Labour has pledged to “transform” the social security system and to set out a bill to repeal cuts to disabled people’s benefits within a year, in one of the headline measures of a mini-manifesto devoted solely to disability issues.The document, Nothing About You, Without You, was launched last weekend in Manchester, and expands on policies laid out in the party’s main election manifesto, as well as including some new pledges*.One of these is a promise to develop a network of “independent living hubs”, which would “be run by disabled people, foster independence, facilitate peer or advocacy support” and provide practical support.This mirrors the pledge made by the Labour government in its Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People report in 2005, which called for every area to have “a user-led organisation modelled on existing CILs [centres for independent living]”.The party has told Disability News Service (DNS) that it will ensure local authorities have the resources to create these hubs, although decisions on whether to set them up will be made locally. There is also a promise to halve the disability employment gap, a pledge originally made by the Conservative party in 2015 but now dropped from its latest manifesto after the government made little or no progress towards achieving the target over the last two years.Labour has so far declined to say how long it would take to halve the gap, other than “as soon as possible”.The disability manifesto also says that local public sector or voluntary organisations would carry out the new “personalised, holistic” assessments that it previously announced would replace the heavily-criticised work capability assessment and personal independence payment (PIP) assessment.Labour’s disability manifesto is the product of a series of disability equality roadshows held across the country over the last six months, a process headed by the shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams, with the party stressing that it has been produced “with and for disabled people”.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) said disabled people had been “demonised and dehumanised by the Conservative’s devastating cuts and a social security system which punishes, rather than supports, disabled people”.He said: “Labour will ensure that disabled people and people with mental health conditions have access to the support they need and will work with disabled people to build an inclusive society, where no one is held back from fulfilling their potential and realising their aspirations.”Much of the document is devoted to attacking the record of the Conservatives in government over the last seven years, while there are few details about the policies Labour is proposing.One such example is its pledge to “build more accessible and disabled-friendly new homes” as part of a commitment to build 100,000 new affordable homes every year.When DNS asked what proportion of these homes would be built to Lifetime Homes standard and how many would be wheelchair-accessible, the party said this would be “needs-led”, although a Labour government would make funding available for councils to “assess and fully meet local needs”.Despite the lack of detail in the disability manifesto, there are many statements of principle – and some firm policies – that are likely to attract disabled voters.The document pledges to deliver an education strategy that is “inclusive”, and says a Labour government would replace the current assessment for the new education, health and care plans – introduced under the coalition government’s Children and Families Act 2014 – an eligibility test that Labour says is being used to restrict support to “all but those with the most severe needs”.The disability manifesto also promises to “change the culture of the social security system, from one that demonises sick and disabled people to one that is supportive and enabling” and is “efficient, responsive, and provides basic support”.It also promises “stronger laws and proper enforcement of the Equality Act” to protect disabled people from discrimination at work and when applying for jobs, and says there will be a new right to flexible working for “employees with an impairment or chronic condition”.There is a pledge to ensure university courses are accessible to disabled students, “including through scrapping tuition fees, [and providing] course support and support for living costs” – although there is no mention of whether a Labour government would reverse Tory cuts to disabled students’ allowance – and another to increase the number of disabled apprentices.And there is a pledge to provide “seed corn funding” to develop local organisations offering “supportive” employment for disabled people who cannot participate in mainstream work.It says that an example of the kind of enterprises that might benefit is Enabled Works, in Leeds, a workers’ co-operative that was set up following the closure of the Leeds and Pontefract Remploy factories.On public transport, the disability manifesto promises to stop the expansion of driver-only operated trains, because “guards are essential for allowing disabled passengers access to trains”, while Labour will reverse the cut to the funding of the Access to All rail station access improvement programme, first revealed by Disability News Service last year.There is also a promise to “open up democracy” to disabled people, by ensuring that the party’s own disabled members can “participate fully in all local party activities, and that there is a fair and accessible selection process for all candidates for local, regional and national levels of political office”.The disability manifesto pledges to make “reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates in recognition of the additional costs that they face”.But there is no mention of reopening the Access to Elected Office Fund, which provided funding for the extra costs faced by disabled candidates seeking election to parliament and local councils, and was closed by the Conservative government after the 2015 election.*One of the only analyses of Labour’s disability manifesto to be published so far, by disabled activist David Gillon, can be found here
