We’re currently producing a brochure for campaigning work and wanted to include a few examples of how each cut has affected disabled people. We already have examples for most things but if you have been affected by the bedroom tax, council tax reduction changes, or the overall benefit cap, cuts to social care or increased charges for care could you please send us a short email about what has happened to you and how this has affected you to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for help with this.
Permission has now been granted and the second ILF Court Case will go ahead.
The papers went to a judge today and he has granted both permission and expedition (which means speeding up the usual timetable for the court case). The hearing should be “as soon as possible”, which could mean anything at the moment, as the judges are on holiday and the court has a very bad backlog, but we would hope we will get a trial date for some time in September/October as planned.
On behalf of all ILF recipients we’d like to say a continuing thank you to those involved in taking the case. We know from experience just how gruelling and stressful taking legal challenges can be and we offer our solidarity with you all.
Derbyshire Anti Cuts campaigners witnessed the Disgraceful move by Labour-controlled Derbyshire County Council Cabinet yesterday voting through cuts and charges to adult social care services that Derbyshire disabled people rely on.
Derbyshire Anti Cuts campaigners were at Derbyshire County Council headquarters, County Hall, Matlock yesterday June 17th 2014 supporting disabled people from Derbyshire Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC).
Their spokesman, the brilliant Gary Matthews, other disabled people and allies challenged council leader Cllr Anne Western, Cllr Andy Botham and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Clare Neill on the steps leading in to County Hall yesterday and then submitted questions in the Cabinet meeting itself raising the alarm that if these cuts and charges were voted through today, then councillors would in effect be complicit in the victimisation and persecution of Derbyshire’s disabled people and their families.
Good luck to Derbyshire DPAC in sorting out a legal challenge to this victimisation and persecution.
We say SHAME on Labour controlled Derbyshire County Council for being complicit accomplices to the Con Dem robbery of Derbyshire people’s rightful money and to the victimisation and persecution of disabled people and those with long term health issues.
Gary Matthews from DPAC handed out leaflets with the following text on to all councillors and people who attended the protest and the council meeting:
“Think before you vote!”
The report to the Derbyshire County Council Cabinet being voted on this morning is a very depressing document. We believe that the three recommendations are an attack on disabled people across Derbyshire.
Increasing the eligibility threshold for those who need support will impact seriously on the daily lives of disabled people.
We are talking about not just cuts, but life and death issues.
The report admits that there will be more accidents at home and people will no longer be safe if their care is cut.It also predicts worsening personal health for those deprived of care in the future.
The proposals on co-funding (paying for care) and on charging £5 for transport trips will drive hundreds of disabled people into poverty.
30% of disabled people already live in poverty and this will just add to it.
The report does not have a proper equality impact report and the consultation process was highly defective.
We attended a two hour meeting yesterday (June 16th 2014) with Cllr Clare Neill where we put our concerns.
We told her in straight terms what the effects on our disabled community would be.
We asked her to advise the Labour cabinet to delay these cuts for 12 months and lead a campaign against the Coalition cuts together with trade unions and disabled peoples groups.
We are fed up with hearing the Labour mantra and excuse that there is no alternative.
We have now given the Labour cabinet a clear alternative.If they ignore this, they will only have themselves to blame.
Will they act as agents to Eric Pickles and force through these cuts, or will they stand alongside disabled people and oppose all cuts.
“We believe that cuts in welfare benefits and in essential adult care services amount to nothing more than crimes against humanity”.
Where injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes necessary.
An injustice to one is an injustice to all.
They say cut back, we say FIGHT BACK
Liz Potter on behalf of Derbyshire Anti Cuts Campaign in solidarity with Derbyshire Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC).
How do you feel about billions of pounds of public money (your money) being handed to Serco? Serco gets paid to run public services even though it is under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for defrauding the taxpayer. The company has hired Winston Churchill’s grandson (Rupert Soames) as new chief executive to try to repair its shattered reputation.
If you’re sick of Serco (and other outsourcing companies), we’d love to see you at our first action ever, outside Serco’s AGM on Thursday 8th May. Let’s tell Serco they can’t paper over the cracks. Outsourcing is failing the public. The government needs to give Serco and other dodgy dealers the boot. We’re calling for all parties to give you a better deal by signing up to our Public Service Users Bill (we blogged about how this could happen yesterday on Left Foot Forward).
Join us at Serco’s AGM:
10.30am – 11.30am, Thursday 8th May
Outside the offices of Clifford Chance LLP, 10 Upper Bank Street, London E14 5JJ
Sign up to the event on facebook or reply to this email to let us know you’re coming.
