Fight to save the Engine Shed set for victory

Rumours are beginning to emerge from deep within Edinburgh Council that a change of approach to supported employment in Edinburgh will be announced in September.   After much discussion and a lot of campaigning, councillors from Edinburgh seem to be proposing a Status Quo approach for the next year.  During that time, careful thought will be given to how new developments can be married with the existing structure of services to ensure that people continue to get support.  Serious attention is likely to be given to whether competitive tendering is an appropriate way to manage supported employment services and a more constructive approach will be looked at.  Continue reading

Under threat Engine Shed raises money for Special Olympics

SUPPORTERS of the under-threat Engine Shed have taken part in a sponsored walk to help raise awareness of their funding crisis. Around 50 walkers took part in the event, which saw participants of all ages walking from The Engine Shed on St Leonards Street, through Holyrood Park to St Margaret’s Loch. The walk raised more than £1000 for the Lothian Special Olympics, which provides sporting opportunities for people with learning 
disabilities. Organisers also hoped the event would raise further awareness of the funding crisis being faced by The Engine Shed, which provides training and support for young people with learning disabilities, some of whom will be taking part in the Lothian Special 
Olympics.

Click here to read full article from the Edinburgh Evening News.

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty Meeting

7pm Monday 24th June 2013                                               Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh,                                                        17 West Montgomery Place EH7 5HA. Open organising meeting. All welcome.

Faced with any of these PROBLEMS ?

Save The Engine Shed

A renowned training scheme which has transformed the lives of young people with learning disabilities is being threatened with closure. The Engine Shed, a social enterprise business which has been running for nearly 25 years, is set to lose its vital £211,200 annual funding from Edinburgh City Council.                                 The move has sparked an outcry from parents who say that working for the charity – which runs a bakery and popular cafe in St Leonards – has been a life-changing experience for their children. The institution offers three years’ training to 30 vulnerable young adults at a time, equipping them with skills and confidence to find a mainstream job.                                                                                      But a shake-up of employment training for the disabled by the city council means it faces being stripped of its 
funding.

Click here to read the full article from the Edinburgh Evening News. Click here to sign the petition to save the Engine Shed.

Number of Scots reduced to poverty after having their benefits taken away on the rise

A rising numbers of Scots are being pushed deeper into poverty by having their benefits stopped. More than 200 people had their jobseeker’s allowance suspended every working day this time last year – plunging struggling Scots into an instant financial crisis. Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith rapped by watchdog for misusing benefits cap statistic

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has been criticised by the UK’s statistics watchdog for misusing figures to promote the effectiveness of the coalition’s benefits cap on getting people into work.

In a press release issued by the Department of Work and Pensions last month alongside ‘ad hoc’ statistics, Duncan Smith was quoted as saying ‘already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. This clearly demonstrates that the cap is having the desired impact’.

However, in an open letter sent on Thursday, Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said this claim was ‘unsupported by the official statistics published by the department’. Continue reading

May Day protestors target Edinburgh workfare exploiters

May Day in Edinburgh saw anti workfare demonstrators touring companies and        charities using unpaid forced labour.  Starting with an excursion into the
giant Homebase at St Leonards the protestors from Edinburgh Coalition
Against Poverty
went on to visit no fewer than 7 exploiting employers.

At Homebase demonstrators roamed the store putting up stickers – THIS
EMPLOYER USES FORCED UNPAID LABOUR.   Special leaflets were given to
customers and workers detailing the large-scale use of workfare at the
Haringey Homebase where 21 workfare conscripts are working for nothing. Continue reading

Fight the Bedroom Tax – Local Meetings

After last Saturday’s successful Bedroom Tax protest it was agreed to hold meetings across Edinburgh with the aim of establishing local groups to fight back against the Bedroom Tax. The meeting details are as follows;
EDINBURGH WEST:      Tuesday 9 April at 7.00pm Gorgie Dalry Church, 190 Gorgie Road.EH11 2NX.
CRAIGMILLAR:             Thursday 11 April at 6.30p.m  Craigmillar Commumnity Arts, 58 Newcraighall Road
NORTH EDINBURGH:Thursday 11 April 7pm at North Edinburgh Arts Centre (by  the library at the back of the Pennywell shops)
(Greater Leith Against The Cuts and Edinburgh East Save Our Services will continue to campaign against the Bedroom Tax in their areas of the City).
There will be an Edinburgh-wide meeting to help co-odinate the activity of these local groups at 2pm onSunday 21 April in St Augustine’s Church, George IV Bridge.

Ian Duncan Smith claims he could surive on £53 per week – Let him prove it!

On Monday’s Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.”

This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year Continue reading

Anti-Cuts Campaigners Heckle Iain Duncan Smith in Edinburgh

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, was called a “ratbag” as he was heckled by anti-cuts protesters who gatecrashed a speech in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Smith was about to deliver a speech on pensions reform when North Edinburgh Fights Back campaigner Willie Black began haranguing the MP, calling him a “parasite” and a “ratbag” for pursuing social security cuts that would leave “millions” of people homeless.

Click here to read the full article from the Guardian or here to see the video from BBC’s Reporting Scotland.