City Hall Raking In Millions Thanks to ULEZ Expansion – Guido Fawkes

While Sadiq continues spewing hot air with a moral case over the ULEZ expansion – apparently this is all about saving Londoners’ lives – the TaxPayers’


Clean air zones have been around for some time.

London may have been believed to be the first UK city to raise a congestion charge, but this was, in fact Durham in 2002,  apparently for only one road, while London was for a specific district.

The whole idea was to reduce pollution, but was it for it could lead to more traffic to use roads where there are no charges and so increase pollution in those areas. But what can’t be argued is that it is a means to raise money at the expense for motorists.

Now many more cities have or are about to introduce similar schemes.

But, if it was really a means to reduce emissions then this should have been run in conjunction with other schemes, such as, providing money to encourage people to purchase less polluting vehicle or state when the most polluting vehicle would no longer be manufactured, which has already been put forward being 2030.

But people will still be able to drive diesel and petrol vehicles, if they can obtain the fuels to do so and currently there is no decision on when these fuels will stop being sold. But sooner or later there will be.

So until then the Local Authorities operating Clean air zones will continue to draw in the money from the charges.


Source: City Hall Raking In Millions Thanks to ULEZ Expansion – Guido Fawkes

Systems for challenging adult social care decisions failing, warns rights regulator – Community Care

The system for challenging councils on their adult social care decisions is failing those who need it, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned. Inaccessible information, “complicated and stressful processes” and a lack of advocacy were undermining people’s ability to challenge local authority decisions in England and Wales, the rights regulator found, on […]


Mostly I agree with the points raised and certainly more needs to be done to make the processes more equitable and so much easier to go through. But, in many instances it is down to trust, for a good proportion of the population are scared of very large organisations and certainly those who appear to have great power, which Local Authorities, (LAs) certainly have.

Over the years I have submitted many complaints to my LA, and in the main my complaints have been upheld, but the process can be very long, so is very time consuming and exceedingly stressful.

I was caring for my daughter for going on 40 years and over time became much more knowledgeable about processes and certainly what mine and my daughters Rights were.

I studied the legislations including the Care Act 2014 and I became aware that a significant number of LA staff were not very aware of what was in the Care Act, and also became aware that in some instances the Care Act was being ignored to some extent, either by design or lack of knowledge.

That being said, in one Formal complaint, I became so incensed about the complaints procedure that I added to the complaint , a complaint about the procedure.

Only once have I progressed a complaint to the Ombudsman, but was told I submitted to them too late, even though this was due to the LA taking over a year to forward to me their final response. To have a deadline to submit, to me is totally wrong and does not take into account the stresses encountered by persons with needs and their carers which in many instances can be considerable.

Also, the Ombudsman only takes into account whether the processes were fully followed and not the right or wrongs of any decision, which again needs to be rectified. So does the opportunities to raise a Judicial Review, which over the years has been made much more difficult due to Governments making it more difficult for persons to obtain Legal Aid to fund the process, having to rely on finding a law firm to take on by ‘No Win, No Fee’.

A ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, also known as a conditional fee agreement, is an arrangement between you and your personal injury solicitor. It means that if your compensation claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay a contingency fee for your lawyer’s services.
While the Care Quality Commission is being given more powers, it should be given much more including the provision to investigate complaints.

I had the ability to understand, over the years, the process and have the strength and ability to go through the processes. At times having to explain my Right to complain by any media I wished to use, being in writing, by telephone, by email, etc and not as I was informed on occasions only on their complaint form and at times advised I would have to go through a more senior staff member, which again is untrue. So, I have had to talk through some LA staff what the process is.

Over the years I have become so much more involved with my LA, in that they call upon me to help them in various ways, as they wish to avail themselves of my ‘Expert by Experience’ knowledge and over the years have seen some improvements to some degree.

I am now 73 and took early retirement at 62 due to health, but this gave me more opportunities to be involved and I am now a regular contributor to many areas within my LA. But I have over the years become involved with my local Healthwatch, Health Authorities and many over local voluntary and Charity organisations.

