The new coleader of the Green party has told Disa

first_imgThe new co-leader of the Green party has told Disability News Service (DNS) that he will make support for inclusive education a key focus of his new role.Jonathan Bartley was elected alongside Caroline Lucas (pictured with Bartley) last week to lead the party in a job-share arrangement.And he revealed that he first spoke to Lucas at a parliamentary lobby in January last year against the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), when he talked to her about his passion for disability issues.Bartley is a long-standing campaigner for inclusive education, and a former chair of the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.He first secured significant public attention shortly before the 2010 general election when he challenged Conservative leader David Cameron in front of television cameras on the Tory manifesto pledge to “end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools”.He joined the Green party soon after that meeting.Bartley was only able to stand for leader on a job share basis because of his caring responsibilities for his 14-year-old disabled son, Samuel, who was pictured next to his father in the 2010 footage.He told DNS that the Greens’ commitment to inclusive education was the reason he had joined the party, and he pointed to the huge number of disabled pupils now being excluded from schools, both those that showed up in official statistics and those in which young disabled people were excluded from mainstream schools “by the back door”.And he said he welcomed the “emphatic” and “absolutely wonderful” guidance published late last month by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which stresses that all segregated education should end, and should be replaced by “inclusive classroom teaching in accessible learning environments with appropriate supports”.He said the government’s policies to create more special school places were being carried out “under the guise of choice, but more and more parents are not experiencing that choice but are being pushed into segregated education”.Bartley said he hoped that his party’s election of co-leaders would increase the momentum towards allowing job-share MPs, something many disabled people are campaigning for.He said: “This is why we have done it. [We want to see] a more inclusive form of politics.“Civil service actively practices [job-sharing]. It is happening in the charity sector. Political parties in Germany have done it for decades.“I have responsibilities at home that I want to fulfil and I am passionate about the issues. The only way I can bring that experience to politics is through a job share.”But he said it would be “a battle” to secure the change in the law necessary to allow job-share MPs because “people are waiting to see what happens” with the Greens’ experiment.Bartley also defended his party’s position on assisted suicide, which although it is supported by some disabled people, is fiercely opposed by the disabled people’s movement.He acknowledged that his party’s support for legalisation of assisted suicide had been raised as a concern by disabled campaigners.He said: “I think we need to listen to it. I have heard people say they don’t support the Green Party because of it.”He said he supported the party’s position “provided all the appropriate safeguards are in place”, but he suggested that legalisation was difficult to justify in a climate of austerity in which disabled people’s support was being cut.He said: “In the context of cuts and misery when we seem to be going backwards in disability rights I can entirely understand why people have concerns.“It’s about showing that it can’t work and that there will be pressure [on people to ask to take their own lives].”Speaking before the launch of Inclusion London’s report on the impact of the ILF closure, he said that the decision to abolish the fund was inevitably going to lead to cuts in support, which was what the report showed.Although his son – who has been ill in hospital for four weeks – was never an ILF recipient, the family do receive direct payments to fund his support, and he said: “I know what it’s like to battle against a social worker who should be your ally and your champion… they are under huge pressure to cut budgets.”One of the themes of the speech he and Lucas delivered after they were elected as co-leaders was the need to “take back control”, which he said was a key concern for disabled people, who are often too scared to speak out against their local authority about their social care.He said: “They are fearful and they are scared, they feel they have no control.”He said the Greens were the only party to oppose the closure of the ILF at the last election and pledge to reopen it, and he backed all of the report’s recommendations, including a new national, needs-led system, independent of local authorities, to administer independent living support, which would be free at the point of delivery and funded by taxation.He also backed the call for the government’s ILF grant – it has pledged to provide non-ring-fenced funding to local authorities in England until 2019-20 – to be ring-fenced for former ILF recipients and for that to continue until a national, independent social care system could be set up.Speaking at the Inclusion London meeting, which was held as part of the Rights Not Games week of action organised by Disabled People Against Cuts, he said he was scared by watching his son’s fight for the support he needs, and added: “You’re going to be a prisoner in your own home [and] I fear that’s what’s going to happen to my son.”He also secured a pledge from Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, to write to Labour-run local authorities to ask them to ring-fence the government grants for former ILF recipients.last_img read more

