Accessible transport campaigners have broadly welc

first_imgAccessible transport campaigners have broadly welcomed a series of recommendations for improvements to the accessibility of the rail system.Among the 17 recommendations made by the regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), is a call for a drastic reduction in the notice that disabled passengers need to provide to book assistance for a rail journey.If ORR’s recommendations are accepted, the current maximum of 24 hours’ notice will be cut by April next year to 10pm the day before travel, with further reductions introduced until only two hours’ notice will be needed by April 2022.ORR also wants to see the government review funding for accessibility improvements, currently delivered through the Access for All fund, warning that current levels of investment “may fall short of the improvements to accessibility in rail aspired to in the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy”.And it wants to see, within the next six years, a review of the standards for accessibility of rail vehicles.ORR is also calling for significant improvements to the reliability of assistance, and to staff training, as well as a requirement that compensation is paid to disabled passengers when their booked assistance fails because of a train or station operator’s actions.Only last week, Disability News Service reported that two-thirds of disabled passengers experience at least one problem when travelling by rail, according to research commissioned by the government.The ORR report says that only three-quarters (76 per cent) of users received all the assistance they booked in advance in 2018-19, while one in 10 (11 per cent) received none of it.ORR also wants to see the same branding for assistance introduced across the network of rail companies, and improvements to the quality of access information provided to disabled passengers.In the longer term, ORR wants to see a new system that will allow passengers to buy tickets and book assistance at the same time, and a “coherent national strategy” to promote assisted travel.ORR made the recommendations as part of its submission to the Williams Rail Review, a “root and branch review” of Britain’s railway system.The review’s findings and recommendations will be published in a government white paper in the autumn.Alan Benson, chair of Transport for All, the user-led charity which campaigns on accessible transport in London, “broadly” welcomed the ORR’s recommendations.He said: “Everyone, including government and the industry, agrees that the current situation on Britain’s railway is simply not good enough.“For decades, disabled people have been pushing for change. This response to the Williams review shows that the ORR has been listening and it should be broadly welcomed.“There are many common-sense steps, such as compensation for failed assistance and better training, which could really overhaul the service that we receive.“Being able to buy tickets and arrange assistance at the same time has the potential to really make a difference, providing the process is easy and convenient.”But Benson said TfA believed the recommendations did not go far enough.He said: “Putting consistent branding on an assistance service won’t prevent the let downs that are all too common and the ORR is still not advocating our right to turn up and travel just like everyone else.“Even the reduction in notice from 24 hours to two hours is not proposed until 2022. This is simply not good enough.“The direction of travel in this report is good, but the industry needs to show even more aspiration.“We hope that the Williams review will be bold in its recommendations and lead to disabled people having truly equal access when using the UK rail network.”Accessible transport campaigner Doug Paulley also broadly welcomed ORR’s recommendations.He said he particularly welcomed ORR’s “new” and “important” challenge to the government’s “miserly and woefully inadequate funding” for improving access.But he said he did not believe that the shortened timescales for pre-booking assistance would have much impact because making such bookings often failed to produce the assistance requested, while it “misses the point that we should be able to ‘turn up and go’ like anybody else”.He said much of the ORR report was “rehashed” from what the industry or ORR had already made clear, adding: “We know access information is lamentably inaccurate and the database for administering it is utterly broken.“We know that assisted travel reliability is poor and must be improved.“We know that a national framework for promoting Passenger Assist should be in place, but only once they’ve got a reliable system that works, otherwise they’re setting new disabled travellers up for a fall.”Paulley said ORR’s recommendations for the review were important, but its delayed new guidance for train operating companies, expected in the autumn following a consultation, “will have a much more direct impact on disabled passengers’ experience than their input into the Williams review, though of course it is positive that they have responded to the review as well”.The ORR proposals were welcomed by Keith Williams, the review’s chair and a former chief executive of British Airways. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Read More »

