgLabour has revealed where there are MEP vacancies across the UK as the party launches its candidate selection process.It comes after LabourList published the provisional timetable for selecting MEPs, agreed by members of the party’s ruling body this week.The full list of current vacancies:East Midlands Region – 4 vacanciesEastern Region – 6 vacanciesLondon Region – 6 vacanciesNorth East Region – 1 vacancyNorth West Region – 5 vacanciesScotland – 5 vacanciesSouth East Region – 9 vacanciesSouth West Region – 5 vacanciesWales – 3 vacanciesWest Midlands Region – 5 vacanciesYorkshire and the Humber – 5 vacanciesThe deadline for all applications is 12pm on Wednesday 10th April. More information is available on the Labour website.Tags:Labour /European elections 2019 /last_img read more

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JAMIE Foster kicked a last gasp conversion as Sain

first_imgJAMIE Foster kicked a last gasp conversion as Saints dramatically beat Castleford 22-20 on Monday – and went top of the league in the process.Down 20-12 with seven minutes to go Ade Gardner finished off a fine team move to hand his team a lifeline before Francis Meli scored with less than three seconds on the clock – and what a score it was.Talk about never say die!On the last tackle James Graham took the ball forward, passed to Jon Wilkin who sent out a flying spinning ball to Meli.The big man then cut back inside and ploughed over to send Saints into raptures.And then Jamie Foster, around 10 yards in from the left, scooped the conversion through the posts for a fantastic finale.Second half scores from Rangi Chase and Jordan Thompson had wiped out Saints slender advantage at half time – and had set the Tigers up for the win.Royce Simmons men had to work hard for their 12-8 lead, despite having most of the possession.After both sides tested each other out, Tom Armstrong forged his side ahead.But Stuart Jones pulled one back almost immediately before Armstrong grabbed his second just before the hooter sounded.Rangi Chase – who has been in excellent form – put Cas ahead early in the second half – then Jordan Thompson stretched it further before Saints’ heeded ignored the curtain call.After a bruising encounter with Wigan, Saints made a couple of changes from the Good Friday team. Tommy Makinson came in for Paul Wellens whilst Jon Wilkin moved from the row into the stand-off slot.Andrew Dixon was named on the bench and Tom Armstrong came in for his first appearance of the season.Saints tested Castleford early doors when James Roby broke through following Tony Puletua’s offload.Castleford then returned the favour but their high ball went dead.On 15 minutes, Jamie Foster took a nice ball from Jon Wilkin to get over – but Phil Bentham correctly ruled it out for a forward pass.Nice to see they do spot them now and again!And following a drop out and subsequent pressure, a nice cut out pass from Sia Soliola saw Tom Armstrong on angle to put Saints ahead.Foster with his 45th shoe of the season.But Castleford hit back through Stuart Jones – cutting back on the inside after a cute offload – and then Kurt Dixon tied it up.And on the half hour mark, Tom Armstrong caught Rangi Chase late to give away a penalty – Dixon duly adding the two points.But Saints hit back – rather fortuitously – through Tom Armstrong. Jonny Lomax broke through and when the ball was recycled to Sia Soliola it went to ground. Saints then collected and shifted it left to Tom Armstrong burrowed in from close range.Phil Bentham ruling an attempted strip.Foster off the touchline to make it 12-8Half Time: Saints 12 Castleford 8Rangi Chase took full advantage of an early Saints error to pull his side level – with Dixon tagging on the extras to put Tigers up.Saints should’ve hit back almost immediately, but TP’s offload just couldn’t find hands.And seconds later excellent Castleford tackling put Jamie Foster in touch.Both sides were looking a little jaded following their Easter weekend exploits – but the Tigers were making more yards with their sets of six and that meant Saints were coming out of their own 20 each time.And on a day for perfect handling, Saints were off the pace and putting far too much ball to ground.On 65 minutes such an error was punished. Saints dropped the ball in the middle of the park and stood off Castleford in defence; Jordan Thompson profiting and Dixon making it an eight-point game.And it got worse as two minutes later Jonny Lomax left the field with an ankle injury.But Saints gave themselves a real chance with a try from Ade Gardner.Quite simply, the ball was kept alive and the winger did the rest.Then, on the last tackle and with seconds on the clock they went and levelled it up.Graham and Wilkin combined with Francis Meli for the dramatic and sensational finale.Foster’s kick sealing the win. – and putting Saints top of the tree.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Armstrong (2), Gardner, MeliGoals: Foster (3 from 4)Castleford:Tries: Jones, Chase, ThompsonGoals: Dixon (4 from 4)Penalties:Saints: 3Castleford: 3HT: 12-8FT: 22-20REF: Phil BenthamATT: 8010Teams:Saints:28. Tommy Makinson; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 12. Jon Wilkin, 20. Jonny Lomax; 10. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 18. Matty Ashurst, 11. Tony Puletua.Subs: 14. Scott Moore, 19. Andrew Dixon, 21. Shaun Magennis, 24. Tom Armstrong.Castleford:1. Richard Mathers; 2. Kirk Dixon, 22. Jordan Thompson, 4. Joe Arundel, 5. Richard Owen; 6. Rangi Chase, 7. Danny Orr; 8. Paul Jackson, 16. Adam Milner, 10. Craig Huby, 14. Stuart Jones, 24. Oliver Holmes, 20. Martin Aspinwall.Subs: 9. Ryan Hudson, 11. Jacob Emmitt, 12. Steve Snitch, 13. Brett Ferres.last_img read more

