Monthly Archives: July 2019

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Jul
31

The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has pro

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has promised that no disabled people will have their benefits reduced because of its decision to review 1.6 million personal independence payment (PIP) claims.The review follows last month’s decision by the new work and pensions secretary, Esther McVey, that she would not appeal a court ruling that found new rules introduced last year by DWP were unlawful, “blatantly discriminatory” and breached the UN disability convention.The rules, which were rushed into law by the government last March, had meant that people who were unable to plan or undertake a journey due to overwhelming psychological distress would receive fewer qualifying points when assessed for PIP, with many receiving a lower level of financial support as a result, or even no PIP at all.The new rules were only introduced because an upper tribunal ruling had found that DWP was wrong to say that such PIP claimants should not be entitled to those points.Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, announced this week that, following McVey’s decision not to appeal the court ruling, DWP would review every one of the 1.6 million PIP claims that have been made since the benefit was introduced in 2013 to see how many had been wrongly assessed and were now entitled to backdated PIP payments.The review will include all those previously found ineligible for the benefit after being assessed by DWP and its contractors, Atos and Capita.The cost of implementing the court judgement is estimated to be up to £3.7 billion over the next five years.Newton announced the review on Monday in a written answer to a question from Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams.Newton said the following day – in response to an urgent question from shadow disability minister Marsha de Cordova – that no-one would see their benefits reduced as a result of the review.But De Cordova told her that the “mess is one of the government’s own making” and was “a clear example to this government of the dangers of seeking to undermine both the independent judiciary and the House of Commons”.Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrats’ work and pensions spokesman, said that “the government’s attempt to prevent those with mental health issues receiving the higher mobility rate was, frankly, nothing but a shoddy attempt to save money” and “a disgrace”.Newton promised that no-one would need to have another face-to-face assessment because of the review, which will be based on “existing information”, although DWP may need to contact some claimants and their doctors for further information.She told MPs: “Nobody is going to be called in for a face-to-face assessment, and nobody is going to have money taken away from them.”Most of the 1.6 million people who have tried to claim PIP since 2013 will not be awarded any extra support as a result of the review, but Newton said DWP had estimated that about 220,000 could see higher payments.She said the department had “already started to recruit more people at DWP to help with the PIP review”, but she promised that the department would not have to make savings elsewhere in its budget to fund the work and the extra PIP payments.A DWP spokeswoman said later that the review process would have “no effect” on the speed of the continuing roll-out of PIP, which has gradually been replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA) since 2013.Ellen Clifford, campaigns and policy manager for Inclusion London, said: “We are pleased the government is not going to waste yet more taxpayers’ money on appealing the high court ruling and are taking responsibility to review all current PIP claims.“This could have a significant, far-reaching impact on hundreds of thousands of people who experience psychological distress, for once in a positive rather than an adverse way. “However, this is an enormous undertaking with as yet no clear timetable or information about how it will proceed and we are concerned that this means further anxiety and uncertainty for disabled people.“At Inclusion London we have already had several phone calls from individuals who are affected who are currently missing out on essential benefits and all we can tell them is to wait.“This whole debacle is symptomatic of a PIP assessment system that is dangerously dysfunctional.“It is also a terrible indictment of how the system is failing disabled people that it took an individual woman living with mental distress to have to put herself through the ordeal of taking a court case against the secretary of state for work and pensions in order to over-turn unlawful and ‘blatantly discriminatory’ government policy.”Philip Connolly, policy manager at Disability Rights UK, said: “Many disabled people have lost out because of changeover from DLA to PIP, and we welcome the announcement that the government is going to review 1.6 million cases.“This review highlights the ongoing and persistent failures of the assessment process, which is badly designed and implemented.“Huge amounts of tax payers’ money is being wasted on poor quality assessments which deny disabled people benefits that they qualify for – that’s one of the reasons the success rate at appeal is so high.“We urge all disabled people who are turned down for benefits they believe they should get to use the independent appeals process.”Meanwhile, the Motability scheme – which is only open to recipients of the enhanced/upper mobility rate of DLA or PIP – has told Disability News Service that it has no way of knowing how many of its former customers lost their entitlement to a vehicle and had to return it because of the way the government applied the PIP rules on overwhelming psychological distress.Motability said this was because it “has no role in determining who receives DLA/PIP, and we don’t receive any information on the details of someone’s assessment, their disability, or how many points they received in each area.“Since the introduction of PIP, we have seen a changing mix of people joining the scheme, and in particular, an increase in customers with mental health conditions.“We expect this to increase further following the recent announcement.”last_img read more

