A trio of experts have destroyed government claims that cutting out-of-work benefits for disabled people will help them find work.They were giving evidence to the Commons work and pensions select committee, as part of its inquiry into the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap (the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people).Neil Coyle, a Labour MP and a former director of Disability Rights UK, had asked the panel of experts if they agreed with the government that cutting nearly £30-a-week from new claimants placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA) would help cut the employment gap.David Finch, a senior economic analyst with the Resolution Foundation think-tank, who previously spent eight years at the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “We don’t think it’s going to make any particular difference to people’s incentive to look for work or not.“In face, we think there’s evidence to suggest that, with disabled people, the cost of work search or work preparation is actually more expensive… so in fact it could have the opposite effect and people will spend more time worrying about not having enough income and less time doing the types of activity they are trying to promote them to do.”Ben Baumberg Geiger (pictured giving evidence), a senior lecturer in sociology and social policy at the University of Kent and co-author of an influential report that called for the “toxic” work capability assessment to be scrapped, said the parliamentary debates on the ESA cut – due to be introduced next April – had suggested that people in the WRAG were “not that severely disabled”, when in fact there were many people who did have significant long-term impairments and would “suffer financially considerably” from the cut.He said he thought the cut would put an “immense strain” on the work capability assessment – which tests eligibility for ESA – which did not measure how far people were from the labour market but was “just a very crude assessment”.He said the cut would incentivise claimants to try to get into the support group, which if they were successful would leave them with “very little engagement in getting back to work”, and so would be “definitely harmful” to government efforts to halve the employment gap.A third expert, George Selvanera, director of strategy and external affairs at the Business Disability Forum, said he had yet to see any evidence that cutting disabled people’s income would “somehow increase their motivation and their skills to find work”.He said: “What we do know is that it is not the fault of disabled people that the labour market fails disabled people.“Somehow we are holding disabled people responsible for broader failures in the labour market, which just doesn’t seem fair.”He added: “We know that [in] 2013-14 that 30 per cent of disabled people lived in absolute poverty in this country, so making them poorer, I’m not sure how that incentivises people to work.”Meanwhile, the latest figures – according to a briefing note published by the House of Commons library – show that the disability employment gap has actually risen since the 2015 election.In the first quarter of 2015, the gap was 32.7 percentage points, which rose to 34.5 percentage points by the third quarter of last year, before falling to 33.1 percentage points in the first quarter of 2016.This is because the level and rate of employment for both disabled and non-disabled people have been increasing since 2013.In the first quarter of 2016, there were 3.33 million disabled people in jobs, an increase of 365,000 compared to the same period in 2014 (a rise of 12 per cent).
A not-so-neighborly letter circulating amongst Mark Zuckerberg’s Mission District neighbors entangles the Facebook CEO in an issue that many San Franciscans generally do not take lightly – parking spaces.Some residents of Liberty Hill, where Zuckerberg bought his home at the cross of Fair Oakes and 21st streets for a reported $10 million in 2013, have passed around a letter that accuses his security team of unnecessarily taking up “two desirable parking spaces.”But not all neighbors feel disgruntled by Zuckerberg’s parking space “hogging” employees.“It’s one car, who cares?” said a neighbor who lives just a few houses down from Zuckerberg. “Yes, he could [instruct his security] t0 park differently or in his driveway, but oh well. I have some friends who complain but it’s not that big of a deal.” 0% In regards to Zuckerberg’s security presence, this neighbor said that people should be “grateful” and added that some of the complaints come from people who “don’t even live on the street.” It’s unclear how many neighbors are complaining.Along with describing life in the vicinity of the CEO as “cumbersome,” the author of the letter, obtained by Buzzfeed, also states that the two silver SUVs driven by Zuckerberg’s security force are parking on the street illegally, and are forcing neighbors to do the same:“We’ve spoken to the security guards and they were cordial but ultimately have been instructed by their supervisors to not move the cars under any circumstances. They acknowledge that they are occupying the space with no turnover and illegally. So, on weekends such as this, I have to park illegally in front of the apartment that I live in full-time and risk the chance of getting an expensive ticket by MTA. ““When I get a parking ticket, I have to pay $76 for it,” said Bryan Foster, a neighbor who lives down the block from Zuckerberg.In the absence of parking restrictions such as permit zones, street sweeping or posted limits, cars have a legal maximum stay of 72 hours in one parking spot, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Parked vehicles that overstay this limit are subject to a warning, citation and/or tow fees, even with a parking permit– which the letter’s author claims the guards currently do not have.