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The minister for disabled people has admitted that

first_imgThe minister for disabled people has admitted that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) needs to “make improvements” in order to increase disabled people’s “confidence” in the social security system.Sarah Newton told a fringe event at her party’s annual conference in Birmingham that “for lots of reasons” too many people were worried about applying for disability benefits such as personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA).Her admission comes after years of anger directed at her department over Tory-led government cuts and reforms to disability support, including the introduction of PIP and the new universal credit, and research linking DWP policies – including those affecting the work capability assessment – with the deaths of disabled claimants.Only two weeks ago, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how a secret DWP review into the death of a claimant of universal credit had criticised the “overtly threatening” nature of the conditions that claimants must accept when signing up to the new benefit system.The conclusion by a panel of civil servants related to just one of 33 deaths, all linked to DWP activity, that have been subject to what are called “internal process reviews” since April 2016.The number of these secret reviews carried out by DWP appears to have doubled in the last two years.Meanwhile, DNS continues to receive reports every week of disabled people who have been the subject of dishonest or otherwise poor quality benefit assessments, particularly for PIP.Opposition politicians including Labour’s Marsha de Cordova and Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd have warned that the impact of the “migration” of hundreds of thousands of disabled people onto universal credit from next year, and over the following four years, could prove disastrous.And last year, the chair of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities told the UK government that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe” which was “totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in”.Newton told this week’s fringe meeting, hosted by the disability charity Leonard Cheshire and the technology giant Microsoft: “It’s really important that people have confidence in the DWP, that they want to go and visit the jobcentre, and when they go and interact with us that they will meet people who they have confidence will treat them respectfully, with dignity and are basically on their side and want to enable them to live a full and independent life…”Newton claimed that the benefits system worked well for the “majority of people”, but she said that “one person’s bad experience is one too many”.She added: “I know that we need to make improvements.”Newton said she believed that DWP was “making progress” in improving the system for disabled people.She added: “Everything is not perfect as yet, we have set out a lot of reform, we have had very constructive dialogue, and I am confident we will make those changes.“Then, once people are in that position, I think it is much easier to have a dialogue about everything else to do with health conditions and disabilities and all the really positive work that we are doing, and investing, especially in enabling people to get into work and stay in work and make progress in work.”She mentioned programmes such as Access to Work and Disability Confident, both of which have faced repeated criticism this year.Newton said: “I hope that when we do our customer satisfaction surveys… we will see that they have shifted significantly and I will see that my postbag is much reduced in terms of people bringing me cases of when things don’t work well… and people having a much more confident relationship with DWP.” A 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…last_img read more

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Non profit developer opposes mom and pop stores plan for beer and

