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Thursday, 23 July 2020

Response to Rosi Sexton's bid to become Green Party Leader

An Hereford & South Hereford Green Party colleague has been the only Green Party of England & Wales member to draw my attention to Rosi Sexton's candidacy as prospective Green Party Leader.

Here is a long interview with Rosi Sexton, followed by a much shorter campaign video from Rosi.





I shall outline below a few points and include this posting's link reference as comment in the 'comment space' on Rosi's interview video.The early August deadline for voting in Green Party Executive Elections is fast approaching, and I can edit the below in the meantime.

Response to Rosi from Alan Wheatley


Hi, Rosi I have reached about the 47 minute mark in this video, and while I intend to get back to it later want to input a few points here.

Green Party in relation to Labour Party and 'Socialism'

One is that while I have been a Green Party of England & Wales (GPEW) member now since late 2005, I have also been a member of Green Left for almost the same length of time. Green Left members generally describe ourselves as 'eco-socialists' rather than 'socialists'.

Internal barriers to Green Party standing for inclusion

Another point is to ask you how you feel GPEW can be more inclusive in its internal workings? My previous experience experience as alternatively a GPEW Spokesperson on issues such as Disability, Social Security and Social Care is that it does not do nearly enough to address disability equality issues internally, and has becoming far too centralised and 'single issue' in its messaging under the 'Leadership' vs 'Principal Spokespersons' system.

Such lack of support for disabled volunteers tends to contribute to the 'twee' image and corporate mindset of GPEW. Advocate of neoliberal, workfarist welfare reforms David Freud -- now Lord Freud -- used portrayals of Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill as exemplary 'disabled people as achievers who don't stand in their own way'. Yet income and social class are major factors in turning an impairment into a disability.

A Hereford & South Herefordshire Green Party colleague has drawn my attention to your leadership candidacy in terms of boosting inclusion/inclusivity and portraying GPEW as 'more than a single issue' party.

'Target to Win' electioneering in relation to street campaigning


Re 'Target to Win', my experience is that its advocates generally take their authority from 'focus groups' and oppose 'meet the public' street stalls. Green Party outlook on Target to Win, as someone else has argued, has changed from being a 'method' to a 'philosophy'.

But I am beginning to like what you say about working with it.

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group, by contrast to those who oppose street stalls, has grown and taken people on board through use of street stalls. We stood outside jobcentres and disability benefit assessment centres with loudhailer and placards as icebreakers for contact with a 'hard to reach group' where they felt most vulnerable, and they came to our meetings for support.

'Scientific method' vs Complementary Medicine and pro-compulsory vaccination?

You advocate 'scientific method', but that is too often used to 'debunk' complementary medicine -- including homoeopathy -- that has benefited me. Would your advocacy of 'scientific method' also make vaccination mandatory? 

You support nuclear power? I don't!


Though I will append further detail on my background, I close here with regard to my strongest objection to what I've heard about you, which is that you support nuclear power.

I believe that the dangers imposed by existing nuclear waste and the capital-intensive nature of nuclear power would prove intolerable burdens on society as things are.

I look forward to your feedback on the above.

Something of my background

I believe it takes all sorts to make Green Party of England & Wales truly inclusive, and so here is a little about me and my background.

For most of my time in GPEW I was a Londoner -- before moving to Hereford in 2017 --- and got to know Shahrar Ali (your opponent for Leader of Green Party role) quite well through campaigning together against the centralisation of GPEW that was heralded by the shift from 'Principal Spokespersons' to 'Leaders/Co-leaders', and also through his involvement in lobbying for and then his proofreading the Green Party to Labour's 2008 'welfare reform' green paper that Anne Gray of Haringey Green Party co-wrote.

I was a GPEW Spokesperson on Disability and then got that reframed to spokespersonships on Social Care and Social Security, through liasing with Policy Co-ordinators.

I found that GPEW had a shortfall on supporting disability access, and I could not address 'disability issues' sufficiently because of my own slow productivity compounded by my feeling that it would be hypocritical for me to speak out for the Green Party while it had issues to deal with itself about disability equality at Green Party HQ, for example.