If you can’t make it (we know it’s difficult on a weekday), please help spread the word! Share this picture on facebook or twitter (#SickofSerco), or share this blog with family and friends.
We are also delighted to support Fuel Poverty Action’s protest at the British Gas AGM on Monday 12th May – ‘Bin British Gas: Put Power in Public Hands’. We want to see affordable, democratic, sustainable energy – people before profit. Sign up to join the event on facebook and tweet #BinBritishGas.
It would be great to see you at one of these actions! If you can’t make it but you’d like to help out, perhaps you could spread the word or consider signing up to be one in a thousand?
Many thanks for your support
DPAC would like to thank everyone for making last week’s (April 12 2014) National Conference such a huge success. There was a huge turnout with over 150 disabled activists from all over the UK including many new DPAC members attending, but just as important there were hundreds of members and supporters beyond the venue taking part through social media – watching the video live-stream, tweeting and sharing comments, views and sending messages of support. This was fantastic work by everyone and a truly inspiring collective effort.
Here’s a brief outline of how it went.
The day was timetabled into sections beginning with practical reports and voting on policy motions. This was followed by two workshop sessions and then a closing session for everyone to feedback on the day. Four workshops were available to choose from in each Workshop session. Detailed reports on these will follow later.
John McDonnell MP, a longstanding friend and supporter of DPAC, gave a rousing opening speech to encourage everyone and remind us of the victories achieved so far. He congratulated disabled people and DPAC for fighting back, along with our sister organisation Black Triangle and WoW Petition initiators
As he finished he mentioned his own recent health condition which he said he felt brought him closer to our movement. Ellen reacted quickly by giving him a DPAC t-shirt and declaring him a full DPAC member to instant applause and cheers.
The Finance Report showed a healthy state of affairs for the time being thanks to individual donations, t-shirt and badge sales plus grants from the Edge Fund, the Network for Social Change, Trust for London and the Andrew Wainwright Trust. More fund-raising is necessary going forward.
1. Government Honours
This proposed that any future candidates for the DPAC Steering Group could thwart the network and collective ethos of DPAC if they had received a national honour like an OBE or MBE. The ‘BE’ refers to the imperialist British Empire which is still celebrated despite what we know of the suffering and oppression this caused. The motion conversations also suggested that any media attention would be focused on those with honours and titles, rather than on the collective network ethos that DPAC ascribes to. The motion was put forward as a rejecting of this possibility and that of the honours system more generally. This was defeated.
This motion stated DPAC opposition to discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality, age, faith, disability, ethnicity or status. It also empowered the Steering Group to terminate the membership of anyone who supported a party which holds discriminatory policies, like UKIP. This motion passed based on an appeals process being put in place
3. Steering Group Size
This motion sought to expand the Steering Group from 8 members to 12 in order to respond to increased activity and maintain a broad, diverse and inclusive profile. This was passed.
There were 11 nominees for the Steering Group. Conference took a vote on whether to vote for accepting all 11 nominees, or vote for them one by one. Conference voted to accept all 11 nominees. The new steering group are currently reviewing co-opted places and will get back to the additional people that applied past the deadline as soon as possible
It was highlighted that the working groups are important in taking DPAC forward. The co-chair said she hoped those who did not stand for the Steering Group but were still interested in getting involved would join these as soon as possible.
Finally, a big thank you to the Conference Organising group and Workshop leaders who worked so hard to make this wonderful event a reality.
Links to videos from the day are here with thanks to Occupy for live streaming on the day to make the conference inclusive to all are here
Links to pictures can be found on DPAC flicker here
Thanks to Pete Riches, Szucs Gabriella and Rob Peters
See you on the streets!
Also find us on Facebook with a group and open page under ‘Disabled People against Cuts’
We read with interest the piece in the Independent by Rachel Reeves and Kate Green regarding Labour’s response to the Work Capability Assessment 
Labour should realise that disabled people are deeply distrustful of any Labour reform of a Work Capability Assessment system, which Labour introduced in the Welfare Act of 2007 with the stated aim of removing 1 million claimants from the benefit system .
Our position has been and will be that the Work Capability Assessment is deeply flawed in its basic concept, not just in terms of the details of its delivery, and inclusion in the workplace for disabled people cannot simply be achieved by a ‘back to work’ test.
