Stop the Cuts

Disabled people ‘feel terrorised’

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February 27, 2014 2:00 pm

Disabled people ‘feel terrorised’

Disabled people feel terrorised by the Government’s welfare policies and want the truth on how their lives have been affected, MPs have heard.

John McDonnell has criticised the impact of the Government's welfare reforms.
John McDonnell has criticised the impact of the Government’s welfare reforms.
A petition started by comedian Francesca Martinez, who has cerebral palsy, attracted 104,741 signatures to trigger a Commons debate, which called for an independent assessment of the coalition’s welfare system changes.

Excess deaths of welfare claimants, Universal Credit’s IT roll out, the use of Atos to conduct work capability assessments and the Remploy factory closures are among the issues in need of investigation, according to a motion from Labour’s John McDonnell.

The MP for Hayes and Harlington said many people felt “hounded” just for being disabled.

Moving the debate, Mr McDonnell told the Commons: ” We met some of the campaigners this morning. Some of them said these expressions: ‘Do they realise that many of us feel terrorised by what the Government is doing?’

“One disabled campaigner said to me: ‘Can you tell them that they call their programme fulfilling our potential but we feel many us of simply won’t survive this round of cuts. A generation is going to be lost.’

“That’s why the central demand of this petition is very straightforward. Today’s motion is to call in essence for a cumulative impact assessment of all the welfare changes that have been introduced by this Government.

“And the argument they’ve put forward is if politicians and society only knew the full effect of these changes on the lives of disabled people and their families surely they would not let this happen in a civilised society.

To read the full article click here

Women’s Assembly Against Austerity

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Women’s Assembly Against Austerity

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POSTED BY JACQUELYN HOWARD 48.40SC ON FEBRUARY 05, 2014

The People’s Assembly is pleased to announce the Women’s Assembly conference date as announced in the Guardian, to take place on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at Conway Hall, London.

Book your place at the conference here.

Email women@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Editor,
We believe that women remain at the sharp end of the government’s economic and social austerity policies. As women’s unemployment rises, wages fall, the pay gap widens, benefits are cut and household and living costs rise, women face a daily struggle to keep themselves and their families from slipping deeper into poverty.

It is a travesty that 45 years after the Dagenham women workers fought for equal pay, we see increasing parts of our economy fuelled on cheap labour, with more than one in five earning less than a living wage and two-thirds of these women.

In the workplace and in the day-to-day battles against poverty, discrimination, racism, attacks on disabled people, the blight of war and the destruction of the environment, women are fighting back. Women are playing a leading role in the movement against austerity, evidenced by the huge number of women on the 50,000-strong NHS demonstration outside the Tory party conference Manchester in October.

Political leaders should be using the nation’s resources in the interests of the majority of the people and prioritise the abolition of poverty, insecurity and the threat of war. Our society is moving in a dangerous direction and now is the time for us to decide how our wealth is used and what values underpin our society.

In recognition of the leading role of women in the campaign against austerity and in articulating a new vision for our society, the signatories of this letter support the call for a Women’s Assembly Against Austerity to take place on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at Conway Hall, London. This event will build on the success of the People’s Assembly launched in June.

Yours faithfully

Diane Abbott MP
Sarah Veale, TUC Head of Equalities & Employment
Vera Baird, QC Labour Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria
Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party
Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, NUJ
Carolyn Simpson, SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee
Maxine Peake, actress and dramatist
Francesca Martinez, comedian
Dr. Finn Mackay, Founder, London Feminist Network and revived London Reclaim the Night
Anita Wright/Dona Feltham, National Assembly of Women
Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson, CND
Ann Henderson/Kerry Abel, Abortion Rights
Rachel Newton, People’s Charter
Clare Solomon, National People’s Assembly
Feyzi Ismail, East London People’s Assembly
Rafeef Ziadah, poet
Kate Smurthwaite, comedian
Anita Halpin, NUJ NEC and former chair of the TUC Women’s Committee
Anne Scargill/Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures
Rachel Yates, Coordinator and Commissioning Editor CLASS: Centre for Labour and Social Studies
Professor Mary Davis/Sharon Allen, Charter for Women
Professor Naila Kabeer, LSE
Professor Nadje Al-Ali, President, SOAS UCU
Nina Power, Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University
Anne Scott, UK Secretary Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Barbara White, Musician’s Union Executive Committee
Professor Susan Michie, UCU Executive Committee
Barbara Switzer, EC Institute of Employment Rights
Carolyn Jones, vice-chair, Morning Star
Alpa Shah, Reader, LSE
Brenna Bhandar, Senior Lecturer, SOAS
Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper
Jude Woodward, Adviser to Mayor of London 2000-08
Liz Payne, vice-chair, Communist Party of Britain
Pilgrim Tucker, Unite Communities Organiser
Julia Charlton, NEC member, Northumbria University UCU

Book your place at the conference here.