My background has been as a disabled jobseeker, consistently lacking bargaining power against an increasingly cruel system that fails to implement the Social Model of Disability, and thus I respect the incisiveness you can put in from your council Social Care background. I have also been a member of Social Work Action Network (SWAN), and a supporter of Carer Watch, as well as activist-led Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group.

SWAN campaigns against the 'marketisation and managerialism' that began to take hold in social care under New Labour and brings together social work academics, students, practitioners and service users.Notably, SWAN countered Michael Gove's comments about Social Work training loading Social Work graduates with a load of idealistic left wing dogma about social inequality. That was when Gove was Secretary of State for Education, Children & Families in 2013. Later as Justice Secretary, he went on to making the courts even more unfair.

Since then things have got much worse, and the Department for Work & Pensions harasses vulnerable people to death through its disability benefit assessment retesting regime, despite coroners' pleas. Current Green Party Co-Leader and Spokesperson on Work & Pensions has spoken out about much of this in his Twitter feed so I've been told, and in the presence of John Pring of Disability News Service, but why is there a dearth of reference to it on the Green Party of England & Wales website?

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Alan's brother Mark going red for babies charity Tommy's

Mark Wheatley writes:

Hi,

[On Saturday 4th of July], my friend James Clark and I are going to get ‘Shorn On the 4th July‘ for Tommy’s - a charity which helps to save babies lives ( www.tommys.org ).

James is going to sacrifice his marvellous beard and I am going to lose the ‘mop top’ which grew through lockdown via a full head shave from my twelve year old daughter. 

To add a little to my humiliation, my daughter - whose views on the world are more progressive than mine - also suggested dyeing the hair beforehand. 

So, at the moment I am Red (as you can see below). 

As you might imagine, this is an unusual feeling - possibly as surprising and unsettling for some of you as it is for me (sorry LibDems, I tried for Gold but lost that vote).

Might you ease my discomfort and help a good cause?

Image.jpeg

My target is looking achievable but if I can get to, or surpass, £1,250 there is the possibility of a full match funding of that amount to really deliver a good result for Tommy’s.
All donations are going to a great cause and will be massively appreciated!
My fundraising page is: https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.justgiving.com%2Ffundraising%2Fmark-wheatley13%3Futm_source%3DSharethis%26utm_medium%3Dfundraising%26utm_content%3Dmark-wheatley13%26utm_campaign%3Dpfp-email%26utm_term%3D8f975ad9a6d94dd9899e1199eb5f7eab&data=01%7C01%7C%7C7912462334e24c630c9608d81f423776%7C9fe658cdb3cd405685193222ffa96be8%7C1&sdata=7t1zHNWWysjELqfBiu4XRo0uUXtaCDURZ%2BHW3VBxv0c%3D&reserved=0.
I hope that you enjoy the rest of the day and a lovely weekend.
Thank you for considering this approach and very best wishes, in solidarity,
Mark Wheatley

Alan wishes Mark — and Tommy's — all the best through his encounter with Miri Scissors Hands.