I do appreciate that many others will not have the time, the strength and other requirements to do what I have and continue to do, so I do hope by doing what I do I am helping to improve what is there not only for my own family, but for many others too.

Unfortunately, over the last few years I had to deal with the death of my wife in September 2020 and my dear daughter in October 2022 and my involvement in the areas above have in many ways been helping me to deal with these losses and I have received many supporting comments from persons I am in contact with in my LA and other organisations.

To me complaining and then being involved in other ways has been, in most respects, good for me and my family and have been able to become much closer to the processes which are not easy to deal with and to know the people I am dealing with. This will not be possible for most of the population, but I do hope in time more improvements will be made.

The largest of these is funding, which since 2010 for all LAs has been well short of what is required due to Tory austerity cuts and really needs to be reversed. The government said the cuts would be absorbed through saving being made, well in most respects there were not opportunities to make saving, unless cuts to services were made, which there has been to many, if not all services, leading to great deterioration to the lives of many.

This Government and all future governments need to ensure that funding cuts are not the way forward and lead to much more deprivation and many more inequalities.


Source: Systems for challenging adult social care decisions failing, warns rights regulator – Community Care

Multiple and complex needs found in backgrounds of children deprived of liberty – Community Care

The multiple and complex needs of children made the subject of deprivation of liberty (DoL) orders have been laid bare in an analysis published last week. The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (Nuffield FJO) found that children had, on average, 4.2 of a set of 11 indicators of need or risk, including mental health issues, disability, […]


‘Nuffield FJO director Lisa Harker warned: “Improving provision for this group of children is an urgent necessity; it is not only about building new children’s homes for the future, it is about urgently meeting the needs of children today.

“It will require a nationwide strategy, with significant commitment at a local and national level, led by national government. We know that a wide range of professionals, including senior members of the judiciary, have been actively and consistently calling for action to address the gross lack of suitable provision.” ‘

This is so true and I so doubt this government and any future government will take any action, let alone all actions.

Yes, new buildings or even adapted old ones are not, anywhere near the full requirement. For any building needs to be sufficiently and appropriately staffed and with the current vacancies it is hard to see where any of these staff will be coming from.

Providing staff of the required numbers is only just a part of the problem for they need much approrpriate training in many increasing areas, for while one child may be similar to another, that is not correct, for every child will have their own distinction needs in many areas. Understanding each child is a major requirement, as before any solutions are found the full extent of all problems need to be known and there is no room for assumptions. These problems could well change during any time period and these changes also need to be recognised whenever they occur or occurring and the right ways of dealing have to be there immediately.

For in many instances situations have been made much worse due to incorrect ways of dealing with situations being done, when other ways would have had more success. It is understanding each child and not just following a standard Rulebook, especially one which allows no other interventions.

It is inevitable that on occasions some ways may not be fully correct, and in these actions need to be taken very soon as possible.

But it is not just the children that need support for the staff there also need to be well supported, but not to instigate some coverup, as if wrongs have been done then covering up is also so wrong. But staff will need some support, some more than others, certainly emotional and many others.

But, in many instances it will be the lack of resources in many other areas, mental health for one, but they will be and are many others.

None of this will be easy and without sufficient and sustainable financing, both Government to LAs and then LAs to the facilities, successes will not be forthcoming, for it will lead to complete failure, as we have seen and are seeing with the current and previous lack of funding in these very essential services.

It is not that we can’t afford to fund, but that we can’t afford not to fund.

Safeguarding has always to be a major requirement and so essential.

But what is really required is a fully caring government, but then do I believe in miracles?