In the Reclaiming Our Futures, Disabled People’s Manifesto , we state that a priority demand from government is that:
A comprehensive and strategic plan of action is developed with disabled people and our organisations to tackle the discrimination and exclusion disabled people face in work and employment including: increasing quality and range of personalised support available to disabled people, strengthening disabled employees rights and tackling employer discrimination and poor practice
Other key demands include that:
Economic productivity must not be the only measure of people’s worth and value, volunteering offers as much value to society as paid employment. While we recognise that volunteering can offer additional skills, it should not be the default option for disabled people because of our exclusion from paid work
There must be policy and media recognition that there will always be disabled people who are unable or too ill to work. These individuals must be supported by a publically funded system. They should not be penalised or demonised as they are currently.
For true inclusion in the workplace for disabled people a wider approach is necessary including but not limited to:
• Will Labour commit to the restoration of Disabled Student’s Allowance,
• Will Labour commit to the restoration of the Independent Living Fund,
• Will Labour commit to the extension of Access to Work (AtW) to include unpaid voluntary positions,
• Will Labour commit to the reversal of the reduction of people who currently receive DLA, but will not receive PIP and also lose their Motability access,
• Will Labour commit to the reinstatement of the requirement for councils to produce equality schemes on employment and access
• Will Labour commit to the provision of accessible transport.
• Will Labour commit to the reinstatement of “day one” protection from unfair dismissal in employment law
• Will Labour commit to the provision of Employment Tribunals enforcing mandatory organisation-wide measures on preventing disability discrimination
• Will Labour commit to the provision that all government contracts, at a national, regional and local level, are only awarded to companies that are fulfilling measurable equality targets for the employment of disabled people
(for further points see reference 2)
These currently are some of the barriers to inclusion in the workplace for disabled people, and they will not be fixed by simply amending the WCA. The issue must be seen within the context of the wider interconnected system of barriers in place. It must be seen in terms of what a large majority of disabled people have already identified as key problems.
In terms of inclusion we also need from Labour, a recognition that for many disabled people to be able to work there has to be a nationally transportable social care system with a guarantee that people would keep the same levels of funding wherever they needed to move to work.
We need recognition that there is an onus on government and employers to fully accept the spirit of the Equality Act 2010  with its requirement to the opening of work opportunity to disabled people. Without this, no “fit for work test” aimed at cutting disability benefits will make any impact whatsoever on the numbers of disabled people who can attain and sustain employment.
We also need from Labour a stronger recognition that there are many disabled people who cannot enter the work place and should not have to live in fear of being pressured into doing so.
There is much that the article leaves out and that leaves us with a number of serious concerns and questions.
While we are not yet prepared to endorse in any way Labour’s new approach to the Work Capability Assessment, we do see the article by Rachel Reeves and Kate Green as a helpful starting point for discussions on the future of inclusion of disabled people, who want and are able to work, in the workplace and we would welcome an opportunity to meet with them and discuss this further. We would like meet with Kate Green and Rachel Reeves to ask the following questions:
1. Will Labour commit to stop spending public money on private
contractors and return any assessments of disabled people back to GPs
with medical evidence taken into account as well as give a commitment to
look at the barriers to work for disabled people who can and want to
work (in line with the social model of disability)?
2. Will Labour commit to a time and date to talk with DPAC, My Legal,
the Mental Health Resistance Network, Black Triangle, Deaf activists,
those with learning difficulties ( with an outreach of ½ a million
disabled people) to listen to the views of the largest network of grass
roots disabled people on the WCA and ESA?
3. If Labour are committed to scrapping the WCA when will Deaf and
disabled people, and those with mental health issues have sight of the
detail of any alternative Labour is proposing?
4. If Labour accepts the harm, devastation and premature deaths that have
been an outcome of the WCA why have they chosen to suspend their
prospective parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay, Deborah
Hopkins for speaking out in public about the harm caused by the WCA.
5. Will Labour address the disproportionate harm that the WCA and
sanctions on ESA and JSA are causing to all disabled people, in
particular those with mental health issues and learning difficulties?
6. We along with many others insisted that a centralised Independent Living Fund
for Scotland be established and it has been done. They have also promised to re-open ILF to new users, with a commitment of additional funds and recognition of its importance to independent living and obligations to article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Why has the Labour
Party not promised to re-establish it south of the border?
Many of the Statements included in this response are taken from the UK Disabled Peoples’ Reclaiming our Futures Manifesto and are endorsed by a UK network of disabled people and Deaf and Disabled Peoples Organisations, including: ALLFIE, Inclusion London, Equal Lives, DPAC, Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales and the TUC Disabled Workers Committee , who between them reach several million disabled voters.