first_imgAt a public meeting Wednesday night, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting small businesses demanded that a mom and pop grocery and liquor store drop its application for a wine and beer license.“The onsite liquor service is the issue,” said Gabriel Medina, the policy manager for the Mission Economic Development Agency, which is opposing the application.The nonprofit agency has been at the forefront of developing affordable housing and  fighting the neighborhood’s rampant gentrification. In the latter, it has sought to protect small, locally owned-businesses from displacement, and some at Wednesday’s meeting wondered why it was going after the Royal Cuckoo Market at 3368 19th St. and its owners, Paul Miller and Debbie Horn, who live around the corner.“Here you have the ideal Mission place – local people are being hired, local people own it. Most people who work here are bilingual,” said Chris Seibert, a Mission resident and local musician. “It’s like cutting the legs out below the actual local people by taking away something that’s going to help them do all the other good things they do.” 0% Medina told the 20 or so people assembled for the meeting that he opposed the market’s application to convert the retail market to include a restaurant – a step that is necessary to serve wine and beer. Anywhere else in the city, such a change is straightforward, but Medina said converting to a restaurant overstepped the intentions of the Mission Action Plan 2020 and the Mission 2016 Interim Controls.Both are aimed at slowing or reversing gentrification. The first focuses primarily on affordable housing and retaining production, distribution and repair space that serves light industry. The Mission 2016 Interim Controls, which were adopted and extended by the Planning Commission on March 2,  increase the oversight for business and housing changes within the Mission while the Mission Action Plan 2020 is being established. The controls require, for example, any business applying for a change of use to go through the Conditional Use authorization process, which requires community meetings, outreach and a hearing before the Planning Commission.These controls are temporary and are “a way for MAP 2020 to finalize policies that basically prevent business displacements,” explained Medina. Most at the meeting, however, were unaware of the legal tenets and were there to support the neighborhood store.“What you’re trying to do is not only judge a book by its cover but you’re trying to paste your own cover on it first and then judge it,” said the man who identified himself as a carpenter and longtime Mission resident. “You guys want to pick on these guys? It’s ridiculous – there’s all these yuppies coming in around here…You’re just projecting on these local people and placing your narrative on them.”Miller and Horn worked in the Mission’s service industry for 30 years and began their own business in 2010 with the first Royal Cuckoo, a full bar at 3202 Mission St.They leased the space at 19th Street after the owner of a Salvadoran specialty market and liquor store, El Salvadoreño, retired in 2014.Miller and Horn argued that they were not informed about the new policies in the Mission Action Plan 2020 and the Interim Controls.  In fact, in October 2016, the Planning Department approved their eligibility for a beer and wine license without requiring the restaurant conversion or a conditional use hearing. A spokesperson for the Planning Department did not immediately return requests for comment. “They told us, ‘you’re fine, you’re already serving food.’ And we were like, ‘Okay, we don’t have to do anything?’” said Horn, about the Planning Department. However, a month later they were told that the approval was a mistake and the department had received two complaints about an “illegal bar.” It is unclear who made the complaints. The Planning Department told the couple they would have to reapply, asking the city for a change of use permit that would allow a restaurant and thereby a wine and beer license. In the meantime, they are allowed to keep serving beer and wine as they have since late last year.  In an effort to comply, Horn and Miller have started the change of use process but are now facing opposition from the Mission Economic Development Agency. “Now we are in a funky pickle,” said Horn. With local markets impacted by e-commerce and delivery services, Miller and Horn struggled on 19th Street and said they intended to stabilize the small grocery and liquor store by creating a small counter area where they serve simple dishes, coffee and beer and wine.The market and bar operates during the day and closes by 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.Wednesday’s public meeting was one of the required steps to get a change of use permit.At the meeting neighbors, family members and supporters filed into the 750 square foot sliver of a space to speak in support of what they called a “neighborhood gem.”“They provide a service for me that I can’t afford anywhere else,” said Marvin, a Mission resident of 50 years. “I can come and get a cup of coffee and sit here and shoot the bull for half an hour for a dollar and a quarter. I feel welcomed here. Other businesses, they don’t welcome me, income wise.”Medina suggested that Marvin visit a Chinese Bakery on Mission Street where the coffee is also cheap.