The Conservative party has promised to force local

first_imgThe Conservative party has promised to force local authorities to plan for the provision of accessible housing for disabled and older people, if it retains power in next month’s general election.The party also announced that employers who recruit disabled people – and employees from other groups, such as care-leavers – would be given a year’s “holiday” on their national insurance contributions for that member of staff.On social security, the manifesto says the party has “no plans for further radical welfare reform in this parliament”, but it stops short of promising there will be no more reforms at all or ruling out any further cuts to disability benefits.Instead, it warns that a Conservative government would continue to ensure a “sustainable” welfare system, with help “targeted at those who need it most”.The manifesto also shows that the Conservatives have dumped their target of halving the disability employment gap in five years – which it made little progress in achieving over the two years of the last parliament – in favour of a new target of finding jobs for one million more disabled people over the next 10 years.It promises to “harness the opportunities of flexible working and the digital economy to generate jobs for those whose disabilities make traditional work difficult”, and to provide “advice and support” for employers in hiring and retaining disabled employees.It also says the party will “push ahead” with its plans for tackling hate crime, including disability hate crime, even though the four-year action plan the Conservative government published last summer was condemned for its “totally disrespectful” failure to address problems around disability-related hostility.There are also promises that a Conservative government would “review” regulations – and amend them “if necessary” – on access to licensed premises such as pubs and restaurants, blue parking badges and housing.This includes a commitment to review building regulations on the accessibility of new homes.These pledges suggest the party may have been listening to some of the concerns raised by a major report by a House of Lords committee last year on the impact of the Equality Act on disabled people, and last month’s report on disability and the built environment by the Commons women and equalities committee.The manifesto says it will support the provision of “specialist housing where it is needed, like multigenerational homes and housing for older people, including by helping housing associations increase their specialist housing stock”.This would ensure government-supported housing programmes include suitable provision of housing for older and disabled people, and that councils plan for such provision in their own local planning policies and local housing programmes.There are 18 mentions of “disabled”, “disability” and “disabilities” in the 88-page Conservative manifesto, although all but five are contained in a three-paragraph section on disability policies.The party had previously announced plans to replace the “anachronistic” Mental Health Act and address the increasing numbers of people in mental distress who are detained under the act.The party has promised that the new mental health treatment bill will include “revised thresholds for detention”, and new codes of practice to “reduce the disproportionate use of mental health detention for minority groups, especially black men”.Prime minister Theresa May (pictured) has also promised further powers to protect people from discrimination in the workplace through “sweeping changes” to the Equality Act – offering more protection to those with fluctuating mental health conditions – and to fund an extra 10,000 mental health staff working in the NHS by 2020, although the manifesto now promises “up to” 10,000 more mental health professionals.Labour has pointed out that the number of mental health nurses and doctors working in the NHS in England has fallen by more than 6,600 since 2010.The party’s mental health announcements were greeted with accusations of “hypocrisy”, after user-led groups pointed out that Conservative social security policies, including the coercion and bullying of benefit claimants, had created and worsened mental distress.last_img read more

