Archive for the ‘Pat’s Debate’ Category

Point of Order re Pat’s Petition

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Many of you will remember the Parliamentary debate Pat’s petition secured just 2 months ago. The motion calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) was led by a powerful speech from Liam Byrne. Other Labour MPs were just as supportive for us in their knowledge of how disabled people and carers are facing such unjust hardships under this Coalition government.

Speaking against the motion was a Tory MP – Paul Maynard. His choice of words angered and upset so many of us especially when he named Pat’s Petition team as ‘extremists’. In the days immediately after we corresponded with him in a series of open emails.  He agreed to follow Parliamentary procedure to gain a further entry in Hansard.




True to his word an entry appears in Hansard on September 2nd 2013  ….. details here

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. May I clarify for the record that, in the Opposition day debate on 10 July, I did not intend to suggest that I regarded either Pat’s Petition or We Are Spartacus as extremist groups?

John Bercow (Speaker)

That is commendably clear and pithy, and we are grateful to the hon. Gentleman.






Tuesday, July 9th, 2013


What a weekend! We have done an amazing amount of work over these last few days, and amazing to see all our supporters rally round.
At the beginning of last week, no way could we envisage the events of this weekend just gone.
Call for action
On the sunniest weekend of the year, we have been sweltering inside, organising blog posts, booking train tickets, desperately trying to arrange seats to watch the debate inside the House, contacting the many MPs who have been sympathetic to us, finding out about pauper’s picnics and now asking every one of you to make one final push for Pat’s Petition.
You have rallied around. Supportive MPs have now found seats for Pat and Rosemary so that they can be there on this important day.
The debate on Wednesday will be the last chance to get our voices heard in Parliament for some time. MPs will break up for the summer recess and then return, after their Party Conference, in October.
We need to make sure they are all briefed to understand the impact of Government Policies on disabled people and carers.
They need to know we are watching this debate. They have to be aware that they are under scrutiny on this issue.
We need them to vote for a Cumulative Impact Assessment. They have continually said this is impossible and too complicated, and we have answered that they wouldn’t conduct huge experiments with anything else, so why do it on disabled people? We have now heard that “the publication of cumulative impacts is a Coalition initiative” so our hopes are raised that they will now agree that this needs doing for disabled people and carers.
take action
1. Write to your MPs asking for their attendance and that they back this motion. You can find their details here
That this House believes that the Government should publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by this Government that affect disabled people (to be published by October 2013).
2. Use social media to broadcast all messages with the hashtag  #CIADisability
3. Sign and share the link to WOW Petition  
And it is vital that you watch the debate live on the day here
We have learnt an incredible amount by watching debates.
You can see how full or empty the room is!
See if your MP is interested in your issues.
Hear who really understands the challenges faced by disabled people and note who mentions the impact that falls on carers and families too.
And you can join in the twitter conversation at the same time as watching it all.
It will be a historic day for us – we hope you’ll be there too.


Friday, July 5th, 2013

Opposition Day (5th allotted day, 1st Part)



Edward Miliband

Mr Liam Byrne

Hilary Benn

Andy Burnham

Mrs Anne McGuire

Ms Rosie Winterton

That this House believes that the Government should publish, by October 2013, a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by the Government that affect disabled people.

You will be able to watch live on the day here

Pats Banner

Pat’s Petition

Team PP meeting





Edinburgh 5th June – Welfare conference

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Scotland is devolved from the rest of the UK in all but 3  government departments. Welfare is one of those 3 so I was keen to attend this conference.

Much has been written and discussed about the welfare cuts coming out of Westminster and very little is spoken in favour of any of them.

Call for action

I was apprehensive that this conference was going to be one of – well this is it – nothing we can do – so we all roll over in acceptance.

How wrong I was. Far from accepting it there was a definite air of anger in that room. This was a conference about how welfare reforms were going to affect the people of Scotland and what we intended to do.

The format for the day was 4 sessions with speakers from across Scotland, all experts in their own field, talking for around 10 minutes with questions from the 50 attending.

With my escort Sue firmly attached to me , we all settled down for a long day.

We opened with words from (more…)

We stand united together and will grow and grow

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

As a gardener I am always looking for new ideas to add to my garden. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Like most of us who enjoy plants and trees – each new addition means a little less lawn to cut as we find a space for our latest acquisition.

Up here in Scotland we have some beautiful natural stone. Most of it huge and attached to a mountain but my garden has its own fair share.

Granite is plentiful in many areas. As such it is used a lot in buildings as it is one of the hardest stones known to man. And woman who digs it out of her garden!



A cairn is often used to mark the tops of mountains – people who reach the summit can add a stone. They are also used to mark paths keeping travellers safely away from the dangers of the edges. The lasting durability of the stone cairn is a symbol to those that follow behind.


So the idea of building a cairn in the garden was born.and it will represent those 62,709 people who signed Pat’s Petition before it closed.