QA Supe talks strategies around homelessness policing in SF Mission

first_imgMission Supervisor Hillary Ronen sat down with Mission Local to talk about issues relating to her district.This is a monthly series – this interview has been edited and shortened for print.ML: The new and temporary Navigation Center for the homeless at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. opened last week. Have you thought about a strategy for what happens when it closes? Ronen: I am looking for a longer term Navigation Center. The whole reason I fought so hard to get this space and open this temporary center is because there is a health and safety crisis on our streets. It takes a long time to find land, find a building, obtain it, get the financing for it. 0% We couldn’t wait that long – so I got this temporary space for us to buy me the nine months that I need to find a more permanent site. Whether it’s a permanent site or just a long term site, we need to have a place to take people when this one closes down. I have a few sites that I’m working with the city to located. I don’t want to name those sites – because when a landowner knows that the city is interested in purchasing the site, then the price ends up going up because we have a $10 billion budget. But there will be a full community process when any site is considered.There’s not that many sites in the Mission that are available. I’m definitely looking for sites in the more industrial areas of the Mission. We will see what works and what happens and then start a long term community process around getting neighbor’s buy-in, getting feedback. And what I expect is that we are going to show what an improvement Navigation Centers make and that the city is capable of running them in a responsible way that improves neighborhood conditions and doesn’t make them worse.I hope that by the time that we start a community process around a longer term Navigation Center, that we have earned our credibility in that conversation.ML: It seems that the continuation of services after the Navigation Center is crucial…Ronen: It’s my understanding that no one will ever be released from the Navigation Center at 1515 and be released to the streets. The goal is to have people stay in that center no longer than 90 days, but to resolve the situation in 90 days.The ways to do that is either getting someone into a longer term treatment program for mental health or substance abuse, or reuniting people with relatives through the homeward bound program. And in the worse case scenario transfer them to a different shelter or Navigation Center, which is the least desirable option. And then four is getting someone into long term, either supportive or subsidized affordable housing. The good thing about this Navigation Center is that we got 50 housing subsidies that are linked only to the center. We will have access to the housing that’s available through the entire system, but we will have an additional 50 housing subsidies just for transitioning people off the streets through this Navigation Center.The goal will be sending all the residents of the Navigation Center down one of those paths during the 90 days that they are there. It’s not a hard 90 days…if people need more time, it’s flexible.My goal is to constantly fight for more resources, but very specifically tied to these solutions that we know work if we had enough of them.ML: What’s happening with the eventual closing of the 16th Street Navigation Center? Ronen: It will close around the same time as 1515 South Van Ness (January 2018). I don’t know the exact time and these are always influx. That is my top priority right now – both making sure that this Navigation Center is run responsibly and successfully, and then finding the new one. Those are my top priorities right now. A top priority for me in the future will be taking a look at our mental health system and substance abuse treatment system in order to build capacity there, which will also help.ML: There is some funding coming in for both of those system in the next few years…Ronen: I think we need to think bigger. There was some of that thinking happening when folks were fighting the jail replacement project. We don’t need another jail, what we need is a mental health treatment center. Because so many people on the streets but also in the jails are suffering from mental health or substance abuse disorder, and that is often contributing to the reason they were arrested and put in jail or are homeless on the street. Fixing that, through creating some sort of treatment center, just seems like a logical use of funds and resources as opposed to building a new jail.ML: What’s happening with your request for an additional aide and what would they oversee? Ronen: Unfortunately I did not win the additional aide…What really bothers me often about the add back process in the budget is that all supervisorial districts are treated the same. The way that the budget chair has done it this year (and it’s been similar in the past) is that each district gets about $1 million to prioritize. I don’t believe that this is fair or equitable. Other districts are just not facing what we are facing in districts 9, 6, 10 and even districts 3 and 5. Those are the five districts that when you look at any metric, whether its 311 calls, homeless encampments, homeless people on the streets, police shootings, crime, low performing schools, health disparities, uninsured people -take an metric that you want to look at, and these five districts are battling the toughest issues in our city.The workload to do our job well is just not equivalent and it’s not the same. The fact that we have the same amount of aides doesn’t make any sense to me. We have also in District 9 one of the biggest inequality levels, millionaires living next to homeless people. And that creates a lot of conflict in and of itself. We hear about every single conflict, and I very much believe it is my responsibility to respond and engage. And in order to do that effectively, to give my constituents the attention they deserve, i need more staff. I made my case and I would wholeheartedly …support other district offices that face the challenges that we face in District 9, I would support them 100 percent to get additional staff. But I was the only one asking for it in this budget process, and my colleagues didn’t agree with me. ML: In regard to your staff, who should Mission residents contact first if they want to get a message to you? Ronen: I usually am like a week behind. I get literally hundreds of emails everyday and I try to respond to every one of them. I often do them at