Source: Multiple and complex needs found in backgrounds of children deprived of liberty – Community Care

Let’s look dispassionately at the arguments for and against user fees for NHS primary care in England | The BMJ

User fees aren’t the sole solution to problems that have proven intractable for the NHS, writes Azeem MajeedThere has been considerable recent debate about charging for GP appointments after comments from two former UK health secretaries, Kenneth Clarke and Sajid Javid, elicited strong responses both for and against user fees. Let’s try to put aside ideology and emotion and look objectively at the evidence and arguments around user fees in NHS primary care.1Debates over NHS user fees are not new. In 1951, Hugh Gaitskell introduced charges for prescriptions, spectacles, and dentures. Aneurin Bevan, minister for labour and architect of the NHS, resigned in protest at this abandonment of the principle of NHS care being free at the point of need. Many developed countries already charge users to access primary care services, often through a flat-rate co-payment. However, there is a lack of evidence about the impact of such fees on access to healthcare, health inequalities, and clinical outcomes. A key study on the impact of user fees in a high income country (the RAND Health Insurance Experiment) is now nearly 40 years old.2User fees should theoretically encourage patients to act prudently …


To some extent this is a balanced argument, which many of those who are putting forward the view that fees are required don’t consider.

As is said, paying for NHS prescriptions are generally put forward as an example of paying for NHS services, but as stated many of the supporters of paying fees, are not aware or fail to see the percentage to whom prescriptions are still free. Or even more so the number of people who have to pay for their prescriptions and in doing so often refuse some medications because they are unable to pay for all of them, which I feel is never fully recorded, so there are no real statistics available, except an indication of what could be.

It is mentioned for a possible cost to see a GP, but would that be only for face-to-face or even telephone appointments or if available virtual appointments and would there be different charges as to which was done.

Also, people contact their GP surgeries for numerous reasons so would there be a charge for talking to a receptionist, Nurse or any other persons in the practice.

Some people need home visits so would that be an increased charge and what about District Nurses and other community health facilities.

There are many who delay or don’t go to opticians and dentists due to the costs involved and this is again is delaying access to possible treatments, until any condition has progressed extensively and therefore being more costly to the NHS, when a more timely intervention could have reduced costs considerably.

The costs of setting up a payment system, its monitoring and then extra procedures to collect non-payment of fees need to be considered. Also, the possible consequences of any resulting court actions being taken against persons non-paying.

I assume this would only be for Primary Care and not Emergency Care so would some, some who are already doing so, go to A&E rather than their GPs, so increasing more numbers to A&E.

This is a very slippery slope for what would be the next charge be for. Also will any of this alter the number of vacancies in Primary Care, or perhaps increase them, for making people pay to visit could well mean they will expect more for paying and could lead to more problems in the end.

Not taking into account what the charge would be, when it would increase, not being able to pay when attending, would the patient be turned away and no care given.

This slippery slope would become much more slippery.

You only have to look at social care in which there is a charge, no matter what your income is and that is so deficient that many persons needing social care are not receiving, not because they are not able to pay, but the services are not there in the degree of what is required.

I agree more needs to be done, but suggesting fees be introduced is not the answer, what is needed is paying all staff in the NHS and social care a realistic living salary so encouraging more to enter every aspects of these areas, so there are not only sufficient staff available, but possible a slight excess to cover any eventualities as, staff sickness, holidays, and even more so unexpected situations, which are coming more these days and not less.

COVID should have been an ‘eye opener’ for it is far from being a one-off, as many similar will occur for the years to come and with greater regularities. Now is the time to plan, not only for the here and now, but for the futures.

The beliefs that savings can be made in both health and social care is wishful thinking, so the austerity cuts to local authorities (LAs) from 2010 and cuts to NHS budgets are somethings that should never have been introduced, especially when needs and demands are far exceeding what is there, let alone reducing what is there, hence the crisis we have currently in social care and the NHS.

LAs and the NHS are doing their best with depleting budgets, in real terms, when demands are ever increasing, the Government and all future governments need to ‘raise their heads from the sands’ and see what is really occurring, but then that depends on whether they really do care, which is very debatable.

Source: Let’s look dispassionately at the arguments for and against user fees for NHS primary care in England | The BMJ

DfE pledges action on ‘excessive’ workload pressures for children’s social workers – Community Care

The government has pledged action to tackle “excessive” workload pressures on council children’s social workers as part of its response to the care review. The Department for Education said it would set up a national workload action group to identify solutions to “unnecessary” pressures on practitioners, while also promising steps to reduce the burden of […]


Some good intentions, but I will believe it more when I see actions and even more so appropriate actions, for Government involvement so far as not been that encouraging, perhaps, even more discouraging.