Liberty petition against the Coronavirus Act

From: Martha Spurrier, Liberty <comms@liberty-human-rights.org.uk>Sent: 03 July 2020 14:53To: Subject: Scrap the Coronavirus Act
Dear _______
This weekend the lockdown is easing in most of England.
But while the end might appear to be in sight, the lockdown of our rights and freedoms has no firm time limit.
Exactly 100 days ago, the Government passed legislation – the Coronavirus Act – that was the most drastic reimagining of our civil liberties ever seen.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak people everywhere have shown they are willing to adapt to protect one another.
Liberty has always supported proportionate action to protect lives. But the Coronavirus Act has failed to uphold people’s rights while leaving the most marginalised worst affected.
This law harms human rights and puts our civil liberties in danger because the Act has no firm end date.
When this pandemic passes this law will still be on the statute books and some of its powers can be triggered at any time.
This means your civil liberties are in danger unless this law is scrapped.
Sign the petition to get rid of the Coronavirus Act and force the Government to instead focus on a response to the pandemic which protects human rights.
The Coronavirus Act was central to the Government’s pandemic response and was rushed through Parliament in just one day.
Some facts about the Act – and why it must be repealed:
  • It gives the police broad new powers to detain anyone who could be infectious. But the Crown Prosecution Service has said that every single charge made under the Act has been wrong. 
  • Our investigative journalism unit, Liberty Investigates, found that under regulations accompanying the Act, people of colour are 54 per cent more likely to be fined than white people. 
  • It makes it legal for local councils to strip back social care. At least seven councils stopped providing even the most basic care services for disabled people in their areas.
  • It threatens our right to protest.
  • It failed to protect the most marginalised and the hostile environment has remained operational, even in the pandemic. 
  • It allows the Government to suspend some elections. 
Remember, the Act has no firm end date. These powers could remain in place well beyond the pandemic.
But there is some hope. Thanks to Liberty and others, MPs can vote on whether to keep the Act or repeal it entirely. The Government will be reluctant to do this. But we must use this review as an opportunity to show how poor the Government’s response has been and why the Act must be repealed.
It is dangerous legislation that should never have been passed. The stranglehold on our civil liberties will remain until it’s scrapped.
Sign the petition to ask Government to get rid of the Coronavirus Act and focus on a response to the pandemic that protects our rights and freedoms.
Stay safe and stay well.
https://liberty.e-activist.com/page/63721/petition/1
Martha Spurrier
Director
See also
Liberty’s submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry: The Government’s response to Covid-19: Human rights implications  – June 2020



Alan notes: Unjust laws go hand in glove with racist policing, etc. Would those responsible for the publication of the murder victims in the Fryent Country Park murders really be able to say to the families of the victims: "We are sorry for your loss"?

Criminal Charges

Formal criminal charges should be brought against the two Metropolitan police officers who allegedly took and distributed photographs of the two Fryent Country Park murder victims, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman
As a family we were assured that every respect would be shown to our beloved girls, and this disgraceful breach of their duty cannot be punished with just a disciplinary or the loss of a job.
These police officers have allegedly fallen woefully short of the high standards of integrity and behaviour that the public should be able to expect from the police service. They should face formal criminal charges of Misconduct in Public Office and under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. It is an offence for a police officer to exercise power or privileges improperly. Distributing photographic material of murder victims outside of the confidentiality of the formal murder investigation is a clear abuse of power amounting to criminal misconduct.
The family are struggling to come to terms with the loss of the two beautiful bright lights  that have been taken from us, and we have to pray and believe that we will receive justice for their murders....
Continue reading at

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Mark Wheatley — Shorn on the 4th of July, fundraising for babies' charity Tommy's

A word from my [half-]brother, Mark Wheatley, based in SE London, who is about twelve-and-a-half years younger than me and shares the same father:


Hi,

I hope that you are enjoying the day and coping well in these strange times. 

My friends at the baby charity, Tommy’s (www.tommys.org) have allowed me the honour and humiliation, along with my pal James, of trialling an idea. Having respectively let our mop of hair/beard grow a bit wild during lockdown,  We have volunteered to get shaved. 

That means, on the 4th July, my twelve year old daughter will hone her, thus far untested, abilities as a hairdresser. 

Early on, she is going to dye my hair (colour suggestions are welcome - keenest on yellow, blue, red or green), take me out for a long walk, photograph the embarrassment for posterity then .... shave my head.

If you feel able and willing, I’d really appreciate your support. 

This is not a marathon effort of course but it will be suitably humiliating and anything you are able to donate will go to a great charity - one which saves babies lives across the world from their base in the City of London.

You can donate to my JustGiving page by clicking here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-wheatley13?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=mark-wheatley13&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=280a9c3bfbdd4290877c8b39922b4093.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to Tommy's, the baby charity, so it's the most efficient way to give - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Thank you for considering this request (positively - my last sponsorship activity this year).

Very best wishes, as ever,



Mark 

P.S. if you know anyone who fancies joining me and James - new team members are most welcome.


How Mark's normal hairline will appear after 4 July 2020 remains to be seen. Our father's hairline in his 50s was less than Mark's without the aid of having hair shaved off for charity. You can see how my hairline appears these days in the sidebar of this Web Log.