I laid the first stone and it will be added to as and when weather, time and availability of gathered stones allow.


cairn laying 1st stone 2

I don’t think I can count 62,709 but will use one stone per 100 signatures. The strength and hardness of these stones represent us all – disabled people, carers and their families.


PP closed 4 months ago but we are still inundated with requests from people wanting to add their support. To this end a space has been created here. New stones will continue to be added to the cairn as these numbers increase.

Like the cairn which won’t crumble into the soil – we stand united together and will grow and grow.

There are still some important petitions open on the government website.


WowPetition  sign here   – further details of the campaign group here


Stop the Abolition of Disability Living Allowance for Personal Independence Payments  – sign here





Inclusion Scotland – Impact of the Change from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Received from Inclusion Scotland


Change in Assessment Criteria:

In December 2012 the UK Government announced an unexpected change in the PIP Assessment criteria. This change reduces the distance someone can walk (safely) before qualifying for the Enhanced Mobility element of PIP from 50 metres to 20 metres (the Enhanced Mobility element of PIP is equivalent to the Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA).

The change has contributed to a substantial increase in the numbers expected not to qualify for the Enhanced Mobility element of PIP – up from 250,000 to 428,000 (a 70% increase).

Using the DWP’s own UK-wide projections of expected “winners” and “losers” arising from the replacement of DLA by PIP Inclusion Scotland have now calculated the equivalent figures for Scotland. These are set out below.

One piece of good news is that the majority of disabled people on life-time or long term awards of DLA will not now be re-assessed for PIP until after October 2015. However the following groups will be assessed before then –

* disabled people making new claims

* people currently in receipt of DLA whose awards end before Oct. 2015

* people whose condition/level of impairment changes before then to a level where it amounts to a change of circumstances requiring reassessment.

Mobility Component:

Using DWP projections, by 2018, Inclusion Scotland estimates that (more…)

Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union Welfare Statement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

The ideology of cuts affecting the most vulnerable people in our society is totally out of character for a nation that traditionally prides itself on bringing support to those in crisis. Over the years, the UK has led the way in terms of people and organisations who have gone way beyond the call of duty in terms of supporting others and treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve. This is a country that after years of struggle, made health, education and general wellbeing a basic human right.

This coalition government has taken the decision to fly in the face of these hard fought traditions and has instead, become hell bent on passing the responsibility and burden of the national debt onto those who can least afford it. As a result of this policy, we now see people struggling to make ends meet, forced into the ever-willing arms of  payday loan companies who, on the face of it appear to be offering help and financial security. The reality is that they push people into further poverty and desperation.

The introduction of the benefit freeze and the accompanying diatribes spewed by government ministers was designed to (more…)

St Helens Mental Health Forum supporting statement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

To all at Pat’s Petition

Several years ago, our groups took our concerns over welfare reform to our Local Implementation Team meeting. Our main worry was that the move to support in primary care implied that we would no longer receive support for claims for disability benefits through letters from psychiatrists and care coordinators. At the time, this felt disastrous, and we anticipated a local solution. We were told to take up our worries directly with the DWP.

Since then, we have become increasingly alarmed by the redesign of the NHS, welfare reform, slashes to local authority budgets, loss of legal aid, and other changes, all at the same time as unprecedented economic austerity which has had an impact on local voluntary sector services. This is all too much at the same time, and is surely a disaster waiting to happen.

We have (more…)

TeamPP heads to London tomorrow to meet with Liam Byrne

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Pats Banner


Early  Wednesday afternoon Feb 6th, will see 5 of us meeting with Liam Byrne in London. 4 of us from PP with the 5th member from VIA Scotland – she will ensure Pat arrives safely and in a timely manner.

We are backed by others who can’t make the journey, and our memories of our friend who died just as we reached the petition end.

It is incredible to think that although PP has worked together for 18 months, and in a larger on line group before that, most of us have never been able to meet each other. We will spend a few hours together then leave for our respective homes spread many hundreds of miles apart.
We will have with us printed statements of your support, your real life stories, over 62,700 signatures and many questions to be answered. We have prepared as much as we can for what will undoubtedly be an interesting meeting with Liam.

Can we ask you to pledge your tweets tomorrow to this meeting. Hashtag  #TeamPP , especially from 2pm onwards when the meeting starts.

This is to represent not just those attending this meeting,

but each and every supporter/signature/group/charity.


This list below is not complete, please accept apologies if we have not as yet added your name or that of groups/organisations you belong to. It will be updated over next few days.




MIND supports the call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013



For the last couple of years, the issue of welfare reform has consistently been an important issue for people with mental health problems. Mind has called for changes to the Work Capability Assessment but the pace of reform has been too slow, meanwhile tens of thousands of people are being reassessed using a test which is still not fit for purpose. We hear from many people who tell us that changes to the welfare system are adversely affecting their mental health, and that the demonisation of disabled people claiming welfare benefits in the media only serves to compound the stress and anxiety they experience. We support the need for a cumulative impact assessment to reveal the true extent of these reforms on the hardest hit in society.

Paul Spencer

Parliamentary Officer