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Disabled activists have called for a Labour MP to

first_imgDisabled activists have called for a Labour MP to resign as chair of the Commons work and pensions select committee, after he called for employers to be allowed to pay some disabled people less than the minimum wage.Frank Field (pictured) made the call in a new collection of essays on employment and disabled people, which was published earlier this month.Three years ago, a Tory minister, Lord Freud, faced calls to be sacked after he was recorded making the same suggestion at a fringe event at the Conservative party conference.Disabled campaigners have lined up to criticise Field.Ian Jones, co-founder of the WOWCampaign, said Field’s “offensive” suggestion “reinforces a discriminatory and prejudicial stereotype that disabled people are worth less than others”.He said: “If Frank Field wants to close the disability employment gap, the WOWCampaign suggest that he starts by putting together a robust plan to tackle the prejudice and discrimination that disabled people face from employers, which both acts as a barrier to them joining the workforce and stops them from achieving their true potential.“Sadly, rather than do the hard bit, he has pandered to prejudice and ignorance and said some disabled people are not worth the minimum wage.“Many people in post-Brexit Britain will read ‘some’ and think ‘all’.”Jones said the Labour party should suspend Field from party membership and withdraw its support for him as chair of the work and pensions committee.He added: “Prejudice such as this must not be tolerated. A minimum is a minimum for all.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said Field’s suggestion was “grossly offensive and totally unacceptable”.She said: “Field is a disgrace as both chair of the work and pensions select committee and a so-called Labour MP, and DPAC believe that he must resign his select committee post with immediate effect.”Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK (DR UK), was also critical, but stopped short of calling for Field to resign.He said: “We think Frank Field MP is misguided in advocating that disabled people are paid less than the minimum wage. “I am totally opposed to any such suggestion. It would set us on the slippery slope to sheltered employment and performing menial tasks at day centres. “We have a right to work and to have the support in work we need to reach our full potential. “We respect Frank Field’s position as chair of the DWP select committee and I would like to invite him in to engage in a dialogue with disabled people on this issue.“I think we need to defeat this whole idea, in parliament and outside it, rather than focus on one individual. We should win the argument through debate in the democratic process.”Neil Coyle, a Labour member of Field’s work and pensions committee and a former DR UK director, said: “I completely disagree with Frank and made that clear at the launch of the report.“Disabled people’s living costs are higher and they are more likely to live in poverty.“Disabled people should not be penalised in work and already earn less for the same jobs as non-disabled people.”Stephen Lloyd, the disabled Liberal Democrat MP and his party’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “I am disappointed that the chair of the work and pensions select committee, Frank Field, has fallen into the trap – some would say right-wing trap – of advocating a lower wage for some people with certain disabilities.“No reliable evidence has ever been shown that this is effective and it also perpetuates the stereotypes that some disabled people are worth less than others.“This is both wrong and insulting.”In his essay, The Future Of Employment Support For The Disabled, Field says that “more bold thinking is required” if the government wants to reduce the disability employment gap.He suggests that some disabled people will never be productive enough to compete “on a level playing field” for job opportunities, and that this challenge was made “all the more daunting by the otherwise welcome introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW)”.He says that the introduction of the NLW “cuts even further adrift from the labour market those individuals whose work has an economic value below the legal minimum wage”.And he suggests granting a “specific exemption” to the NLW “to those whose disabilities are deemed so severe that they will never be capable of enough output to warrant payment of the minimum wage, but who might nevertheless enjoy significant wellbeing gains from involvement in an appropriate workplace environment”.Such workers, he said, “might be permitted to earn a small amount of money a week with zero or negligible impact” on their receipt of employment and support allowance, the out-of-work disability benefit.He admits there is a risk that “unscrupulous employers” would take advantage of such an exemption, while he says it would be “important to guard against the risk of negatively affecting the perception of disability employment more broadly”.But he says the NLW already does not apply to the under-25s and apprentices*, so this exemption could be extended to “those facing the severest barriers to work”.After being approached for a comment by Disability News Service, Field – who is seen as being on the right of the Labour party and not close to the leadership – claimed it was “absurd” that his idea was about cutting the NLW.He said: “It is about building a properly resourced package, including work buddies, if we are to provide the stepping stones that will enable people living with severe disabilities to achieve a life’s ambition to work.“How do we ensure they can fulfil that ambition, in a way which ensures employers meet the sacrosanct requirement to pay the National Living Wage, which is proving incredibly difficult under the present system?“Not to have that discussion is a betrayal of disabled people and I am not prepared to do that.“We must have the courage to consider ideas like this one, building ways into gainful, meaningful work.“Individuals and organisations who claim to represent the views of disabled people should be demanding that politicians discuss ideas like these that could make the dream of work a reality, not trying to silence the debate.”The essay collection, Opportunities For All, has been published by the Learning and Work Institute, with support from the charity Shaw Trust, and features an introduction by the minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt.A spokesman for Shaw Trust said: “We were very pleased to support the publication of these essays, which represent a range of views on the debate.“However, these are the views of the original authors and not Shaw Trust.”Three years ago, Lord Freud, at the time the welfare reform minister, only kept his post after he publicly apologised for suggesting at the Tory party conference that some disabled people were “not worth the full wage”.He also faced a Labour motion in the House of Commons which expressed no confidence in him as minister for welfare reform and called on David Cameron to sack him.DPAC organised a protest outside the Department for Work and Pensions’ headquarters, WOWcampaign launched a petition calling for Lord Freud to be sacked, and Labour leader Ed Miliband said they were “not the words of someone who ought to be in charge of policy relating to disabled people”.Lord Freud said in his apology that “all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else”.*Under-25s are still entitled to a minimum wage, which is set at lower rates than the NLW, depending on their age, while apprentices are entitled to an even lower rate if they are under-19 or in the first year of their apprenticeshiplast_img read more