Jul
31

A groundbreaking new partnership between disabled

first_imgA ground-breaking new partnership between disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and Greater Manchester’s elected mayor could become a “template” for future work with local authorities across the region, according to one leading DPO.Greater Manchester Coalitionof Disabled People (GMCDP) said this week that it believed that Greater Manchester wasthe first combined authority in the country to establish a formal partnershipbetween DPOs and the elected mayor.The authority,led by Labour’s Andy Burnham, is now set to approve funding this month whichwill ensure that the lead of a new disabled people’s panel will be a paidposition.That will contrastwith lastmonth’s announcement by Sarah Newton, the minister for disabledpeople, who said that the chairs of nine new regional groups that will make upher new Regional Stakeholder Network would not be paid.GMCDP is nowasking disabled people to apply for the new part-time post, which will have apro rata salary of £31,100 a year.Thesuccessful candidate* will lead on work to set up the disabled people’s panel,which aims to “strengthen the voice of disabled people and their organisationsin shaping, challenging and influencing strategic policy issues that areimportant to disabled people across Greater Manchester”.Brian Hilton (pictured, right), GMCDP’s digital campaigns officer, said: “We are really pleased to be working with the mayor’s office on this important piece of work.“We hopethis can become a template for future work, not only with the mayor’s officebut across all Greater Manchester authorities.”He said thedebate around how much disabled people should be paid for their labour, skillsand expertise was “not a new phenomenon”. He said: “Thegovernment is not alone in trying to devalue disabled people by paying uspeanuts or, in the case of the regional disability network, nothing at all.“The currentpolitical climate allows such things to happen.”He pointedout that MPs from both sides of the House of Commons, including PhilipDavies and FrankField, have in recent years suggested that paying some disabledpeople less than the minimum wage would be a positive move forward. He said: “Thereality of course would be that it further divides our society into Us andThem. “Often therationale for paying us less is that we are less productive and that firms aredoing us a favour in the first place by employing us and by doing so keeping usoccupied.”But he saidthat paying disabled people less – or nothing – was “not the answer”. He said: “Theonly long-term solution is to remove the barriers that prevent us from gainingemployment, retaining our jobs and advancing in our chosen careers.“Not only isit important that disabled people and DPOs are recompensed for their time andexpertise, but it’s also important for and benefits the mayor’s office. “Paying forour expertise allows the mayor’s office to make demands on the work we do andthe input we provide. “Similarly,we are more focused, invested in the work being undertaken and committed tomaking the ongoing engagement a success.”The partnershipis likely to be seen as a campaigning success for GMCDP,which said before Burnham’s election as Greater Manchester’s firstelected mayor in 2017 that it hoped to persuade the successful candidate tomake the region a trailblazer for disability rights in England and “developground-breaking initiatives to tackle disability”.In contrastwith the Manchester post, Newton made it clear lastmonth that all those taking part in her new regional stakeholdernetwork – including the nine chairs – would have to work for free, apart fromtravel expenses and funding for disability-related costs.Newton alsomade it clear that non-disabled people and charities and other organisationsnot run and controlled by disabled people would be invited to join the network,potentially even as some of the regional chairs.*For details of the post and how to apply, visit the GMCDP website. The closing date is noon on Monday 18 FebruaryA 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

Jul
31

Photo essay Mission walkabout – Part two

first_img Photo by Kathleen Narruhn Photo by Kathleen Narruhn Photo by Kathleen Narruhn Photo by Kathleen Narruhn Photo by Kathleen Narruhn 0% Getting out in the neighborhood is a good thing. When you walk you tend to see different places, things and people you didn’t notice before. That’s exactly what happened my last photo walk that I’m sharing with you. Photo by Kathleen Narruhn Photo by Kathleen Narruhn Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Photo by Kathleen Narruhnlast_img read more