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Save Legal Aid Justice for All: Walkout4Justice 6/1/14

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This time next week we ask all our

barrister & solicitor members &

friends 2 stand with us

& Walkout4Justice 6/1/14

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Coming soon to an NHS Mental Health Service near you……

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Coming soon to a Mental Health Service near you.

 Liberal Democrat/Conservative Cuts Threaten

 NHS Mental Health Crisis

From Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk

Campaign to Save NHS Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

On the first day of Christmas, NSFT took away… my care co-ordinator

Here is the story ‘Emily’ wanted us to tell:

“Before the cuts, I had four amazing care co-ordinators over ten years. They had the chance to get to know me, both when I was struggling but also when I was well. This meant they could push me to recover, taught me how to laugh and cry and then could keep me safe when I was scared. They have held on to the hope for me in my darkest moments and I have had the time to learn to trust them – seemingly impossible tasks. At times it has seemed they know me better that I know myself and so have helped me build my life.

Now, in the world of the ‘radical redesign’, four care co-ordinators in as many months is the new reality. For others, more terrifyingly, there is no one. No one to take that call when the world is crumbling around you. No one to stop the spiral into chaos.

The perfect present would be the person who will fight your corner with you, values your life and never gives up.”

Care co-ordinators and continuity of care don’t seem to appear on NSFT’s Christmas list.

Have a look at this brilliant website

Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk

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See  report from local paper below.

Suffolk: Mental health boss rejects crisis claims

Saturday, December 28, 2013

As a new campaign is launched against changes to mental health services in the region, the chairman of the NHS Trust which serves Suffolk and Norfolk has denied his organisation is in crisis.

However Gary Page did accept that some of the changes introduced by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust had caused unforeseen problems – and were being partially reversed.

Overall, however, it was vital that the Trust changed the way it operated to take account of reduced funding and an increased demand on its services – it is facing a budget reduction of £40 million by 2016.

Mr Page said: “Unlike NHS acute services, our budget is not linked to the number of people demanding our services.

“As a result we are seeing an increased demand for our services at the same time as our budget is being cut. That means we have to look at new ways of providing services.”

He said the Trust had been faced with two options – cut some of its services because of lack of money, or redesigning the way it operates with the aim of maintaining services.

It had chosen the latter, but during the changes fresh issues had become clear.

Mr Page said: “There was a reduction in the number of staff. Much of this was through not replacing those who left.

The number of administrative staff was reduced in particular.

“However that meant that front line clinical and support staff ended up doing more administrative tasks which is not the best use of their talents so we are taking on some more administrators to help there.”

Campaigners have warned that the changes have led to long-term clients of mental health services seeing a reduction in their services – or a change in their support workers.

From EADT24 Full article here

BBC NEWSNIGHT: Food bank charity attributes growth in usage to welfare reforms

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By Rajesh Mirchandani BBC Newsnight 11 July 2013 Last updated 

More people are turning to food banks since welfare reforms were introduced in April, a charity has said.

The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks, reported a 21% rise in the number of people who said they did not have enough money for food because of problems with benefits.

“A clear link” exists between the reforms and the increasing popularity of food banks, the Trust’s boss said.

Conservative minister Lord Freud has said the two factors are unrelated.

The government says changes to benefits are necessary because of the rising cost of the welfare system and the need to cut the budget deficit.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) added: “Welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities.”

Full article here BBC News – Food bank charity attributes growth in usage to welfare reforms

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No If’s No But’s No Derby City Council Cuts

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Derby City Council Budget consultation

 

From Derby City Councils Website

The budget consultation document for 2014/15 to 2016/17 is now available to view. We are seeking your comments on our proposals for balancing the budget for the next three years.

The Council has to find millions of pounds of savings in the coming years to achieve a balanced budget due to government cuts and pressures. We have to find savings of £81m over the next three years to balance the budget.

This includes:

  • £29m for 2014/15
  • £31m for 2015/16
  • and £21m for 2016/17.

These are huge sums of money, and as a result, there will be a massive impact on the amount of services we can provide and the way they can be provided.

 

 

This is the beginning of the process and we encourage the people of Derby to please read the budget consultation document and give feedback using the online form, or through the forms available in local libraries, neighbourhood forums or Council offices.

We would like to know what Derby people think of the proposals so we can make sure that, as far as possible, the Council’s budget decisions meet the needs of Derby residents.