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Burnedout SF Mission tenants win 1 million settlement

first_imgLandlords of a building that burned down at 14th and Stevenson streets in 2014 are paying out more than $1 million to tenants who were displaced by the fire and subsequently evicted.The men who owned the 1441-1451 Stevenson St. warehouse at the time of the fire, identified in court documents as Albert Joshua and David Kimmel, have agreed to pay eight tenants — who were evicted through the Ellis Act after they were displaced — a $1.05 million settlement. The settlement is a win for warehouse tenants who were kicked out of their homes amid a crackdown down on illegal dwellings following the Oakland Ghost Ship Fire in December 2016, said Joseph Tobener, a tenants’ rights attorney who represented the Stevenson tenants.  “The Stevenson Street fire award is critical for these warehouse tenants, because it shows that these tenancies have significant value under the law, even if they are unpermitted,” Tobener said. Tags: Fires • tenants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img The 2-alarm Stevenson Street fire broke out one early morning in January 2014, displacing 21 people, including an infant, and causing major damage to one of the last remaining artist live-work spaces in the Mission at the time.The complaint filed against the landlord states that because the landlord failed to repair damaged caused by the fire and failed to legalize the building for residential use, the tenants permanently lost their rent-controlled units.“As a result, they have suffered moving costs, rent differential, emotional distress, lost wages and incurred attorney fees and costs,” the complaint states.It also alleges negligence, breach of contract, unlawful rent increases, constructive eviction, unlawful eviction, intentional infliction of emotion stress, nuisance, unfair business practices and unjust enrichment, and seeks injunctive relief.5 Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments available at 3000 23rd St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Applications must be received by 5PM, Nov. 7, 2017, and must either be submitted online here or mailed in with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 3000 23rd St. BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94124. Applications available here or picked up from an agency listed here.Although the fire didn’t destroy all six units in the building, none of the tenants were able to move back in, because their landlords had evicted them through the Ellis Act, which allows owners to evict tenants and take the property off the rental market. That, Tobener said, is where the tenants were able to recover value. “The Stevenson Street tenants had lived in their units for many years, and the units had significant economic value to them,” he said. “The Ellis Act eviction cut off the future rent damages.”In 2015, following the initial lawsuit filed by the tenants against the property owners, Joshua and Kimmel countersued the tenants to recover the relocation assistance they paid the tenants under a city ordinance sponsored by then-Supervisor David Campos. The ordinance, which was struck down by a California Superior Court Judge in October 2015, had landlords pay the difference between their previous rent and market-rate rent for a similar unit for two years.Tobener said his clients also get to keep the allowance they received: $190,000 for all eight clients. Tobener said that the building wasn’t safe because of the tenants, but because the landlord didn’t not properly manage the property and let years of illegal construction to go unchecked. “Tenants in these spaces are in a bind,” he said. “They cannot call the fire department or City inspector for fear that the unit will be red-tagged and they will be forced out.” last_img read more