Our father was a keen cricketer; I was in childhood but only played for the school 11 once. In adulthood, my physical activities largely revolve around walking an occasional Kundalini Yoga when Belmont Community Centre is open, with Alison Mann who runs classes now on Zoom.

More like our father, Mark loves rugby and has run the London Marathon and Half Marathon in previous years in very decent time for Tommy's


Alan Wheatley

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Finding one's 'voice'

Preface

Now that I'm a retired person in a stage of transition and de-cluttering, I'm sorting out papers from decades ago when I was in training and/or beginning work experiences. Rather than merely consign these to the paper shredder, it can be helpful for me to transcribe these and share them via this Web Log.

The paper I'm introducing below is from a Toynbee Training course I graduated from in early 1991 toward working with the under-5s, and the significance of its Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) roots were relevant to my own childhood development in the 1950s and 1960s and subsequent working with a speech impaired person as one of their domiciliary care workers in 2005 to 2006.

A true story with identities changed to help protect identities and also to help serve as a moral tale involves Liz Tentoomi and Ken Klutz and is fairly simply expressed in the dialogue below.

Ken: Hi! How are you?
Liz: [Garbling a response as a result of speech impairment resulting from the disability Dyspraxia]
Ken: [Not attempting in any way to clarify what Liz had just said] Ah! That's great! You must be really proud of yourself!

'Proud of herself' in no way described what Liz was feeling at that time, for what she had just said or attempted to say was, "My mum's just died," and Ken's ill-considered 'communication' must surely have exacerbated her feelings of being all alone in the world while in her mid-40s.

That story was told to me by one of Liz's regular care workers in helping me understand just how why Liz would greet me so warmly despite my difficulties deciphering her speech in 3 hour contact sessions. "The point is, Alan, that you care and make the effort to clarify what Liz says; too many people don't."

My own speech development as a person living with Dyspraxia

I was comparatively very fortunate in my development as a person with Dyspraxia. Family legend has it that my first word, in response to a command from my mother that I stop loudly opening and closing the lid of her sewing box, was, "No!" and Mum was so surprised at that being my first word that she did not 'discipline' me for my outright disobedience.

In those days my speech was impaired not only by Dyspraxia but also by over large tonsils that I had removed at age 4. From then to the point at which I entered Infants at around my 5th birthday, I reputedly spoke in the pseudo language of BBC children's TV characters 'Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men'.

Later at a fee paying school, the extra attention paid to me helped bring me in contact with speech therapy that helped me develop my capacity to verbalise more clearly, although I still stuttered and mumbled into my early adulthood, with others incorrectly completing my sentences for me. Subsequent singing tuition and writing my own poems helped give me the experience of knowing what I was going to say before I said it, rather than feel pressured to respond immediately with poor 'working memory'.

Writing my own poems also helped me build bridges with audiences as an amateur entertainer, and connect with those audiences deeply from my own deep experiences.

Liz's experience of SLT

Liz's experience of SLT was perhaps too late and too brief in her teens while she was educated below mainstream schooling. I heard from my line manager that Liz had received some SLT at about age 13 but clearly not enough, and I noticed that Liz's old school peers who were also service users of domiciliary and other services from that charity for learning disabled adults were well grounded in deciphering what she said.

In her 40s Liz's socio-economic position was that of an Incapacity Benefit claimant and treated by the system as 'not worthy of quality investment of public resources' in her education. I had already experienced Learning & Skills Council low priorisation for adults with learning difficulties as they cut back on supporting the below Level 1 Literacy adults I had volunteered with, and in about 2004 I met someone who responded to my saying that I thought Learning & Skills Council had very little understanding of the educational requirements of adults with learning difficulties: "I would say that you are too kind: they have no understanding of the educational requirements of adults with learning difficulties."

The description given by the Learning & Skills Council on their website was, "The Learning & Skills Council exists to help make England better skilled and more competitive." Thus to them preparing the way for London 2012 Olympics involved disregarding the aspirations of those who had not yet made it to Level 1 in adulthood and also rubbishing the prospects of those like me who might have been able to make a living helping them.

Lack of vocal clarity clearly got in the way of Liz's capacity to grieve, and as a consequence she blew inheritance money to the wind through wasteful purchases, attempting to reclaim that which could never be got back, as a psychotherapist might say.

