A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The impact of the “migration” of hundreds of thousands of disabled people onto universal credit from next year could prove disastrous because of the “hoops” the government will force claimants to leap through, according to a disabled MP.Stephen Lloyd, work and pensions spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said the migration process was set to be “a disaster” for those disabled people currently claiming employment and support allowance (ESA), including many people with learning difficulties and mental health conditions.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is set to start testing the process of moving hundreds of thousands of existing ESA claimants – its estimates suggest it will eventually need to “migrate” 750,000 – onto universal credit from January, and intends to “increase volumes” by July and complete the process in 2023.ESA claimants will be among those receiving a letter telling them that their existing benefits are about to stop and that they will need to make a new claim for universal credit.They will have to fill out an online application, and then make at least one and possibly two, or even three, visits to their local job centre in the space of just one month, to validate their claim.If they fail to do this, said Lloyd (pictured) – who was speaking to Disability News Service at his party’s annual conference in Brighton – they will get “kicked out” and be left with no benefits, as their ESA claim will have ended.A DWP memo, produced in June, said the department would give claimants at least one month to make their claim, although there will be “flexibility for this period to be extended” to up to three months.But Lloyd said: “What on earth is going to happen? You have got to do all this in a month, otherwise you’re going to be kicked off. That’s going to be catastrophic.“We have got to stop this, it’s ridiculous. It’s not going to work.”He has written to work and pensions secretary Esther McVey to seek clarification on what claimants will be asked to do.Lloyd said: “I have to get the minister to understand you have to give them more time, otherwise there is going to be a car crash.”His hope is that pressure on McVey through parliamentary questions and an early day motion will force her to back down and ease the conditions imposed on claimants before regulations are laid before parliament in October.Concerns about the migration have also been raised by the mental health charity Mind, which said: “Many people experiencing mental health problems have told us they are extremely worried about what these proposals will mean for them.“As people begin to move over to universal credit, we are concerned people will fall through the cracks, and see their benefits stopped entirely.“It’s appalling to place all the responsibility on unwell people to reapply for a new benefit and risk losing their income in the process.“The government should change their plans so that no-one faces having their benefits stopped before they move to universal credit.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with stakeholders and other parties to design the best possible process for the migration of our customers to universal credit.“Our focus will be on safeguarding claimants and ensuring a smooth transition with uninterrupted support.“Based on early planning there is no evidence to indicate that claimants would need to come into the jobcentre so frequently and therefore we do not recognise this claim.“We plan to have a comprehensive and well-supported preparation period for claimants which will include a variety of communication formats, including face-to-face, internet and postal notification, to ensure claimants are aware of the managed migration process.“There is flexibility to extend that period if necessary; and a process to ensure that, before the existing benefits are stopped, our staff will check for evidence of complex needs or vulnerability or disability and act accordingly to support the claimant.“Additionally, if a claimant misses their deadline to claim there are provisions in the draft regulations that will allow DWP to back-date their claim.”Lloyd said he has already tried locally to ensure that the impact of universal credit and other welfare reforms would not be as serious as it has been in other constituencies.He brought food banks, housing association representatives, Citizen’s Advice and his own staff together in advance of the rollout of universal credit in his Eastbourne constituency last October, which he said helped ensure there was much less of a spike in the use of food banks in the town than in other similar constituencies.Lloyd also believes that he is the only MP in the country who allocates a member of staff to attend regular benefit appeal tribunals on behalf of constituents.So far this year, the staff member has attended about 70 tribunals (with a success rate of about 70 per cent).During Lloyd’s previous stint as an MP, between 2010 and 2015, the same member of staff attended about 150 tribunals in four years.He said: “As far as I know, no other MP’s office in the country sends one of their staff [so] regularly to tribunals.“I basically lose him for three-quarters of a day a week, but it is the right thing to do.”Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to the co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association (LDDA), Robert Adamson, who died just days before the conference began.Born in Doncaster, and a retired civil servant, he was a former parliamentary candidate for the party and also stood in European and local elections, and was a former chair of the party’s Yorkshire and Humber region.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, the party’s president, told the conference: “Robert never let his very disabling condition get in the way of campaigning locally and nationally.”And Gemma Roulston, previously LDDA co-chair and now the association’s chair, said: “He wanted to improve the lives of people with or without disabilities, and anyone who was impacted by disability.“He was always there for you, and was a good person to go to for advice and support.“Conference hasn’t felt the same without him. He made a difference to people.”last_img read more