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Potrero Bus Yard Project meetings turn up many suggestions little consensus

first_imgMarlyn Duran, a community organizer with People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Justice (PODER) and a Mission native, wants the project to be 100-percent affordable. “Especially because it’s on city land,” she said in an interview after Thursday’s meeting. “And we know that, with private land, we’ll never get 100 percent.”However, Ryan McPhee, who was also born in the Mission and has lived here most of his life, did not think 100-percent affordable was necessary. McPhee is a member of the Potrero Working Group, which is working to bring neighbors and authorities together to provide input and shape the public outreach of the project. “We obviously have immediate needs, but it’s better to have 40 percent or 50 percent of market-rate units so that we can actually finance the project,” he said.Licina Iberri, an SFMTA planning manager, speaks to workshop participants on Feb. 23, 2019.At present, city rules on developments of this size would require at least 25 percent of the units to be affordable. Since this project is located on city land, a higher percentage may be required as a matter of political reality. Although most people who attended the meetings said they wanted to see the project go forward, there were also opponents.Galvin Roberts, a 75-year-old man who has been living in the Mission since the ’60s, is skeptical of the SFMTA’s commitment. “You say you’ll do all these wonderful things, but I have real questions on whether or not you’ll be able to achieve it,” he said to Iberri.Roberts showed Iberri an article from the Potrero View in which the community accused the agency of failing to keep its promises at Islais Creek, the transportation facility in Dogpatch undergoing renovations.Iberri tried to keep it professional. “I’ve seen it,” she replied. “There are definitely different points of view on the topic, but we’re trying to design a place that’s an asset to the neighborhood.”“I don’t think the project is feasible,” Roberts said later, adding that all of his artist friends have had to leave the neighborhood.For McPhee, the Mission native, change is the only constant and we should embrace it. “The Mission has changed, it’s not going back to where it was,” he said.Height was also an issue.While more height could mean more affordable housing, it would also shadow Franklin Square, the community park adjacent to Potrero Yard.That did not make some happy.“The park has become neglected,” said Jeff Smith, a nearby neighbor. He thinks Franklin Square is important to preserve because it’s mostly used by locals, “unlike Mission Dolores, which attracts a lot of tourists.”For Susan Sietat, a member of Plaza 16 Coalition, which is demanding 100-percent affordable housing from the 1979 Mission St. project, “shadowing a park is less important than housing.” In her opinion, people can avoid the hours when the park is shaded.Matt Pipes, an artist whose studio is right across from Potrero Park, is concerned about the design of the building and security in the streets. “If there’s more people living in the area, the park will be more attractive,” he said.People have also questioned SFMTA’s parking plans.“If you change the amount of parking it will be impossible for businesses to get in and out,” said Nate Green, who owns a production business in the neighborhood.“If this is constructed without parking, it’s going to radically change the livelihood of every small business in this neighborhood,” added Roberts, “Muni drivers cannot park onsite; they don’t have it in their contract. They park in our neighborhood.”Others agreed with the measures, saying that in terms of global warming, the best option would be to get rid of cars.And so the debate went on. The SFMTA will take this feedback as a starting point for a conversation about financial feasibility and design. According to Iberri, the agency will come back to the community after these conversations, “hopefully in a couple of months.” After four public meetings on a development project that could add nearly 1,000 new residential units atop the Potrero Bus Yard, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will review the comments from the 100 or so people who attended the gatherings and try “to figure out consistency and trends, if they exist,” said Licina Iberri, one of the planning managers.The project, now in the planning stages, seeks to not only upgrade the 100-year old bus and Muni transportation facility but to add as many as 900 new units – at least 25 percent affordable – as well as ground-floor retail space. The market rate housing would help finance the project.Iberri’s caveat regarding “trends” may be prescient. The meetings revealed a wide range of concerns including the number of affordable and market-rate units to be built and the shadows that would fall over Franklin Square Park. Parking for all also became a point of contention. But it was hard to see any consensus forming. “It’s clear that the bus yard part of the project is required,” said Riley Avron, a member of YIMBY Action, who lives near City Hall. “The interesting part, and why we’re all here, is to figure out whether and what sort of housing might exist on top of it.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img Email Addresslast_img read more