For none of this will be possible without much more funding, which we see this government is not prepared to do and is claiming that the current climate is the reason. But that climate in most areas has been caused by government inactions or inappropriate actions and not by Local Authorities (LAs) and certainly not the workers within those authorities.

The years since 2010 with the introduction of Tory Austerity cuts are to be blamed to a large extent, but also the total inability for all governments to look after social care and even education.

The austerity cuts were supposed to be funded by making savings, but in effect very little savings were there to be made and have been and are being funded by extensive cuts to many services, if not all LA services, by virtually all LAs, if not all of them and with some, so much more so than others.

LAs have been bearing the brunt of all these problems, when in many instances the blame should have been at the doors of the Tory Governments and some others before.

While I so hope all the problems will be solved, I feel not many will be, if any.


Source: DfE pledges action on ‘excessive’ workload pressures for children’s social workers – Community Care

Family Carers and Social Care

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE I am a former family carer, former as my daughter died on 4 October 2022 following my wife’s death on 26 September 2020, and both are very sadly missed. My daughter was 54 when she died of a heart attack and she enjoyed her life with myself and her mother and then when our health deteriorated her care 24/7 was undertaken by a team of paid carers who provided excellent care respecting her wishes and choices, dignity, were empathetic and ensured my daughter had a very good life while continuing to live in our family home. The introduction of paid carers was gradual starting with 2 carers in a double shift of 60 hours in total Monday to Friday, which then progressed to similar for Saturday and Sunday, when they took my daughter out for lunch each day. As the health of my wife and then my own became worse we progressed to 24/7 care within our home and had an excellent provider of very excellent carers. The carers in many ways became part of our family and even after the death of my daughter many are still in contact with me and visit when they can. I was fortunate, today, to be on the Paulette Edwards, Radio Sheffield programme this morning talking about being a Family Carer and the experiences, the problems and the rewards and how it affected all of our lives. Now family carers are unpaid, but in doing so, as stated in a Carers UK report in 2015, was saving the UK £132 billion in Social Care costs and this can only have increased, substancially over the years in 2021 assumed to be £193 billion per year. Family Carers are entitled to Carers Allowance currently £69.70 per week provided at least 35 hours care is provided during the week, the carer has to be over 16 years and not earn more than £132 per week (after deductions including tax, national insurance and certain expenses). On retirement depending on the amount of State pension being received the Carers Allowance could be reduced or not paid at all. For the allowance is there to mitigate for any lost earning due to caring and when on pension there are no lost earnings. Family carers are also entitled to their own assessment, a Carers Assessment, independent of a needs assessment for the person needing care, to arrange for one contact your Local Authority who may do them themselves or contracted to another organisation to do them, in Sheffield this is the Sheffield Carers Centre. But, Social Care has, largely been forgotten about or dismissed as not being important, which is so wrong for social care is extremely important and needs to be considered on a par with the NHS, as the NHS can’t exist without Social Care and Social Care can’t exist without the NHS and in that Family carers are also so important, so their significance should never be discounted. For it is Family Carers who have been sustaining social care for all the years there has been social care. Lack of Government both funding and recognition of social care has been happening by this current Government and all preceding governments and none have given the so much needed funding and recognition it deserves and requires. This has led to the crisis in social care to escalate and is now and has been for many years seriously affecting the sustainability not only of Social Care but our very much respected NHS. Both the NHS and Social Care need equal respect and both need to be fully funded, for the staffing crisis in both are extremely serious. In fact the staffing crisis in social care could be far exceeding that of the NHS. But when we are looking at the NHS it is much more than Doctors, nurses , ambulance staff, for it is everyone employed within the NHS, for everyone contributes to the team and none can exist without the others. When I mention teams I am looking at everyone for take social care, it is not just social workers and care workers, but it includes families and the family carers for we are all part of the teams and all need to be respected, as is the person being cared for who needs and should be always the centre focus, in other words ‘Person Centred Care’ is the foundation of all care, be it the NHS, Social Care and in the family. This is so much the same in social care for it is not just the shortage of care workers, who so much need to be paid more, at least £15 per hour, but also their employment Terms and Conditions, re holiday pay, travel expenses paid sick leave and much more. You may say what has the Government to do with this, but the Government provides a grant to each Local Authority, (LAs) so they can have funds to which Council Tax, Business Rates and more are also included so that the LAs can then fund the services they provide. But since 2010 this grant has been severely reduced, by the Tory Government Austerity Cuts and therefore LAs have insufficient funds to fund all the services they should be doing, which means for them to keep within the funding, services have to be reduced, for any LA is not allowed to go into deficit. If this funding is not sorted, urgently, then the care staff will continue to reduce. It is said that anyone could be a carer, but that is not really true, for caring is not, as it is said to be, an unskilled profession, for to care correctly it is a very skilled profession and so needs to be recognised as so. Also when looking at Social Care it is so much more than care for the elderly, for it includes both children and adults, not only in care homes, but home care, supported living, respite and hospices. and more. Many will say that the UK can’t afford to fund social care, but I say it can’t afford not to, for if it is not, then social care will continue to diminish so much more and then the crisis in the NHS will be so much more and really threaten the continued existence of the NHS. So whether you do use social care currently or not and remember none of us will really know when we will need social care it is so important that it is sufficiently funded and then continued to be sufficiently funded and with that the NHS also. Look at military spending and I am not saying we should not help Ukraine for we all need to for if Russia is allowed to defeat Ukraine where will Russia strike next, but when any munitions are used, no one says can it be afforded to be used, but this is what is occurring daily in social care and the NHS.