“Clearly, none of this is happening,” wrote the author of the letter.Paul Rose, the spokesperson for the SFMTA, acknowledged that the agency has received complaints to the “enforcement line associated with this area,” and has followed-up.“When a violation has been found we have written citations,” said Rose, adding that on Thursday, SFMTA staff was sent to the location to remind “folks involved of the rules.”“We will continue to monitor the situation and enforce as needed,” he said.A spokesperson for Zuckerberg said in a written statement that the security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local laws, and that “the team strives to be sensitive to neighbors’ concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”Part of the issue, said Foster, is that from what he can tell, Zuckerberg isn’t even present at the residence.“This man has two security cars parked 24 hours per day outside of his place when he hasn’t even been here. [The security] has been here since the construction began,” he said. “I think that’s paranoid. But it isn’t merely the parking. It’s more, what are they doing here.”Two security guards standing outside of Zuckerberg’s home were indeed “cordial” when approached on Friday afternoon – and at least one silver SUV belonging to the security team was visible, parked in a street spot directly in front of the residence.“Why don’t they park in his driveway?” Foster wanted to know. The letter’s author echoed Foster’s sentiment:“I want to add that Zuck’s guards could park in his driveway or in front of his driveway with no issue but refuse to do so as that is not what they are instructed to do. One of the guards mentioned that she agreed that even from a security standpoint, where the cars are parked don’t give the best vantage points and that she thinks they should be driving around and having a guard posted on both sides of [the street]. All and all, none of this makes any sense.”Although stating that they did not have the authority to comment on the letter, one guard said that the team is “told where to park.”The other optimistically said that the issue “will be resolved.”A phone call to the head of Zuckerberg’s security team, Residential Security Manager Tim Wenzel, was not returned. Tags: mark zuckerberg • parking • SFMTA • tech Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
A DRAMATIC last minute last play try from Widnesian Mark Percival won this final match of the triple-header against the previously unbeaten Vikings in typical never say die Saints fashion, writes Graham Henthorne.Saints winning 28-26.The Saints had opened the scoring with a fine try from James Hill in the right corner, the winger crossing courtesy of a good ball from Percival.The Saints extended the lead soon after. A great defensive set forced the Vikings to turn over possession closer to their own line than they would have hoped and the Saints made them pay. James Tilley profiting from Danny Yates’ great short ball.Widnes opened their account soon after capitalising on a Saints error but the Saints came storming back.A Saints scrum from the restart saw good work by Alex Clare and Lewis Foster scoring from Yates’ inside ball. Adam Barber’s second goal put the Saints 12 in front.A lapse in concentration in defence let the visitors in for their second try but Percival’s first put the Saints in control again at the break. Connor Dwyer’s break saw the Saints on the attack and as the ball was moved across the field Percival had an easy run in from 25 out.The second half was a different story; however, as two tries, the first after an error on the restart, saw the visitors take the lead.The tide was stemmed slightly as Barber scored to give the Saints a slender two point lead. But the Saints couldn’t hold on and the Vikings regained the lead, the full back going over for the try.With the minutes ticking down and the home crowd getting increasingly desperate up popped Percival to snatch the points.In truth, the Academy were very lucky. In a performance reminiscent of the defeat away to Hull KR, the Saints should have been out of sight in the first half but were almost made to pay for their profligacy by their opposition. It’s not that they can’t do it. Far from it. The problem seems to be that they can’t do it consistently enough.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: James Hill, Mark Percival 2, Adam Barber, Lewis Foster, James TilleyGoals: Adam Barber 2Widnes:Tries: Jack Owens, Alex Brown, Nathan Fernyhough 2, Harry Naughton.Goals: Danny Price 3.Half Time: 20-10Full Time: 28-26Teams:Saints:1. Corey Lee, 2. James Hill, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Adam Barber, 5. Leon Tatlock, 6. Dom Speakman, 7. Danny Yates, 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Lewis Foster, 10. Jordan Hand, 11. Alex Clare, 12. Connor Dwyer, 13. James Tilley. Subs: 14. Jack Jones, 15. Chris Webster, 16. Jordan Case (pictured), 17. Adam Hesketh.Widnes:1. Jack Owens, 2. Alex Brown, 3. Nathan Fernyhough, 4. Andy Wainwright, 5. Kieron Butterworth, 6. Chris Atkin, 7. Danny Price, 8. Brad Davis, 9. Richie Hughes, 10. Lewis Whitty, 11. Jon Rigby, 12. Scott McCann, 13. Matty Norton.Subs: 14. Ste Ball, 15. Alex Tague, 16. Jack Buck, 17. Harry Naughton.
