Month: July 2019

first_imgDisabled activists have called for a boycott of the mental health charity Mind, and called on its chief executive to quit, after one of its managers agreed to spend a year working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).They say the move by policy and campaigns manager Tom Pollard is just the latest sign of the close relationship between the charity and DWP on issues around welfare reform.They believe the charity has betrayed mental health service-users by failing to speak out strongly enough on benefit claimants who have been harmed, or even died, as a result of DWP’s much-criticised “fitness for work” test, the work capability assessment (WCA).Pollard will be working with DWP on secondment as a senior policy adviser, working on areas such as the government’s upcoming green paper on employment support for disabled people, the WCA and support in jobcentres.Activists point out that Mind made no mention of welfare reform, sanctions, or benefit-related deaths in its latest five-year strategy, and that the government’s Mental Health Taskforce, led by Mind’s chief executive, Paul Farmer, concluded in its report that employment was “vital to health and should be recognised as a health outcome”, when many campaigners – and professionals – warn that this is not the case for all mental health service-users.They say Farmer was rewarded for his “collusion” with DWP by being awarded a CBE in the last new year’s honours list.There is also continuing anger from the Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) at Mind’s decision to pull out of a high-profile and long-running court case that was aimed at forcing ministers to make the WCA safer for people with mental health conditions.Ministers were originally told by a coroner as far back as May 2010 that there was a risk of further deaths if they did not ensure that further medical evidence was obtained for all employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants with mental health conditions, following the suicide of Stephen Carré.But MHRN is still waiting for DWP to carry out a pilot project to test ways to collect this further medical evidence, despite ministers promising a tribunal they would do so in March 2015, following a lengthy judicial review case taken by MHRN.Denise McKenna, co-founder of MHRN, said Mind was “a disgrace”, and had only pulled out of involvement with the court case because it wanted to secure back-to-work contracts from DWP.She said: “MHRN won’t be leaving things at this, we want change at the very top of national Mind and will be demanding Farmer’s resignation.“He was rewarded with a CBE for colluding with the Tories.”She wrote to Farmer after hearing of Pollard’s secondment, telling him: “On looking at your strategy for the next five years we see that there is no mention of the devastating welfare reforms that are destroying the lives of many people with mental health problems.“Are we to take it that you are blissfully unaware of the misery and devastation being visited upon people who live with mental distress?”She added: “MHRN cannot accept the role that Mind is playing in helping the government push through policies that are deeply damaging to the people you claim to represent.“We do not recognise you as an ally of people who live with mental health problems and would like to hear what plans you have to redeem yourself in our eyes.”Paula Peters, a member of both MHRN and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said Pollard’s secondment was a “despicable, outrageous move”.She called for a boycott of Mind shops, events and donations, and for Farmer to resign.She said: “We are furious at the callous disregard for people in mental distress.  “They have been silent while people in mental distress have taken their own lives over being found fit to work due to the WCA, left destitute after being sanctioned in the work-related activity group of ESA, or sanctioned on jobseeker’s allowance.”She added: “They are just as guilty as this government by their silence over the tragic human cost of the welfare reforms and colluding with the government, which will cause more distress and harm.“This is a warning to any charity that colludes with the government: you’re next!”Peters said that activists would be preparing a “welcome party” for Pollard that would take place at DWP’s offices on the day he starts his new job, 31 October.Linda Burnip, co-founder of DPAC, said Pollard’s secondment was “a poisoned chalice”.She said: “Knowing how charities work for their own benefit and not for the benefit of those they purport to represent, it comes as no surprise that Tom Pollard is willing to be seconded to DWP, but he should be aware that any policies he advises on will be thoroughly scrutinized by grassroots campaigners, and he will be held to account by them.”Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns for Mind, said Pollard would be “advising on the most appropriate and effective ways to support and engage with people with mental health problems across a range of policy issues”, and that his “longstanding work on these issues gives him the expertise to advise the DWP”.She said: “We have long been calling for greater mental health expertise within the department.“This is a great opportunity to help ensure that these policies are as supportive and effective as possible for people with mental health problems.”She said that Mind was “politically-neutral” and claimed that it had “continued to push the DWP to reform the WCA through meetings with MPs and civil servants” and through campaign and media work, and added: “We share the Mental Health Resistance Network’s disappointment and frustration at the lack of progress on the specific points covered by the judicial review.“However, we believe that the case played a vital role in helping to discredit the WCA and we are calling for a commitment to reforming the system in the upcoming green paper.”Nash added: “Mind will continue to campaign independently and outspokenly for a benefits and welfare system that works for people with mental health problems, including an overhaul of fitness for work tests and a focus on support rather than sanctions.“We have supported many people to share their stories in the media of the impact welfare reforms have had on them, including individuals who have lost loved ones due to a number of factors, including cuts to their benefits, and will continue to prioritise this for the next 12 months, and beyond.”She said the charity was “incredibly proud” of Farmer’s CBE for his services to mental health with Mind, and through previous jobs at Rethink and Samaritans, and that he was “committed to achieving real change so that people with mental health problems always get the respect and support that they deserve”.Nash said the taskforce’s report was based on input from more than 20,000 people who live with a mental health problem or work in the mental health sector, and that “people with mental health problems tell us that appropriate and supportive employment can improve their mental health, while unemployment, debt and problems with benefits can all worsen it”.She said that campaigning on welfare reform would “continue to be a huge part of what we do” and was covered in the five-year strategy through its commitment to act on “disability, social justice, housing and homelessness”.She appealed for activists not to take the “extreme action” of boycotting Mind, and added: “People who have raised concerns, such as the Mental Health Resistance Network, have been encouraged to have an open dialogue on these issues with Mind.”Picture: An MHRN activist outside the Royal Courts of Justice during the long-running court caselast_img read more