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Settlement reached between Jaguars Lair developer and Sunset Beach

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After more than a decade, the controversy regarding the Jaguar’s Lair subdivision, the developer, and the town of Sunset Beach is over.The Town of Sunset Beach says they have successfully reached an agreement with Coastal Communities at Ocean Ridge Plantation.- Advertisement – According to a news release, the developer agreed to “design, permit, construct and complete the required improvements” for one section of the property by January of 2019. Improvements to another section of the property will be finished by 2020.Those improvements include water, sewer, paved roads, curbs, and gutters.The  dispute has been raging for years.Related Article: NC woman at the center of racially charged video turns herself in to Sunset Beach policeProperty owners spent between $300,000 and $500,000 on the lots eleven years ago, but were unable to ever build on the property because of lack of infrastructure. Property owners say they were expecting lush greens, blue water and lavish luxury similar to Ocean Ridge Plantation, which was also developed by Mark Saunders and Coastal Communities.That never happened. Instead, property owners say they couldn’t receive construction loans because of the lack of infrastructure.Sunset Beach eventually sued Bond Safeguard Insurance, the company that wrote about $3 million in bonds for the infrastructure work.According to this new agreement entered into on Tuesday, the developer will pay for Brunswick Electric Membership Cooperative to install underground electric lines to provide electrical service, and when water and sewer is installed, and roads are paved, the town will release the bonds.Once this agreement is complete, the town will dismiss the lawsuit. If anyone defaults under this agreement, arbitration will take place.The town agreed to cooperate with the bond company and developer in the completion of the work and promptly consider renewal of any permits and timely inspection of work.last_img read more

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RARE SIGHT Unusual pelicans species spotted on Masonboro Island

first_img A large flock of American White Pelicans were spotted on Masonboro Island. (Photo: Masonboro Island Reserve) They have thick bodies and short legs, and shorter square tails.Adult American White Pelicans are snowy white with black feathers visible only while flying when their wings are spread. 1 of 1 A large flock of American White Pelicans were spotted on Masonboro Island. (Photo: Masonboro Island Reserve) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It was a rare sight when a large flock of American White Pelicans were spotted on Masonboro Island.According to Masonboro Island Reserve, the species is not normally found on our coast and is usually far inland.- Advertisement – The American White Pelican tends to have a wing span reaching up to 9 feet wide, which is much larger than Brown Pelicans.last_img read more