ProEU Labour activists have revealed an antiBrex

first_imgPro-EU Labour activists have revealed an anti-Brexit motion that they hope to pass at conference in September, which would force a pivotal and historic change to party policy.The motion drafted by groups Another Europe is Possible, Open Labour and Labour for a Socialist Europe declares opposition to Brexit – described as “a Tory project” – and asserts unconditional support for another referendum.Under the new proposal, published as polls close in the UK’s European elections, the party led by Jeremy Corbyn would back the ‘Remain’ option in a fresh public vote. This would leave no room for the free vote approach that was taken by Labour in 1975 to prevent frontbench resignations.The “final and complete shift” in Labour’s Brexit position also includes a clear commitment to defending freedom of movement. In its 2017 manifesto, Labour said the fundamental EU principle would end post-Brexit, but Corbyn recently told Andrew Marr it would be up for negotiation.To ensure that the motion is sent to conference by as many local parties as possible, Another Europe is Possible plans to run phonebanks and mobilise members across the country. The group orchestrated a similar campaign last year, which led to the composite motion that has dominated Labour’s Brexit rows since its 2018 conference.Michael Chessum, the national organiser for AEIP, said: “It is time for Labour to make a final and complete shift towards backing a public vote and opposing Brexit. The alternative is that the electoral coalition behind Corbyn’s Labour falls apart.“The chronology of Labour’s Brexit policy, which we established at last year’s party conference, has run its course. Either we are in favour of stopping Brexit, or we are in favour of delivering it.“So this motion is about the politics not the process – about an agenda of internationalism, defending free movement and fighting for radical change rather than pandering to the nationalist right.”Below is the full text of the motion.Stop Brexit, transform BritainThe real division in society is not between those who voted Leave and Remain, but between the many and the few. Brexit is poisoning politics and stopping us from addressing the issues that matter to people. We need a general election to deliver a radical Labour government.If the UK leaves the EU, Brexit does not end. Instead, we face years of negotiations and trade deals that deregulate our economy in the interests of the few, making it much harder to deliver our radical manifesto.Brexit is a Tory project, and Labour opposes it. It would mean a victory for the nationalist right, and is a threat to our rights, jobs, NHS, public services and the fight against climate change.We will answer insecurity and exploitation with hope and solidarity to bring the country together. We will rebuild communities with investment, expand common ownership, boost wages and union rights, and challenge the narratives of the nationalist right. Free movement is a workers’ right which we will defend.The Leave vote is more than three years old, and there is no clear democratic mandate for any Brexit settlement. The democratic imperative now is for the people to have the final say. Labour will back Remain in that public vote.Labour is an internationalist party, with a duty to challenge the far right. We will campaign for a Europe-wide Green New Deal, levelling up of wages, democratising European institutions, ending Fortress Europe, and an international strategy to tax the rich and corporations.Tags:Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Brexit /Another Europe is Possible /Labour conference 2019 /last_img read more

Read More »

Elementary Students March for College Awareness

first_img 0% An estimated 400 students ranging from 3rd to 5th grade, accompanied by some 100 parents and members of the Mission Graduates program, gathered in the schoolyard at Buena Vista Horace Mann  Thursday at 3 p.m. to  celebrate Mission youth going to college.  Other schools joining in the march included Everett, Flynn, Cesar Chavez, James Lick, and several others.Gerber Marquez, a manager at the parent partner program within Mission Graduates, said they wanted to encourage children to go to college. “We support minorities. A lot of Latino families, statistics show, are not attending or graduating from college.  So we’re going to send a message to encourage them to strive for a future.”The elementary students marched down Mission Street chanting “C-O-L-L-E-G-E, college is the place for me!” The students marched to John O’Connell High School, where they rallied with college-themed games and heard from local universities about how to get to college.The other organizations involved in the day of college awareness included Jamestown Community Center, Buena Vista Child Care and First Graduate. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Read More »

OUR Ticket Office and Saints Superstore opening ti

first_imgOUR Ticket Office and Saints Superstore opening times are as follows:Ticket Office:Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pmMatchday: Up until kick offSaturday: 10am – 4pm (NEW)Saints Superstore:Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pmMatchday: Up until kick off and one hour after final whistle.Saturday: 10am – 4pm (NEW)Remember you can buy tickets, merchandise and join the Lottery 24/7 by clicking here.last_img

Read More »

