Free Personal Development Course
A free course for people wanting to develop their personal skills. Funding is available for childcare and travel.
Petition to hold IDS to account
Over 93,000 people have signed a petition calling on Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) to be held accountable for his misuse of official statistics. We've now been told that the Work and Pensions Committee are giving serious consideration to what action they should take.
We need to make sure they stand firm and call Iain Duncan Smith to explain himself. So please take a moment to send the petition to your friends and family by forwarding the email below.
Even the Government's own statistics watchdog agrees that IDS has been misusing figures to promote the effectiveness of his changes to the welfare system. But his own department is trying to make excuses for him.
IDS needs to realise what he says affects people. We live everyday with the reality of the benefit changes and it's awful to keep hearing people like us portrayed as 'scroungers.'
The Government says it gives special consideration to petitions that reach 100,000 signers. So let's get this petition to 100,000 to give the Work and Pensions Committee every possible reason to act.
Please help us reach 100,000 by signing the petition calling on the Work and Pensions Committee to hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for the inaccurate statements he has made.
On behalf of: Jayne Linney & Debbie Sayers
New accessible beach facilities in Bude
New facilities to support disabled people to access beaches and surrounding areas in Bude have been provided through an innovative partnership between Cornwall Council and local families of disabled children. The new facilities will be officially opened at a special ceremony on Wednesday, 29 May.
The project has been led by the Council's children's services authority and the environment service. The facilities include a new ramp and railing at Widemouth Bay to provide wheelchair access onto the beach, two accessible beach huts, new sand chairs to support access to the sand and the sea, a Changing Places facility at Summerleaze beach and a wheelchair tandem bike which can be hired from the local cycle hire shop. Four accessible bikes have also been purchased for use on the Camel Trail.
The public facilities have been designed in partnership with local families who have disabled children. Around 10 of these families will be taking part in the official launch ceremony on 29 May and will be joined by Jack Cordery, Council's Head of Service (Children's Social Work & Psychology Services); Cornwall Councillors and representatives of local families.
"I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this development for disabled children and adults in Cornwall," said Jack Cordery, "Cornwall has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and they should be accessible to everyone, regardless of disability. Along with Changing Places, this development is part of the Council's commitment to disabled children and their families in Cornwall."
Cornwall Parent Carer Council has been involved with the design and evaluation of the new facilities. "The Parent Carer Council endorses these much needed facilities, both for our local families and for visitors to our beautiful county" said Chair Kay Henry. "As parents of children with disabilities we wish them to have the same opportunities as their peers, these facilities will enable them to achieve this."
"My daughter was born with hydrocephalus and cerebal palsy and didn't walk until she was three and a half so we never thought she would be able to cycle" said Julie Stych. "But last summer at the age of 8 she was given the great opportunity to try an adapted tricycle on the Camel Trail at Wadebridge. I will never forget her little face light up and her saying "Mummy, I'm doing it, I'm doing it!!" I cried tears of joy that day just because another milestone of childhood was reached thanks to that opportunity."
Following the official opening the guests will have the opportunity to try out the accessible bikes and sand chairs and take part in a variety of beach games.
"Bude is a fantastic place and our beaches are very special" said Nigel Pearce, Cornwall Councillor for Bude. "I am very pleased that this is a step closer to them being accessible to everyone."
Lisa's Charity Fundraiser
The venue is accessible. Everyone welcome, we look forward to seeing you there.
If you have any questions about the event please contact Disability Cornwall on the below contact details
T: 01736 756655
Update on Cllr Collin Brewer
There has been a great deal of activity from literally thousands of people during the past week or so in relation to Collin Brewer, and as requested by our members, here follows an update of all the salient points:
- Cornwall Councils leaders of the political parties released a statement distancing themselves from Cllr Brewer and his opinions.
- After receiving many complaints, the Devon & Cornwall Police are now pursuing an investigation.
- There is a Facebook page for people to show their support for disabled people and their families in Cornwall and to have a voice and share their thoughts. It had 3065 likes at the last count today. It is extremely well managed and moderated by James Ball and others.
Through this page, people are organising another peaceful protest outside County Hall, Truro on 24 May at 10.30am and welcome everyone who support this to join in.
- There are many petitions, but we do need to coordinate our signatures, as we would need to reach 100,000 signatures to have our issue debated in the House of Commons. This petition is one of the current top 6 'trending' petitions and currently has 4760 signatures. We need to encourage everyone to sign it who supports our cause.
- In response to queries concerning why Mr Brewer was allowed to stand for re-election, it appears that Councils have no powers to prevent people from standing for local elections unless they are; employed by them or hold a politically restricted post, have been declared bankrupt or been sentenced to at least 3 months imprisonment during the previous 5 years.
The reason why Mr Brewer was not suspended from his position in February when the original complaint about his comments came to light, was because the new Localism Act which came into force during this complaint process, stripped the power away from councils to suspend councillors who breach codes of conduct. DC are now calling for this Act to be reviewed by the Government.
- On Friday 17 May 2013 Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate and discussion from Fowey in Cornwall with Conservative Vice Chairman Michael Fabricant MP, Labour's Housing Minister Jack Dromey MP, Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne MP and the writer Jackie Malton who was the inspiration for Lynda La Plante's character DCI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect. DC have put forward a set of questions for debate which have to be approved prior to being invited to attend, they are:
1. A Cornwall Councillor resigned last February after suggesting that children with disabilities should be put down. He was recently re-elected and has reiterated his feelings, likening disabled children to farm animals, saying "If (farmers) have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. Bang!"
2. It is no surprise that these views are echoed by others, but it is particularly frightening that they may be held by those who have the positions and the power to make life and death decisions.
