Below are two reports from the National Audit Office

Financial sustainability of local authorities 2014* from the National Audit Office

An extract ‘Local authorities have coped well with reductions in government funding, but some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of financial stress. The Department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities’ financial sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts on services, according to the National Audit Office. ……………..’

The Impact of Funding Reductions on Local Authorities* from the National Audit Office

An extract ‘Local authorities have coped well with reductions in government funding, but some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of financial stress. The Department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities’ financial sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts on services, according to the National Audit Office………………’

While this is not a coment on the details of the reports, by viewing each report you will see how the National Audit Office appears to respond to managing its costs. As it appears the same report is being used in each instance, so it is two reports for the cost of one.

As to what it is saying, just what is it saying?  Starts by saying ‘ Local authorities have coped well…’, then goes on to say ‘some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of Financial stress….’ then further states ‘The department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities..’

So what is it, are they coping well or have clear signs of financial stress, I would say the latter. But then it is correct to say the Dept for Communities and Local Government do have a limited understanding of authorities, or should it be no understanding?

For many authorities the Government austerity cuts are having a massive impact on local authorites and many essential services are being seen to be suffering, as are the persons who rely on these services.

Enough is enough the funding for essential services as to be safeguarded and the Government needs to understand this and act accordingly, for at the momment it appears they do not care.

 

* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.


Totally Wrong List from the website Learning Disability Alliance England

An extract ‘After many years of slow progress for people with learning disabilities things are now going backwards. This is totally wrong and unnecessary, so we’ve put together a list of all the different things that are wrong – a totally wrong list.

These are the bad Government policies we’ve identified (so far) that harm the lives and rights of people with learning disabilities. In the first part we’ve listed the wrongs in plain English. The second part provides links to the documents or reports that describe these wrongs in more detail.

This list is a work in progress –………….’

This is so true and highlights some of the comments I have made in some of my previous postings, especially point 14, where it states ‘but the media and politicians talk about benefit fraud much more and encourage people to think disabled people are scroungers or fraudsters.’

This is so wrong and creates a very distorted view to the public at large. There may be a minority who are not entitled to the benefits they claim, but should the focus be just on them  and not the majority. Tax fraud is so much greater and may be by persons who can more easily pay their taxes, than disabled people can go without their benefits.

Any cuts to persons who can least afford it, will eventually require even more expenditure, for any reduction in social care funding, will lead to more health related conditions, so leading to even more required access to NHS facilities, which will either require more increased funding, reductions in service or both.

Before many of these wrongs are implemented the responsible authority should undertake an ‘impact assessment‘ to ascertain how any disadvantaged or vulnerable persons could be affected.

The decision on the closure of the Independent Living Fund is a prime example, currently the closure is still on course for 30 June 2014, but there is still a legal challenge before the courts, the outcome of which is still unknown.

If the closure does go ahead it will be wrong as stated in point 17 ‘Closing the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will lead to reductions in support that will inevitably target people with the most severe disabilities and reduce their ability to live in their own home.’

With the closure the responsibility will rest with their respective local authorities, at a time when the funding to these local authorities is being cut, creating an even more greater strain on local authority funding. In fact, if they can not still live in their own home, they will most likely need to live in some nursing care setting at a considerable increased cost than at present.

Do they call it a caring Society?

 

 


61chrissterry:

This is so true, the joining of two in marriage or any relationship, not only needs love and understanding, but respect for each other and the ability to work together to make the bonding workable.
It may not be so easy, but if the will is there, then there is always the probability for the relationship to be successful.

Originally posted on A God Coloured Girl in a Grey World:

Anniversary - Then & Now

November 15th, 2003 – The day we were married. Who would have ever thought that there would be a man who could put up with me? My step-dad told me on our wedding day, while I was anxious and flustered, “Staci, you couldn’t have found a better man than Daniel”. And you know what? He was right. He is my friend, companion, adviser, helper, teacher and lover (and unfortunately, as well as gracefully, my punching bag every so often). All this rolled up in one. He is the one that I philia, storge and eros, and always will be. I am the one he philia, storge and eros, and always will be. How can I be sure? As I responded to a comment from my beautiful blogger friend:

We have been through some serious rough patches (especially in the first year, and me not knowing about certain…

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61chrissterry:

Opinions, there will always be more than one, but who should decide who is right or wrong. Why not just accept that each person has a right to their own opinions.

