DWP’s decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund overturned

Demonstrating the robustness of the Equality Act 2010; a useful piece of legislation where other law fails to protect.

Benefit tales

The Court of Appeal, in Bracking and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions found that the Department of Work and Pensions’ (“DWP”) decision to close the Independent Living Fund was not lawful, overturning the High Court’s decision of April 2013.

This successful judicial review is a useful and interesting demonstration of how strictly the courts will consider whether or not a public body has complied with its Public Sector Equality Duties (“PSED”) imposed by the Equality Act 2010 (“EA 2010”).  There must be hard evidence that the decision maker has fully complied with the requirements contained in the legislation, specifically the duties under Section 149 in relation to advancing equality of opportunity for those who share a relevant protected characteristic.

Read the details of this court decision here:  http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=fb37d01b-56cf-4a04-8d8c-f9098b2666dd

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“Map Of The Internet” Creator Martin Vargic Does New World “Map Of Stereotypes”

What a brilliant idea!

YouViewed/Editorial

Artist Swaps The Names Of Cities And Towns Around The World With 1,800 Cultural Slurs To Create ‘Map Of The Stereotypes’

'The Map of the Stereotypes': Slovak graphic design artist Martin Vargic has re-imagined the world according to cultural slurs, assumptions and stereotypes, with obvious choices like China becoming 'Factory', Australia 'Kangaroo' and Italy 'Pizza', as well more questionable ones, such as Spain as 'Pubes' and Canada 'Maple Syrup'<br>

Click On The Map To Go Full Size

” Everything you need to know about the world is right here, according to graphic design artist Martin Vargic.
The Slovak student, who made a name for himself earlier this year with his ‘Map of the Internet’, has followed up that effort with ‘Map of the Stereotypes’, a detailed reworking of countries, cities and towns the world over to reflect the countless cultural generalizations and assumptions.”

Map Of Slurs America

Click On The Map To Go Full Size
 
 
 
 

” Vargic took three months to configure the vintage-style base world map on Photoshop, with two additional months of research for the labels, for which there are said to be 1,800 in total.

‘ The majority of stereotypes are basically oversimplications, and though…

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Low pay in employment

Lifelong Learning Matters

Better paid and educated workers are better for the economy and inequality comes with many costs.

Five million UK workers are employed in low-paid jobs and the largest group feeling poverty is made up of families with at least one adult in paid work. Official figures miss out the most exploited workers, who include immigrants, young people and women, working illegally in the ‘underground’ economy.

Most people trapped by in-work poverty have not gone on to better paid jobs in the last ten years but some have been successful and there are good examples of effective workplace learning. These include Unionlearn initiatives and projects such as the longstanding ‘Return to Learn’ programme run by the Workers’ Educational Association and Unison.

Technology and globalisation is altering the labour market so much that planning for current job roles is short-sighted. Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates, has said that, “Technology over time will reduce…

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Independent Birmingham (Believe in Birmingham)

Excellent to see the independents flourishing in the Second City. As it happens I’m just off to Brewsmith’s …

veggiefoodie

Birmingham is thriving as a city of independent businesses. It is quite easy to believe the opposite looking around the Bull Ring and the high street. More and more independents, shops, cafe’s and restaurants are now thriving in and around the city centre.

Independent Birmingham is the flag waving movement and website of all things independent in Birmingham.

IB as it known is dedicated to unearthing the very best of Birmingham’s hidden gems and best kept secrets with the aim of encouraging people to re-discover the city we love.

The ethos of supporting businesses with a local leaning and conscience is superb in my opinion, some of the best places to go in Birmingham City Centre and its neighbourhoods are independent and offer friendliness and a uniqueness that chains don’t provide.

Independent Birmingham provide a year long membership card for £15 providing discounts and deals in signed up shops, bars…

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Where would power lie in the local school system under Labour? An initial response to the Blunkett Review

Birmingham Campaign For State Education

Update:There is now an addendum to this post on the subject of Community Trusts here

On 30 April 2014 the Labour Party published a Review of education structures, functions and the raising of standards for all: Putting Students and Parents First, known for short as the Blunkett Review. On the same date it also published an internal PLP Briefing on the Review: Blunkett Report into school standards: local oversight, challenge and support for all schools. The Review includes a number of issues which are not dealt with in this response, which focuses on the roles of the Director for School Standards, the schools, local authorities and parents and the wider community.

Both documents are quoted in this initial response – quotes are in italics and page numbers refer to the Review unless they stipulate the PLP Briefing. Neither document is paginated so page numbers refer to those…

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The 6 crises in the Birmingham school system

Birmingham Campaign For State Education

The Birmingham school system faces not one but six separate but inter-related crises which together put at risk community relations in the city, the governance and accountability of schools, the professional entitlements of school staff, the education of children and young people, especially Muslims, and the survival of the local authority itself.

1. Islamophobia

The reporting of the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations in much of the press, including the Telegraph and the Birmingham Mail, using phrases like ‘Jihadist plot’, has had the effect of stirring up anti-Muslim feeling. This has been reinforced by the provocative appointment by Gove of Peter Clarke, the ex-head of the Met’s counter-terrorism unit, to lead his inquiry – linking Islam in Birmingham schools to terrorism. All of this is immensely damaging to the Muslim community in the city and to ‘race relations’ in the city as a whole, and should be strongly opposed.

2. Alleged…

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Cafe Opus ‘Meat Free Monday’s

This looks very good to me, certainly I was unaware of the existence of Cafe Opus before reading this blog. It is good that quality vegetarian cuisine that is more than just an afterthought is easier to come by these days.

veggiefoodie

Oh how I love Opus Restaurant in the Colmore Business District part of Birmingham City Centre. I’ve always felt that this superb restaurant is a vegetarian’s friend. They delight in their ingredients and are serious about sourcing their fruit and vegetables locally. Market fresh, the humble vegetable becomes exalted with the respect and balanced flavours they deserve. How lucky we are!

So, to be invited by Opus Restaurant’s little sister Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place to sample their ‘Meat Free Monday weekly changing supper menu was a delight myself and my wife couldn’t turn down.

Now that’s an idea I like, no meat on a Monday, even a Tuesday or a Wednesday, well you get my drift! Meat Free Monday’s are a superb idea (see previous posting) to encourage people to reduce their meat intake for one day a week, a Monday no less, a good…

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