Teen who killed musician sentenced to at least 11 years in prison

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The teenager who killed a Wilmington musician and realtor will spend at least 11 years in prison for the crime.More than 18 months after fatally stabbing Ben Privott, 17-year-old Cory Sullivan plead guilty to second degree murder Monday. He received his sentence Tuesday morning.- Advertisement – “In terms of pleaing versus going to trial, that’s not a decision we make lightly. We believe you send messages. This is not simple kid stuff, this is murder and nothing less,” said New Hanover County district attorney Ben David.Emotions ran high throughout the sentencing hearing, as loved ones of both Privott and Sullivan spoke.The 911 call from the night of Privott’s stabbing was played for the court. In April of 2016, Privott’s fiancee, Sarah Rushing, found him lying on the ground after he never returned from walking the dog. Privott had been stabbed. A computer and cash were also stolen from him.Related Article: State seeking death penalty against Trooper Kevin Conner’s accused killerRushing told the court she will live with this for the rest of her life.“I don’t believe that anything we could have done in this courtroom, even if we had gone to a trial and a jury would have convicted him of first degree murder, it still would not have been totally satisfying, I don’t believe for Sarah,” said Charity Wilson, a New Hanover County assistant district attorney.Privott was well known in Wilmington and his death touched many in the community.“I’ve run into so many people who have come up to me and said, when this was unsolved, ‘this is not something where he knew the assailant, because Ben didn’t have an enemy. This had to be some random act of violence.’ And they were right about that,” said David.Sullivan also addressed the court and told the family he couldn’t imagine the pain he caused them. His father and youth pastor also spoke of the teen’s remorse.David commended Sullivan for accepting the plea deal.“He came in and confessed and his dad and others deserve great amount of credit for making him do the right thing at an early stage and him doing the right thing at an early stage and then sparing this family the pain of going through a public trial and the years of endless appeals,” said David.The judge told Sullivan to think about Privott for the rest of his life and sentenced the teen to a minimum of just over 11 years and a maximum of 15 years in prison.Sullivan was 15 years old at the time of the murder and will receive credit for the 496 days he has already spent in jail.He will also undergo a complete psychological evaluation.last_img read more

Read More »

Brunswick Co Sheriffs K9 deputy dies from medical condition

first_imgDep. “Sonny” passed away as a result of a medical condition. (Photo: BCSO) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of one of its own. The department announced Wednesday the passing of K9 deputy “Sonny.”BCSO says Dep. “Sonny” has been with them since spring 2016. He was from Merit Pit Bull Foundation, a Pit Bull rescue organization out of Wilmington, and his foster family in Raleigh. He served alongside his partner and handler, Detention Officer Rusty Drew, in the Brunswick County Detention Facility.- Advertisement – Dep. “Sonny” passed away as a result of a medical condition.last_img read more

Read More »

Judge slashes 50M punitive penalty against pork giant

first_img Britt cited state law that limits the punishment for corporate misdeeds to no more than $250,000, an amount 1/20th the $5 million that jurors last month ordered Smithfield Foods to pay each neighbor. Neighbors of a 15,000-head Bladen County swine operation also were awarded $75,000 each in compensation for conditions that prevented them from enjoying their own property.Plaintiffs’ attorneys had argued the state’s cap on punitive damages was unconstitutional because it violates the right to a jury trial. However, attorneys for the neighbors recognized they were asking Britt to rule contrary to a 2004 state Supreme Court decision that determined that limiting how heavily misdeeds could be punished was no barrier to a jury deciding who was at fault.“The jury’s role in awarding punitive damages can be dictated by our state’s policy-making body, the General Assembly, without violating plaintiffs’ constitutional right to trial by jury,” Britt wrote in his order filed Monday.Related Article: Hundreds of swine lost in Pender County farm fireThe decision was the first in dozens of lawsuits filed by more than 500 neighbors complaining about hog operations.North Carolina legislators last year changed state law to make it much more difficult to replicate such nuisance lawsuits targeting hog operations.Smithfield Foods called the lawsuits “a serious threat” to its North Carolina livestock operations and related jobs. The company has said it would appeal last month’s jury decision.Lawyers targeted the hog-production division of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods — not the Bladen County farm’s owner — because they said the Chinese-owned company uses strict contracts to dictate how farm operators raise livestock that Smithfield owns.The judge’s order is unlikely to affect the upcoming negligence lawsuits targeting North Carolina hog operations because jurors aren’t told their award could be capped, Wake Forest University law professor Sidney Shapiro said. That’s because if jurors knew the law limited damages that are meant as punishment, they might inflate how much they award in compensation.Shapiro thinks Britt’s order might be appealed since it doesn’t address that the Smithfield Foods neighbors complained about nuisances that show no signs of stopping as long as industrial-scale hog operations keep their current method of waste handling.“The plaintiffs argued that the punitive damages were necessary as a deterrent,” he said, “that it was necessary for the jury to indicate to the defendants that their wanton behavior, if continued, would continue to endanger the plaintiffs’ property. That’s the argument that the judge didn’t deal with one way or the other.”Rural residents have complained about smells, clouds of flies and excessive spraying for decades. But local and state politicians have either supported the politically powerful industry or backed down in the face of its clout.Smithfield Foods hasn’t changed the locally dominant method of hog waste disposal since intensive hog operations multiplied in North Carolina in the 1980s and ’90s. The practice involves housing thousands of hogs together, flushing their waste into holding pits, allowing bacteria to break down the material, then spraying the effluent onto fields with agricultural spray guns.Neighbors say the spraying sends the smells and animal waste airborne, allowing it to drift into their homes and sometimes coat outdoor surfaces on their properties. Pig farm (Photo: US EPA) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge has slashed $50 million in damages that a jury awarded neighbors of an industrial hog operation in order to punish a pork producer for smells and noise so bad that people couldn’t enjoy their rural homes.U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt ruled this week that North Carolina law required him to cut the size of punitive damages to $2.5 million total for the 10 plaintiffs. Attorneys for the homeowners did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read More »