But when cost-cutting government ministers say, that people on state benefits are in the position they are in with limited prospects because of "poor lifestyle choices," they take no consideration for the impact of decades of under-investment in the lives of disadvantaged adults, and show no understanding of the Social Model of Disability.

As one who has 'found their voice' in various ways though, I become all the more determined to use it to help give others a 'voice' and tell the truths of their lives more accurately without impinging on their rights.

Tower Hamlets Health Authority

Speech Therapy Department


ARTICULATION e.g. production of sounds


This develops in fairly regular stages.

During babbling period several sounds used.

Towards end of 1st year child learns use of sounds for words, i.e. contructively.

Begins to build up sound system from scratch.

Children tend to use certain sounds before others, e.g. "p" "b" "m" (front sounds) before "k" "g" (back sounds; and "p" "b" before "f" "s" "v" etc.

CHART ORDER OF APPEARANCE OF SOUND AND APPROXIMATE AGE

by 2 years 'p' 'b' 'm' 'n' 'w'

by 2½ years 't' 'd' 'k' 'g' 'ng' (e.g. sing)

by 3 years 'f' 'g' 'l' 'y'

by 4 years 'sh' 'v' 'z' 'r' 'ch' 'j'

by 5 years * 'th'





but may depend on <em>where</em> in word sound is e.g. beginning, middle or end.
Also consonant clusters will be simplifed at first.

                e.g.    "sl" ........ "l"
                          "tr" ........ "t"     "tw"
                           "kl" ....... "k"


N.B.

* This sound may be substituted by 'f' of 'v' as features of the London dialect.

This chart refers to <em>sounds</em> not letters as many letters have different sounds, e.g., the letter 'c' may be pronounced as /k/ as in 'cat' or /s/ as in 'nice'.

Certain sounds may have been acquired by a given age, but may still cause problems in certain words till a little later e.g., The child may say 'door' but have trouble with 'dog' or may say 'like' but have trouble with 'little'. The areas are estimates only, but if a child is not producing the sounds by the stated age, speech therapy <em>may</em> be indicated.


COMPREHENSION

AGE
DEVELOPS
BEHAVIOUR
To 12 months Distracted by any new event
12 to 18 months Recognises many everyday objects when named, and can point to them
12 to 18 months Recognises and points to pictures when named
18 to 24 months Understands verbs: e.g. "sit down", "come here"
2 to 2½ years Understands sentences with 2 information carrying words:
e.g., "put the spoon in the cup"
2 to 2½ years Points to smaller parts of the body: e.g.,chin, elbow
2 to 2½ years Beginning to understand size: i.e., 'big/little'
2½ to 3 years Selects objects by function:
i.e., "Where's the one we eat with?"
2½ to 3 years Understands simple prpositions: 'in/on/under'
2½ to 3 years Knows if 'he/she' is a 'boy/girl'
2½ to 3 years Understands longer and more complex sentences
2½ to 3 years Knows several colours &emdash; blue/red &emdash; yellow/green
3 to 3½ years Follows verbal directions with 3-4 information carrying words: e.g., "make dolly sit down under the table"
3½ to 4½ years Understands "all", "both", "much", but not yet firmly established

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE

AGE
DEVELOPS
BEHAVIOUR
To 12 months Babbling, combinations of vowels and consonants
12 to 18 months Using some single words: mama, dad, ball
18 to 24 months Imitates 2-3 word sentences
18 to 24 months Links words together: e.g., "all gone", "my teddy"
18 to 24 months Asks questions using infomration: e.g., "see hide?"
18 to 24 months Calls him/herself by own name
2 to 2½ years Begins to use words creatively: "bye bye milk"
2 to 2½ years Begins 3 word utterances: "Daddy kick ball"
2 to 2½ years Begins to use "I" and "me"
2½ to 3 years Uses longer more complex sentences:
"Where's my mummy's hat gone?"
2½ to 3 years Signalling grammatical word endings:
e.g., 'ing', 's', 'ed'
2½ to 3 years Relates experiences from the past