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… Labour is facing mounting anger from disabled anti-cuts activists over its refusal to call for the government’s universal credit benefit system to be scrapped.Much of the anger has been directed at shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood, who instead of pledging to scrap universal credit – at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool this week – announced a lengthy review of social security policy.It comes little more than a year after a disability equality roadshow – led by her predecessor Debbie Abrahams – covered many of the same issues and asked disabled people across the country what they would like to see from a new social security system.But anger has also been directed at the unions.Earlier this month, trade unions voted at the annual TUC Congress to call on the Labour party to shift its policy stance and promise to scrap universal credit.But this week, two unions appeared to retreat from that pledge by putting their names to a motion to the Labour conference that called instead for a “fundamental overhaul” of universal credit.The motion was moved by USDAW and seconded by GMB.Paula Peters, a member of the national steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said DPAC would “hold Labour to account” and “if need be we will take the fight to them”.She said: “The anger is building and it is palpable.“The mantra ‘for the many, not the few’ is ringing a bit hollow at the moment. I don’t think it applies to people who are unemployed or disabled people.”She said the actions of the unions in moving and seconding a motion that called for university to be paused and fixed – just weeks after voting for it to be scrapped – was “a massive slap in the face”.As a result of Greenwood’s “lacklustre” speech, which Peters said was “another fudge”, DPAC is calling on campaigners to write to the MP – and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow minister for disabled people Marsha de Cordova – “about how they feel about Labour not stopping and scrapping universal credit and what they felt about her speech”.Greenwood explicitly called in her speech (watch from 2 mins 15 secs) for the government to “stop the rollout of universal credit and fix its many flaws” rather than for it to be scrapped.Senior figures in the party, including McDonnell, de Cordova, and Greenwood, all suggested to varying degrees during the week that the party was moving closer to calling for universal credit to be scrapped, but none of them said that explicitly.Greenwood told the Mirror that scrapping universal credit was “something we’re sort of in the process of looking into” and that the party was not ruling it out.But de Cordova, who was the most outspoken of the three, told DNS (see separate story): “I believe Labour needs to come up with its own alternative.“The party are not quite as close [as I am] to saying stop and scrap but you know what, if something isn’t working maybe there is no value in tinkering at the edges.”McDonnell told a fringe event hosted by the PCS union: “There are discussions about what we do about universal credit, do we scrap it or reform it or whatever.“Some of this is semantics. It needs transformation in a way that enables people to operate an effective and efficient system, both from the staff point of view and the claimants’ point of view, but also we’ve got to find the resources that lift people out of poverty.“Part of that will be the introduction of the real living wage, £10 an hour, part of it will be the restoration of trade union rights, so people will be properly represented, part of it will be the restoration of collective bargaining… but there will also be the need for a social security net to protect people.“So our job now in the coming months, and all of you will be engaged with this, is how do we redesign the system so the net is effectively lifting people out of poverty and is effective in ensuring no-one falls through that net. That’s the challenge that we have got.”McDonnell (pictured, right, with Greenwood, second from left) said later in the fringe, in answer to a question about universal credit: “All the messages we are getting at the moment is that this is a system that just doesn’t work, won’t work, and therefore not only needs reform but needs replacing.“That is the debate that we will have as we go forward.”But Peters told Disability News Service that disabled people and others were going to get “walloped” by the migration of existing claimants – including those on employment and support allowance – onto universal credit from next year.She said: “They have missed a really good opportunity to announce they are scrapping universal credit.”In response to the announcement of a review of social security policy, she said: “We have sat down at so many round-table events and talked and talked and talked and talked to Labour for quite a few years.“We don’t need words from Labour, we need action. We are fed up with meetings and talking and little from it. Words are meaningless, we want action, not words.”last_img read more

IT can reduce your risk of major illnesses such a

first_imgIT can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% per cent and lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent.It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.According to a recent NHS study, exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose for too long and our health is now suffering as a consequence.Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.Health benefitsGiven the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer a 30% lower risk of early death up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults) up to a 30% lower risk of depression up to a 30% lower risk of dementia A Modern ProblemPeople are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations.We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time.Alun Peacock, Managing Director of gymBUG, St Helens’ newest gym – and the matchball sponsor when we take on Huddersfield this Saturday – agrees with the research findings: “To stay healthy or to improve wellbeing, it is our feeling that adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. However, we also realise that the level of physical activity each person needs to do depends on their age and physical ability.“At gymBUG we are sympathetic to this and have designed a workout space to cater for absolutely all abilities and experiences, from first-timers to seasoned athletes. By bringing this facility to St Helens at affordable prices we have also ensured that getting fitter is now available to all.”Join online at or visit us today.last_img read more

THIS is sure to be one of the hottest products tha

first_imgTHIS is sure to be one of the hottest products that have ever come in to the Saints Superstore.The Super League 2014 – Grand Final & Season Review is a double DVD set which features four hours of highlights from a historic season.The set comprises: Disc 1 – Full Season Review – featuring highlights of the key games from the 27 rounds involving all 14 clubs and all the play-off games, alongside interviews with a number of players and coaches. (2 hours approx)Disc 2 – Saints v Wigan Grand Final in full including with Sky commentary, post match celebrations & interviews (2 hours approx)It’s priced at £14.99.To buy pop into the Saints Superstore or log on here.last_img read more

Barbershop finds new home after shopping center fire

first_img “Anytime there’s a bad situation, you can’t always give up,” said Quail Alston.When the Village Plaza Shopping Center burned down more than three months ago, it was a huge blow to both businesses owners and the neighborhood who relied on it.Residents who were within walking distance must now find other options.Related Article: WFD: House fire the result of cooking left unattended“It’s kind of hard for people that don’t have transportation,” said Alston.Alston owned Quail’s Quality Cuts at Village Plaza, and he wanted to find a location nearby that was convenient for his customers.Just one day after the fire, he found a vacant store on Castle Street.He says the only thing that survived from the old shop was the sign.“We had to put the place together as much as we could, and we started work immediately,” said Alston.With help from customers and friends, Alston turned the store into a barbershop all his own, complete with wall art of his beloved Philadelphia Eagles donated by customers.“It’s not luck, it’s not anything else, we think it was a blessing from God. Because you don’t get another business the next day,” said Alston.Alston hopes the other businesses put out by the fire will recover too.“You got to keep your head and stay strong, and God will work it out, you know, you just got to believe,” he said. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  More than three months after Wilmington’s Village Plaza burned down, the future of the businesses it housed remains unclear. But one shop has been able to move forward.Quail’s Quality Cuts was a staple of the shopping center. Even though they lost virtually everything to fire, the owner says he feels blessed.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Cape Fear River Watch presenting film discussion about water and GenX