nights and weekends because I’m busy all day with meetings and committee hearings…and then my aides respond to a lot of them. Sometimes constituents already formed a relationship with an aide and they continue that. Sometimes they contact me and I bring in an aide to help us follow up with issues. Sometimes I send people directly to a department head. It depends on the situation.But if you contact any of my aides or myself, we will get back to you.ML: Other than homelessness and housing, what are you spending your time on? Ronen: I’ve been doing some work around bail reform – I held a hearing on Wednesday at the Public Safety and Neighborhood Committee. I just learned about this incredibly unjust bail system that we have in San Francisco and have become passionate about it and realized that a lot of my constituents in District 9 who are the lowest income – mostly women, mothers, wives, daughters children – are the people who are paying up to $15 million a year in San Francisco in non refundable bail fees. The way our bail system works, judges set the bail and it’s based on a schedule that judges create behind closed doors. San Francisco has the highest bail fees of any surrounding county in the Bay Area or Northern California period.Once the judge sets that bail, lets say its $50,000, then the family of that individual can post bail directly to the courts and if they pay the full $50,000, if charges are dropped against that person, or the person is found innocent, or show up to all of their hearings, then the family gets the $50,000 back. But if you don’t have $50,000, and very few people do, and you have to go to a bail bondsman in order to post bail for your loved one, the bail bondsmen usually charges around 10 percent and you never see it back. That 10 percent fee is taken from our lowest income, mostly women and they never get it back. Women are having to beg borrow barter work extra hours in order to come up with this money and sometimes come up with a payment plan over years. People  go into bankruptcy, they have lost their homes, it’s incredible.The treasurer released a fantastic report that explains the whole system showing neighborhood by neighborhood the impact. And there is a big impact on residents of District 9 and there is very little transparency in the industry.We are hearing anecdotally from people who have posted bond and ex bail bond agents who are telling the stories of what’s happening and it’s terrifying. I’ve been working on reforms to that system with the treasurer, Jose Cisneros.  I’m working on several pieces of legislation and resolutions to bring that bail amount down. ML: What is a fair amount?Ronen: It has to relate to the ability of someone to pay and to the severity of the crime. If someone is a threat to public then they shouldn’t get bail in the first place. They should stay in jail until they are no longer a threat to public safety. What we are finding is that the bail system isn’t actually making people safer. What we are doing is just making families and women more vulnerable. There are larger reforms happening at the state level – SB 10 is one of those bills that’s pending that would do just that, create a bail system tied to actual public safety and the ability of someone to pay. I will be introducing legislation in the coming weeks. ML: We’re taking a look at community policing and want to get your views on whether you sense it has become stronger or weaker in the Mission. The monthly meetings have been cut back and there is no Community Advisory Board as there is in every other district. Ronen: I do think that regular meetings and advisory boards can be helpful but for me what is meaningful community policing is having regular beat officers that area assigned to regular areas that over years really get to know the community – the merchants, the residents, the people hanging out on the street, the homeless folks – by having these deep connections to community organizations, to the children that grow up in the neighborhood that grow up around them and develop respectful relationships with the police that will help them keep the neighborhood safe both by knowing deeply whats going on and by knowing when something is off.That’s the type of community policing that I would like to see and that i think makes a big difference on safety in the neighborhood. Past supervisors have tried to mandate foot patrols…but that has never been able to pass the board of supervisors. I haven’t seen a lot of consistently in any of the neighborhoods in the Portola, Bernal Heights or the Mission. In terms of foot beat officers that are engaged in this version of community policing that I believe is the most effective. That’s a change that I would like to see.ML: Officers just successfully de-escalated a confrontation with a person armed with a knife at the station. What, if anything, does this tell us about reform efforts? Is this (impact weapons, bruising but no serious injuries) how you want policing done?Ronen: I am so thrilled about this. The chief came, we have regular meetings on police reform at the Board of Supervisors and at the last one, the chief came and presented statistics showing that the use of force by officers has gone down dramatically and I absolutely believe that this is the result of reform efforts that we have been pushing as a city both inside and outside of City Hall. And that its working. I just hope that we can continue to see that same type of process.You recently secured additional funding for nonprofits working in the trans community. What is some of the work you think is important to support in that area in the Mission District? What are you hoping can be achieved by these groups?Ronen: The trans community, there is a lot of work today. Specifically around mental health, homelessness, immigration…I’ve been very supportive over the years for El/La, which is for trans Latinas, an organization working with trans women who are often immigrants, monolingual Spanish speakers and the special needs they have.There is still violence against the trans community in SF, something that we need to work on. Trans people are overrepresented in terms of percentage in the community in the jail system – the treatment and issues they face there are tremendous. We still have issues with unemployment. I fought hard in the budget process to make sure that the trans community was getting the resources they need to do the work…we have some fantastic organization in San Francisco that are leading the charge not just in the city but statewide and nationally. center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