3. It seems that, when it comes to discussions about the burden on the public purse, we have all clearly been having the wrong conversation.
4. His points are about more than the "cost" of care versus the cost of public toilets or pot-holes in the road. They address the wider issues of local democracy, free speech and hate crime.
5. Have we embarked on that slippery slope of deciding who should live or die based on their cost to the public purse? We start with our disabled children and then who next?
Do you want to have your say to MPs on access to transport for people with disabilities?
The House of Commons Transport Committee have launched a web forum seeking views for its current inquiry on the accessibility of public transport.
The forum is intended to provide another way of hearing the experiences and ideas of users, carers and providers of transport.
The Committee would particularly like to hear of experiences and views on three key areas:
• physical accessibility
• travel information
• staff assistance
It will inform the Committee members and support their questioning of the Minister, Norman Baker MP, when he appears to give oral evidence on 3 June 2013, so please ensure your comments are posted before then.
To have your say visit www.parliament.uk/access-to-transport-forum - please pass on details of this forum to colleagues, contacts and friends that you think would be interested.
If you have any queries or would like further information about the inquiry please contact the Transport Committee directly either by phone on 020 7219 6263 or by email
Should you no longer wish to receive email notifications from the Houses of Parliament Outreach Service please reply to this email with UNSUBSCIRBE in the subject line.
Houses of Parliament Outreach Service | 020 7219 1650 | www.parliament.uk/outreach | |@UKParlOutreach
Houses of Parliament Outreach Service: spreading awareness of the work, processes and relevance of the institution of Parliament
Council release statement re: Cllr Brewer
Cornwall Council released a statement yesterday afternoon from all the party group leaders in response to the recent comments made by Councillor Collin Brewer.
"The recently published comments which are attributed to Councillor Brewer are completely unacceptable and are contrary to the Council's policy of supporting all people with disabilities.
Such views have no place in local government. These remarks represent the personal views of Councillor Brewer who does not speak for the Council or the people of Cornwall."
Jeremy Rowe, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group
John Wood, Leader of the Independent group
Fiona Ferguson, Leader of the Conservative group
Malcolm Moyle, Leader of the Labour group
Stephanie McWilliam , Leader of UKIP group
Dick Cole, Leader of Mebyon Kernow
Following the Government's abolition of Standards for England in 2012 and changes to the Code of Conduct regime the options available to the Council when a breach of the Code of Conduct is found have been limited. There is no longer the ability to suspend Councillors. The Council has never been able to disqualify Councillors in response to Code of Conduct complaints. In this case, the Monitoring Officer found that there had been a breach of the Code of Conduct and determined that the only appropriate and proportionate sanction he could impose was to require Councillor Brewer to issue a formal apology. Mr Brewer was notified of this in November 2012 and subsequently wrote to the complainant apologising unreservedly for his remarks.
The Council does not have the power to stop anyone standing for election. Both the qualifications for candidates and the reasons why an individual could be disqualified from standing for election are clearly set out in legislation. The reasons for disqualification include being employed by the Council or holding a politically restricted post, being declared bankrupt or being sentenced to at least 3 months imprisonment during the previous 5 years. As none of the criteria for disqualification apply to Mr Brewer he was entitled to stand for election to Cornwall Council and was subsequently chosen by local voters to represent the Wadebridge East electoral division.
The Council is committed to ensuring that all staff and Members receive appropriate training in equality and diversity issues. Equality and diversity training is mandatory for all paid staff and we staged specific workshops for all Members during the first week of their induction programme. Further training, on-going workshops and awareness sessions will also be available throughout the four year life of this Council.
Press Statement Cllr Brewer's re-election
We would like to thank everyone who has supported us and the 80 people who turned out at County Hall today to join our peaceful protest. We also thank the leaders of the Council's political parties who came out to speak to protesters and share their own concerns with us.
Unfortunately, despite Cornwall Council's efforts to set up a meeting between the Parent Carer Council, Disability Cornwall and Cllr Brewer, it did not go ahead due to the fact he has been 'signed off sick'. We look forward to rescheduling this meeting at the earliest opportunity.
Since Cllr Brewer's re-election to Wadebridge East, we have heard from many people in that area who are mortified by this result. We believe and many people have told us, Brewer is not representative of Wadebridge or of Cornwall. His comment was not made as a 'Cornish Joke', to 'provoke debate' or as a 'wind up' and despite his protestations that he has 'done nothing wrong'; he is now just adding insult to injury. This man has caused immense upset and distress to many good citizens in Cornwall and across the world.
Brewers' triumphant statement upon his re-election; "The media has actually done me the power of good – they have promoted me and I'm well known" confirms what we already knew, that he has no remorse or understanding of the hurt he has caused and he is not fit to hold public office.
His re-election sends entirely the wrong message to the people of Cornwall at a time when disabled people are experiencing increasing intolerance and abuse in their communities.
We have no option but to accept the democratic process however flawed it may seem in this case, but we ask again that Cllr Brewer re-consider his position and find an alternative way to make a contribution to his community. Let's not forget, if the complaints process itself was fit for purpose in the first place, and a more appropriate sanction applied, Collin Brewer would probably never have had the chance to stand for re-election.
It is clear we need to work together harder than ever to create a culture of zero tolerance to ignorance and hatred in all its forms, so everyone in Cornwall is able to fulfil their potential and to live full and active lives as equal and respected members in their communities.
On behalf of:
The Parent Carer Council for Cornwall
Disability Cornwall & Isles of Scilly
Cornwall People First
National Autistic Society West Cornwall Branch
Cornwall Downs Syndrome Support Group