1. How Labour would reform the Work Capability Assessment http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/how-labour-would-reform-the-work-capability-assessment-9265479.html
2. The Reclaiming Our Futures, Disabled People’s Manifesto http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/UK-Disabled-People-s-Manifesto-Reclaiming-Our-Futures.pdf
3. The Green Paper: The new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work. 2006 http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://dwp.gov.uk/docs/a-new-deal-for-welfare-empowering-people-to-work-full-document.pdf
4. Equality Act 2010 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone who can come to our national conference on Saturday but it is also important that those of you who can’t get there in person are able to take part. There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Send messages of support and your ideas for what DPAC should focus on over the next year to email@example.com or @dis_ppl_protest.These will be put up on the graffiti wall at the conference and included in the notes from the day.
- Watch the conference live on:
- Live tweet your questions and contributions to @dis_ppl_protest
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The program for the day is at DPAC Conference 2014 Saturday 12th April – Conference Programme
We’ve had a great response to bookings for the DPAC conference on Sat 12th April in London, but places are now running out. Please email: email@example.com
with your details, number of places needed and any access needs.
12th April 2014 – 11am until 5pm
London Met University, Tower Building, 166 – 220 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DP
Since we started in October 2010 Disabled People Against Cuts has been at the forefront of the fight against austerity. With Atos on the run, and the bedroom tax on the ropes we are seeing the results of hard campaigning. But there is much more to do to ensure disabled people’s rights to live independently and with an adequate income.
The national conference is a chance for DPAC members to come together, to share experiences and discuss your ideas for moving forwards.
DPAC are working hard to bring to conference a surprise guest, a person who, if anyone has, has been the catalyst for the re-emergence of disability activism in the last few years, someone DPAC has enjoyed a close relationship with from visiting him at home to donating underpants to supporting his select committee appearances.
Workshops will look at: – Where Now for the Independent Living Fund campaign, – Developing a Social Model of Distress, – Winning the Argument, – Disability, Art and Protest, – Building a National Network of Disabled People’s Organisations and Direct Action practical skills among others.
Please note places are limited so priority will be given to DPAC members. For information about joining please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The venue is wheelchair accessible. BSL and a note taker will be provided. For access information go to: http://www.disabledgo.com/access-guide/islington-council/london-metropolitan-university-tower-building
For access queries including booking parking please contact DPACfightback@yahoo.co.uk
To book places or for more information please contact DPACfightback@yahoo.co.uk
Fit for Work or Survival of the Fittest? We need to Act Now to make our Voices Heard!
How can we restore dignity to disabled Welfare Benefits?
Market Hall, Assembly Rooms, Chesterfield Sat 29th 11am-4pm
Kate Green -MP Shadow minister of State for Equalities
Debbie Jolly -DPAC
Sue Marsh- Spartacus
Plus Dead Earnest Theatre Company
Ring or text Colin on 0787 387999
For info/access requirements
Unite Community membership
The care system in the UK today is desperately under funded and not fit for purpose. Every day we hear of local authorities closing, withdrawing or cutting back on essential facilities and services. One of the areas causing great concerns is Community Care Assessments .
CarerWatch are working with supportive MPs, and collecting evidence of how our members, and others, may be affected.
If you have experience of a Community Care Assessment, could you please complete this survey.
Feel free to share with others.
We will also be doing a survey next on Carers’ Assessments too.
Any questions please contact email@example.com
Reposted with thanks from CarerWatch http://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/share-your-experience-of-community-care-assessments-survey/
The Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign have organised a demonstration in protest against the £100+ Million in cuts planned by the County Council over the next 4 years.
On February 14th, councillors will vote on whether to approve these brutal cuts. We will send the leader of the County Council, Louise Goldsmith a valentine’s card to show that West Sussex residents need their vital services.
£79 million has already been cut since 2010 which has caused untold misery for the vulnerable by decimating public services they rely on.
Make your voice heard. Lobby your County Councillor, tell them that you oppose these cuts. Attend the Council debate which follows this protest.
We say there is no more fat to cut.
Join us on February 14th at 9.30am
County Hall, Chichester (Main Entrance)
Don’t Cut Us Out
Monday morning at County Hall against the £190m cut imposed by the Coalition Government on Norfolk. The proposed cuts to social care will devastate disabled and older people’s lives and leave many ‘prisoners in their own homes’. No return to institutionalisation! Defend our right to independent living!
Monday 17 February
Protest from 8.00am
Lobby from 9am
Assemble outside County Hall and bring your banners!