Read more

first_imgPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George Lipp Photo by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George Lipp Photo by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George LippPhoto by George Lipp Tags: Carnival Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%last_img read more

Read more

first_imgBut not just because of that news. Caltagirone also introduced a volunteer yoga instructor, Stephanie Snyder from Love Story Yoga, to lead the group in what he called “tactical breathing.” The lights were dimmed, engulfing the room in the cerulean blue monochrome from the evening sky that lasted 10 minutes. A dog shuffled, whined, and then barked. But everyone took part.And then, the lights clicked on and the meeting commenced. One resident, Kathy Miller, eventually asked Caltagirone: What is he doing about 16th and Mission?“I feel like there needs to be more police officers,” she said. “People from all over the world come here and get off there. It’s fucking scary.”Miller, who said she was no stranger to chaos after a career in photojournalism abroad, said the bad press the city gets is only spreading across the states. “All you need are a couple of cops there during the day. That’s when all the shit happens anyways,” she said.Caltagirone was quick to reply. “You’re totally right, and I was just granted some more officers to put there,” Caltagirone said. Caltagirone said he had received approval to add up to two additional police officers to patrol around the 16th and Mission areas, sometimes stretching down to 15th and Mission. He noted that the additional police presence would be during commute hours in the mornings, midday hours, and evenings. At most, he said, two extra officers would be present. But sometimes it might be one.  When asked when the additional patrols had commenced, Caltagirone replied “now.”“There’s been a lot of narcotics sales in that area too, and we’re working on a project that will hopefully prevent that,” Caltagirone added. He would not go into specifics, however, saying it’s an active investigation.The BART plazas along 24th and 16th Streets are patrolled by both San Francisco Police and BART Police officers. Periodic attempts to “clean up” the plazas have been ongoing — including a deep cleaning. Some artists even added a ping-pong table. Still, some were unfazed by the condition of 16th Street Plaza. Gavrilah Wells, a Noe Valley resident who has lived in the area for decades, wasn’t too worried about the corners on 16th and Mission. She still prefers the 24th Street station, given its safety, but recalls that her decades in the city the area was always more or less the same. “I don’t feel afraid of the plaza nowadays,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like it’s changed that much. It’s pretty hairy but it’s always been that way.”Some people, it seems, don’t need breathing exercises to be calm. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Cops and yoga mix in very Mission moment‘It’s fucking scary,’ Mission dweller tells police captain of 16th Street Plaza At Tuesday night’s Mission Police Station community meeting, Captain Gaetano Caltagirone took questions and provided answers on the usual robbery and car break-in reports. But the 27 people attending would be feeling a bit more relaxed by the end of the evening, after the captain announced that additional officers would patrol along 16th and Mission along the BART stations.last_img read more