Jul
31

SFPD Chief Scott fires rookie officer who shot alleged carjacker in Bayview

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The SFPD confirmed that, on Friday, March 9, Scott “released” Samayoa — an act he is allowed to undertake unilaterally and for any cause, as the rookie was still in his probationary period.Calls and messages for Scott have not been returned. The San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA) on Monday assailed Scott in an e-mail to its membership, in the latest visceral denigration of the chief.“We have been bewildered by this chief since he came here. He makes no attempt to visit the troops, no attempt to go to stations. He’s very aloof, very distant,” bemoaned Gary Delagnes, the POA’s longtime president turned consultant. “The chief was party to this termination for purely political reasons. The victim was African American and this was the easy way out.”Samayoa is described by the POA as a “Hispanic who grew up in the Mission.”He “is a textbook example of what an officer should be,” read the POA’s letter to its unionized workforce. “Chris is an exemplary human being.”Samayoa, per the POA, is a fluent Spanish speaker who graduated from Riordan High in 2008 and the University of Arizona, and put his master’s at USF in counseling and psychology on hold to join the department. He worked at the Edgewood Center with troubled foster youth and as a case manager with homeless families, according to the POA.A number of police use-of-force experts, however, told Mission Local, the officer’s actions were troubling.Several noted that, when Samayoa fired the fatal shot, his fellow officers had yet to even draw their weapons.“That the training officer walks around and his gun is not out, it tells us something — it could suggest he did not perceive a threat,” Seth Stoughton, a professor at the South Carolina School of Law and a former police officer, told Mission Local in January.  “If he did perceive an ongoing threat, his gun would be out and he would be cornering around the car more carefully than he does.“Even if a guy was shot, you do not take for granted that he is not a threat anymore,” Stoughton continued. “Proceed cautiously. I didn’t see that type of cautious tactical approach when the training officer just walked around.”David Elliot Lewis, who served for four years as a trainer on the SFPD crisis intervention team, also raised questions about the officer’s actions. “Officers are supposed to shoot to protect life,” he said. “I don’t know who they were protecting.”Scott is entitled to fire Samayoa unilaterally, as he was just four days into his 12-month probationary period. Had he been a veteran officer, axing him would have required the Police Commission to act upon the recommendation of the chief.As an at-will employee, however, Samayoa’s options are more limited. “He has no recourse, really,” sums up Delagnes. He can demand a “Lubey Hearing,” as a dismissed probationary employee but, “he will most certainly lose,” the union honcho continues.Samayoa, Delagnes notes, is currently huddling with the POA to decide whether to file a writ with San Francisco Superior Court, to win back his job of four days. San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott on Friday fired the rookie cop who, four days into his police career, shot dead an alleged carjacker. In return, the police union fired back a fusillade of its own, accusing Scott of cowardice and political expediency.Other officers — who would not speak on the record for fear of retribution from the police union — told Mission Local they backed the chief. One emphasized that cops must be held accountable for failing to follow procedures, including warning someone before shooting, and firing through a closed window.These are both directives Officer Chris Samayoa failed to follow. On Dec. 1,  Samayoa — in just his first week in the job — was the passenger in his training officer’s squad car as they pursued Keita O’Neal into the Bayview. The 42-year-old was suspected of violently carjacking a van from a California Lottery official and leading the police on a serpentine chase. The pursuit came to a close on a dead-end street, at which point O’Neal, who was unarmed, leapt from the vehicle and ran beside the trailing police car.Without lowering the window or shouting a warning, Samayoa killed O’Neil with a single shot to the head, an act that was caught on his body camera.center_img 0%last_img read more

