Labours new shadow minister for disabled people h

first_imgLabour’s new shadow minister for disabled people has spoken about her new role, and the access problems she faces as a disabled MP during prime minister’s questions.Marie Rimmer, one of parliament’s few disabled MPs, was appointed to the role on 1 February, less than two years after she was elected for the first time as MP for St Helens South and Whiston.Born in St Helens, she is a former trade union shop steward and became a Labour councillor in 1978. She led St Helens Council for a total of nearly 20 years over three spells.She told Disability News Service that she does not under-estimate the importance of her new position as shadow minister, or “the magnitude of the role”.“We have got a government that since 2010 has systematically burdened [disabled people], taken away from [their] finances, affected their housing, their independence…“They seem to have very little understanding of disabled people, and the fact that they are human beings,” she says.Although she did not speak out frequently in the Commons on disability issues before her appointment as shadow minister, there were some interventions on social security policy, including concerns about the new universal credit, the welfare cap, and the government’s “incompetent and brutal” sanctions regime.She also joined many of her colleagues in speaking out, in February 2016, about the “cruel and utterly devastating cuts” of nearly £30-a-week to payments made to new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG), set to be implemented next week.And in June 2015, she pushed work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and the prime minister over the government’s failure to publish updated statistics on the number of disabled people who had died shortly after being found fit for work.Profoundly deaf – she has a cochlear implant that allows her to hear – Rimmer (pictured) says that prime minister’s questions causes her “dreadful” problems, so much so that she can hear the proceedings better through speakers outside the chamber, away from the “heckling and the cackling” of fellow MPs.“It’s very stressful, you have to focus,” she says. “It does have its difficulties, but I manage.“I do hear, but I could do without the heckling and the cackling. Of course everybody could do without that.“I think it would make it easier for everybody if we stopped all the barracking in the chamber, it would make it easier for everybody.”Despite her own impairment, Rimmer admitted during her interview with DNS – more than six weeks after her appointment as shadow minister for disabled people – that she had no idea what the social model of disability was, despite its huge significance to the disabled people’s movement.Her priority as the party’s new shadow minister for disabled people is to build relationships with disability groups, she says, as the party continues with the national Disability Equality Roadshow (DER) launched late last year by her predecessor Debbie Abrahams.She and colleagues are visiting 32 different areas of England, Scotland and Wales, listening to disabled people’s views and experiences, in a process the party says will help it develop its disability policies for the next election.Rimmer says the roadshow has been “a tremendous help” as she settles into her new role, allowing her to “meet disabled people, consulting them, asking them what their priorities are”.Asked what she has been hearing from disabled people at the three roadshows she has attended so far, she says: “Basically they want to be treated as human beings… with rights, they don’t want patronising, they don’t necessarily want things done for them, they want support to help them to ‘do’, when that is needed.”After the roadshows are finished, according to her office, the information will be collected and analysed by “independent social policy academics”, who will identify “key policy themes”.“Emerging themes will be discussed with disabled people and disabled people’s organisations, including through the DER planning group,” her spokesman said. “These will then feed into the Labour Party’s policy-making process.”But while this process continues, Rimmer is left with few if any recognisable policies on disability, and the only one she refers to is a pledge to scrap the much-criticised work capability assessment (WCA).She says: “We have said straight off we will get rid of the WCA and that we will start off afresh and it will be a holistic viewpoint around the individual about what they want to do and how to help them achieve that.