Category Archives: Disabled

Jersey to introduce £15 bus pass scheme for disabled

Jersey Bus Services

DISABLED Islanders who cannot drive are to be offered a concessionary bus pass under a pilot scheme that is due to be launched early next year.

After the States voted unanimously in February to provide the passes to people with long-term disabilities, Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel yesterday announced his department was due to test the scheme.

Funding of £600,000 for the initiative is due to come from the Car Park Trading Fund, subject to approval of the Medium Term Financial Plan 2 – the next phase of the States’ spending strategy.

The pilot scheme is due to run from early next year until the end of 2019, with further details due to be released once funding has been finalised later this year and under the initiative Islanders will pay £15 for the card, which will entitle them to free bus travel.


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Despicable drive-by thief steals disability ramp

A despicable drive-by thief stole a disabled woman’s portable ramp in Cambridge – in less than 60 seconds.

Richard Seed, 58, of The Westering, dropped off his disabled wife Penny, 49, at Abbey Pools to go to the gym for her first day of physical rehabilitation after diabetes meant she cannot walk more than a few feet.

He put the ramp back in the boot of his car and drove along Pool Way in Abbey ward. He turned right on to Newmarket Road heading towards his home near Cambridge Airport at about noon on Friday.

It was while passing the area near Ivett & Reed stonemasons and Peasgood & Skeates Funeral Directors, just before the roundabout at McDonald’s fast food eatery, that the £300 ramp fell from the boot of the vehicle.

Mr Seed carried on a few yards and turned at the roundabout to return to pick up the ramp – which is bright red steel with a handle.

The turn took Mr Seed between 30-60 seconds to complete but when he reached the spot where the ramp had fallen, it had already gone and was nowhere to be seen.

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How can we reconcile reducing public spending whilst lowering Inheritance Tax at a cost of £1bn per year

Last July the Chancellor made changes to inheritance tax

His intention to lift all but the wealthiest homeowners out of inheritance tax was first revealed when sensitive Treasury papers were leaked to the Guardian before the last budget, which concluded that it would “most likely benefit high income and wealthier households”.

The changes are estimated to cost the Exchequer about £1bn per year.

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Our comment:It is difficult to reconcile the fact that so few lower income people will benefit from the inheritance tax changes and so many people with lower incomes, including disabled people will stand to lose from expenditure cuts.

Pensioners launch class action lawsuit re ‘price fixing’ on mobility scooters

Pensioners angry at ‘price fixing’ on mobility scooters launch the UK’s first class action lawsuit that could open the floodgates for campaigning consumers

  • National Pensioners Convention alleges Pride breached competition law
  • NPC said Pride banned retailers from advertising online prices below RRP
  • Lawyers say case could be worth £7.7m and represent watershed moment
  • Pride said it is not aware of evidence that consumers have suffered loss

A pensioners’ group is suing a mobility scooter company for alleged price-fixing in what is believed to be the UK’s first ‘class action’ law suit.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) alleges Pride, the market leader in the UK’s mobility scooter sector, breached competition law by banning online retailers from selling scooters below the recommended retail price.

Lawyers believe the case could be worth nearly £8m and represents a watershed moment for consumers.


Funding has been scrapped for social care for 12,415 blind or partially sighted pensioners, report reveals

Improving later life for people with sight loss

Funding has been scrapped for social care for 12,415 blind or partially sighted pensioners, a report reveals.

It means those who rely on help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, cooking, cleaning, washing, dressing and eating could be left to their own devices.

A joint investigation by Age UK and the Royal National Institute of Blind People found poverty-stricken over-65s had been ­disproportionately affected by the loss of ­public services due to cuts.

Around half of all blind and partially sighted older people live alone.

Read more: Our forgotten army of carers need a boost if we want to help elderly and vulnerable people

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “That so many blind or partially sighted older people who need social care aren’t getting is profoundly shocking.

“Losing our sight is something many of us fear the most, and the idea of struggling alone without social care assistance in such circumstances seems appalling in a civilised society.”

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Fines handed out to people for fraudulently using blue badges

Hundreds of pounds in fines were handed out in court yesterday to people fraudulently using ‘blue badges’ registered to dead and disabled relatives.

A crackdown on blue badge fraud was carried out by Waltham Forest Council in February of this year to catch people parking in disabled bays around Waltham Forest.

A council employee was amongst those prosecuted at Thames Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Shaiela Malik of Ramsey Road in Forest Gate, was charged with misuse of the badge after parking her car in a disabled bay at Walthamstow Town Hall where she was employed by the council.

A letter was read out in mitigation for Miss Malik who is a carer for her mother, whose badge she had used. She wrote to the court to explain that she was leave at the time of the contravention due to her uncle’s death, but had gone into the office.

“My mum has been in a wheelchair since 1995.

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England’s visually impaired team get ready to challenge for next month’s Blind World Cup.

BIRKENHEAD’S Ian Martin insists the only way is up for disabled cricket as England’s visually impaired team get ready to challenge for next month’s Blind World Cup.

Martin, head of disability cricket at the English Cricket Board, is adamant that England are leading the way with the infrastructure they have in place for success, writes Marios Papaloizou.