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Where you can get food water and supplies in Pender County

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County residents needing assistance can turn to local charities for assistance.“We have several wonderful organizations that have stepped up to help our community during the recovery from Hurricane Florence,” said Tom Collins.- Advertisement – “We know this is a trying time,” said Collins. “Supplies by truck and helicopter are arriving.”The following sites will be Red Cross distribution centers:Maple Hill VFD, 115 Old Maple Hill Rd., Maple HillAmerican Legion, 16660 Hwy. 17, HampsteadPenderlea VFD, 4005 NC Hwy 11, PenderleaThe old Bank of America, 102 E. Fremont St., BurgawEMS Station, 14388 Hwy 210, Rocky PointThe following drop sites for relief items will be:Lighthouse Church, 98 S. Trade Way, Rocky PointAtkinson, 700 E. Church St., AtkinsonMaple Hill, 115 Old Maple Rd., Maple HillHampstead Kiwanis Park, 586 Sloop Point Loop Rd., HampsteadRelated Article: Burgaw man wanted on kidnapping, assault chargesFor assistance of food, toiletries, and cleaning products, visit:Share the Table, 12395 Hwy. 50, Surf City (call 910-616-8897 for hours)Gateway Baptist Church, 416 W. Bridgers St., BurgawLighthouse Church, 98 South Trade Way, Rocky Point.Monetary donations may be made to the American Red Cross, Gateway Community Church, Pender Christian Services, Baptist Men of North Carolina, and Lighthouse Church, and Share the Table.“We want normalcy, but normalcy will be restored in the coming weeks as our power is restored, and our businesses are up and running,” said Collins.“I know it is hard,” said Collins, “but we are resilient, and we will be normal again.”Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at facebook.com/penderem and on the website http://www.penderem.com. If you need immediate help call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.last_img read more

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Pender County teacher recognized for helping students master chemistry

first_imgHAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — Some teens avoid taking chemistry in high school, but we found a Pender County teacher who has a knack for helping his students master this difficult course.“The hardest part of chemistry is the math and some of the students are weak at that,” said Topsail High School Teacher Stephen Jeffcoat. “I try to put some real-world problems in and make some good analogies so that they can get a better understanding of it.”- Advertisement – A North Carolina State graduate, Jeffcoat teaches tenth, eleventh, and twelfth-grade students at the school.“Trying to make it as interesting as I can and as painless as possible is what I try to do but I don’t make it easy, if they struggle with something, I’m always available for tutoring,” he said.By always, he means anytime of the day and night thanks to a series of YouTube videos he’s created.Related Article: WWAY 5th Quarter NCHSAA Playoffs week 1 Nov. 16, 2018“They can rewind it, play it over and over again until they understand how to solve it and how to solve the problems,” he said.WWAY received more than 17 nominations for Jeffcoat and most highlighted his love for teaching.“I’m passionate about what I teach, I really like chemistry and I think that shows, the kids say I get really excited when I’m working through problems, they can see that I enjoy it,” he said.Before the school day starts, you’ll find him leading the electric vehicle club where students design small-scale electric vehicles and compete with other schools across North Carolina and Virginia. The walls in the garage area where students meet are lined with more than 180 trophies they’ve won.“I’m smart but I’m not amazingly smart,” said Topsail High School Senior Andrew Lawson who takes a chemistry honors course with Jeffcoat.When he graduates in May, Lawson wants to become an engineer and join the U.S. Air Force. That’s why he’s glad to have Jeffcoat as his teacher and mentor.“He’s taught me everything,” Lawson said. “If I have a question I just have to ask. He doesn’t make you feel like you’re not smart, he sets you up for success, you just have to put in the work.”Because of Jeffcoat’s devotion to his students, we are recognizing him as WWAY and Mattress & Furniture Liquidators’ Teacher of the Week.“He’s an example of effective use of classroom time,” said Topsail High School Principal Chris Madden. “The kids are always engaged and it’s exciting to see because it’s not the most entertaining subject matter for some high school kids, but they’re always engaged and working.”“High school students are just fun to be around,” Jeffcoat said. “I’m certainly not here for the pay. I’m not here because I like grading papers. I like working with the kids.”Whether is under the hood of a car or during chemistry lab demonstration, Jeffcoat’s dedication to helping his students master difficult concepts is certainly worth recognition.If you want to nominate a teacher who is making an impact in the classroom, click here. Each week’s winner receives a $100 Staples gift card.last_img read more