Read more

first_imgSAINTS ended the regular season in fifth place after a comfortable 38-12 win over at Hull FC.Adam Swift led the way with a brace as Nathan Brown’s side set up a mouth-watering home match with Hull KR in the Playoffs.Alter a tame opening 25 minutes Saints broke the deadlock and never looked back.Jon Wilkin fired them ahead before Adam Swift’s superb run set up Josh Jones.Swift then tagged one of his own and Willie Manu stole the ball ‘one on one’ in the final seconds to end a brilliant opening 40.Richard Whiting got the second half underway with a try as Saints hoofed their restart out on the full.But Francis Meli ensured parity when he stretched over from close range and Adam Swift crossed for his second after fine work from Jonny Lomax.Danny Tickle replied but Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s late score underlined their dominance.Brown spoke during the week about Saints starting better and they did just that.Making only a couple of changes from the side that lost to Warrington – Stuart Howarth and Anthony Walker both stepping down for James Roby and Paul Clough – they completed their sets and put Hull on the back foot.Even though, the home side looked most likely to score in those early stages but knocked on with the line at their mercy.Saints were guilty of spurning chances too.But on 20 minutes after defending a penalty and a drop out they forged ahead with Jon Wilkin going over.It was a classic counterattack after they repelled borders – Wilkin kicking through, Meli picking it up off his bootlaces and getting his pass away.Tom Briscoe almost got the home side level moments later as his mazy run saw him held up just short.But Saints weathered the storm and scored on their next set.A high ball was collected by Adam Swift and he went 80 yards, shaking off tackles, sidestepping the defence and producing one big fend off too.He was hauled down agonisingly close to the line, but the ball went right and Jones did the rest.Hull tried to respond but they inadvertently gave Saints more points. A pass went astray on halfway, Swift scooped it up and went 50 yards.Lomax with the simple conversion from under the sticks.It then got better. Right on the hooter Saints camped on Hull’s line but fail to get through.But the home side pushed it with around five seconds to go and Willie Manu stole it one on one to increase the advantage.Lomax with the conversion to leave his side 22-0 up at half time – and the boos ringing out around the KC Stadium.Saints started the second half poorly when they kicked out on the full and Hull took full advantage of the resultant penalty. They drove it close and then found Richard Whiting in space.Danny Tickle converted and then the home side won the ball back as Saints knocked on twice in succession.The visitors’ scrambling defence did the trick though and they breathed a sigh of relief – building on that work and firing themselves into Hull territory with a forty:twenty from Jordan Turner.And it worked as seconds later Roby moved it left and Meli stretched over.Saints defended more ‘multi-packs’ of sets thanks to penalties and then scored once more.Wilkin chipped ahead, Lomax caught it and then sent out a fine kick to the corner where Swift collected, stepped and scored.Lomax converted his fourth ‘extra two’ but Danny Tickle pulled one back for Hull.Yet, it was always going to be Saints night and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crossed at the death.Match Summary:Hull FC: Tries: Whiting, TickleGoals: Tickle (2 from 2)Saints: Tries: Wilkin, Jones, Swift (2), Manu, Meli, McCarthy-ScarsbrookGoals: Lomax (4 from 6), Turner (1 from 1)Penalties:Hull FC: 11Saints: 4HT: 22-0FT: 38-12REF: James ChildATT: 11750Teams:Hull FC:29. Jamie Shaul; 2. Jason Crookes, 16. Richard Horne, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Tom Briscoe; 6. Daniel Holdsworth, 34. Jacob Miller; 17. Liam Watts, 9. Danny Houghton, 22. Josh Bowden, 13. Joe Westerman, 12. Danny Tickle, 20. Paul Johnson.Subs: 14. Richard Whiting, 19. Jay Pitts, 21. Chris Green, 33. Aaron Heremaia.Saints:7. Jonny Lomax; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Francis Meli, 26. Adam Swift; 12. Jon Wilkin, 6. Lance Hohaia; 11. Tony Puletua, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 19. Josh Jones, 13. Willie Manu, 4. Sia Soliola.Subs: 1. Paul Wellens, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Paul Clough, 25. Alex Walmsley.last_img read more

