A disabled former Liberal Democrat MP has refused

first_imgA disabled former Liberal Democrat MP has refused to criticise the Tory work and pensions secretary for covering up a report that linked the “fitness for work” test with a disabled man’s suicide.Stephen Lloyd, who narrowly lost his Eastbourne seat at last year’s general election, was a supporter of many of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms during his five years as a coalition MP.And now, in an email interview with Disability News Service (DNS), Lloyd (pictured) has refused to condemn the cover-up – even though his party is no longer in power – and has defended coalition cuts and reforms that cut billions of pounds a year from spending on disability benefits and services.Asked whether he stood by his backing for Duncan Smith, which he expressed several times as an MP, Lloyd said: “I actually believe that IDS is genuinely committed to helping disabled people into work, where possible.”He suggested that the blame for any failure of Duncan Smith’s policies lay instead with the chancellor, George Osborne.When DNS drew his attention to a trio of news stories that demonstrated the harshness of Duncan Smith’s policies on out-of-work disability policies and showed he had covered up a report that linked the work capability assessment (WCA) with the death of a man who took his own life, he refused to criticise the work and pensions secretary, although he said the three stories were “appalling”.He claimed he was not a “supporter” of Duncan Smith but believed that his “basic premise is to set up a system that tried to get people who have been out of work for a long time through disability into work”, which he said was “not easy”.The three stories show that Duncan Smith failed in his legal duty to respond to a coroner’s report into the death of 41-year-old Stephen Carre, who took his own life in January 2010 after DWP rejected his appeal against being found fit for work.In November, government-funded research concluded that the programme to reassess people claiming IB using the WCA could have caused 590 suicides in just three years.But when DNS asked why Lloyd refused to criticise Duncan Smith over the cover-up, he refused to comment further, or to express any concern about the deaths that may have been caused by the failure to respond to the report.And when asked if he had made a single political decision that he regretted during his five years as an MP, he said, “not really”, before talking instead about the failings of the government contractor Atos in carrying out the WCA.When asked if this meant that he believed he had not made a single political mistake in five years, he again declined to comment further.Asked about the billions of pounds of support cut by the coalition to spending on social care, disability living allowance and personal independence payment – that have led to thousands of people having to hand back their Motability vehicles – as well as increased sanctions for those on out-of-work benefits, and cuts to disabled students’ allowance, he refused to say which of those he supported.Lloyd, who is still active politically for the party in Eastbourne and also works as business innovations director for an international communications company based in Eastbourne, was widely praised for his constituency work during his five years as an MP.He was the first MP to launch a much-copied scheme to support the creation of 100 apprentices in his constituency in 100 days, and ensured his constituency team represented disabled people in more than 100 tribunals to appeal against being turned down for employment and support allowance, personal independence payment and disability living allowance, with a success rate he estimates at more than 80 per cent.He pointed out that hardly any MPs bother to ensure their staff attend such tribunals to advocate for their disabled constituents.He said: “This was something I very specifically set up, though there was no allocated budget, training or emphasis that we should do this.”He was a member of the work and pensions select committee and of several disability-themed all-party parliamentary groups, where he was, he says, “a constant advocate for equality of opportunity for disabled people”.And he said that, as a constituency MP, he did all he could to “fight for people who clearly were assessed inaccurately”.He said: “I do not think it wrong that people should be assessed – some after many years – as to their suitability for work, but [I] was a constant critic of Atos’s poor record.”He added: “Leaving people for years on the assumption they will never work is inherently wrong, in my view.“If after assessing they can be helped into work that has to be a good thing. The key – where my team came in – was to make the assessments fair.”last_img read more