HAVE you signed up for 2014?Luke Walsh, Richard Beaumont, Kyle Amor, Matty Dawson and big Mose Masoe have.And there’s still time to join them and take advantage of the great Early Bird offers before the December 24 deadline.Our Early Bird Junior Season Tickets are priced the same as 2006 prices – starting from the equivalent of just £4.25 per match.Early Bird Adult tickets save £58 on matchday tickets and that is nearly three games free!Season Ticket Holders guarantee their spot for the year and can also take advantage of 10 per cent off items in the Superstore as well as priority availability for cup and play-off games.You can also save £15 on the 2014 home and away shirt if you buy them together.And, throughout the stadium new purchasers can look forward to saving nearly 10% off the full price Season Ticket.To find out more click here.If you want to use our interactive seat picker to find out what is available in the Totally Wicked North and Solarking South Stands click here and select Season Tickets.Fans can buy their season tickets at the link above, at the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by calling 01744 455 052.Be part of it and be the heartbeat – #saintsheartbeat
SAINTS completed their third win over the Tigers this season with a comprehensive 52-6 display at a rain soaked Langtree Park, writes Graham Henthorne.Three tries in the opening quarter of an hour put the writing on the wall for the visitors and three further four pointers later in the half put the game beyond the Tigers.Morgan Knowles, enjoying life in the second row for a change got the scoring under way in the fifth minute taking advantage of a bizarre gift pass from the Tigers full back who literally handed the ball to him 10 metres out from the line.A massive defensive effort had kept the Tigers pinned in their own end prior to this try and this was the story of the day for the visitors who had to resort to increasingly novel ways to get away from their own line due to the punishing defence of the Saints.A huge 40/20 kick from Danny Richardson, which actually went into touch on the Tigers 1 metre line, eventually resulted in a try for Aaron Smith as the hooker darted over at the side of the posts.In contrast to the visitors the Saints, led from the front by Captain Joe Ryan, were finding it easy to make ground down the middle of the field. Runs from Ross McCauley and Levy Nzoungou put the Saints on the Tigers line and a great miss pass from Ricky Bailey gave Dave Eccleston an easy touch down in the right corner.He got his second after a scrum on the visitors’ 40 metre line. The ball was spread right, Matty Costello poked his nose through the line then passed it out to give his winger space to round his opposite number for the score.Bailey (pictured against Warrington) got just reward for his support play as he took Richardson’s inside ball to go over at the posts to put the Saints 28 points to the good after a similar amount of time.The Tigers then brought the Saints back down to earth with a long range try. A chip over the defensive line on tackle 2 was taken by the left winger who rounded Eccleston on his way to the line.The “comeback” was short-lived, however, as Knowles scored his second at the break. Ryan’s fabulous offload was taken on the burst by Richardson who gave Knowles a clear run to the line as the second row ran a great inside cross over line wrong footing the defence.The opening of the second half was greeted with a torrential downpour which affected handling and restricted any thoughts of expansive play.Jonah Cunningham scored a trademark try plunging low at dummy half to get the scoring under way in the second period with his hooking partner Smith going in for his brace with a similar effort on his re-introduction.Regan Grace rounded off the scoring and the match with his customary try in the corner benefiting from quick hands from Bailey and Calvin Wellington.Next week’s trip to play Hull FC will present the Saints with a much sterner task than was faced today in the form of the Tigers as they look to gain revenge for the Saints two earlier victories.Phil Atherton and Chris Worrall did well off the bench assisting Ryan down the middle with Richardson and Fairclough moving the team around the field well.Match Summary:Saints U19s:Tries: Morgan Knowles 2 (5, 38), Aaron Smith 2 (10, 64), Dave Eccleston 2 (14, 24), Ricky Bailey (29), Jonah Cunningham (53), Regan Grace (78).Goals: Danny Richardson 8.Castleford U19s:Tries: Declan Sheehan (34).Goals: Kieran Gill.Half Time: 34-6 Full Time: 52-6Teams:Saints:18. Ricky Bailey; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Matty Costello, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Ross McCauley, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Levy Nzoungou, 11. Olly Davies, 13. Morgan Knowles, 21. Joe Ryan.Subs: 15. Chris Worrall, 16. Ben Morris, 20. Jonah Cunningham, 23. Phil Atherton.Castleford:1. Ash Robson; 5. Pat Diskin, 3. Russ Barton, 4. Kieran Gill, 2. Declan Sheehan; 6. Luke Adamson, 7. Tom Holmes; 8. Rory Dickson, 9. Brandon Moore, 10. Will Maher, 19. Will Plimmer, 12. Brandon Pickup, 13. Connor Fitzsimons.Subs: 14. Luke Million, 15. Connor Hughes, 16. Brandon Douglas, 18. Davey Dixon.
COMING to the game on Friday?We’re looking for the best fan created banners at Langtree Park!We want to create a cauldron of noise – and a sea of red and white – for our World Club Series clash with the Roosters.So get creative… the best banner will receive a special prize!We will reveal the winner next week on @saints1890