“They want to be involved in society, they want to work, they want meaningful work.”Rimmer was appointed as shadow minister on 1 February to fill the role left empty last June when Abrahams was promoted to be the party’s shadow work and pensions secretary.During those seven months, the party repeatedly caused alarm with its attitude towards disability rights, including the lengthy delay in appointing Abrahams’ successor.Asked why it had taken so long to appoint her, Rimmer says: “I can’t answer that. I know that I am here now.”Asked whether she had been offered the post previously, and had turned it down, she admitted that she had, but had been unable to accept it at that point because of an accident, although she could not remember exactly when the first job offer had come.Asked if the party had been waiting for her to recover from that accident before offering it to her again, she says: “I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you that.”Her office later explained that the accident had led to “a complex hand and wrist fracture that took a number of months to recover from”.After the interview, when DNS attempted to clarify the situation, her spokesman said that she had first been offered the post “between the leader’s re-election [in late September] and Christmas”.He said: “She was delighted to be offered the post again in the New Year when she had recovered and was able to accept.”It was not until early November last year that Rimmer was finally cleared of all charges relating to allegations that she had kicked a ‘Yes’ campaigner outside a polling station in Scotland on the day of the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014.Her spokesman said the delay in clearing her name was because she was “actually cleared twice: the first charge was dismissed at trial by the sheriff, and the second trial was brought on a technicality but she was acquitted at that second trial by a second sheriff – hence why it took so long”.The sheriff who heard the second trial referred to the allegations as “a storm in a tea cup”.Rimmer’s spokesman dismissed suggestions that the party had been waiting to appoint her until her name had finally been cleared.Another of the areas of criticism levelled at the party during its seven months without a shadow minister has been its failure so far to keep its promise – made to DNS by shadow chancellor John McDonnell in November – that it would ensure there was a debate on the report by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.The report, published in November, found the UK government’s social security reforms had led to “grave or systematic violations” of the UN disability convention.Rimmer insists that the debate has been delayed by Brexit and this month’s budget, but that “it will happen”.She adds: “John McDonnell and Debbie Abrahams are both very committed to making sure it does happen. It is just about timing.”But in other areas she appears less well briefed.In December, the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell attacked Labour’s “lazy indifference” to disability equality, after it abstained on a vote in the House of Lords that would have forced bars, shops and restaurants to ensure their premises obeyed laws on accessibility when renewing their alcohol licences.Rimmer says she was “not aware of that”, even though the issue has been raised repeatedly with the party.And despite weeks of coverage by DNS on the scandal of dishonest PIP assessments by healthcare professionals working for government outsourcing contractors Atos and Capita, an investigation which began just before she took on her new post, Rimmer says she was not aware of any of those stories, although she says she has heard other MPs raise concerns about PIP assessments in the House of Commons chamber.Although Rimmer has asked questions about DWP statistics on the deaths of benefit claimants, she also did not appear well-briefed on the individual cases of disabled people whose deaths have been linked to the WCA, although she said she had heard of Stephen Carré – whose death in January 2010 was the first to be linked by a coroner to flaws in the WCA – when his name was mentioned by DNS.She has come into her post just as the WRAG cuts are about to be implemented, and as the government has introduced new personal independence payment (PIP) regulations which will make it more difficult for people with severe mental distress to secure the mobility-related support they need through PIP, following two upper tribunal rulings that found against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Rimmer believes the new regulations have only been brought in because of the government’s failure to secure the savings targeted from DWP spending.She said: “They have put the blocks on because they are not bringing in the savings or the cuts that were required.”She says Labour will “do our best” to overturn the regulations with a vote in the Commons or the Lords, but she says it is vital to secure support from the public on this issue, the WRAG reduction and cuts to housing benefit for unemployed 18-21-year-olds.But she admits this will not be easy.She says: “It seems to me they have done such a job on people who are sick and disabled, when they talk about ‘strivers and skivers’.“They have dehumanised and scared them and disabled people tell you how they suffer from hate crime, which they never did and they do now.“It’s all because of the language used by this government and the past government.”last_img read more