However the 44-year-old is not about to put any pressure on the 17-man side heading to South Africa for November’s Blind World Cup, England kicking things off against Sri Lanka on November 27 in Capetown.

With the likes of India and Pakistan to overcome England will face stiff competition to take the top prize for the first time in their history.

But for Martin the most important thing is that the team perform to the best of their abilities, and if they do that then they will be in with a shout of silverware.

He said: “What we look to do with all our squads is for our guys to be as best prepared as they can be and to perform to their potential.

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Bus passes for disabled under threat in Southampton

Disability campaigners are a step closer to overturning a controversial city council scheme to axe disabled bus passes.

Protesters and wheelchair users celebrated outside Southampton Civic Centre after council chiefs promised to “look again” at the plans.

More than 400 disabled residents have been stripped of their concessionary passes since the council slashed the service last year.

A further 800 will expire at the end of the year – while 400 people will fail to qualify for the national bus pass, leaving them forced to pay for their own travel.

Protesters – who are considering legal action – claim this will leave many elderly and wheelchair users, already squeezed by the cuts, stranded in their homes and unable to get to visit shops, doctors’ surgeries, friends and family.

Last night council transport leader Councillor Jacqui Rayment promised the authority would review the scheme.

Her pledge made at yesterday’s full council meeting followed a mass demonstration held outside the civic centre.

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NEW yacht is up for grabs in a charity raffle.

A NEW yacht that touched water for the first time at Bayview Marina yesterday is up for grabs in a charity raffle.

Christened Amazing Grace, the 34-foot Hanse yacht is valued at $261,900.

Amazing Grace arrives at Bayview Marina .

Amazing Grace arrives at Bayview Marina .

It will be raffled for charity Sailors With Disabilities at $100 a ticket.

Sailors With Disabilities uses sailing to build confidence and self-esteem of participants with disability while learning the thrill and freedom of sailing in a team.

The raffle is being arranged by Bayview company Windcraft, which previously raffled a yacht for children’s hospice Bear Cottage.

Hanse brand manager Mary Bickle said Amazing Grace was named after sailor Grace Kennedy, who crewed on a yacht in the Sydney To Hobart race despite being confined to a wheelchair.

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Disability genes to be probed by Welsh scientists

Cardiff University experts will look at faulty genes underpinning the learning disabilities that can go hand in hand with challenging behaviours and adult mental health problems
Welsh scientists are to probe why children with learning disabilities often end up with behavioural problems and troubled mental health in adolescence and adulthood.

Experts from Cardiff University will look at faulty genes underpinning the learning disabilities that can go hand in hand with challenging behaviours and adult mental health problems.

Professor Jeremy Hall, from Cardiff University’s MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, and scientists from Cambridge University and the University College London, hope to recruit 10,000 people to the study.

Professor Hall said understanding the link to faulty genes would see parents given more information and better prepare them for the future challenges they face.

The research also offers hope more effective treatments will be developed. Experiments on mice with Rett syndrome – a developmental disorder that almost always affects girls – have reversed the condition after treatment on the problem gene.

Professor Hall said: “There are an estimated 1.5 million people with intellectual disabilities in the UK and a significant number of them are children under 18 years of age.

“Whilst we know intellectual disability can be caused by events such as extreme premature birth, birth injury or brain infections, research has found that minor chromosomal anomalies – known as copy number variations (CNV) – are strongly associated with children with an intellectual disability.”

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England Physical Disability cricket squad just miss out

England’s Physical Disability squad

England’s Physical Disability squad

BROMSGROVE cricketer Sam Wyles couldn’t inspire his country to victory in Dubai last month – but he knows they should have returned to England with some silverware.

England’s Physical Disability squad embarked on their second ever international tour as they once again took on Pakistan in T20 and ODI series’ in the UAE.

After winning just one game on their maiden trip in February 2012, England slipped to narrow 2-1 defeats in each series but Wyles believes they were the better side.
The experienced Pakistan outfit were able to grind out the results after England pulled it back to 1-1 in each but Wyles insists, with six first-time tourists in the squad, there’s plenty to be excited about.

“Obviously the results didn’t go our way but everyone stuck together,” said the 24-year-old, who plays his club cricket for Wythall.

“I think it was very similar to last time. Last time we got ourselves into good positions and lost the crucial moments and it was the same this time.

“We probably won 60 or 70 per cent of the games but let ourselves down at crucial times. It is just about keeping our heads and composure when the tough part of the game starts.
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Portsmouth council criticised for scrapping bus tokens for disabled passengers

CAMPAIGNERS have criticised Portsmouth City Council’s decision to stop handing out travel tokens to the disabled.

The move, which comes into force next year, will affect around 3,000 vulnerable residents in the Portsmouth area who use them to get around by taxi or other means of transport except a bus.

While they’re still entitled to a free bus pass, many are claiming that isn’t good enough because services aren’t frequent enough and they don’t live close to a bus stop.

As previously reported, it’s part of the local authority’s decision to save £10m across all its services next year.

The allocation of travel tokens was part of the council’s traffic and transport portfolio, and removing it will save £148,500.

Muriel Deacon, president of the Portsmouth Pensioners’ Association, which campaigns for the rights of the elderly, said she felt devastated for those who will be affected.

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