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07/11/13 – We Want You to Have Your Say

FaithAction's National Executive Director, Daniel Singleton, has written a new blog post, looking at the Coalition government, political issues and reforms.

"The benefits reforms were always going to be difficult. The New Labour government was unable to achieve this and found it easier to side-step the issue. However, the changes related to Universal Credit and the ‘bed room tax’, on top of a shortages of appropriate accommodation, particularly in London, seems to be creating issues which were not there previously, or at least not to the extent they soon could be."

The rest of Daniel's blog post, entitled "I'm not political, but…", can be read in our Blogs section.

 

Regional members’ Sounding Boards: we want to hear what you’ve got to say!

FaithAction will be holding regional members’ Sounding Boards over the next few months in order to find out what issues you are currently facing, where your priorities lie, and how we at FaithAction can support you and represent your experiences on a national level.

Our Midlands Sounding Board will be taking place in Birmingham on the morning of December 3rd, followed by our Together in Service grant fund briefing – more information on Together in Service will be coming soon.

To book your Sounding Board place, please email [email protected]

 

Together in Service

The Together in Service programme, run by FaithAction and the Department of Communities and Local Government launches on 21st November. We’d love to showcase the work of faith-based social action projects at the launch event, which will be held at Westminster Cathedral Hall in London.

If you’d like to show off your work, or would just like to attend the launch, please contact us at [email protected].

 

 

News

Court of Appeal Overturns Closure of Independent Living Fund

The Guardian reports that a court case brought by five disabled people to challenge the government’s decision to abolish the independent living fund has succeeded in the court of appeal, after failing in the high court in April. The ILF, which pays out money so that disabled people may employ personal assistants, was set to be abolished by 2015, but the five claimants had argued that the government had not carried out a proper consultation before deciding to close the fund. The court of appeal’s decision noted that the judges had unanimously found that the government had not carried out its duty to assess the effect of closing the fund as required by the Equality Act 2010. In a statement, the law firms representing the five claimants called the decision a victory for all disabled people, and said that any further attempts to close the fund would have “to take into account the wealth of concerns raised by disabled people and by local authorities”.

 

 

Judicial Review Planned Changes Criticised by ACEVO

Charity Times reports that the government’s proposal of reforms to the judicial review process have been criticised by ACEVO, who highlight changes that would restrict charities from lodging judicial review cases on behalf of their users. ACEVO calls judicial review an important method of ensuring public authorities follow the law in their decisions, and states that the government is ignoring its use a form of checks and balances. CEO of ACEVO Sir Stephen Bubb called the proposal ‘an un-evidenced, ideologically-driven attack on civil society’s ability to hold public authorities to account on behalf of citizens’ and that it would prevent the vulnerable and marginalised who rely on charities to represent them from receiving justice.

The statement also calls attention to a piece written by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling for the Daily Mail in September that portrayed charities’ use of judicial review as ‘left-wing dominated single-issue activism.’

 

 

Get Involved

Share – Communicate – Innovate: Community-Led Libraries Conference

Monday 18th November; Gateshead Central Library

This conference is an opportunity to learn from others and share learning about running a volunteer-led library. NCVO’s Head of Volunteering Development Alan Strickland will be speaking at the conference on ‘Getting the balance right – volunteering and job substitution’.

Local authority: £30; Voluntary sector: £20; Volunteers: £10.

To book a place, or for more information, contact Catherine Ross on 0191 478 4103 or email mailto:[email protected]

 

NHS England wants your input into public policy

The NHS wants the views of voluntary and community sector organisations in a revised‘Innovation, Health and Wealth’ IHW report, which will set out the challenges ahead for the NHS, key objectives and actions for future delivery.

Have you seen new innovative ways of delivering services introduced in your local NHS in the past two years?

What do you think is missing and should be included?

How do you feel your voice could be heard if you have an idea to help deliver new ways of working locally?

Click here to respond to the Consultation

 

Survey on Engagement in Local Health Structures

NAVCA, in its role as a Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner for Health and Care, are carrying out a survey to measure the engagement of voluntary and community organisations with local health structures, such as Clinical Commissioning Groups and Healthwatch.

The results of the survey will be used in a report on the representation of voluntary and community organisations in the health system, which will be shared with the Department of Health, NHS England and the NHS Commissioning Board.

To take part in the survey, please click here.

 

Survey on Awareness of Health Issues for Offenders

Clinks are running a survey aimed at organisations that work primarily in health and/or care to gauge how much they understand the specific needs and challenges that come with working with offenders and the criminal justice system.

If you work in health and/or care, and would like to take part in the survey, please click here.

 

Resources

Public Health England have made available a mountain of data on the health profiles of different areas of England, covering areas including cancer, mental health, long-term conditions, and maternal health.

 

Public Health England have released a leaflet, Keep Warm Keep Well, that contains advice for staying well in the cold months, including financial help, heating and flu jabs.

 

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have released a resource pack on reducing loneliness in neighbourhoods and community.