Read more

first_imgTICKETS for Saints’ Magic date with Huddersfield will remain on sale until midnight on Tuesday May 17.Keiron Cunningham’s men will take on the Giants at St James Park in Newcastle at 3.15pm on Sunday May 22.Saints have day tickets remaining in the Milburn 1892 Club and the East Stand.The 2016 Magic Weekend schedule: Saturday May 21 2.30pm – Salford Red Devils v Widnes Vikings 4.45pm – Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves 7.00pm – Leeds Rhinos v Wigan WarriorsSunday May 221.00pm – Catalans Dragons v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 3.15pm – Huddersfield Giants v St Helens 5.30pm – Hull FC v Hull Kingston RoversTickets are priced at:Tickets can be bought by popping into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Read more

first_imgWayne Bennett has announced his 19-man squad which includes Jonny Lomax, Luke Thompson, Mark Percival and RLIF Golden Boot nominee Tommy Makinson.Former Saint James Graham will also captain England in Sunday’s second Test against New Zealand in his home city of Liverpool.England Squad:John Bateman George Burgess Tom Burgess Daryl Clark Jake Connor Oliver Gildart James Graham Chris Hill Josh Hodgson Jonny Lomax Tommy Makinson Jermaine McGillvary Richie Myler Adam Milner Mark Percival Luke Thompson Sam Tomkins Elliott Whitehead George WilliamsEngland face New Zealand in the remaining two tests at Anfield in Liverpool (November 4) and Elland Road in Leeds (November 11).Tickets start from just £20 and are available from rugby-league.com/ticketslast_img read more

Read more

first_img Brown’s kayak washed up on Holden Beach a day after he was rescued from the water by nearby boaters.Police say Brown was wearing a life jacket which they say saved his life. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County man who was thrown from his kayak and rescued earlier this week is now in stable condition.Holden Beach Police say his kayak also has been located. Police say Robert Brown of Oak Island was kayaking in the Lockwood Folly Inlet Tuesday when his kayak was overtaken by several waves, ejecting him from the kayak.  – Advertisement – last_img read more

Read more

first_imgBitty, Beau, and Ben Wright are heading to DC to talk equal opportunities for those with disabilities. (Photo: Facebook) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Bitty and Beau’s Coffee calls itself the “happiest place in Wilmington.”The shop has gotten a lot of local and national attention. Now, Founder Ben Wright is heading to Washington.- Advertisement – Wright has been invited to testify before a U.S. Senate Special Committee Wednesday.He will reportedly share his passion for creating equal opportunities for people with disabilities to earn and save for their own futures.He and his wife Amy started Bitty and Beau’s for their son and daughter who both have down syndrome.last_img read more