Addtitional Notes by Alan Wheatley about SLTs

SLTs are almost solely employed by local health authorities rather than local authorities. I believe it would be better for equalities purposes if SLTs were also employed by local government rather than solely by local health authorities. Anyhow, the professional body for SLTs in the UK is the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists https://www.rcslt.org/

Approximately 80% of children with emotional and behavioural disorders have significant language defects. At least 40% of Stroke survivors will initially experience some difficulty swallowing. If left untreated, swallowing difficulties can result in pneumonia, increased hospital admission and lengthier stays in hospital. Up to 80% of people with a learning disability have a communication need.
Statistics presented at RCSLT website
You can read RCSLT's letter to political party leaders at
https://www.rcslt.org/-/media/open-letter-to-political-party/open-letter-to-party-leaders.pdf

The UK's General Election 2019 may be over, but for many with speech and language disorders, their problems are only just beginning. The country has spoken?

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

There is more to being environmentally friendly than Alan Titchmarsh would like people to recognise

The MailOnline -- and BBC Gardeners' World -- report:




Hypocrites! Alan Titchmarsh blasts green campaigners who block pave their gardens or swell their carbon footprint by eating out-of-season fruit and veg

  • He said saving planet is not matter solely for land management and industry
  • He took aim at those who may criticise the Government for not doing enough 
  • Titchmarsh, 70, also attacked those who buy fruit in the winter months 

Alan Titchmarsh has criticised green activists who lecture others about the environment but then block-pave their own gardens or buy imported strawberries in January.

The TV gardener said saving the planet is not a matter solely for agricultural land management and industry, but for individuals who can do more to 'make a difference to the health of planet Earth'.

'Those of us who cherish that bit of land that comes with our houses have a duty of care that is every bit as vital as that incumbent on the owners of vast estates,' he told BBC Gardeners' World magazine.
He took aim at those who may criticise the Government for not doing enough to curb global warming and climate change, in particular Extinction Rebellion protesters, yet do not do enough themselves domestically. 

'I hope that none of the Extinction Rebellion protesters has a block-paved front garden,' he said.
Note the difference between the headline's "green campaigners who block their gardens" and Titchmarsh's, "I hope that none of the Extinction Rebellion protesters has a block-paved garden."

Alan Titchmarsh's income is largely built around his persona as gardener and TV broadcaster, and he has gone on from that to fronting advertising for Sun Life Funeral Plans https://www.sunlife.co.uk/funeral-planning/funeral-plans/

Sun Life Guaranteed Funeral Plan is fronted by Alan Titchmarsh who says it's
"One of the most affordable ways to cover a funeral."
We might ask how much he is making from that promotion in addition to his income from BBC broadcasting that notoriously showers high salaries on presenters.

I would add that a great many Extinction Rebellion younger supporters have not been taught gardening as a basic skill but they do realise that government policies have let climate crises fester.

We live in the legacy of how the robber barons and Enclosures Acts that helped carve the way to capitalism in which people lose touch with the land. As people have lost touch with the land, we have become more dependent upon others' produce via an increasingly global market, and that was one of the driving forces of the Industrial Revolution going hand in hand with British colonisation of other lands and import-export arrangements.

If capitalism is the root cause, ecosocialism is the antidote

I believe that the antidote is ecosocialism, and refer readers to the Green Left Blog http://greenleftblog.blogspot.com/ and London Green Left Blog http://londongreenleft.blogspot.com/ on ecosocialism, and Prof. Guy Standing's book Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&sxsrf=ACYBGNRFPlaY8m160tA809ez94dd7WZLrA%3A1577787706249&ei=OiELXor2DoSi1fAPxoWOgA0&q=%22guy+standing%22+%22plunder+of+the+commons%22&oq=%22guy+standing%22+%22plunder+of+the+commons%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i30.9113.11069..14984...0.2..0.154.994.0j7......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j0i7i30.zyawUCDTC5Q&ved=0ahUKEwiK-4ue1d_mAhUEURUIHcaCA9AQ4dUDCAo&uact=5

accompanied by the communal wonders of community gardening
https://wembleymatters.blogspot.com/search?q=gardening

See also 

https://newsforwardsfromalanwheatley.blogspot.com/2019/11/government-policy-and-global-investment-as-plunder-of-the-Commons.html

Post Script

I especially welcome the comment below from 'Unknown', and point out that comments submitted anonymously are not altogether ruled out for their anonymity:
I remember Alan Titchmarsh writing in the Radio Times about a decade ago questioning the science of climate change, trotting out the tired old cliche that weather has always been variable. He and others in high profile positions (eg David Bellamy) who have questioned climate science over the years have done more to damage our chances of keeping global warming to a safe level than any number of XR activists who might buy fruit out of season or have a paved front garden.