SAINTS have extended the contracts of six of the hottest properties in the game – and signed Matty Dawson from Huddersfield Giants.Luke Thompson, Lewis Charnock, Greg Richards and Andre Savelio have all signed two-year contracts whilst James Tilley and Connor Dwyer have both put pen to paper on new one-year deals at the Club.These players are products of the Saints Academy system and all but one – Connor Dwyer – have been on the Club’s successful Tours to Australia.Four – Luke, Lewis, Greg and James – have also made their first team debuts this season.Saints Head Coach Nathan Brown said: “These are talented young kids who have come through the local system. They all play different positions and have different attributes but are good players who, if they weren’t at Saints, would be snapped up by other clubs.“Lewis, Luke, Greg and James have had a taste of first team action already and have done well, whilst Andre is training with the first team squad. Connor will follow soon.“They now have a long hard road ahead of them and they will need to work hard and make sacrifices. If they do that and have luck, they should develop into good players with long term futures at the Saints.”Luke Thompson is a fast strong prop / back row forward. He has been with the club since he was 11 and signed from Bold Miners having previously played for Pilkington Recs.The 18-year-old represented England on their Academy Tour of Australia and has played seven games for the Club after making his debut at London Broncos.19-year-old Lewis ‘Duggy’ Charnock is a stand-off who also played full back and loose forward at junior level. He toured Australia with the Saints in 2011 and won the Coaches’ Award for the trip due to his outstanding efforts, versatility, enthusiasm and leadership.He made his first team debut in the snow against Salford this season.Cumbrian Greg Richards won Forward of the Year on Saints Academy’s unbeaten tour of Australia in 2011. Hailing from Barrow, he is an out and out prop with a big engine and played for England Under 18s at the age of 16.He made his debut against Castleford earlier in July.Andre Savelio is 18 and a back row forward. He joined Saints from Latchford Albion and has been with the club since he was 14. He’s played for England’s Under 16s and 18s – the latter at the age of 16. He’s got good hands, is powerful and has a keen eye for a gap.James Tilley, 19, is a back rower who can also play at prop. He signed from Portico Vine and was St Helens Academy’s (u18s) captain last year and also on the Tour to Australia in 2011.Like Greg, he made his first team debut against Castleford in April 2013.Connor Dwyer is a 19-year-old second row / loose forward who has excelled in Saints Academy this season. He has played in 26 games totalling 16 tries. He signed from Portico, where we was coached by his dad Saints legend Bernard Dwyer, and was a teammate of James Tilley.Saints are please to also announce the signing of Matty Dawson.He is 22 and joins us from Huddersfield Giants where he has made five appearances to date.He is a winger / centre who signed for then coach Nathan Brown from Castleford ahead of the 2010 season.“We’re pleased to have Matty on board,” Nathan added. “He’s quick, talented and keen to learn. He has shown a lot of promise at the Giants and now, like our other younger signings, he needs to get his head down and keep on working.”Matty has signed a two-year contract.You can sign your contract with the Saints for 2014 by buying a Season Ticket.They offer great value and guarantee your spot for the season ahead.For further information click here.
ENGLAND will kick off Rugby League World Cup 2013 against arch-rivals Australia at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (2.30pm), and hooker James Roby says there is no better team for them to face following their defeat to Italy.Steve McNamara’s side are looking to bounce back from their surprise 15-14 reverse, and Roby is looking to prove it was a one-off.The Saints pivot, who endured an injury-hit season in Super League, is aiming to be selected in the starting line after featuring in Saturday’s warm-up game from the interchange bench and said the defeat may have proved to be better for the team than a landslide victory.“Maybe losing worked in our favour,” said Roby. “I know a lot of people expected us to win and put a bit of a score on Italy but by losing it’s rattled our cage a little bit.“We know we need to perform and we know we need to improve a hell of a lot. We’ve got the game against Australia and we need to get going from the off and set a marker. That will send out the message that last week was a one-off.“To be honest everything was going really well. We had a great training camp in South Africa, we prepared as well as we could and the altitude certainly helped. But on the day we just didn’t perform and it wasn’t a nice dressing room to be in after that sort of defeat.”Five players in the England squad have been selected from the NRL, and Roby feels that experience will count when taking on the Kangaroos on Saturday.“There’s no better way to turn it around than playing against Australia,” he said. “They’re the favourites for the competition and rightly so; they’ve got a lot of great players who’ve been playing in internationals for many years and played in big games and big finals. They are used to winning and used to success.“They’ve been a similar team for the last few years. We’ve played against them a number of times so we know what to expect.“But the likes of the Burgess brothers, Gareth Widdop and James Graham have a lot more info on them than we do.“We’ve got all the clips and videos and we can pick up little pointers here and there but the NRL lads are playing against them week in, week out so they’ll have a few things that we might not know and that can only help us.”Despite the defeat to Italy, the 2007 Super League Man of Steel believes it could turn out to be a good result for the tournament.“Obviously we wanted the win and we’re not happy that we lost,” he said. “But on a different point it could increase the excitement of the World Cup.“Hopefully it puts the image out that the World Cup is going to be a competitive competition across all teams.“You’re not just going to have your two or three teams who are ranked at the top winning every game. It’s not going to be a given that they’ll win and they’ll hopefully be a bit more variety in the results.“It’d be nice to see a few more surprises down the line which would make it more exciting for people to watch and more exciting for the Rugby League audience.“Italy beating us may even improve the game of Rugby League in Italy, you never know, it might kick-start something over there.”To purchase please visit www.rlwc2013.com/tickets or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.
