by Rich Moth, April 2011

Last week, action by four disabled residents in the High Court successfully overturned Birmingham City Council's plans to raise their eligibility thresholds to critical. The council will be forced to go back to the drawing board with its adult social care budget plans. You can read more about this victory at the following links:

http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2011/04/20/birmingham-city-council-social-care-cuts-ruled-unlawful-by-high-court-65233-28557053/?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4db29afca56ca2c1%2C0

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/04/21/116716/judge-overturns-council-plan-to-raise-eligibility-to-critical.htm

Clearly this is great news and of significance for those who, like SWAN, are resisting cuts to social care services and welfare.

In this spirit, SWAN has been building links with disability activists. Bob Williams-Findlay from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), spoke at the recent SWAN national conference entitled 'Building Alliances, Defending Services'. West Midlands SWAN has been invited to co-sponsor a meeting with DPAC and Right to Work in Birmingham during the week of action against Atos Origin and welfare cuts in May.

Atos Origin are the private sector organisation who have recently won a £300 million contract by the Coalition Government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’ on all of those claiming Incapacity Benefit; their job is to remove welfare from as many people as possible. The week of action starts on Monday 9th May with a picnic and party in Triton Square (near Warren Street tube), home of Atos' head office, at 2pm. Please find further details of the plans for the week below:

http://www.dpac.uk.net/2011/04/national-week-of-action-against-atos-origin-monday-may-9-may-15/

SWAN encourages all service users, social workers, educators and students to join in with this week of action.

  • Mental Health Charter: submission on inpatient adult psychiatric care

SWAN supporters will already be familiar with the SWAN endorsed Mental Health Charter which was launched in 2014. The Charter critiques the crisis in mental health services in the context of austerity and calls for an end to the cuts while proposing radical alternatives. Recently the Mental Health Charter responded to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Independent Commission into the state of Inpatient Adult Psychiatric Care as part of its call for evidence.

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