“But there’s a difference between cheap coffee and crap coffee,” said Marvin. “I’ve been to the bakery and they serve their coffee cold.”Gabriel Medina (left) speaks with supporters and an opponent of the Royal Cuckoo Market. Photo by Laura WaxmannDespite the clear support among those who attended the meeting, Medina remained insistent that the couple’s plans of legitimizing their license by converting their retail space to a restaurant fails to comply with the community standards developed by MEDA and other community groups under MAP 2020.One supporter pointed out that the couple had been “caught in a transitional moment in policy.”Medina acknowledged that the couple did not act in bad faith in the first place, but that applying for the permit now would be “out of compliance” with the interim controls.“Planning gave you guys wrong information and I’m very disappointed,” he said.Medina asked the couple to instead work with MEDA to establish a business plan that does not include an alcohol license. The organization provides technical assistance, lease negotiations, and has a low-interest loan fund for businesses, he said.  “Our failure is if you shutter. Our failure is if we do not enforce the community standards,” he said.Medina said that retail spaces rent for less than restaurants that serve beer and wine.  Once a space is converted  – even though the Royal Cuckoo is retaining the retail grocery – “the landlord is going to charge [the next tenant] a lot more rent,” Medina said. Since 2000, some 40 percent of retail businesses – many small, locally and Latino owned – have been pushed out of the traditionally Latino neighborhood, Medina added.“While we celebrate the Royal Cuckoo bringing their culture and residency to the area, we have to balance what the 30 percent poverty population that lives here [needs],” said Medina in an interview after the meeting. Peter Papadopoulos, of the Cultural Action Network, was also present at the hearing and pointed to several retail spaces along Mission Street that have been subject to restaurant conversions. A brewpub restaurant has applied for approval to open a block over, at 2243 Mission St., replacing a recently demolished furniture store.“The entire area is moving toward nightlife destination. Destination areas are different than community serving. The Mission Street corridor is our family corridor – it’s home to lots of Asian and Latino mom and pops shops,” said Papadopoulos. “When you start giving up ground from retail to bars, restaurants, brewpubs – even the city acknowledges that it almost never goes back. It’s only a one way direction towards a destination nightlife environment, and that doesn’t match our most vulnerable residents.”But supporters of the market wondered if the protections set forth by the community advocates were actually victimizing the exact businesses that they are meant to protect.“Right now we are looking at some people who have been living in the Mission for decades, who have a thriving business, who are surviving within this juggernaut of outside individuals and businesses that are coming in and destroying the culture that we had here for such a long time,” said Philemon Abraham, a resident of the Mission and frequent patron. “It seems to me that the people who you are trying to protect are right here, the people who own this business.”Miller and Horn said that losing the right to serve beer and wine could mean the end of their business.Supporters pointed out that the Royal Cuckoo is neither a fancy restaurant nor a bar. Its eight wooden barstools and largely bilingual staff have made it a welcoming respite for many on the bar-studded block of 19th street.Regardless, Medina was adamant.“What happened on Valencia, just to be very clear – most of the retail there was evicted and we had a lot of fancy restaurants and bars that came in,” he said. He added that because the market is already a licensed liquor store, its owners could sell that license and transfer it to another Mission location while keeping the restaurant permit at the market. But the Royal Cuckoo Market’s proprietors say that “flipping” their space or even nixing its retail component is not part of their plan.“We are keeping our retail,” said Horn. “We are obviously not running this business to make a ton of money.”“It’s hard to make it as retail,” she added.  In a recent change of use permit on Valencia Street at Amado’s, the owner was able to get an application for restaurant space and a bar approved by agreeing to keep 700 square feet of retail at the front of his business. Such a defined retail space could provide a roadmap to a solution at the Royal Cuckoo.For now, Royal Cuckoo’s owners have agreed to a mediation meeting with MEDA in the coming weeks. Following the mediation, a hearing will be set in front of the Planning Commission. center_img Tags: Business • food • San Francisco Planning Department Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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KYLE Amor says the week off has done Saints good a