ST HELENS RFC have announced that Kyle Eastmond h

first_imgST. HELENS RFC have announced that Kyle Eastmond has been suspended pending an investigation into serious misconduct.No further comment will be made until completion of the investigation.Please note no comments will be published on this matter.last_img

The star fullback showed glimpses of what he is ab

first_imgThe star fullback showed glimpses of what he is about at the back end of Saints’ campaign – and now is ready to kick on for more.“It’s all about getting in condition to be right to play,” he said. “I have done a few pre-seasons now and know what it takes. I’ve done all mine in 30 degree weather in Australia though so I don’t know what to expect with this one!“It will be strange as there are 11 guys that won’t be here because they are at the World Cup. But I know it will be tough. There are times during those training sessions when you question why you put yourself through it but it is worth it at the end of the day.“If you put the work in early in the off-season then it isn’t as difficult. If you let yourself go a little in the break then you will fall behind some of the other guys. I’m looking forward to it. I’m pleased I’m getting a pre-season in St Helens colours and glad the season starts in February.“Pre-season is important for me. I have always played by best rugby when I’ve had a good pre-season and focused hard on training. I have worked out what I need to do to get into peak fitness. I want to do it and when February comes I can’t wait to show the St Helens fans what I can really do.”Barba was a much heralded signing when he joined the club in 2017 but fans had to wait until the end of the year to see him in action.He admits he felt pressure early on but now is fully part of Justin Holbrook’s squad.He continues: “There was a bit of pressure being a ‘marquee’ player when I first joined the club but now I don’t feel any more important than any of the other guys in the side.“Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival and all the young guys coming through; you don’t win comps with just one player.“It doesn’t matter how good you are, you need a good 16 other guys around you to take to the field each week. I don’t feel any sort of pressure being the ‘marquee’ player. With so many great players in the side, it’s easy.”Ben is signed up for 2018… are you?Memberships for 2018 are now on sale and are the best way of watching your Saints next season.Not only do they offer savings on matchday prices but they come with a whole host of other benefits, offers and discounts too.Click here for more information and how to buy.last_img read more

Our Head Coach talked about life at the Saints as

first_imgOur Head Coach talked about life at the Saints as well as his expectations for the new campaign.You can listen to the interview below or by subscribing to our podcast.The Rugby League Show on TalkSPORT 2 is on every Wednesday from 4pm. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Subscribe!To subscribe to our Podcast, click here or search St Helens RFC Podcasts on iTunes.You can also listen on Stitcher too. Click here to find out more.last_img read more

Former Wilmington Mayor Harper Peterson announces run for NC Senate

first_img Peterson says he’s also concerned about the direction of education, healthcare, jobs, affording housing, civil rights issues associated with HB2, and gerrymandering.Peterson will officially announce his candidacy tomorrow afternoon at the Hannah Block Community Arts Center.We’ve left a message for Sen. Lee but have not heard back. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Former Wilmington mayor Harper Peterson says he will run for state Senate against incumbent Michael Lee.Peterson told WWAY he was concerned about the way the Republican Party has handled the GenX situation. Peterson is a member of Clean Cape Fear, which has been outspoken about the quality of our water since the news of GenX in the Cape Fear River first made headlines.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Pipe falls on truck driver working on Greenfield Lake culvert project

first_img Spokesperson Jason Tyson says employees with Mountain Creek Contractors were loading four 50ft long plastic pipes onto a flatbed truck using a track hoe. They had loaded three of them, but while loading the fourth pipe onto the truck, it rolled off and struck the driver.Emergency crews took the driver to the hospital. Tyson says the man has a broken leg, broken pelvis, and a compression fracture on his back.The driver is an employee of Skeets Auto Body Repair out of Conover, whose drivers participate in construction projects.Related Article: Man injured after falling off roof at Sunny PointTyson says inspectors with the NC Department of Labor are looking into the incident to see if either company erred in their practices. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Labor is looking into a construction site accident, after a man was hospitalized with severe injuries on Wednesday.It happened while crews were working on the Greenfield Lake culvert replacement project at Burnett Boulevard and Front Streets in Wilmington.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Local Fire Committee recommends cutting funds while raising fire fees