The Family Of Six In A One-Bedroom Flat Due To Inaccessible Social Housing

The housing market in the UK is far from good and even more so in respect of Social housing for many reasons

1. social housing stock has, over many hyears been reduced through the ‘right to buy’ scheme where social housing tennents were given the right to buy on a much lower price than the current market value dependent on how long the family have resided in the property, but Local Authorities, (LAs) were not allowed to use the resulting income from the sale of the property to buld replacement stocks

2. UK social housing stock is generally old, so not as acceptable to conditions of today, especially with regards to accessiblity and other aspects in regards to disabilities, but also many others such as use of energy and suitability of current climates

3. lack of available funding at LAs due to, at least 10 years of austerity cuts to Government grants to LAs, plus increased costs related to COVID, in a very changing market. This is not only reflecting on social housing, but many other LA resourses such as, education, social care and many others

4. too long timescales toprovide required adjustments and alterations and adaptations

5. state of repair of much social housing as repairs have not been done, effectively, sufficiently and within required timescales, leading t many social housing properties to be in a poor state causing many areas relating to causes of very poor health of tennents residing in them

When a family needs improved and more suitable accomodation is it required immediately and not in a year or years time as to do so puts more stress, and inconvenience on alrady very stressful and inconvenienced families so adding much more to problems within their lives.

This was not satisfactory years ago and even more so now, but this Government and may previous Governments have and are being shown to behave like the ‘3 wise monkeys‘, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’.

This is a major crisis, in addition to all the other major crisises within the UK and should never have been allowed to occur, but mismanagement or, in reality, no management by UK Governments for more years than there should have been, out of sight, out of mind, except for those of the population who are directly concerned, but Governments who are not and never will be concerned.

Same Difference

A family of six have been living in a one-bedroom flat because the social housing they were assigned was inaccessible to their disabled child.

Seven-year-old Joel Verala uses a wheelchair and is fed by a tube due to quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The house has three bedrooms but the family have been told the adaptations he needs could take a year.

Croydon Council said it had always informed the family the work would take “some months to complete”.

Joel’s mum, Souskay Verala, describes her son as a “happy boy” on the BBC Access All podcast.