Jul
31

Distillations A sense of where you are at the fabulous Alba Rays

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter I knew Julian before the idea of consciously choosing a gender was ever something he could acknowledge to himself … though he knew he’d never been comfortable with his own “femaleness,” for lack of a better term. I was there, I was a confidant, as he started testing the idea out … and I was completely unqualified and utterly out of my depth. All I could do was listen, and acknowledge when he seemed to be happy and when he seemed to be miserable. But that, apparently, was something he desperately needed; and the more he began to abandon any responsibility to be feminine, the more he embraced the aesthetics and style of masculinity, the more happy and functional he became. I’m not a psychologist, I don’t have a theory for it, I just saw it, and recognized it, and observed it out loud. I do not care about any moral theory which cannot recognize the value in my friend no longer being suicidal. That matters, damn it. And it distressed me deeply that in my corner of San Francisco, he felt pushed to be less colorful and flashy, and more conventionally masculine, because it was the only way he felt he could be accepted on his terms. “I love being fabulous,” he told me. “And it really disturbs me that men aren’t supposed to be. I actually forget about that, a lot of the time, until somebody tries to use that against me.”“We all walk tightropes in our lives,” I agreed.“Yes, but my tightrope has feathers and sequins. Which is fabulous.”The fried okra came, and Julian nearly leaped out of his seat to praise it. “Oh, that’s delightful on many levels!” he said. “Most places in the North just try dipping it in batter … that gets the flavor all wrong.” Julian has strong opinions about Northern attempts at Southern cooking; he grew up on a farm in the rural South, and his mother’s people are from Louisiana. What the hell is it about foodie culture, he has long wondered, that takes Southern cuisine and throws sugar all over it? When he realized that Alba Ray’s doesn’t do that, he started to feel at home.We ordered more drinks  — I got their take on a Hurricane (Plantation rum, passion fruit, lemon), which was as strong and tart as you could want it, and he got an Alligator Strut (Ketel One, yellow chartreuse, basil, lime, egg white), which Julian would spend the entire rest of the night praising it as a perfect blend of basil and bitter flavors. Score. The mirliton and cucumber slaw also got raves  — “fucking superb” — as did the black-eyed-pea cake. “Really?” he said to me. “Really? You’ve never had good black eyed peas before? I keep forgetting we’re from different worlds.” Suddenly he pulled a fan out of his sleeve, flipped it open, and was fanning himself. “I am shocked,” he said, grinning. “Truly shocked.”“Damn,” I said. “That fan … that is a fucking power move.”“Yes.” He arched his eyebrows. “And lewd as hell.”Oh, it was on now. This is what happens when my friends feel comfortable. The bar was weirdly slow getting us our drinks, and the kitchen actually forgot about our order of mac and cheese  — I don’t know what was going on there; the restaurant portion was pretty calm. We discussed whether they were understaffed … it seemed like they were, but also like they were wearing it exceptionally well … until the braised pork shank was brought over. It was a platter of dripping rendered meet with a knife stuck in it, a moment that took everything over. We gasped. “I’m so glad you ordered that,” the server said. “Not enough people do.”We dug in. “Oh my God, tender doesn’t even begin to cover this,” Julian gaped as we tasted. “Oh my goodness.” We ended the night with beignets … for which Julian felt didn’t need the accompanying salted caramel sauce but I vacuumed up like a, well, vacuum. I tried pairing it with an End of the Road (Glenmorangie, green chartreuse, Campari) … which was a mistake. Though delicate and lovely, the combination of the Glenmorangie and Campari was much more bitter than I’d expected, and the wrong counterpart to the pastries. I’d put the wrong elements next to each other.Julian, however, was finally relaxing for the first time. He’d flirted with the waiter, and it had gone well.“How does it feel,” he asked me, leaning forward, “to know that everybody here thinks you’re on a date with a gay man? Because that’s what’s happening, you know.”I shrugged. “It feels like everyone will be thinking you’re lowering your standards.”Julian laughed. Then the fan came out again. Read more from Benjamin Wachs By the time we got a table at Alba Ray’s, Julian  — a trans man from New York — was frustrated and disappointed by his perception that San Francisco has been misgendering him for most of his stay. Julian normally prefers to straddle the gender binary, to mix and match the feminine and masculine in his appearance. And in New York, he feels like it works. But here, he’s discovered  — at least among the corners of San Francisco that I’ve been able to show him — that any trace of femininity in his appearance is enough to get him called “ma’m” or “miss” every single time. It has confused and upset him more than he thought it would, so tonight he’s gone full-court masculine: a dapper gay gentleman in a stylish suit, with cufflinks and tie. Everything womanly suppressed. “If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what to do,” he said. “It’s strange: It’s like despite your reputation as a queer metropolis, anything remotely female is supposed to be a woman, and anything that’s a woman is supposed to be sexy.”“Kind of the sexual equivalent of the one-drop rule?” I asked.center_img “Exactly.”Alba Ray’s is a Cajun joint in the heart of the Mission, with about half the space used for a single long bar and the other half for booths and tables. I started with a Absinthe Suissesse from their house cocktail menu (Herbsaint and St. George Spirits absinthe, crème de menthe, orgeat) I am impressed  — maybe too impressed. I could easily sit at that bar, with one of these after another, for hours. That sounds like a very good time to me. I think I want to do that later. Julian got a Ward Eight (Buffalo Trace bourbon, orange, lemon, grenadine), and raved about it. I let out a little sigh of relief. I kind of needed a win here, to be honest. We had a whole “SF vs. NYC bohemianism” subtext going, and nothing about San Francisco had been feeling right to Julian. Not even the food: When I brought him to the Tartine manufactory he was actually traumatized. “I mean, I love overwrought food, and I thought I’d seen pretentious bakeries in Paris and Brooklyn, but … come on … do they actually expect anyone to read this menu without laughing? HOW? Their pretension is like a croissant, and each layer takes itself more seriously than the last!”But he liked the drink, and so far nobody here had assumed he was a woman, and he was excited enough by the menu that I let him order for the table. Much of the food is best thought of as southern tapas, along with a selection of larger entrees. Only the use of musical instruments on the walls as decoration pained him. Julian is a classically trained musician  — fancy degrees and everything — “and that just hurts,” he said. “They’re meant to be played.” Email Addresslast_img read more