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Six of the clubs contingent at the Dream Team wer

first_imgSix of the club’s contingent at the Dream Team were products of Saints Academy system whilst Wakefield’s Matty Ashurst also came through the ranks here.And then in the England set-up both James Graham and Joe Greenwood graduated from our junior set up.Our Academy’s Head Coach, Derek Traynor, talks about our Dream Team graduates, most of which also toured Australia with the club too.“James Roby was signed before our Tours started,” he said. “He played in an under 17s Foundation Academy at the time and proved himself there. He signed professional at the end of that period and has never looked back since. He has become a player who is respected and looked up to by all the junior players at the club, and let’s be honest, the rest of the competition too.“Jonny Lomax and Matty Ashurst went on the 2006 Tour to Australia. Jonny was an outstanding academy player who very quickly progressed to first team level. Throughout his time he progressed and improved and has matured into the leading player he is today.“Matty was always a very naturally gifted player; in fact he ended up playing stand-off after ten minutes in the 2008 Academy Grand Final and did a great job! He, of course, played a number of games for the club but came through at a very competitive time to break through into the first team on a regular basis.“At the time he came through we had perhaps one of the greatest teams to ever play at Saints but we are just as proud to see him honoured in this way and always think of him as one of ours.“Tommy Makinson went on the 2009 Tour to Australia and was outstanding. He quickly established himself in the Academy when he signed at 16 from Wigan St Judes. He was at centre in those days but with his finishing skills and yardage carries it is great to see him become a full international as an outstanding winger.“Mark Percival and Luke Thompson went on the 2011 Tour. Percy is perhaps one of the most naturally gifted players we have taken to Australia. He was an outstanding strike centre all through his time in the Academy and has carried that on into the first team and now on the international stage.“Luke struggled with a back injury on the tour but not until he had showed the Aussies what he was about in the early games! He was powerful strong running second-rower row in the Academy although he did play in the middle on occasion. He has carried that on to become the international player he is today.“Danny Richardson went on the 2013 Tour. He developed as the trip went on and in the last game he came up with a Man of the Match performance scoring three tries. The half back playing against him that day was actually Nathan Cleary who as himself gone onto great things! Danny was a very dominant half in the Academy and worked very hard on his game. He was always trying to improve his skills and tactical knowledge.”He continued: “We are very proud of these lads and it shows how we are consistently producing players of a very high quality over a long period of time. All these players have one thing in common; a great desire to succeed and a great work ethic to improve themselves.“An example was Tommy Makinson catching a train from his home to go and do extra sprint training with Neil Kilshaw whilst Luke Thompson had to be kicked out of the gym when we needed to lock up at night!“Danny Richardson always responded to being told he needed to improve a skill by working on that skill until he had mastered it.“These players deserve all the accolades they are receiving especially when you are aware of the extra time and effort they have put in to get to the level they are at.“Knowing them as we do, we know they will be looking to move on and improve even more in the coming years.”last_img read more

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PREVIEW Newcastle v Man City

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Champions start their new campaign off at St James’ Park this afternoon in what could be a lively encounter against Newcastle who started last season well but fell apart after Christmas.After the advice yesterday with Man U this column must come with a wealth warning I’m afraid but anyone who saw that coming needs to set up shop in a caravan as a soothsayer on Brighton beach.Man City scored goals for fun last season but their defence has looked vulnerable in the pre-season warm-ups. So it looks a fairly safe formula to predict plenty of goals this afternoon.The killer stat for the match is that City are unbeaten in their last 15 Premier League matches (16 in all competitions) against Newcastle, so if you fancy the home win you really are expecting lightning to strike twice after the events at Old Trafford yesterday.HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 games)Jan 2014 Premier Newcastle 0-2 Man CityOct 2013 Capital One Cup Newcastle 0-2 Man CityAug 2013 Premier Man City 4-0 NewcastleMar 2013 Premier Man City 4-0 NewcastleDec 2012 Premier Newcastle 1-3 Man CityMay 2012 Premier Newcastle 0-2 Man CityNov 2011 Premier Man City 3-1 NewcastleDec 2010 Premier Newcastle 1-3 Man CityOct 2010 Premier Man City 2-1 NewcastleJan 2009 Premier Man City 2-1 NewcastleNewcastle’s recent signing Siem de Jong is out with a foot problem and Pardew is also without Cheick Tiote, Davide Santon and Papiss Cisse are also sidelined.For the visitors Alvaro Negredo is injured, however Aguero may feature despite lacking match fitness.For me over 2.5 goals, although short enough at 8/13 still looks the call.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK OVER 2.5 GOALS for 12 points at around 8/13 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 36.97 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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