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FIVE players from Saints Academy have been called

first_imgFIVE players from Saints Academy have been called up to the England squad for 2011.Danny Yates; Danny Jones; Greg Wilde; Jordan Case and Josh Jones will form part of the elite performance programme which begins in January.Head of Youth, Mike Rush, said: “It has long been a policy of the Saints to develop homegrown talent into players who are capable of competing not only in Super League but on the world stage.“We’re delighted and proud that these players have been recognised for their efforts and we hope they will continue to improve.”Neil Kilshaw, Player Performance Manager added: “These players have worked very hard to give themselves a chance of selection and should be congratulated. “It is also testament to the hard work of the staff that Saints continue to produce players that are consistently recognised for their country.”last_img read more

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England World Cup stars Emily Rudge and Faye Gaski

first_imgEngland World Cup stars Emily Rudge and Faye Gaskin have agreed to play for the new team alongside Tara Jones, Dawn Taylor and Katie May.They will link up with Head Coach Mark Brennan and his assistant Andrew Raines and start training straight away.“Emily is a powerful and aggressive backrower with a tremendous work rate,” Mark said. “In the World Cup, despite coming off the bench against Papua New Guinea, she was top tackler. She was also named as England’s Best and Fairest player in the tournament.“She joins Faye who is the current England standoff. Faye is a great organiser who will steer the team around the pitch and her attitude is fantastic.”Tara Jones joins the Saints after being unlucky to miss out on the World Cup. She is a quality hooker who played her rugby at Thatto heath.She is seen as one of the future stars of the game both as a player and a match official. She officiates at Scholarship and NCL level and should be promoted to Division 1 this season. She has also officiated in the Challenge Cup competition and at Wembley for the Championship Schools – the curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup Final.Dawn Taylor is a police offer based in Runcorn who has played for Lancashire and England Lionesses. She was previously at Warrington Ladies before joining Thatto Heath. She is a forward who runs and tackles hard.Teammate Katie May also played at Thatto Heath. She is a strong aggressive running centre who has represented Lancashire and England Lionesses.The quintet are the first group of ladies to join St Helens Women this season with more to be announced shortly.Mark added: “We are really looking forward working with these ladies and further developing their games. We are excited about the future for the Saints.”If you would like to be involved and sponsor either a player or the team then please contact Craig Richards on craig.richards@saintsrlfc.comPictured are Assistant Coach Andrew Raines, Dawn Taylor, Emily Rudge, Faye Gaskin, Katie May, Tara Jones and Head Coach Mark Brennan.last_img read more

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The event saw the start of NewBeginnings in 2019

first_imgThe event saw the start of #NewBeginnings in 2019 for the game of Rugby League.Justin Holbrook, Golden Boot Man Tommy Makinson and Club Captain James Roby joined players and coaches from all the other Super League Club aswell as the media, past players, legends, sponsors and special guests from the World of Sport.Super League CEO Robert Elstone introduced the changes planned for 2019 including new rules and laws and a new voting system for the Steve Prescott Man Of Steel Award.Click here to view the season launch video produced by Super League.last_img read more