“He likes stories read to him, he loves his siblings playing around him, as well as walks outside,” she says.

The family – Souskay, her husband and three children – were excited to be offered the three-bedroom council property in March having lived in a small flat for the previous six years.

But, though the…

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New prime minister must prioritise NHS, say doctors’ leaders | The BMJ

Liz Truss, the UK’s new prime minister, must act decisively on the key challenges facing the NHS and social care or face an “uncontrollable crisis” this winter, doctors’ leaders have warned.Truss became the fourth Conservative prime minister in six years after gaining 81 326 votes (57.4%) of Conservative party members, defeating her rival, Rishi Sunak.The most pressing item in Truss’s in-tray will be tackling soaring energy bills that will have severe health implications if people, particularly if they are elderly or clinically vulnerable, are forced to choose between food and heating.During the leadership contest the NHS received relatively little attention, but in her victory acceptance speech Truss pledged to “deliver on the …


Yes, sorting out the NHS needs to be a priority, but also does sorting out social care for if it is not, sorting out the NHS will never be successful.

Both social care and the NHS are as important as each other and it could be said that social care even more so. For any lack of social care, as much detrimental effects on the NHS, creates more health situations and of greater degrees, leading to many more access to GPs and eventually hospitals. The hospital  says could then be longer than they should be, due, not only to the gegree of health, but when patients are ready for discharge, but are still not fully able to care for themselves, but there is then an insufficiency of social care to undertake care of themselves. Thus creating bedblocking, which in turn means A&E are unable to free areas in A&E as there are no free beds on wards due to the bed blocking. This then means there are insufficient A&E capacity for ambulances to transfer their patients into A&E, so ambulances have to wait at hospitals under acces to A&E is available. This then creates a shortage of available ambulances for picking new emergency callouts.

The problems with social care are far from new, but no government as so far done much to solve the social care crisis, in fact many, if not all have been ignoring social care for many years. This was made worse since 2010 with the introduction of Tory austerity cuts and then additional costs of COVID.

So doctors leaders, do not be as shortsighted as the Government and include social care within your campaign for funding.


Source: New prime minister must prioritise NHS, say doctors’ leaders | The BMJ

‘They just want parents to go away’: complaints soar as special needs schooling crisis spirals | Special educational needs | The Guardian

Chronic underfunding of the Send system in England blamed for failure to offer children adequate support


Yes, there is chronic underfunding for special needs in the Uk, but that is one of many for another is Social care and while the immediate funding rests with the respective Local Authorities, (LAs), who themsleves are short of finance also. So, who is directly to blame, well this is the Government, this current oned and many, if not all previous Governments, for LAs receive a bulk of their fun ding in grants from the Government but from 2020 the Governments subjected LAs to drastic cuts through the austerity programme, none of which has been repaid back to LAs.

So, lets put the blame where it really is and that is on the Government, who are not respecting human rights and totally lacking in ‘Duty of Care’.

Source: ‘They just want parents to go away’: complaints soar as special needs schooling crisis spirals | Special educational needs | The Guardian

‘My Daughter In Wheelchair Was Abandoned By School Taxis’

This all shows how pathetic the system is, with no one accepting accountability and leaving a very vulnerable person in, possible, great danger. All parties need to sort this out so it never happens again, ‘heads need to roll’.

Same Difference

    A mother has told the BBC her daughter has been left “abandoned” outside her high school in South Lanarkshire because of transport failures.

    The 11-year-old uses a wheelchair and is entitled to a taxi pick-up after each school day.

    But her mother Lisa Harland said she has only been picked up twice this term and staff have not waited with her.

    South Lanarkshire Council said pupils could wait inside the school if transport was unavailable.

    However, Ms Harland said she had to leave work to pick up her daughter and found the school office shutters down.

    Because the family live in Glasgow, the girl’s transport is organised by Glasgow City Council and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), and provided by Glasgow Taxis.

    Ms Harland said she had called the taxi company and SPT but had been unable to find out who is in charge.

    She said: “It doesn’t matter who…

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