first_imgKYLE Amor says the week off has done Saints good and they are prepared for a massive game this coming Thursday.Catalan Dragons come to Langtree Park with both sides just 80 minutes from Old Trafford.“The week off has been good for us,” the 25-year-old said. “We have got some older bodies in the squad and a lot of them have been playing since February. It has given them, and us all, a chance to freshen up and get over some knocks.“We’ve been able to touch up a few areas too.“We’ve trained as if we have been training for a game. It was pretty good and intense too but we didn’t lose days to recovery. That means were were pretty fresh every time we took to the field.”He continued: “I enjoyed the game between Catalan and Huddersfield, it was good. Catalan had tries disallowed too so perhaps the scoreline flattered the Giants a little. Catalan are flying and we are very much prepared for a big game.“If we do the job right then we have a Grand Final to look forward to and it is something you dream of. We know that the press haven’t given us much of a chance with the personnel we have out, but we have focused on ourselves and believed in each other.“That took us to the League Leaders’ Shield and now we are 80 minutes away. Can we win it? If we’ve got each other’s backs then why not.”Tickets are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

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Community

first_imgWalk, Jog, Run or Zumba your way through every colour in the rainbow! From the Totally Wicked Stadium to Church Square! Join us for a fun day out.All proceeds will go to two great causes – YMCA St Helen’s and Saints Community Development Foundation.ENTRY FEE (Early Bird – Before 23rd August) Adults £10.00 Juniors (15 & Under) £5.00 Family of four £25.00 Group of six £50.00ENTRY FEE (General Sale – After 23rd August) Adults £15.00 Juniors (15 & Under) £7.50 Family of four £37.50 Group of six £75.00CORPORATE PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUESTTo book please click here or call 01744 455 052.last_img read more

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County school leaders stay by decision to not delay schools

first_img “I can’t let my kid get on the bus with the roads like this. It’s not okay it’s not safe,” says parent Amy Clay.It was the decision parents like Clary had to make when they saw this message from Brunswick County schools,  classes were not canceled nor delayed.“I’m not going to jeopardize my kids safety for one day of class,” Clary says as she and her husband decided to let her two kids stay with Grandma for the day.We went to school leaders about their decision.They say by the time the rough weather hit, buses were on the road and the safest option was to stay the course.“When they are already on the road there’s no way to adequately bring those children back home and drop them off so your better taking them to the school,” says the school system Superintendent Les Tubb.Tubb adds that they based their decision on what Horry County schools did as well as took information from the National Weather Service. Regardless, some parents weren’t risking it and kept their kids at home for the day.“The bus in front of me didn’t slow down, they splashed through it and the water literally splashed up to the windows,” says Clary.Tubb says bus drivers also are trained for flooding and bad weather on the roads.His office heard from several drivers who had to take detours around impassible roads.“Safety of the kids is paramount and we were in contact with the buses the entire time,” says the superintendent.The school system will not punish students who stayed home for the day.“We’ll figure a way to make things up for them the kids to make up their work,” Tubb says.Some parents also questioned if it was testing in some Elementary grades that led school leaders to make sure classes began on time. Tubb says the testing did not have weight in why they decided to keep the regular schedule. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –  The call to not delay or cancel classes in Brunswick County this morning did not sit well with parents.Many did not take their kids to school or let them get on the buses because of flooding. The school system tells us by the time a call could be made to delay because of the weather, buses already had students on their way to schools.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Hurricane Matthew victim to use 100000 prize for dream wedding

first_imgChristina Richardson (Photo: NC Lottery) WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Christina Richardson of Whiteville will be able to have the wedding she always dreamed of thanks to a $100,000 lottery win.“I got engaged two years ago,” Richardson said. “I’ve always wanted a big beach wedding, and now this will let us have one.”- Advertisement – It’s been an unlucky year for Richardson and her fiancé after Hurricane Matthew caused significant damage to their home.“The roof was leaking,” Richardson said. “We had to fix the floors and all the house. That’s where all of our money was going.”Richardson’s luck turned around Thursday when she stopped at Sam’s Pit Stop on Sam Potts Highway in Hallsboro and bought a Millionaire Bucks ticket.Related Article: Brunswick County woman scores big with Panthers pride; wins $200,000“I couldn’t say anything after I scratched the ticket,” Richardson said. “I just kept thinking, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ I didn’t sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and slept on my wallet.”Richardson claimed her prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $69,507.last_img read more