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First Team Match SAINTS TV

first_imgBlake Austin put the visitors in front, but Mark Percival, Louie McCarthy- Scarsbrook and Jonny Lomax turned it around and gave us a half-time lead.Matty Lees extended our lead before a sensational 70-yard run from Regan Grace and a terrific team try finished in typical Tommy Makinson style gave Saints a resounding victory in the top of the table clash.last_img

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Man dog travel through Port City on a mission to spread kindness

first_img (Photo: Jordan Smith) “Seven years ago, I started riding the kindness bicycle addressing issues that children have to deal with it far too young in age. My current ride which was only supposed to last one year has been extended. It was a perimeter ride of the United States for individuals with special needs: Down Syndrome, Autism, Asperger, Bipolar, addictions, etc.” (Photo: Jordan Smith) (Photo: Jordan Smith) Bob stops in Wilmington to spread kindness. (Photo: Jordan Smith) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You may have seen this painted up school bus traveling through the area today. Wilmington is just one of the hundreds of places Bob and his dog Bogart are cruising through to spread kindness.Bob and Bogart have been traveling the country in the kindness bus for the last 9 1/2 years. He said this mission grew out of the Virginia Tech shooting that happened 11 years ago. The duo does programs in schools, churches, businesses, business groups, neighborhoods, families and for individuals talking about having a lifetime goal of kindness, specifically One Million Acts Of Kindness.- Advertisement – 1 of 5 This wasn’t their first time in the Port City. He says the two have been in the area a few times over the years. While they weren’t in the Cape Fear for long, the two did make a stop at Bitty and Beau’s Coffee.“What a wonderful place, hiring beautiful angels to work creating coffees teas and serving them with love in their heart,” Bob said.Related Article: Cooper: Don’t let this storm catch you with your guard downThere next stop? Rocky Mount.You can follow his trip here. Kindness bus (Photo: Jordan Smith) Bob stops by Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington. (Photo: One Million Acts of Kindness)last_img read more

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Teen Mom stars husband will face charges after viral video

first_imgPolice investigating after video shows man aggressively towing away car in downtown Wilmington. (Photo: David Eason/YouTube) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Just hours after Wilmington Police Department told WWAY that charges wouldn’t be filed against the husband of “Teen Mom” and Brunswick County resident Jenelle Evans, there has been a change of plans.This stemmed from a widely viewed video posted online earlier this week.- Advertisement – David Eason is shown in the video, which was recorded in June, hooking a winch to the back of a truck parked in downtown Wilmington and moving it out of its parking space.The victim, Terry Hill, has decided to press charges. An officer is meeting with him to assist in paperwork/taking a report.Once completed, Wilmington Police will take appropriate action to charge Eason.last_img read more

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Swastikas symbols spray painted on Cape Fear Rugby Clubs playing field

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Swastikas and pentagrams were spray painted all over Cape Fear Rugby Club’s playing field in Wilmington, and now police are investigating.The club made the discovery the day after returning from a game in Charlotte.- Advertisement – (Photo: Cape Fear Rugby Club) 1 of 5 The club plans to paint over it before their game on Saturday, but will play on it regardless.Related Article: Labor Secretary Acosta resigns amid Epstein deal scrutinyThe team believes it’s a few juveniles vandalizing stuff and doesn’t believe it’s a hate crime.Aaron Varnam with the club says it will cost a few hundred dollars to repair the field which includes adding seeds.“The thought behind it, that hurts the most,” Varnam said. “We’re a rugby team, something not political at all.”Wilmington Police Department says they are investigating. If you know any information, please contact WPD. (Photo: Cape Fear Rugby Club) Swastikas and pentagrams were spray painted all over Cape Fear Rugby Club’s playing field in Wilmington in Feb. 2019. (Photo: Cape Fear Rugby Club) No word on when this happened as the team hadn’t been to the field in a few days.One of the rugby player’s friends saw the symbols Monday afternoon and notified the club. (Photo: Cape Fear Rugby Club) (Photo: Cape Fear Rugby Club)last_img read more

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