Jul
31

IN the next week or so we will show you which play

first_imgIN the next week or so we will show you which players will be heading over to Australia as part of the 2013 Academy Tour.Here is the first batch…!Daniel Abram is a scrum half or full back who signed from Bold Miners having previously played at Warrington RU.Philip Atherton is a prop forward who signed from Orrell St James.Ricky Bailey is a full back or centre who signed from Shevington, having previously played for Telford Raiders.Tom Calland is a prop forward who signed from Widnes St Maries, having previously played at Widnes Moorfield and West Bank Bears.Many thanks to the sponsors who made the trip possible for this quartet.They are:Moortown ConstructionAdvantage Civil Engineering SuppliesWirehouseACS Construction GroupCTW Construction LimitedWarrington RU Will Fleetwood & Family EconoloftGrafton Merchanting Lock-Tec Access Control SpecialistsSt Peters Catholic High SchoolMy Life Social EnterprisesOrrell St JamesWe will introduce four more players on Monday.You can find out more about the tour here.last_img read more

Jul
31

SATURDAYS Reserve team game against Hull FC and t

first_imgSATURDAY’S Reserve team game against Hull FC and today’s 19s match v Cumbria have been called off due to the weather.last_img

Jul
31

KEIRON Cunningham says Saints have been working ha

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham says Saints have been working hard as they prepare to face Wakefield on Sunday.Following a blank weekend on the fixture calendar, the coaching team have been able to spend a lot more time with their squad.And they hope this will give them the advantage heading into a crucial time of the season.“We are better for the week off but the way we played in the last 50 minutes against Hull KR it would have been nice to roll into another side,” he said. “It is certainly not an ideal situation, seeing other teams progress, but it gives us added motivation.“They players have had a short break and we have trained them hard. We also have a long turnaround to get them ready for Sunday.“Wakefield are a great attacking side and Chris Chester has done a good job. There is a feel good factor about the place and the players are going well for them.“That came through at the weekend in the way they progressed to the semi-finals.“Miller is continuing to mature and in Johnstone and Jowitt they have two good players. Wakefield have always had a knack of producing really good local outside backs. It will be a tough game but it always is up there.“I like the environment there and how intimidating it is. A couple of the lads who played at Knowsley Road enjoy playing at Castleford and Wakefield, where the crowd is on top of you. There’s a connection with the fans.”Luke Walsh could return for Sunday’s fixture at Belle Vue but Cunningham says it is too early to rule him “in or out” at this stage.And he’s reiterated his views on making a ‘short term signing’ fix.“Players don’t come in for half a year; short term fixes in rugby league don’t work,” he added. “If we get someone in it has to be a player who can do well for the club in the long term or I could shoot myself in the foot.“Our job is to keep on the heels of the top four. We need to keep on winning and picking up points. In the Super 8s everyone plays everyone and you don’t know what will happen.“We need to keep on building.”Tickets for Saints’ next four fixtures are now on sale.Call into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or go online here to secure your spots for our away trips to Wakefield, Huddersfield and Wigan as well as our home tie with Widnes.last_img read more

Jul
31

The half back comes into the 19 in place of Kyle A

first_imgThe half back comes into the 19 in place of Kyle Amor.Justin Holbrook will choose his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 24. Danny Richardson, 28. Regan Grace, 32. Matty Lees, 36. Zeb Taia, 37. Ben Barba.Chris Chester will chose his 17 from:1. Scott Grix, 3. Bill Tupou, 4. Reece Lyne, 5. Ben Jones-Bishop, 6. Jacob Miller, 7. Liam Finn, 8. Anthony England, 11. Matty Ashurst, 12. Danny Kirmond, 16. Tinirau Arona, 17. Craig Huby, 18. Joe Arundel, 20. David Fifita, 23. Keegan Hirst, 24. Mason Caton-Brown, 26. Chris Annakin, 32. Dean Hadley, 34. James Hasson, 35. Tyler Randell.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Ben Thaler.Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Jul
30

Four condos affected in early morning Surf City fire

first_imgSURF CITY, NC (WWAY) – Several condominiums in Surf City are in need of repair after an early morning electrical fire Sunday.Surf City fire officials say they responded to the Surf Condos where smoke was visible behind some units. They found a fire on the back deck and quickly worked to extinguish it with the aid of the Pender County Fire and EMS.- Advertisement – Four condos sustained smoke damage but the damage was limited to them according to fire officials.last_img