Google search link "alan titchmarsh" "climate change denial" 

The following search link was created by using keywords "alan titchmarsh" "climate change denial"
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=%22alan+titchmarsh%22+%22climate+change+denial%22
NB: Use of all lower case letters as above in a Google search is quite acceptable, even when using 'proper names'; and quotation marks are a handy device for ensuring that the exact phrase or name combination is located.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Advice for Renters of London Borough of Brent December 2019 Newsletter

I am republishing this here from https://mailchi.mp/e9af43fe0c94/merry-christmas-and-a-happy-new-year-from-a4r to help illustrate the fact that council funds can and should be used to help restore socio-economic justice.

It also contains information about national UK — or at least England & Wales — housing legislation that private tenants in other local authorities can apply to their area.

Advice4Renters December 2019 Newsletter
Starfish in tank observes star on top of Xmas tree and comments: "Now, THAT'S gotta hurt..."
From everyone at Advice4Renters
We would like to wish all of our readers, clients and supporters...
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

In this edition...

We are looking forward to 2020 and the legal changes that are coming up;
  • If you signed a tenancy agreement before 20 March 2019, after 20 March 2020 you can use the Homes Fitness for Habitation Act 2019 (unless you sign a new tenancy or your tenancy becomes a monthly rolling contract). However, you should still contact your local council if you are worried about conditions in your home. They have powers to take action on your behalf, at no cost to you.
  • ...and we flagged this up in our last newsletter but the government have been looking at ways to end of section 21 no-fault evictions. If they can get this right it could mean a huge shift in the way tenants are treated.  Roll on 2020!
Its cold out there, and at this time our thoughts turn to people sleeping on the streets. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, send an alert to StreetLink by visiting www.streetlink.org.uk, via the mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices, or by calling 0300 500 0914. 
 

2020 Resolutions 

You probably haven’t started to think about New Year Resolutions yet, but take it from us, the guilt about the amount of booze and plum pudding will raise its head on 1st January, so we thought we help by giving you some suggestions.

First, for all private renters, 
“I won’t wait until my landlord is threatening to evict me; I will give Advice4Renters a call at the first sign of trouble so they can help me to nip it in the bud.”

For the landlords who read our newsletter (believe me there are some…)
“I’ll get my surveyor to check for any disrepair as soon as they can, and I’ll get things fixed promptly to make sure that my tenants are warm and dry in their homes.  The only cold thing will be my RENT FREEZE.”

For our voluntary sector partners,
“We resolve to look at how we can work more closely together in 2020, learning more about who provides what services, and making sure that residents who come to us, know how to access other services beyond our own remit”

For our local Councillors,
“We will not only support the voluntary sector, and listen to what they say, we will address the changes that they suggest are needed, which are not all dependent on resources, but will often save the Council time and money.”

For Council Officers,
“I resolve to accept that when A4R criticise us, it’s because they care passionately about getting a better deal for private renters, and I will work with them to see how we can address their concerns.”
To our great team of volunteers (and potential volunteers):
“I will start, or I will continue, to give a few hours a week to helping Advice4Renters with their valuable work, because I believe in their cause, but also because it’s fun.”

For all our wonderful grant funders,
“We will continue to support the voluntary sector and will remember that the number of disadvantaged groups in the private rented sector is growing every year, and they need more support.”
 
For any potential donors who receive our newsletter (regular readers please share!),
“I resolve to support vulnerable low income renters throughout the year by donating to Advice4Renters!”

Err... That’s enough Resolutions, Ed.
Have a very happy New Year!

Jacky.


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