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Thursday, Cape Fear River Watch will show a film about the drinking water crisis in West Virginia and the introduction of GenX in the Cape Fear River.“The Devil We Know” is described as a film that “unravels one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time”. A group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical – now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans – into the drinking water supply.- Advertisement – The film is free to attend and scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at Thalian Hall. After it ends, there will be a discussion from 7:30-8 p.m. Attorney Robert Bilott will join Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette. Bilott represented 70,000 citizens whose drinking water was contaminated. Their 19-year-long battle culminated last year in a $670.7 million settlement by DuPont and spin-off Chemours.The trailer for “The Devil We Know” is available here.To register to attend the screening and discussion, click here.last_img read more

Southport issues mandatory evacuations ahead of Florence

first_img A mandatory evacuation for Southport residents starts at 8 a.m. Wednesday.Click here for the latest closing and delays. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% Surf City will not resume dune restoration until November2:24Gov. Cooper tours Fair Bluff Fire Station, talks hurricane recovery0:55School supply giveaway aims to help those affected by Florence1:41Northside Pool repairs almost complete0:30Support the Port among winners of disaster recovery grant0:56Vet receives a free roof after losing one to Florence0:55HOPE NC INTERVIEW3:25Hampstead woman loses home in Florence, surprised with help 10 months later2:04Tropical Integrated Warning Team meeting helps agencies prepare during hurricane season1:56US 421 bridge work continues after Florence washout0:47Teens help those affected by Hurricane Florence, Matthew2:08Florence victims face 100-degree days in FEMA trailers1:04Volunteers desperately needed to assist with building efforts after Hurricane Florence3:39Hurricane shifts sand in coastal waters, could increase swimming threats2:13First responders join WARM in hurricane recovery efforts0:59Oak Island Pier set to reopen Wednesday0:25Oceanic Restaurant ready to dive in on Mother’s Day0:30Possible return date for Jervay community released2:18New Hanover Schools hourly employees won’t get paid for five days2:14Hurricane Recovery round table gives residents access to mroe help post-Florence2:10Brunswick Town Historic Site museum reopens Saturday1:00Wilmington man meets paramedics who saved his life hours before hurricane2:20Rep. David Rouzer talks Mueller report, storm recovery4:24Spruce up your yard at annual spring plant sale in Burgaw0:47RESIDE Disaster Relief Shelter holds rubbon cutting0:54Students say “Thank you” to first responders1:25AG sues Florida tree removal company for alleged price gouging in Wilmington2:14’Cross Creek Hero’ continues to lend a helping hand2:17USO shows appreciation to the coast guard, shutdown, hurricane0:52Proposed tax credit could assist repairs for historic homes in disaster zones2:04Two New Hanover schools to move into new buildings next month1:26NC students write book about experience with Hurricane Florence1:22Luncheon highlights ’growth and transformation’ in downtown Wilmington0:32Gov. Roy Cooper says downtown Wilmington ’revitalized’ after Florence2:02Community rolls together to get topsail beach skating rink back open after storm1:36Cape Fear Garden Club plants the seed for Airlie Gardens’ Florence recovery0:57Wilmington firefighters honored for rescue during Hurricane Florence1:50Rep. David Rouzer talks rebuilding damaged dike in Bladen County1:40Fix to Kelly dike system still in limbo following community conversation2:13Neighbors fight to stop construction of ’essential’ hospital water system2:31County, city still waiting on millions in Florence reimbursement1:51Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo talks Florence recovery 6 months after storm1:51Boiling Spring Lakes: Only 40% of recovery completed since historic hurricane2:26Owner moves to new location after Florence wipes out iconic restaurant1:06Pender community surfs its way to recovery months after storm1:27ONLY ON WWAY: Gov. Cooper gives recovery update six months post-Florence7:42’This is a miracle’: Whitestocking community gets help to rebuild church2:19Bethlehem Baptist Church is on the road to recovery after Florence1:22800+ Pender students still displaced several months after historic hurricane1:58Are some homes worth the renovation after Hurricane Florence?1:17Free seeds offer easier start to families replanting0:54Cape Fear Volunteer Center needs help moving Florence survivors into new homes0:53Florence survivor finds new housing, not out of the woods yet0:31Rebuild continues almost 6 months since Hurricane Florence1:35Rebuild continues almost 6 months since Hurricane Florence2:19Florence destroys Pender County farm, help comes from across country2:07How can we improve for next time? Pender reviews storm response to Florence1:40USS Battleship North Carolina continues to battle Mother Nature1:54Will Carolina Beach businesses reopen in time for start of season?2:05FEMA assistance starts to end, Florence victims still without homes2:07New Hanover County issues Hurricane Florence after action report1:22Veteran forced out of garage after Florence moves into camper0:31Gov. Cooper proposes funding aimed to help schools recovering from Florence1:44Florence clean up efforts ongoing1:54Pender Co. ends Hurricane Florence state of emergency0:16Volunteers needed to clean up Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve in Leland0:30University breaks ground on new student housing0:57Topsail Island is back open post-Florence1:38Barfield: ’State of the county is strong’2:17Habitat breaks ground on 4 new homes in Wilmington0:54Volunteer attorneys could help homeowners denied help from FEMA4:06Pro bono FEMA clinic for those affected by Hurricane Florence4:06First ever pender county state of education and economy held in burgaw1:52Wrightsville Beach restaurant closed since Florence starts rehiring staff0:53Hurricane Florence victims can still apply for disaster mitigation0:55Are you ready for breakfast?1:00Historic grounds reopens after shutdown1:27Hurricane Florence recovery summit brings survivors together1:31New Wrightsville Beach school planned with storms, floods in mind0:33TX official offers affordable housing advice after experiencing Hurricane Harvey1:04Whitestocking residents welcome truckload of donations from Pennsylvania3:06FEMA hosting meeting to address flood mitigation questions, concerns3:39University still repairing classrooms and apartments four months after hurricane0:30Cooper to Trump: End shutdown so NC can rebuild after Hurricane Florence0:33Experts say affordable housing is in more trouble following Florence0:58Stranger drives across country to reunite NC boy fighting cancer with his dog2:19Will a $2M flood plan save the Battleship North Carolina parking lot?1:05Woman says Florence damage is severely affecting her health1:54When you can learn more about applying for buyouts on flood-prone homes0:25Pender County students to receive free meals through January 310:20Animal aid group says majority of supplies lost after theft1:02Duke energy wants customers to help with $760m storm cost0:44Find out how you can help the environment by getting rid of your Christmas tree1:02New study researches how Hurricane Florence could have impacted pregnancies2:16Ward gives back to his community during the holidays1:32Gov. Cooper reflects on efforts to rebuild following Hurricane Florence3:14Gov. Cooper: 2018 was a tough year for North Carolina2:37Man designs ornaments made from Florence debris0:38Businesses team up to host Hurricane Florence recovery fundraiser0:56Rain lowers ’Christmas on the Square’ turnout0:54XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The mayor of Southport issued a State of Emergency for the city Monday afternoon as Hurricane Florence tracks closer to the Cape Fear.A mandatory evacuation for all visitors and tourist Monday, voluntary for residents.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Oak Island issues voluntary evacuation for residents