Wilmington Black Professionals hosting coat toy drive for Florence victims

first_img The members of the group and people were impacted by Hurricane Florence, which led to them hosting The Christmas Give Back Coat and Toy Drive. It will take place on Saturday from 4-8 p.m. at the KGB Lounge in Downtown Wilmington.They are asking people to come out and donate toys and coats.Tickets in advance are $10. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Black Professionals will be hosting a coat and toy drive on Saturday.The Wilmington Black Professionals is a group that offers great networking opportunities for business owners and professionals in and the around the Port City.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read More »

Man accused of taking items trying to return for cash at Home

first_img Deputies say 18-year-old Antoine Kahem Anderson put a LG window unit AC and a Dewalt knife in his shopping cart and then tried to return both items at the service desk.He was caught on surveillance video.Anderson is facing one felony charge of obtaining property by false pretense and two misdemeanor charges for shoplifting and possession of stolen goods. Antoine Kahem Anderson and scene of Home Depot on May 7, 2019. (Photo: WWAY/NHSO) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is facing charges for reportedly trying to return items to a store that he didn’t purchase.New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says it happened at the Home Depot on Carolina Beach Road in Monkey Junction Tuesday night.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Read More »

One dead after shooting outside Australia nightclub three injured

first_img SharePrint A Victoria Police personnel works at the scene of a multiple shooting outside Love Machine nightclub in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia April 14, 2019. AAP Image/Ellen Smith/via REUTERSA Victoria Police personnel works at the scene of a multiple shooting outside Love Machine nightclub in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia April 14, 2019. AAP Image/Ellen Smith/via REUTERS A drive-by shooting outside a nightclub in the Australian city of Melbourne inflicted “horrific injuries” that killed a security guard and wounded three men, police said on Sunday, but there was no suggestion yet that the attack was terror-related.Australia has some of the world’s toughest gun control laws, adopted after its worst mass murder, when a gunman killed 35 people at Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania in 1996.Sunday’s shooting took place around 3.20 a.m. in the lively entertainment district of Melbourne’s southeastern suburb of Prahran, police said.Three security guards and a man queueing to enter were taken to hospital with gunshot injuries, police said in a televised news conference in Melbourne.“It would appear that shots have been discharged from a car in this area into a crowd standing outside the nightclub,” homicide inspector Andrew Stamper said.The victims suffered “horrific injuries” from a weapon fired in close proximity, he added.One guard died in hospital, another man was in critical condition and two escaped life-threatening injuries. One guard was shot in the face, the Age newspaper said.However, there was no suggestion yet that the attack was terror-related, a police spokeswoman said by telephone. Detectives are expected to investigate links between an outlawed motorcycle gang and the club, the Age said.Bloodstained clothing and bullet casings littered the street outside the entrance to the second-storey Love Machine nightclub early on Sunday.Police urged witnesses who saw any vehicle moving at speed around 3 a.m. to come forward, and mentioned a black Porsche SUV that was later found burnt-out in the north Melbourne suburb of Wollert.No arrests have yet been made, and investigation continues.A murder-suicide last year in Western Australia that killed seven members of a family was the country’s worst mass shooting since the Port Arthur case.Neighbouring New Zealand has adopted legislation to ban semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles after its worst peacetime shooting in March, which killed 50 worshippers in two mosques in the city of Christchurch.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Read More »