Post by Colin Henderson on Apr 24, 2014 13:25:58 GMT
Thanks for the clarification Alasdair. It's good to hear you are able to carry on with reduced overheads. I have altered the title of the post to reflect that. Good luck for the future.
I also see that your manager has now issued a statement via the Law Gazette offering some further information:
"Manager Anne McNicholas confirmed to the Gazette that the service is not closing, but relocating to Irving Road near Leicester Square, sharing premises with Central London Law Centre. Its Harrow Road offices will close tomorrow. McNicholas said despite the change of address, the centre will continue to serve its local clients. It has made arrangements to see clients locally from rooms at nearby law firm Lawrence & Co and at tenant management organisation Walterton and Elgin Community Homes.
McNicholas said failure to secure lottery and charitable funding together with legal aid cuts have forced the centre to cut its staff by half over the last six years, making the current premises too large. The centre now employs four solicitors, providing advice and representation in housing, employment and welfare rights"
Paddington Law Centre is not closing down. We are vacating our current premises and moving in with Central London Law Centre in Leicester Square. We remain within the same borough and will have two satellite offices based in W9.
Like all Law Centres, we have had to make difficult decisions. Moving in together will allow us both to benefit from strength in numbers, while ensuring our clients retain a local and accessible service.
"Because our organisations deal with so many different aspects of government, civil servants work in an enormous variety of roles. We’re politically impartial. Our workforce includes people who deliver crucial services direct to the public across the UK, such as Jobcentre Plus staff and coastguards."
The code goes on to clarify....
The Civil Service supports the Government in developing and implementing its policies, and in delivering public services. This means we’re accountable to the public and need to meet the highest possible standards in all that we do. Our core values reflect this.
On 11 November 2010, the Civil Service provisions of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 came into force. The legislation places the Civil Service values on a statutory footing and includes the publication of a Civil Service Code.
The Civil Service Code, first published in 1996, sets out the core Civil Service values and the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants in upholding these values.
Integrity – putting the obligations of public service above personal interests
Honesty – being truthful and open
Objectivity – basing advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
Impartiality – acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving governments of different political parties equally well
3. What is a valid complaint under the Civil Service Code?
The Civil Service Code outlines the core values of the Civil Service: Integrity; Honesty; Objectivity; Impartiality. It describes the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants against each of these four values.
If you are asked to do something which conflicts with the values in the Code, or are aware that another civil servant is acting in conflict with the values, you should raise a concern within your own department.
If you have raised your concern within your own department you may bring a complaint to the Civil Service Commission. The Commission may also take a complaint direct. In section 8 of this Guide we outline situations where we might decide to take a complaint direct (without it being first investigated by your department).
You must be a civil servant to bring a complaint under the Civil Service Code.
The Code does not cover ‘human resources management issues’.
The Civil Service Code states that the Civil Service core values:
support good government and ensure the highest possible standards in all that the Civil Service does. This in turn helps the Civil Service to gain and retain the respect of Ministers, Parliament, the public and its customers.
The Code is concerned with the outward-facing roles of civil servants rather than their internal relations. There is therefore likely to be a public interest dimension to a concern raised under the Code.
I wonder if anyone within the Civil Service would be brave enough to make a complaint about the manner in which the DWP Press Office operates?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Apr 24, 2014 10:16:16 GMT
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
Prime Minister spoke to Christian leaders assembled in Downing Street – after listening to an unfortunately-timed rendition of ‘Ave Maria’
By Adam Witnall 10th April 2014
David Cameron has claimed divine inspiration was at work when it came to drafting a key concept for Conservative Party policy. Speaking last night at his Easter reception in Downing Street, the Prime Minister reportedly said he was simply doing God’s work when he launched the “Big Society” initiative of volunteering and civic responsibility.
“Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago,” Mr Cameron said. “I just want to see more of it.”
On the day that saw Culture Secretary Maria Miller resign over a furore about her expenses – despite repeatedly being back by the Prime Minister – Mr Cameron was said to have no comment on a singer’s choice of hymn: “Ave Maria”.