first_img Click here for the latest closures and delays. (Photo: Oak Island) OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — A State of Emergency has been declared by the Town of Oak Island ahead of Hurricane Florence.A mandatory evacuation was ordered for visitors and tourists at noon Monday. A voluntary evacuation for residents and non-resident property owners went into effect Monday.- Advertisement – last_img

Two rescued after 50ft yacht catches on fire near Carolina Beach

first_img Wild says he was the first to respond to the scene and saw the yacht engulfed in flames.Wild told WWAY the fire spread quickly and had to get the pair off as soon as possible.“I could feel the heat from the boat as I was tying up to it,” Wild said. “I threw a line to one of the guys on board and we were about to start getting some of his personal items off the boat and we quickly learned that we didn’t have time. A window popped and the fire really took off. I don’t think he even grabbed his shoes. He come on my boat and we took off.”Related Article: Person injured after being hit by car in Carolina BeachCoast Guard and law enforcement also responded to the scene.Wild says the men on the boat were transporting it from New York to it’s owners in Florida. WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Two men were unharmed during a yacht fire in the Intracoastal Waterway Thursday afternoon, according to TowBoat U.S.Captain and Co-owner of TowBow U.S. Matt Wild says at approximately 1:35 p.m., a 50-ft Prestige motor yacht around the Myrtle Grove Sound area near Carolina Beach reported an engine fire.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man arrested for armed robbery at Wilmington gas station

first_imgSurveillance photos of suspect in armed robbery on March 31, 2019. (Photo: WPD) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The man believed to be suspect in an armed robbery in Wilmington is behind bars.Wilmington Police say Eddie McCracken, 54, was arrested by US Marshals Task Force and WPD Wednesday morning.- Advertisement – He allegedly robbed the Phoenix Mart at 2238 S 17th Street early Sunday morning.Police say McCracken is charged with armed robbery and is currently being held at the New Hanover County Jail.last_img read more