New Housing Units for the Homeless Open on Valencia

first_imgThe expansion, with operating costs of about $7.7 million a year (or $31,557. per unit per year) including all services and rent subsidies, gets roughly half its funding from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the other half from local sources like the General Fund, and agencies like the San Francisco Housing Authority, the Department of Homelessness and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. Through the program, the city finds low-occupancy locations and the nonprofit obtains a master lease, which a Department of Homelessness spokesperson said usually last around 20 years with the option to renew every 10 years. SRO tenants in place – a manager at the hotel estimated there are around 17 pre-existing residents – at the time of the switch will remain until they leave of their own accord.“These new units will end homelessness overnight for 244 San Franciscans,” Lee said in a statement. “We are thrilled to provide new housing opportunities and hand over the keys to the new units to those who deserve the chance at a fresh start.”“It’s great that chronically homeless individuals can move into quality housing in the very popular 16th and Valencia Street neighborhood, the improving Mid-Market, and less than a block from the Hilton in an exciting part of the Tenderloin,” said Randy Shaw, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, in the statement. Tags: homeless • housing • valencia street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing announced Wednesday that 244 new permanent supportive housing units will come online over the next three months – 50 of them in the Mission District.Valencia Street’s Crown Hotel, where units came online October 27 and prospective tenants are currently viewing its apartments, is one of three hotels now becoming available to help house people living on the streets and in shelters. The others will open later this year, and all three are managed by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. The units are aimed at housing individuals who have been homeless for a year or more and have disabling conditions, with some units reserved for veterans. Tenants are selected through a local coordinated entry program for federally subsidized units, and residents pay a third of their income, no matter the income.In supportive housing units, residents have access not just to a permanent roof over their heads but on-site social services – which include case management to help tenants access entitlement benefits, health care, or even education depending on their needs.center_img 0%last_img read more

SAINTS are delighted to announce that Typhoo has a

first_imgSAINTS are delighted to announce that Typhoo has agreed to be the Club’s main kit sponsors for the next three seasons.Following on from their sponsorship of the club over the last two years, the fastest growing brand in the tea category will once again feature on the front of the chest on all playing kit, replica shirts and trainingwear as well as the warm-up and coaching staff apparel.The red and white colours match both the team and brand identities perfectly and in addition, Typhoo will also become main sponsors to the Players’ Lounge which will now be called the ‘Typhoo Hall of Fame’.Since becoming sponsors, Typhoo – based in Merseyside – have served more than 15,000 branded cups of Typhoo Tea at home games and have created the ‘Typhoo Family Stand’ where young children can go with their parents and enjoy the game.Rugby League is a perfect family fit for the Typhoo brand with a third of the audience being female.St.Helens and the club’s fans will also continue to support the ‘Typhoo Sports for All’ programme with bucket collections at selected games, enabling further funds to be invested in the firm’s community sports programme.Keith Packer, Typhoo CEO, commented: “The first two years of our sponsorship of St. Helens has been a great partnership between Saints and Typhoo.“The sponsorship has helped drive our brand awareness with our target market and we look forward to putting further OO into the relationship.”Mike Rush, St. Helens CEO, added: “We are delighted to once again partner with such a proactive brand as Typhoo. Our partnership over the last two seasons has increased both parties’ brand awareness and we are excited about the future.“Typhoo is a well-known, household brand and the fact they have extended the partnership not only augers well for St Helens but Rugby League as a whole.”Saints welcomed Ben Fogle to the club on Tuesday to announce the partnership and we’ll post pictures of the challenges he undertook with the press and players Jon Wilkin and Paul Wellens shortly.last_img read more

JORDAN Turner says the mood in the camp is still p

first_imgJORDAN Turner says the mood in the camp is still positive and optimistic despite the loss on Sunday.Saints face Bradford tonight (8pm) aiming to get back on the horse – and remain top of the First Utility Super League table.“We didn’t expect a performance like that,” he said. “But the mood is still optimistic as we are in a good spot. We have to eradicate bad performances like that.“We are disappointed we aren’t further forward in the table, but compared to last year we are in a much better spot. We know where we went wrong and we can’t wait to put it right this week.“It won’t be an easy game this week though; Bradford are fighting for their lives and the players are fighting for a job next year. James Lowes is a good coach and will get the most out of his players.”He continues: “We have done a lot of soul-searching this week as we did after Catalan. It’s simple, we have to back up with a performance and then not take a step backwards.“We weren’t good enough on Sunday but we remain positive.”Tickets remain on sale for tonight’s match from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park and by calling 01744 455 052. There will be cash turnstiles available tonight too.last_img read more