Fully affordable housing fails to rise in SFs Mission and no one

first_img 0% That fact was unknown to Karoleen Feng, the director of community real estate at the Mission Economic Development Agency, which now has four 100 percent affordable units in the pipeline. “We at MEDA did not know there were agencies in the room that had dedicated staff to this. I’m not sure whether the Mayor’s Office of Housing knew,” Feng said. “That’s interesting in itself — the expediting has been in place, and city agencies have been working together, but that has been a little less known to us.”For Ronen, that was a problem. “I was concerned to hear that one of our community-based affordable-housing developers in the Mission wasn’t aware that there are people in each department that could help expedite affordable-housing projects,” she said, following public comment. “If (Feng) doesn’t know that, I don’t know who knows that or how word moves on about that,” she added. Another point of tension came as District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai asked how a recently passed state law, SB35, which removes the review process for certain affordable projects, can cut down on a project’s timeline. Sider of the Planning Department said that it could shave roughly seven to 12 months off a project’s timeline. “That’s very significant,” he said. In fact, MEDA — which remains against parts of the law — applied to invoke SB35 to skip the environmental review and expedite its 130-unit project at 681 Florida St,. Ronen appeared to wince at the exchange. Indeed, the supervisor stated from the get-go that she does not believe in removing local control from the development equation. “I’m not one for eliminating public voice from projects,” she said after the hearing. “When you close off community voice from projects, you create a bunch of unintended consequences.” She said allowing the community to work out its concerns before a project goes up is, in many ways, a healthy process that eliminates “resentment” among neighbors down the road. Plus, she said, “It’s not the CEQA review on these projects that cause the delays — it really isn’t.”  What does remains something of a mystery. District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen received no clear answers at a hearing she called  Monday to figure out why seven fully affordable housing projects in the Mission District are taking so long to break ground. “I’m not seeing that level of prioritization of these projects, and that’s what’s concerning to me,” Ronen said after she questioned officials from the Mayor’s Office, the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection. All of the officials Ronen questioned seemed to say the same thing: 100 percent affordable projects are a top priority, and we’re moving as fast as we can. She called their answers “vague” and “loosey-goosey.” For at least two years, the Mission has had seven fully affordable projects in the pipeline, representing 778 units, many of which are fully funded and fully approved. None has broken ground.  At present, a 94-unit development at 1296 Shotwell Street is slated to break ground next month. The largest, a 157-unit project at 1950 Mission Street, is slated to break ground in November. Whether either of these will actually break ground remains to be seen. (See the map below for all seven of the Mission’s fully affordable housing projects.) Mission residents anxious for permanent affordable housing wondered at Monday’s hearing why the units are not going up faster. “We have hundreds of people in the Mission that don’t have low-income housing now, and we need it,” said Mervyn Greene, a Mission Hotel resident, during public comment. The situation is “desperate for us who live in the community.” On average, explained Dan Adams of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, an affordable project takes five years to complete: The first year is dedicated to finding a site, the second for environmental reviews and zoning approvals, the third to secure permits and financing, and the last two years to build.   “What I would love to do is have us make this four years, three and a half years,” he said, suggesting that the city could lean on two directives from late Mayor Ed Lee that were largely meant to prioritize affordable housing projects, as well as some “state-level tools.” Adams noted, too, that funding is always an issue; often, federal and state money can be difficult to secure. “We have to hold projects so they’re set up for application to state funding,” he said. “Sometimes we’re in programs where we need to key up a project and put it on hold so that it can apply for $10 million in state funds, and that will elongate the development timeline.”Daniel Sider, director of executive programs for the Planning Department, insisted that fully affordable projects are his department’s “top-shelf priority.” “We’re taking these affordable projects at about twice the clip as market-rate projects,” he said. And yet, it is the market-rate projects that have gone up on Valencia Street, Mission Street, and elsewhere. James Zhan, a senior engineer with the Department of Building Inspection, agreed that his department prioritizes fully affordable projects. “There can be some misconception that our department sits on the projects without acting on them or approving them,” he said. Zhan said the process can be slowed by a lack of resources, and projects must undergo many layers of review “to make sure the permit application complies with respective code.” “Because of resource restrictions, we cannot revive them the minute or day of they come into our department,” he said, noting that taking up a project can take as long as three to four weeks. Sider said, per the first mayoral directive, the city has two staffers dedicated to shepherding affordable projects through the various departments involved. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Tags: Affordable Housing • development • Hillary Ronen • Mission Economic Development Agency Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

ALL replica shirts are now just £10Both home and

first_imgALL replica shirts are now just £10!Both home and away shirts have been reduced and when they’re gone, they are gone.This offer is available online and instore so grab yourself a bargain!last_img

Voting for Fan of Pride 2014 – the award run by Of

first_imgVoting for Fan of Pride 2014 – the award run by Official Partner of Super League, BRUT, which recognises rugby league’s ultimate fans – is now open.Since the beginning of this season fans from Super League clubs have nominated their fellow supporters, those who are loyal to their team and those who Man Up in their community.The national Fan of Pride 2014 – who will win £5,000 for their Super League club’s community foundation, a pair of 2015 season tickets, a signed shirt and more – will be chosen by a panel of experts from the club Fan of Pride winners, so all are encouraged to go to online and and cast their vote. Each club Fan of Pride will win a pair of Grand Final 2014 tickets and BRUT goodies.Will Hunter, Liam Jones and Christopher Owen have made the St Helens shortlist and you can read their stories and cast your vote at www.brutformen.co.uk/superleaguelast_img read more

Humpday Health Tips to keep your and your kids teeth healthy

first_imgWilmington dentist Dr. Yates Williams points out teeth problems on x-ray (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Protecting your teeth is a big piece of your overall health.Brushing and flossing regularly is not the only thing you should do to keep your pearly whites healthy.- Advertisement – “People love to neglect teeth. I think a lot of times people assume if they’re not in any pain, that their teeth are healthy, and that’s not the case at all,” said Wilmington dentist Dr. Yates Williams.A nice, clean smile is something many people strive for. The cosmetic benefits are clear, but the health ones may not be so obvious.Dr. Williams says our diets include more and more sugar, so it’s important to keep track of the sweet stuff.Related Article: Flu vaccine doing a relatively good job this season“One of the biggest things we have now is just the added sugars in all the foods we eat and especially the foods that are even advertised to our children, including the cereals, just the snacks, all that stuff, the crackers. So much of it’s processed,” said Dr. Williams.Children are usually at a higher risk for cavities and other dental problems. That’s why dental health education is key to keeping their teeth safe.“They’re at a high risk because their oral hygiene is not as good as someone who is a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little more disciplined,” said Dr. Williams.Scheduling regular dental visits is also a smart idea. Going to see your dentist every six months is what you should strive for, even as an adult.“If we go a significant amount of time, we’ll end up, maybe we could have treated something a little differently had we caught it a little sooner, if that makes sense. You talk about root canals and things like that, sometimes you can catch a cavity, oftentimes you can catch a cavity, before it turns into that, before it needs a root canal,” said Dr. Williams.Dr. Williams says that certain dental conditions can affect other parts of  your health, for example: there is a link between periodontitis and your heart.That’s why keeping your teeth healthy should be a priority.last_img read more

