Posts Tagged ‘national housing association’

Pat’s Petition goes to Edinburgh

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

A short email from Pat’s Petition was sent to Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, requesting a meeting with him. Unfortunately this was not going to be possible but an alternative was offered – to meet with David Griffiths who sits on the Scrutiny Group of the Welfare Reform Committee – would I be interested?

The answer from me was an emphatic YES.

Arrangements were made with the help of Holyrood staff and I asked Rosemary O’Neill to come up from England to put that side forward. The meeting was excellent and included Isabell Donnelly from our government department, also involved with Welfare Reform.

Scotland is devolved in many services. NHS, social works, education, police, prisons and much more but not the Welfare system. That is governed by Westminster – 500 miles away in a different country.

This is causing a huge problem for Scotland as politicians and those affected find the proposals, now law, quite unacceptable in its present form. Many people live in remote villages – not forgetting dozens of islands. How can a home carer provide a 15-minute ‘drop in’ when the round trip takes almost 2 hours? How can you remove DLA and yet still expect a disabled person to make a long and difficult journey to a hospital appointment?

One thing you quickly learn about Scotland is – how approachable, not only MSP’s are but also local authorities, the voluntary groups and the charities. They want to talk with us and they DO listen. Something Westminster would be well advised to learn from.

The 4 of us spent several hours talking, listening, and commenting, with the occasional humour. There were no heated discussions – no fighting for one cause – no one person monopolising the meeting. We were all in complete agreement how devastating these Welfare cuts were and how they are destroying lives.

It was clear that in spite of a determination to help disabled people, carers and their families – money – or lack of it, was causing the biggest headaches. Yes the government can do more to prevent the extreme hardships which are starting already, but other services would have to be cut.

Do you know? There are no 1 bedroom social houses or flats in Scotland. Well yes there are but they are shelter for elderly only. Until recently rented social housing was the norm here and very few people bought their own places. When the social housing was being built, it was decided 2 bedrooms plus would be far more useful. So how pray, Mr Duncan Smith, are those with 2 bedrooms and no children going to down size? Oh I see. They aren’t. You are going to force a ‘stealth’ tax on them. Clever but this is something that has the potential to be challenged.

All too soon we had to end the meeting much as we could have talked for hours. (We had another appointment to keep with Professor Paul Spicker. He is Chairman of Public Policy at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. A man with a wealth of knowledge who has written widely on Public and Social Policy.)

David learned a lot from Rosemary about social care/carers in England and how much they will lose from the knock on effect by slashing services. I know she learned much about our ways too. He already knew about me!

He promised to forward some contacts to me and true to his word – they arrived home before me! Some wanted articles, others want to meet up. All hugely positive. He said he enjoyed meeting us!

Thank you David and Isabell – it was mutual.

Pat x

Please read a message from David here

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A Disaster waiting to happen – how long before social services sink

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

 False Economy have been updating their list of cuts. You can see them here  and  here

They have also been collecting testimonies from people already affected.

Today the Telegraph tells how “the leaders of   every major council in England and Wales called on the main party leaders to   act now to avoid “dangerous” delays in agreeing reform to elderly services. “

The government must heed this warning. Not to do so will be foolhardy, irresponsible, reckless,

There is a greater danger ahead too. When the proposals in the Welfare Reform Act are put in to place, many people fear their benefits will be cut/withdrawn. The knock on effect to Social Services will be immense, and like a pack of cards the system will collapse.

It is vital that the government “stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.”

This is asked for in Pat’s petition . To date almost 36,000 have signed.

The JCHR outlined their concerns in March 2012 – Implementation of the Right of Disabled People to Independent Living

Scottish Campaign tells UN – “UK Welfare Reforms in Breach of Disabled People’s Human Rights”

DPAC protests

Spartacus report

Hardest Hit events

and the list could go on.

This is YOUR opportunity to take action by signing the petition but also to become an organiser. Go out and promote it, gather support where you can. Ask those supporters to do the same.

Any questions or if you require further information please contact –

Pat, Karen or Rosemary



Shelter add their name to Pats Petition

Monday, November 21st, 2011


Dear Pat,

 I am delighted that your petition   is going so well, with so many charities signing up to back you. We at Shelter  are happy to add our name to this and hope that the hard work pays off and you are successful.

We will be more than happy to pass along and will also be adding it to our Twitter feed this week.

Best of luck with this again.

Kind regards


Campbell Robb Chief Executive – Shelter


MIND agrees with Pat’s Petition

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Mind is very concerned that the welfare system, which already struggles to effectively support people with mental health problems, will be made even worse by the package of reforms and cuts that the Government has announced. We want to see a system that understands and supports people with mental health problems, rather than simply trying to pressure people back to work as fast as possible.

We agree with Pat that the Government should review the impact of all the changes and cuts that they are introducing in order to understand the devastating impact they could have on disabled people.

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy & Campaigns




National Housing Federation supports Pat’s Petition

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Dear Ms Onions,

Thank you for your email to our chief executive, David Orr, about the e-petition you have signed. David asked us to discuss it, and I’m happy to tell you that the National Housing Federation is very happy to support your petition.

I have asked a colleague, who is working on a campaign around support services, to draft a statement for you to use on your website. You should have this in the next few days. In the meantime, please feel free to add our name to your list of supporters.

We will also Tweet about your petition so that housing associations around the country know about it and be encouraged to join in. Do you have a Twitter account we can include? Don’t worry if not, we will also include a link direct to the petition.

We’ll be in touch in the next few days with our supporting statement and a copy of the Tweet.

Best regards,

Chloe Hardy
Head of Campaigns – Campaigns & Communications Team
National Housing Federation