Saints Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Semi Final with Cat

first_imgSaints Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Semi Final with Catalans Dragons is fast approaching and should Justin Holbrook’s men progress, a date with Leeds or Warrington at Wembley awaits.Whilst we don’t want to tempt fate, 2018 Members now have an exclusive opportunity to pre-book their tickets for the Final via our ‘What If’ booking form.We’re giving you until the end of July to pre-book your tickets before they go on General Sale to the public after the completion of the semi-final at Bolton, should Saints qualify.This is a fantastic and exclusive opportunity for 2018 Members to take up their big game priority benefit – and save the hassle of queuing for tickets if we get through.Members can also book their coach travel in advance along with their tickets, with return travel priced at just £39 per person. With work scheduled on the West Coast Main Line this is an ideal opportunity to save you the hassle!On qualification for the final your tickets will be automatically processed with no need for you contact the Club or queue for tickets.Members have the whole of the month of July, up until 5pm, Tuesday July 31, to pre-book their tickets.By completing and returning the form, you are agreeing to purchase the tickets indicated in the event of Saints’ qualification.Members can pre-purchase up to FOUR tickets each and they will be the best available, allocated at the time of processing on a first-come, first-served basis, in your chosen price category.Simple! All you have to do is completed the form and return it to the Club ticket office in person or via post:St.Helens R.F.C. Ticket Office, Totally Wicked Stadium, McManus Drive, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 3ALAlternatively, you can also email it to: [email protected] applications can be accepted but they must be signed.Disabled tickets can be ordered via the What If form but we advise that you contact the Ticket Office on 01744 455 052 to ensure you book them in the right spot at Wembley.The Small PrintIn the event of a victory in the semi-final you will not need to contact us or queue to purchase tickets. We will process your application based on your form, debit the relevant amount from your card and post the ticket(s) to you if you have selected that option.In the event of Saints failing to qualify, then we will destroy the application form and no money will be debited from your card.Please fill in you full contact information correctly so that in the event of an issue you can be promptly contacted.For hospitality pre-booking enquiries please contact the Club directly on 01744 455053.See the view from your seat.Forms:What If Form (PDF)What If Form (JPG)The form is also available in the Ticket Office and Superstore at the Totally Wicked Stadium.last_img read more

Fighting fire fighting cancer Department adds special boy to team

first_imgThe post also states, “This month has been challenging for many of our members but they continue to prove their resiliency and unselfishly serve the citizens of the Town of Leland! We were notified late this afternoon that Jace’s condition has declined further. Please keep Jace and his family in your thoughts as they walk through this heartbreaking transition.”Related Article: New food truck rules pass Leland planning boardUPDATE: As of Friday morning, family says Jace died peacefully in his sleep. Jace Lopez was inducted into the Leland Fire/ Rescue Paw Patrol club. (Photo: Leland Fire Rescue/Facebook) Jace Lopez was inducted into the Leland Fire/ Rescue Paw Patrol club. (Photo: Leland Fire Rescue/Facebook) LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Jace Lopez may only be 3 years old, that’s not stopping the Leland Fire and Rescue from adding him as part of the team.The fire department posted on Facebook that they recently visited with Jace, who is currently fighting Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.- Advertisement – Jace Lopez was inducted into the Leland Fire/ Rescue Paw Patrol club. (Photo: Leland Fire Rescue/Facebook)center_img The post says because of his bravery, he was inducted into the Leland Fire/Rescue Paw Patrol club.The department says Jace has been added to the daily riding roster for the next week. Engine 2A Captain Jeremy Shaw even made the appropriate gear for duty. 1 of 2last_img read more

Improvements coming to US 7476 in Columbus County

first_img The company will add medians and a traffic signal along a 2.7-mile section of U.S. 74/76 between Water Tank Road in the Delco community of Columbus County and a point just east of the Brunswick County line.The improvements will involve a superstreet design which directs drivers on the side roads into turning right onto the highway. U-turn areas will be created to allow drivers who turned right to safely turn around and go in the opposite direction.According to a news release, the NCDOT says the new design should reduce the risk of crashes and improve traffic flow in the area.Related Article: Part of Hampstead to have water temporarily cut offThe project will also include the installation of a traffic signal on U.S. 74/76 at N.C. 87.Construction is scheduled to begin later this year and the work should be completed by the summer of 2020. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded a multi-million dollar contract to make improvements at a busy intersection on U.S. Highway 74/76 in Columbus County.According to the NCDOT, the $9 million contract was awarded to Highland Paving Co. of Fayetteville.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Santiago named CAA Rookie of the Week for the second time