ST.HELENS Chairman Eamonn McManus has urged Saints’ fans to get to Old Trafford on Saturday to get behind the team.Eamonn stated: “The fans have been incredible for us all season and have been instrumental in us winning the league in spite of our serious injury toll.“The team will be going to Old Trafford with absolute conviction and confidence despite being roundly written off as massive underdogs – and in some quarters to a degree that is quite disrespectful.“We have everything to play for and the players will be doing giving everything for our fans, our Club and our town.“Every Saints’ fan should get to Old Trafford and get fully behind the team and our coach Nathan Brown, on his last game for the Club. It’s going to be a titanic clash not to be missed. Let’s enjoy it together and with confidence.”Tickets remain on sale from the Club and via 01744 455 052. Full details are available here.
SCRUM half may not be his natural role, but Mark Flanagan has taken to it like a duck to water.The 26-year-old has switched from his more accustomed back row spot to be a pivot of Saints’ attack alongside Jordan Turner and Lance Hohaia.“Obviously I would like to play my natural role but at times like this you have to step up and do what is for the best,” he said. “I think Jordan Turner and myself have done a decent job and if we were to get the job done on Saturday then we would be the happiest people around.“Along with Lance Hohaia, we shoulder the playmaking roles, take responsibility and organise the team. I am an extra voice helping out on the field. My game stays the same too but I am also running, passing and organising.“I pride myself on my defence and I suppose if you are noted for that then you aren’t going far wrong. Things have changed a little now; I’m not a conventional scrum half but I am doing what I can for the team.”Saints have changed the way they play over recent weeks with their loss to Hull FC a real turning point in their season.“It was a tough outing but we dusted ourselves off and got to this point,” Mark continued. “Throughout the course of the season we have been consistent and you can’t finish top unless you have that.“Derbies are great occasions and to have them at Old Trafford, in a Grand Final, will be special for the people in the region. It will be a good game and there isn’t a lot between us. Whoever comes with the right pair of boots and does the business will win it.“They are a big tough side and if you stand back and watch them they will do the business. You have to get stuck into them and then, as in all ‘finals’ rugby, take your opportunities.”Tickets for the Grand Final remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park and by calling 01744 455 052.
Our game with Hull FC on Sept 14, will feature a period of reflection before the game, where names will be read aloud.Those names will also be listed on a special tribute in the matchday programme.If you have a family member, or friend, who has been a follower of St.Helens R.F.C. and has passed away in the last twelve months, then we would love to include them in this tribute.Simply email their name to our Club Chaplain, Paul Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org before 9am on Tuesday September 11 and they will be included.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you have plans to fly out of Wilmington International Airport today, check your flight status.American Airlines and Delta has canceled all flights this afternoon and tonight. American’s last flight departed a little after 11 a.m. Their first flight on Thursday will be around 10 a.m.- Advertisement – Delta’s last flight of the day is scheduled to leave around 2:40 p.m.ILM says they have been in constant communication with the National Weather Service but right now, airport staff is preparing their equipment for snow and ice removal.Their goal is to keep the airport open.Related Article: Food truck owners sue Carolina Beach over ‘unconstitutional’ ordinance“It’s always disappointing.. we certainly regret when customers can’t get to their destinations,” said ILM Deputy Director Gary Broughton.The airport urges customers to continue checking websites for updates on flights and cancellations.They also advise those flying out tomorrow to arrive at least 2 hours earlier because TSA is having mechanical repairs done, so currently TSA security is down to one lane.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington City Councilman has proposed a resolution that would keep weapons away from people considered an extreme threat. The resolution follows House Bill 976, which is also known as “The Red Flag Bill”.This bill would create provisions to ensure people in need of mental health treatment receive appropriate care and attention. It comes in response to recent acts of mass violence throughout the country. Wilmington City Council member Kevin O’Grady says the proposed resolution asks the state legislature to consider this bill in order to prevent future acts of violence.- Advertisement – “There has to be a mechanism. Dangers exist. But the guns can be taken away, and there needs to be due process, and that’s what this is. It’s very akin to a protective order,” O’Grady said.Under the legislation, people who are deemed a threat to themselves or others would not be allowed to own or purchase weapons. Individuals who feel threatened by someone can also seek immediate protective relief through the legislation. They can voice their concerns to the judiciary, who can then decide whether to confiscate the person’s weapons.11 states have already passed Red Flag laws. O’Grady says this form of an extreme protective order is just common sense. Wilmington City Council will discuss the resolution Tuesday.