Read more

first_img However, what could or will go in its place is still unknown.Ron Satterfield, Wilmington’s assistant planning director, said the city has not received plans for new construction on the lot. Village Plaza owner Bill Baicy did not return a message requesting comment.Click here to read more at StarNews. PHOTO: HUNTER INGRAM/STARNEWS WILMINGTON (StarNews) – The Village Plaza shopping center that stood for many years on Greenfield Street has been scraped from the site after a devastating fire in May.The center, anchored by the neighborhood-favorite grocery store, Everybody’s Supermarket, was demolished this week, the pieces of charred wood and crumbled siding scooped up and removed from the land to make room for a possible redevelopment.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read more

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: French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Pool/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Pool/File Photo Assailed by social unrest and lagging in opinion polls, French President Emmanuel Macron has for now managed to cling on to a well of support from company leaders in France even as his reform push loses momentum.Executives attending an annual economic conference in Aix-en-Provence were more than happy to cut Macron slack for the setbacks the 41-year-old’s pro-business overhaul of the country has faced.“Macron made some mistakes but he realised it and took measures to fix them,” a senior French banker told Reuters at the conference bringing together France’s corporate elite in the southern college town for a weekend of lofty debates about the state of the world.“The situation isn’t as bad as some think. He’s done more in two years than other presidents did in five or 10 years,” the banker added.Two years into his presidency, Macron’s reform agenda has taken a backseat after several months spent rebuilding political capital and trying to quell anti-government “yellow vest” protests.That included a series of nationwide townhall debates and policy U-turns on issues like planned fuel tax hikes, as Macron also sought to repair his oft-cited image as an arrogant leader.The former investment banker lost little time in his first months in office overhauling France’s strict labour code to make it easier to hire and fire, as employers had long urged, and also brought in tax cuts for investors and companies to encourage job-creating investment.But plans to reform unemployment insurance were only unveiled in June after months of delay, and a well-flagged pension overhaul now looks unlikely to happen before next year.Both moves are expected to meet stiff resistance from unions, which could become a problem for Macron after he rode roughshod over worker representatives in his 2018 overhaul of indebted state-run rail company SNCF.“If there has been a mistake, it’s underestimating unions and employers federations,” economist Jean-Herve Lorenzi, who organises the Aix conference, told Reuters. “The social partners need to be brought into the process.”But few in business circles question Macron’s reform intentions.“The unemployment insurance reform is making progress, proposals on retirement should come soon, there’s no underlying change,” Lorenzi added.And with opponents on the right and left in disarray, at least in parliament there are still few chances of any hiccups.“He’s not going as fast as he could or should, but politically he’s still got open freeway in front of him,” a senior executive at one of France’s biggest companies told Reuters.KEEP IT UPOn the streets, a backlash over high living costs and perceived elitism has also simmered down.“France is doing well, let’s keep it up… I don’t see any yellow vests,” said Rodolphe Saade, chief executive of French shipping giant CMA CGM.But the demonstrations, which descended into violent clashes last December including in Paris, have had a sobering effect for French companies too, when many are also grappling with other pressures like a U.S.-China trade war.“We have to adapt (to that backdrop) without a hike in our costs, because neither our direct clients or auto consumers will accept a rise in prices, as we saw in France with the yellow vests”, Jacques Aschenbroich, CEO of car parts supplier Valeo, told the conference on Sunday.As a result of the protests, Macron shifted his policy focus from boosting business to supporting income for the poorest workers and pensioners, with a package of concessions last December worth more than 10 billion euros.He followed up in April with a pledge to cut income tax by 5 billion euros next year. His poll ratings have begun creeping up from lows reached in the depths of the yellow vest crisis.He has yet to detail, much less carry out, spending cuts that are supposed to finance tax cuts, much to the consternation of the central bank and the independent public audit office.Also slipping on Macron’s “to-do” list is the launch of France’s biggest wave of privatisations in years, with the sale of airport operator ADP running into opposition as support builds for a referendum on the sell-off.Instead, state lottery company FDJ will be the first test of the privatisation resolve, after France named banks to work on the process last week.WhatsApplast_img read more

Read more