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Factbox – Europe votes Timeline to handover

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint FILE PHOTO: Supporters attend a political rally of the Renaissance (Renewal) list for the European elections, in Strasbourg, France, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: Supporters attend a political rally of the Renaissance (Renewal) list for the European elections, in Strasbourg, France, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo EU citizens will elect a new European Parliament next week, the first step in a process that will change the leadership of major European Union institutions later this year.Here is a timeline:May 23 – British and Dutch voters are first of 427 million Europeans to cast ballots. Britons should not have been voting at all but must since Brexit is delayed. No British exit polls are expected but Dutch TV will run one at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT). Official results will be announced only on Sunday evening.May 24 – Irish and Czech voters follow suit on Friday.May 25 – Czechs keep voting, while the Slovaks, Latvians and Maltese also cast their ballots on Saturday.May 26 – In line with national practice, the rest of the 28 states vote, using various types of proportional representation that ensure a multitude of parties get seats. From 1600 GMT, exit poll and early result data from Germany, the biggest country, will offer clues. France, the second biggest, follows at 1800 GMT. Once Italians stop voting at 2100 GMT, the European Parliament itself will publish a detailed snapshot of projected seat distribution.May 27 – Parties will start working out how best to play the hands voters have dealt them in forming official groups in the chamber and broader coalitions, seeking a majority.May 28 – All 28 EU national leaders meet over dinner in Brussels to debate their next move – giving their chairman, Donald Tusk, a mandate to negotiate the bloc’s top jobs.June – Parliamentary groups will negotiate among themselves and with Tusk, seeking to defend the legislature’s demand that government chiefs nominate a party candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the executive European Commission. Many national leaders are resisting that idea.June 20-21 – Leaders aim to agree on Juncker’s successor and that of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. They may also agree who will succeed Tusk himself as president of the European Council and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.July 1 – Theoretically, Britain could leave the EU on this date if the UK Parliament agrees a Brexit deal at the fourth attempt. If it did, British MEPs would not take up their seats. However, this appears extremely unlikely at the moment.July 2-4 – New Parliament convenes in Strasbourg. It should choose its own president to succeed Antonio Tajani on July 3 – another job in the mix for the bargaining over key EU posts.July 16-18 – Parliament sits again in Strasbourg. This is the earliest it could endorse a new Commission president.July-August – If a Commission president is agreed, he or she would then build an executive team, taking one commissioner from each member state and giving them portfolios. If there is no deal on a successor, then more summits may be needed. In 2014, Tusk and Mogherini were nominated at a summit in late August.September – New commissioners face hearings in Parliament. Some, notably those nominated by eurosceptic governments in the likes of Italy, Hungary or Poland, could hit resistance but MEPs can only block the Commission as a whole, not individuals.Oct. 22-24 – Parliament due to vote in Strasbourg to confirm the new Commission as whole. It can withhold its endorsement.Oct. 31 – Britain is due to leave, deal or no deal — though a further delay to Brexit is also possible.Nov. 1 – The Commission is due to take office. If it has not been confirmed by Parliament, Juncker’s team would carry on. Draghi’s successor is due to take over the ECB in Frankfurt.Dec. 1 – Tusk’s successor due to take office at the Council.center_img WhatsApplast_img read more

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