Originally posted on Madamsabi's Blog:

When I was in elementary school, I got into a major argument with a boy in my class. I have forgotten what the argument was about, but I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that day.

image

I was convinced that “I” was right and “he” was wrong – and he was just as convinced that “I” was wrong and “he” was right. The teacher decided to teach us a very important lesson.

She brought us up to the front of the class and placed him on one side of her desk and me on the other. In the middle of her desk was a large, round object. I could clearly see that it was black. She asked the boy what color the object was. “White,” he answered.

I couldn’t believe he said the object was white, when it was obviously black! Another argument started between my classmate and me…

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Police fail to record 800,000 crimes a year

An extract ‘The police are failing to record more than 800,000 offences, including a quarter of all sexual crimes, reported to them by the public each year, according to a damning official inquiry.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary says it is an indefensible failure by the police to properly record the equivalent of 19% of the total official police recorded crime rate, and including a third of all violent crime. …..’

How can anyone believe in the Police and Crime statistics if this non-recording is allowed to happen?

Public confidence has to be maintained, but if the view is why bother to report, then true statistics can not be achieved. Any public body has to be open and transparent, but as we have seen over the last few years some public bodies have been far from open and transparent. We have had Mid Staffs scandal with regards to Health, Rotherham child sexual abuse re Local Authorities, Police and some others, also there is the current enquiry into Hillsborough football disaster 1989.

You can not say that all public bodies can not be trusted, because there must be some, but to ensure they can be there has to be a no secrets policy throughout all the public bodies. After all these public bodies are funded by public money, money that has been obtained through various taxes by both Central Government and Local Authorities. The current mistrust can be seen from the abysmal turnout in the elections of Police and Crime Commissioners in the UK in 2012. Even the latest election in South Yorkshire in 2014 was 14.65%, even if that was slightly higher than in 2012 being 14.53%. This just shows the apathy within the UK.

The respective bodies have the answer, in that they need to show the public they can be trusted, just what will their actions be?

Crime-Recording:making the victim count*

The final report of an inspection of crime data integrity in
police forces in England and Wales.

An extract from this report

‘Summary and conclusions
1.16. Victims of crime are being let down. The police are failing to record a large proportion of the crimes reported to them. Over 800,000 crimes reported tothe police have gone unrecorded each year.7
This represents an underrecording of 19 percent. The problem is greatest for victims of violence against the person and sexual offences, where the under-recording rates are 33 percent and 26 percent respectively. This failure to record such a significant proportion of reported crime is wholly unacceptable.
1.17. Even when crimes are correctly recorded, too many are removed or cancelled as recorded crimes for no good reason. Of the 3,246 decisions to cancel, or no-crime8 a crime record that we reviewed, 664 were incorrect.
These included over 200 rapes and more than 250 crimes of violence against the person. Offenders who should be being pursued by the police for these crimes are not being brought to justice and their victims are denied
services to which they are entitled.
1.18. In over 800 of the 3,246 decisions we reviewed, we could find no evidence
that the victim was told of the decision to no-crime their report.9 Victims may be under the impression that their crimes continue to be recorded and investigated when they are not.
1.19. We were reassured to find little evidence of the misclassification of crime. Our audit showed that 96 percent of crime records reviewed were classified correctly, either at the time of initial recording or subsequently.

7
This estimate has been calculated by applying our audit finding that 81 percent of reported crime is being recorded to police-recorded crime figures for the 12-month period ending July 2014. The over 800,000 crimes represent the missing 19 percent of crimes reported to the police. Please note that the HMIC audit focused on areas where we would expect to find crimes. It is possible that other areas, such as anti-social behaviour, also contain crimes that are being missed which may mean that the the number of missed crimes is even higher.

8
3.1 percent of crime that is recorded by the police is no-crimed. However, for recorded crimes of rape, the level of no-criming is 7.3 percent.
9
It should be noted that while each of the no-crime decisions we reviewed had a victim, not all no crime decisions will have an effect on the victim. For example, where a victim has admitted to lying, it
would not be necessary to inform him or her of the decision. Any such examples have been excluded
from the number of victims not informed of the decision.  ………..’

* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.


Heartwarming story of Teddy and Mrs. Thompson from Rishika Jain Inspirations

An extract ‘There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard……..’

Teacher one who provides education for others, but is that all? As the above  story indicates there is always more to learn.