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Pregnant Navy widow honors husband with military gender reveal

first_img He died in a military plane crash in Mississippi in July.A few weeks after his death, Lohrey found out she was pregnant.She said she is naming her baby girl Ryan Jo Lohrey, her husband’s first name and her middle name.Related Article: Military wife surprises her fellow officer husband after 8 months in IraqThe baby is due in March. HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — On Veterans Day you usually see red, white and blue, but one military widow here in the Cape Fear only saw pink, and it was all caught on camera.Cassie Lohrey hosted her baby’s gender reveal Saturday surrounded by a group of Marine and Navy Corpsmen who served with her late husband, Ryan Lohrey.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Bolton nightclub shut down property owner gets new restrictions

first_img The party is over at the Hideaway Club in Bolton.“There’s been two homicides there, there’s been a number of shootings there, a number of robberies there, so we’ve had quite a few incidents to happen there,” said Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher.After all that crime in the past few years, David, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement decided to step in.Related Article: Rain or shine, hundreds stood in line to vote in Columbus CountyThey presented the owner of the property, John Henerey Freeman, a consent order before Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser at the Columbus County Courthouse in Whiteville.“Judge Sasser has ordered that this property now has certain burdens upon it. While Mr. Freeman will remain the lawful owner, he’s heavily restricted on the types of businesses he can operate, the hours that he can operate, and what can be sold from that location,” said David.The DA says that Freeman, who left before talking to reporters, has been understanding of the job that needed to be done through this process.Moving forward, David wants the public’s help in making sure Freeman or any future owner of the property follows these new rules.“If the public becomes aware, anybody in the community, that there’s a violation upon this property, we encourage you to call law enforcement and it will be aggressively dealt with,” said David.Alcohol on the property is now forbidden.Freeman or any future owner is not permitted to operate a nightclub, bar, or any similar establishment on the property and no business can be operated from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two people dead and several more shootings and robberies which all are among the reasons District Attorney Jon David went to court Friday, in an attempt to shut down a Columbus County nightclub.“Public safety is paramount for us, and moving forward, there will be zero tolerance of any law violations on that property,” said David.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Boats must be moved from Cape Fear River during cranes arrival

first_img It will remain in effect until the ship is safely moored at the state port.In a news release, the Coast Guard said due to the size of the cranes and narrow width of the river, no vessels are allowed to moor, cross through or remain within the river while the safety zone is in effect.Vessels moored at the south of Berth One at the ports must leave the safety zone by midnight on Wednesday.Related Article: Cape Fear Seafood Company to open first franchise locationAnother safety zone will be enforced for between two and four hours on Sunday and Tuesday while the Neo-PANAMAX cranes are unloaded. That zone will include all of the waters within a 200-yard radius around the vessel while it is moored at Berth Eight at the port.The cranes will pass Southport around 8 a.m. on Thursday and will reach the port at 10 a.m.There are three public viewing areas if you want to watch as the cranes make their way up the river.Riverlights Marina Village Waterfront Park109 Pier Master Point, WilmingtonRiver Road Park6500 River Road, WilmingtonSouthport Waterfront Park146-176 E Bay Street, Southport 00:00 00:00 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 US Coast Guard has established a temporary safety zone on the Cape Fear River to accommodate the arrival of two new cranes bound for the Port of Wilmington.The temporary safety zone will include all navigable waters for about 26 miles south of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.Two new cranes are waiting to make their way to the Port of Wilmington. (Photo: NC Ports)- Advertisement – last_img read more

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First ever WWAY Senior Expo a big success

first_img00:00 00:00 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) —  It was a hot day outside Thursday, but inside Wilmington’s Independence Mall, hundreds of senior citizens got some important info about services and products just for them. It was WWAY’s first ever Senior Expo.40 vendors were part of the event. They offered advice and services in areas like healthcare, senior living, insurance, finance and more.- Advertisement – It’s part of our effort to be part of your community.We want you to know you can count on us for more than the news you already enjoy. For those at the event, it was a great way to learn.“I’m new to Wilmington, and I felt like I’d come out and see what services are offered to seniors, get a few tips, get a few tests. And I’m learning my way around, so here I am,” said attendee Ruth Louie.Related Article: Ozzy Osbourne hospitalized because of flu complicationsWWAY wants to thank everyone who took part in the WWAY Senior Expo.We hope to make this an annual event.last_img read more