first_img “Jada had a nice weekend at the plate,” said UNCW Coach Kristy Norton. “We were able to have her catch in all three games at Delaware and she was able to come up in big opportunities for her team both offensively and defensively.”Santiago went 2-for-3 in the series opener on Friday with a double and two runs scored before blasting her sixth home run of the season in the nightcap. In the Seahawks’ 7-5 comeback victory on Saturday, she drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning and drove in the eventual game-winning run with a single in the sixth inning.A starter in 45 games this season, Santiago is the Seahawks’ second-leading hitter with a .288 average while pacing the team with 36 hits, including six home runs.Related Article: UNCW’s Weiss takes weekly CAA baseball honorThe Seahawks, 24-23 overall and 6-9 in the CAA, close out their non-conference schedule on Tuesday night at North Carolina before hosting Hofstra for a three-game CAA series this weekend. RICHMOND, Virginia (UNCW SPORTS) – Freshman Jada Santiago of UNCW has been named Colonial Athletic Association Softball Rookie-of-the-Week for her efforts in leading the Seahawks to a series victory over Delaware last weekend.Santiago, from Pine Level, N.C., reached base in 9-of-12 plate appearances against the Blue Hens with four hits and three walks while also being hit by a pitch twice.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Millions of children miss measles shots creating outbreaks – UNICEF

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> FILE PHOTO: A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo More than 20 million children a year missed out on measles vaccines across the world in the past eight years, laying a path of exposure to a virus that is now causing disease outbreaks globally, a United Nations report said on Thursday.“The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children,” said Henrietta Fore, executive director of the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF, adding: “The ground for the global measles outbreaks we are witnessing today was laid years ago.”The UNICEF report said an estimated 169 million children missed out on the first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017 – equating to 21.1 million children a year on average.As a result of greater vulnerability to the disease, the measles infections worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 against the same period in 2018 to 112,163 cases, according to World Health Organization data.In 2017, some 110,000 people, most of them children, died from measles – up 22 percent from the year before, UNICEF said.Measles is a highly contagious disease that can kill and can cause blindness, deafness or brain damage. It is currently spreading in outbreaks in many parts of the world, including in the United States, Europe, the Philippines, Tunisia and Thailand.Two doses of the measles vaccine are essential to protect children and the WHO says 95 percent vaccine coverage is needed for “herd immunity” against measles.But due to lack of access, poor health systems, complacency, and in some cases fear or scepticism about vaccines, UNICEF said, the global coverage of the first dose of the measles vaccine was reported at 85 percent in 2017 – a level that has remained similar for the past decade. Global coverage for the second dose is even lower, at 67 percent.Among high-income countries, the United States – which currently is fighting its biggest measles outbreak in almost 20 years – topped UNICEF’s list of places with the most children missing the first dose of the vaccine between 2010 and 2017, at more than 2.5 million.Next came France and Britain, with more than 600,000 and 500,000 unvaccinated children, respectively, during the same period.In poorer countries, however, the situation is “critical”, UNICEF’s report found. Nigeria in 2017, for example, had the highest number of children under one year old who missed out on the first dose, at nearly 4 million. It was followed by India, with 2.9 million, Pakistan and Indonesia, with 1.2 million each, and Ethiopia, with 1.1 million.Fore said measles was “far too contagious” a disease to be ignored, and urged health officials to do more to fight it.“If we are serious about averting the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries alike,” she said.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Two workers in hospital following another construction site incident

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Mill-ArkivjiMill-Arkivji Two men have been taken to Mater Dei Hospital following and accident in which an excavator fell from a two-storey height in Qawra.A Police Corps spokesperson confirmed with that the case happened at around 10.10am in Triq it-Tamal. It seems that the excavator which was being directed by a 55-year-old man from St Paul’s Bay fell from a two-storey height on a construction site. A 23-year old colleague from Pembroke who went to assist the driver was also hurt.An ambulance was called on site to take the two men to hospital. Their condition is yet unknown.WhatsApplast_img read more