Columbus Co man killed in South Carolina shooting

first_imgBryan D. Marlowe (Photo: Horry County police) Loris, S.C. (WPDE/WWAY) — A 23-year-old man from Chadbourn, N.C., was shot and killed in the Loris area of the county early Wednesday morning, according to Horry County police.Bryan D. Marlowe was shot and killed in the roadway of Redenbo Drive on Dec. 20, according to police.- Advertisement – Anyone with information is asked to call (843) 915-TIPS (8477) or email crimetips@horrycounty.org.last_img

Local black leadership caucus sounds off on alleged statement by the President

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Controversy continues over the reported comments President Trump made to describe places like Africa and Haiti. Local leaders of the black leadership caucus spoke out this afternoon against the alleged statements.Members of the New Hanover National Black Leadership Caucus are calling the reported comments divisive and hateful.- Advertisement – Group leaders say the alleged statements made by President Trump were upsetting and make them question how far this country has come to erase racism.Caucus members surrounded by neighbors met at the 1898 Memorial to talk about the controversy while celebrating the holiday that honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.“And on this day, the memorial of Doctor Martin Luther King who stood against the exact act of these, and fought so much on bringing people together,” said leadership caucus executive director Josiah Bennetone III. “It’s sad in that over fifty years after his assassination, they’re still working more on dividing us than bringing us together.”Related Article: Firefighters to reach new heights with nearly $1.2M aerial truckThe President has denied he made the statements using an expletive to describe the places immigrants come from.The caucus also announced during their press conference that they are sending letters to lawmakers to denounce the statements.last_img read more

Hundreds of students compete at Regional Science Olympiad

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of middle and high school students from around the Cape Fear converged on UNCW Saturday to test their brains in the Regional Science Olympiad.There were 46 different activities for the kids to compete in, from bottle rockets and hovercraft to forensics and meteorology.- Advertisement – Katie Helm is a former Science Olympiad competitor who volunteered during Saturday’s event. She says it’s great for anyone to get involved in.“There’s something for everybody and there’s something for everybody if you want to volunteer too, because every team needs more coaches,” Helm said. “Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a student who needs help learning that.”The top finishing schools from this weekend’s competition will go on to battle the best of the state in Raleigh on April 21.last_img read more

Henderson renews his contract with Liverpool

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Jordan Henderson has signed a new 5-year contract with Liverpool and is ready to end his career with the club he joined in 2011. The 28-year-old midfielder has made 283 appearances and scored 24 goals since moving to Anfield.Henderson cost Liverpool £16m when he joined from Sunderland and was handed the team’s captaincy following Steven Gerrard’s departure to LA Galaxy. The England international is one of the most important members in Liverpool’s squad and Jurgen Klopp is convinced that he can improve further. Although he has so far failed to win any major silverware, Henderson has won the League Cup and played in the finals of last season’s Champions League and the 2012 FA Cup.WhatsApplast_img read more

Rocket InternetBacked Car Listings Site Carmudi Raises 25M

first_imgAdvertisement Car classifieds site, Carmudi, whose focus is on emerging markets has announced today that it has raised $25 million to gear up its operations in Africa and several Asian countries.Thisfunding which is Carmudi’s second, includes Asia Pacific Internet Group (a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Ooredoo), Holtzbrinck Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures, as well as an undisclosed private investor.Carmudi has raised so far  a total of $35 million. – Advertisement – [related-posts]Founded in 2013 the company now operates in 20 countries and will use the funds to expand in seven Asian markets (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam) as well as Mexico.The company’s other markets are spread throughout Africa and the Middle East and include Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, and Zambia.The site currently has a total of 300,000 listings for vehicles worldwide, and claims five million users a month. Carmudi’s Android apps were rolled out last year, and it launched a iOS version earlier this month.So far, Carmudi’s mobile apps have been downloaded 300,000 times. Mobile visits now account for about 60 percent to 70 percent of its total traffic, which is important because the company is targeting markets where many users access the Internet primarily through smartphones or tablets.Carmudi monetizes through listing fees, but is currently focused on expansion and growth, says Haubold.Rocket Internet has been busy building a network of e-commerce services and marketplaces throughout Southeast Asia and Africa., including many (real estate classifieds platform Lamudi, price comparison site Pricepanda, and car-calling app Easy Taxi).Via TechCrunchlast_img read more