first_img While the Fire Committee recommends cutting supplemental funds, they want to increase fire fees which would help balance things out. However, not everyone thinks it is a good move.“Volunteers are hard to come by,” Bolivia Fire Chief, Marcus Crisco said.Responding to calls, serving the community, and saving lives are just a few things the Bolivia Fire Department does for the area, but their resources are burning out.Related Article: Lightning strikes to blame for 2 Fayetteville house fires“At the end of the night our budget went from $300,000 to the first of July, to $277,000,” Crisco said.Brunswick County created the Fire Commission to give county commissioners recommendations on emergency services and fire protection costs.“The conclusion was that the Bolivia fire district needed to raise their fire fees by 30 percent to be able to meet their budget,” Brunswick County Emergency Services Director, Brian Watts said.“The reason why we’re having to raise that is due to the $86,000 that the county has cut out of the Bolivia fire fee money,” Crisco said.While cuts are being made, the increase in fire fees is meant to help out.“A fire fee is not a tax. It is a fee that is based on square footage of a building to be able to provide fire protection,” Watts said.However, Chief Crisco said that is not enough. Crisco said he has already made cuts on employees, insurance, and the station’s spending.“Lack of building in Bolivia,” Crisco said. “That is one of the reasons why we’re having to raise our fire fee.”While the department is safe for now, they are worried they will have to merge with other stations in the future to keep afloat or the county could take over.A rumor that was quickly shut down at the meeting tonight by local leaders.“That the county is looking at taking over fire services. I will tell you that that is not true,” Watts said.Ultimately the final decision comes down to the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. The board will hear the Fire Committee’s recommendations and make a decision for the entire county Thursday, May 10 BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Who is going to answer the call when a fire rips through your home? That is a question some are asking after a recent recommendation to cut funding for fire departments in Brunswick County.The Bolivia Fire Department met with  county staff and the Brunswick County’s Fire committee Wednesday night to discuss what is next budget wise.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Audit identifies deficiency at New Hanover Clerk of Superior Courts office

first_img(Photo: MGN Online) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A periodic financial audit of the New Hanover County Clerk of Superior Court identified a deficiency in internal control and an instance of noncompliance, according to a report from the Office of the State Auditor.The audit covered the period of July 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018.- Advertisement – Auditors found that the Clerk’s Office did not transfer unclaimed funds to the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer in accordance with state law. During the audit, the Clerk’s Office transferred 915 unclaimed items totaling $427,124 to the Treasurer.Auditors examined 66 of the items and discovered 19 of the items should have been transferred in prior years.18 of the items totaling $3,018 in unclaimed funds should have been transferred to the Treasurer between 2013-2016.One item totaling $200 should have been transferred to the Treasurer in 2011.The auditor’s office says as a result, the return of unclaimed funds to the rightful owners was delayed.Related Article: Audit finds deficiencies in Pender Clerk of Superior Court’s officeAccording to the Clerk, the items were transferred late because employees did not understand the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts policies and procedures for timely submission of unclaimed funds to the Treasurer.In a letter of response, New Hanover County Clerk of Superior Court Jan Kennedy said the concern raised is valid and ‘it is important to note that no fraud was identified and that the Clerk’s Office always follows state law and strives to respond to all matters in a timely matter.’The letter also says implementation and training has already started by all departments in the Clerk’s Office.last_img read more

Woman sliced with box cutter man charged with attempted murder

first_img The cut was an inch deep and stretched from above her left eye down to her neck. She was also cut on her lip and shoulder.The warrant states the cut was “in a manor suggesting he was attempting to cut her throat.”Jones is charged with attempted first degree murder, violating a domestic violence protective order and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.Related Article: Murder suspect in Iowa student slaying wants trial moved for diversityHe is currently being held without bond. His first appearance is Monday. Alvin Dean Jones (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is accused of violating a domestic violence protective order and slashing his ex across the face, while telling her she was not going to live without him and he was going to kill her.According to the arrest warrant, Alvin Dean Jones, 58, met the victim on Carolina Beach Road in Monkey Junction on Saturday. She was still inside her vehicle when Jones allegedly leaned in and slashed her across the face.- Advertisement – last_img read more