He went further than any recent prime minister in speaking publicly about his faith, according to the Daily Mail, and took the opportunity to offer his support to Britain’s Christian community.
“It is the case that Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world,” Mr Cameron said. “We should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can.”
And offering his services to help the Church keep up its commitments to Jesus’s Big Society concept, he a little bizarrely compared himself to a company that unblocks drains.
“If there are things that are stopping you from doing more, think of me as a giant Dyno-Rod,” he said.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Apr 24, 2014 10:07:11 GMT
Poverty has been rebranded as personal failure
The government absolves itself of guilt for the crisis its policies have produced by blaming disabled and poor people for their own difficulties
'The Work Programme fails over 93% of disabled people, while the sanctions system punishes them when they are ill.' Photograph: Sarah Lee
By Frances Ryan 22nd April 2014
I was struck looking at The Mirror's now famous crying, hungry child front page, not only by the poignancy of the image, but its contrast to another headline a few days earlier. A smiling woman looked out from The Daily Mail; a holiday snap of a "benefit cheat", the headline a gleeful breakdown of the thousands she had falsely claimed in disabilityallowance.
I wonder how bad things must get before a disabled face makes it to the front pages as a symbol, not of the handful of dishonest people, but of the hundreds of thousands who are now malnourished, cold and unable to pay their rent.
Disabled people in this country are twice as likely to live in poverty. The reality of having vast extra living costs or being too ill to work is not an excuse for government, but a damning indictment of its failure. The coalition government has compounded disadvantage. Policies such as the bedroom tax and council tax cuts have, almost wilfully, increased inequality. Each policy change imposed on disabled or chronically ill people has been a cut – a slash to support, or punitive, flawed hoops to jump through – dressed up as reform.
The Labour party, often all too ready to spread popular social-security propaganda, says it is ready to talk alternatives. Last year it chargedSir Bert Massie, a distinguished disability campaigner, to look at ways of breaking the links between disability and poverty and, last week, the party picked out reforming WCA as key.
It is right to choose that focus. How a society deals with disability and employment, both helping people into work and protecting those unable to work, reflects its moral core – whether it opts for evidence, fairness and support, or the current methods of inaccuracy, targets and abandonment. None of this exists in a vacuum. It is in a system that tells job-seekers to "make an effort"; where the politician responsible for work and disability is disappointed he can't, legally, make it harder for disabled and ill people to get benefits. This is a culture of suspicion and cruelty. It doesn't see health problems or people, but an underclass, feral and lazy. Why would you deserve help if you are barely human?
Poverty is different now. It's been rebranded as personal failure. We can hardly forget that as political decisions are absolved and individual choices rebuked. What did you do to get yourself into this state? What are you failing to do to get yourself out of it? The phantom work-shy now includes people too sick to get out of bed in the morning.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Apr 22, 2014 20:21:27 GMT
Despite the WCA, Atos are laughing all the way to the bank...
"the ramp-up of the PIP contract offset the revenue decrease on WCA"
A press release by Atos makes the position all too clear. Their revenue in the first quarter of 2014 has increased by 1.6% in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Recent news that Atos are leaving behind the carnage caused by thousands of Work Capability Assessments would not appear to bother them one iota. As their press release puts it.....
"In Medical BPO with DWP, the ramp-up of the PIP contract offset the revenue decrease on WCA"
The same Atos press release also makes it painfully clear that Atos aren't fleeing the WCA scene as soon as we'd all hope, they'll be around for sometime yet......
Update on the DWP Work Capability Assessment
"In March 2014, the Group reached an agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions to allow it to exit from the Work Capability Assessment contract in February 2015 at the latest instead of August 2015, with a view to a new sole provider taking responsibility for delivery.
Atos will be transferring the infrastructure and employees to the new provider and will ensure consistency of service.
Atos will continue to deliver the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments in Scotland, north of England, London and south of England and to deliver Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland."
So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth so to speak.