Archive for September 14th, 2011

Anger as Welfare Reform Bill debate ‘squirreled away’ from public scrutiny

14 September 2011


Peers agreed today to a Government plan to hold the committee stage of the controversial Welfare Reform Bill away from the main chamber of the House of Lords, despite strong opposition from Labour.
Government chief whip Baroness Anelay of St Johns argued that the next stage of the Bill should be debated in a committee room and peers accepted the plan by 263 votes to 211, majority 52.
Decisions on where committee stages are held are almost invariably taken in private between the parties, making today’s vote extremely unusual.
But today both sides blamed each other for the breakdown of negotiations.

Anger as Welfare Reform Bill debate ‘squirreled away’ from public scrutiny » Housing »



14 September 2011

Wednesday, 14 September 2011



After an incredibly constructive debate yesterday in the House Of Lords the government appear to be concerned about how many Lords had significant concerns about the Welfare Reform Bill, even those Lords who in principle supported the bill had major questions they wanted answers to.

For a bill of this size and importance, convention dictates that the next stage of the bill should be kept in the main chamber of the House of Lords for debate. It’s particularly important the bill be continued to be debated in the main chamber as disability access to the smaller committee rooms is very limited and people will not be able to access the committee rooms to exercise their democratic right to observe the passge of the bill from the public chamber.

At 3.30pm today the govermnent are tabling a motion to move the grand committee stage of the bill into one of the smaller committee rooms. Presumably the government are hoping that by moving a bill into the committee rooms it will be harder to scrutinise – there won’t be enough space in any of the committee rooms to allow for all the Lords to participate, let alone for us to scrutinise online or attend in person.

This is an outrage – the government are clearly concerned by the level of queries and opposition to the Welfare Reform Bill highlighted by yesterday’s debate and wish to quietly sideline it to a committee room where they hope it will pass with less opposition. Tabling the motion for the afternoon following PMQ’s is also an underhand trick as it means it will be harder for us to object through the main stream media.

This is our call to arms. This bill affects us, our families and every aspect of our lives, as well as the lives of those currently paying into the system in anticipation of protection should they require it. If we can make enough noise in the next few hours the government will be forced to keep the passage of the bill in the main chamber of the house of lords where it can be effectively and appropriately scrutinised by all.

What you can do to help is this;

Please post copies of this blog onto your facebook, your twitter, stumbleupon, wikio etc. Please email it to everyone you know, please talk about this on your own blogs. Email or phone your MP to register your objections, email or phone the house of lords to explain your concerns, email or phone the media, local or national and explain that whether or not people are in favour of this bill, that it is a fundamental democratic right to have it debated in the main chamber of the house of lords where there is space for all who wish to attend and observe. Highlight the injustice and hypocrisy of the governments behaviour in trying to sideline this important bill into a room too small for all the Lords to attend and certainly too small to allow those in wheelchairs, or with guide dogs, the very people most affected by this bill to be able to observe from the public gallery.

If we make enough noise before 3.30pm today the government will have to drop this underhand tactic and the Bill will continue to be debated in the main chamber of the House of Lords where everyone who wishes to can attend and observe.

Welfare reform Bill – House of Lords –

14 September 2011

Tuesday 13th sept 2011 witnessed the 2nd reading of this Bill – House of Lords.

Transcript from Hansard can be found here

Also available on Theyworkforyou websiteannotations can be added on right hand side relating to each speech made.

23 references made to carersdetails here

CQC has ‘distorted’ its priorities

14 September 2011


The regulator in charge of inspecting hospitals and care homes has "distorted" its priorities by focusing on registering providers, according to a report from MPs.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) was given the function of registering providers of health and social care but this has led to around a 70% drop in the number of inspections to check care standards and safety.

Some 6,840 site visits to providers were undertaken in the six months between October 2009 and end of March 2010, but only 2,008 were carried out in the same six-month period in 2010/11 – a 70% drop.

The Press Association: CQC has ‘distorted’ its priorities

Demos: Shocking impact of local cuts on disabled people revealed

14 September 2011


New report exposes success and failure of councils to cope

Research published by think tank Demos exposes the impact that local budget cuts are having on disabled people and indicates that some councils are making cuts to disabled people’s services without knowledge of the number or needs of people in their area.

Funded by disability charity Scope, the research describes the role that councils can play if they want to protect front-line services.

Demos: Shocking impact of local cuts on disabled people revealed | Disability Charity | Scope UK

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