But this is not only so for teachers, what about the Police, Social Services, Health Authorities. Many approach some situations from a judgemental view point. In doing so they may not be listening to what is being said to them.

No matter what we feel we already know, we can always learn more.

My Advice to New Teachers (and Old) from Education Commentary

An extract ‘Teaching is a rewarding profession.  Teaching is an amazing, fulfilling, dynamic profession.  Teaching can also be a draining, depressing and stressing profession.  How do we stay afloat?  There are many simple things we can do in order to keep ourselves thrilled about waking up each morning and working with the future leaders of our society.  ………’

Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge of yesteryear and also today, although this is a marker of how a person may perform in the future. But the persons being taught need to be prepared for the future, for if they are not will they have a future.

To do any of this needs team work, which not only includes the teachers and others in the educational establishment, but also the establishment itself, together with the students, their families and the outer community. For eventually we all will progress to the outer community and our contained knowledge obtained from our schooling will be required for us to partake in this greater community. So dependent on the combined team work, this will be the deciding factor in the roles we will or will not play in all our futures.


Are we not all different, but why should a difference mean that some are abused, bullied or ignored.

Is it the complete lack of understanding of the difference by others, which means that some others are unable to actively communicate with some different people.

So is the disability with the persons who have the disability or with the others who can not understand and comprehend these differences?

What is a disability? from the blog of Mary Sentoza

An extract ‘The word “disability” refers to one of many types of disorders that afflict people, and “disabled” refers to someone with a disability. But I always wondered what it really meant to have a disability and experience disability-related challenges? I always questioned why some people have a disability (language disability, dyslexia, or stuttering), while others are healthy. In a way, life seems unfair when some people have a simple life while others struggle on a daily basis. ‘

 


61chrissterry:

This is so true, always be yourself.

Originally posted on talinorfali:

A lot of the times in life we go through many feelings, emotions, and sometimes we tend to apologize for what we are feeling and telling people our emotions. You have every right to feel what you are feeling, You never have to explain yourself to anybody. Never be ashamed of your feelings. I know they say that you have to express your feelings everytime and tell people exactly how you feel, however sometimes you cannot control feelings, you cannot explain the way you feel due to a certain situation. I know no matter what you have to tell someone how you feel, and not keep anything inside of you, but some circumstances say otherwise. It depends on the person and whom you can confide into easily.

If you keep on living your life on other peoples terms and the way they want you to feel, the way they want…

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61chrissterry:

There can be so much heartache and suffering , but also joy and love in bringing forth children with learning disabilities, of which autism is but one of the many conditions. It is great to note that talent, no matter what the circumstances can flourish.

A truly wonderful story and one which will continue, I wish Christopher and his family, all the best for the future.

Originally posted on Madamsabi's Blog:

Christopher Duffley is 13 years old and lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. Christopher Duffley is blind and has autism. However, this young man is gaining national recognition as a gifted vocal singer. He also plays the piano.

image

By all accounts, Christopher Duffley didn’t have a fighting chance. Born on 19th May of 2001, Duffley’s biological parents tested positive for Oxycontin and cocaine, contributing to a premature birth. Weighing in at less than two pounds, Christopher was born permanently blind (detached retinas), along with a myriad of other health problems, requiring a seven-month hospital stay.

Initially placed in foster care, Christopher’s aunt and uncle soon took him in as their own, eventually adopting him at the age of 2 even though they have their own brood.

image

As if the his existing health problems weren’t enough, Christopher didn’t speak in full sentences until the first grade and was later diagnosed with autism.

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61chrissterry:

A post telling it as it is, the love, the anguish, and feeling what more can I do.

Originally posted on A Buick in the Land of Lexus:

-broken-broken-heart-26794018-299-300

Do you hear that?

Come closer.

That’s the sound of my heart breaking.

My son has always loved the ocean. His eyes are the color of the sea, changing from blue to green with the swell of the tide.  And my love for him is an ocean, an overwhelming force which is sometimes calm and steady, and other times full of conflict.

A mother’s love is like the continuous miracle of the sea. It begins in the ocean of your womb – but there is something unsettling about the way your baby kicks. So fiercely you feel bruised on the inside.

There is something willful and stubborn about his refusal to come out. He arrives weeks late, and even then – after almost 40 hours of labor.

Your baby is overwhelming and mysterious and brutal, like the ocean. He screams uncontrollably for hours a day, every day. And you bring him to…

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