The arts sector appears to be making gradual progr

first_imgThe arts sector appears to be making gradual progress on increasing the proportion of disabled people in its workforce, although many leading companies have admitted employing no disabled staff at all, a new report by the Arts Council has revealed.The percentage of disabled people working for the larger organisations receiving Arts Council England (ACE) funding – its national portfolio organisations (NPOs) – doubled from just two per cent in 2014-15 to four per cent in 2015-16.The proportion of disabled people on NPO boards has also risen sharply, from 3.2 per cent to seven per cent. ACE says the proportion of disabled people in the overall working-age population is about 19 per cent.There has also been a significant increase in the number of disabled-led NPOs, increasing from five to 19 in just one year – which may explain some of the employment increase – while ACE said that three per cent of all of its strategic funds were awarded to disability-led organisations, compared to just two per cent in 2014-15.But there are still question-marks over the rate of progress.The ACE report reveals that some major arts organisations that receive ACE funding – and employ more than 50 members of staff – appear to have no disabled employees at all.Although those figures refer to 2014-15, while the rest of the report covers 2015-16, the arts organisations admitting that they employ no disabled people at all include the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the English National Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra, The Roundhouse, the University of Warwick, and Bristol Old Vic.An ACE spokeswoman warned that it would be “using the data to inform the decisions we take” on future funding from 2018.There are also concerns that, while the number of performances made accessible to audience members who are deaf or blind rose from 3,760 to 4,613, the number of accessible exhibition days plunged from 8,054 to 1,066 days, while the number of accessible film screenings fell from 4,675 to 4,019.ACE said it was “looking into” the reasons for these falls.But the figures in the Equality, Diversity And The Creative Case 2015-16 report seem to show that ACE’s Creative Case for Diversity programme is now making some progress, two years after it was launched in December 2014.This year, it invested £11.8 million in diversity, an increase of more than 40 per cent on the amount ACE originally intended to spend.This includes £5.3 million on Elevate, which aims to develop diverse-led organisations, a sum that was “uplifted” through National Lottery funding “due to the strength of applications received”; funding to help address the lack of diversity in arts leadership, through the Change Makers programme (pictured); and support for the development and commissioning of new work by deaf and disabled artists, through Unlimited, which was originally launched as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.An ACE spokeswoman said: “We know that there is more to be done in terms of the leadership within the sector, the representation of disabled people across our workforce and the barriers around socio-economic participation.“We are committed to addressing these issues.”From 2018, those NPOs receiving more than £1 million a year “will be required to ensure their leadership and workforce reflects the diversity of their local area”, while ACE will have “some involvement in senior management and board appointments”.Its chief executive, Darren Henley, told the report’s launch event in Manchester: “Disabled representation within the arts and culture workforce now stands at four per cent.“We all have to do better – and I include the Arts Council in that challenge.”Henley said that research commissioned by ACE into why this figure was so low found that disabled people still faced “significant barriers to employment”, particularly as a result of reform of the government’s Access to Work scheme.He said: “We’ve expressed our concerns to government about recent changes and their impact on the ability of disabled artists to develop their careers.“We’re watching what happens next and will continue to make representations.”He also said that black and minority ethnic and disabled people were still under-represented in arts audiences,He said that “work still needs to be done for disabled people”, and he added: “We are seeing progress in diversity… but we need to keep pushing on.”Jane Cordell, chair of the disability and Deaf arts organisation DaDaFest, told the event that it was vital that the boards running arts organisations were diverse because they “challenge more, they disrupt”.She said: “If we don’t have those who have experiences beyond the norm, our strategies and plans are at risk of being normal and a vicious circle of unseen exclusion will persist.”Meanwhile, the user-led access-to-live-music charity Attitude is Everything has announced the six winners of its inaugural Outstanding Attitude Awards.The awards have been presented to venues and festivals “at the forefront of creative access provision” for Deaf and disabled audiences at live music events. The three winning venues were The Albany, in London, for providing video-based travel information on its website; Colston Hall, in Bristol, for a conference and a series of performances that “put accessible music-making centre-stage”; and the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, for offering British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation at all of its events.The winning festivals were Just So, in Cheshire, for its inclusive programming; Nozstock, in Herefordshire, for its online access information; and Reading, for its user-led BSL interpretation service.last_img read more

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Scottish criminal justice agencies have rejected p

first_imgScottish criminal justice agencies have rejected pleas to investigate the failure of two ministers to improve the safety of the government’s “fitness for work” test, despite evidence that their actions caused the deaths of at least three benefit claimants.Police Scotland was asked in March to investigate allegations of “wilful neglect of duty” by former Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling.A dossier containing details of the deaths of three benefit claimants with experience of mental distress was passed to Police Scotland by the Scottish grassroots campaign network Black Triangle.The three claimants – Paul Donnachie, David Barr, and a woman known only as Ms D E – took their own lives in 2015, 2013 and 2011 as a result of grave flaws in the work capability assessment (WCA).These flaws mirrored those uncovered by a coroner in January 2010, following the suicide of Stephen Carré, and passed to DWP in a prevention of future deaths report just a few weeks before Duncan Smith (pictured at this year’s Tory conference) and Grayling took up their new posts following the May 2010 general election.Black Triangle approached Police Scotland with the dossier in March 2016 because it believed there was clear evidence that the two ministers neglected their duty as public servants in refusing to bring in the changes called for by the coroner, so causing other deaths, including those of Paul Donnachie, David Barr and Ms D E.Black Triangle said its dossier concluded that, “were it not for the alleged criminal omissions by the two ministers, these and countless other deaths could have been and could yet be avoided”.But nine months after Black Triangle passed the dossier to Police Scotland, the force appears to have done little to investigate the allegations, other than consulting with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (COPF), the Scottish equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service.This week, Edinburgh police confirmed that it would be taking no further action on the David Barr case, while COPF said that it had also decided that no further action should be taken on the Paul Donnachie case.Police Scotland said that COPF had already decided that there was no link between DWP’s decision to find David Barr fit for work – following a 35-minute assessment by a physiotherapist – and his decision to take his own life a month after being told by DWP he was not eligible for employment and support allowance (ESA).Maureen Barr, David’s mother, said this week that she was “disappointed” at the COPF decision, but “definitely” still wanted Duncan Smith and Grayling to face justice.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “We have been given no detailed information on what legal reasoning has been applied to any of the above matters and there seems to be complete silence on the compelling evidence set out in the case of Ms D E.“In all the circumstances, this conduct is totally unacceptable and constitutes an insult not only to the families of the deceased but to every disabled and vulnerable Scot and their families who look to Police Scotland and the COPFS to keep them safe. “This is not over. We are consulting with our legal advisers and will be taking this all the way. “For disabled people in Scotland and equally throughout the UK these are literally matters of life and death and Black Triangle campaign will not let them down, whether or not the state chooses to.“We would like to appeal to all of them to continue to support our campaign for justice and to never give in to despair in spite of any and all setbacks.”A COPF spokesman said: “The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Mr Donnachie and Mr Barr have been fully investigated.“The Procurator Fiscal and Crown Counsel have respectively concluded that no further investigation is required and that no further action should be taken.“The nearest relatives have been informed of this decision and have been offered an opportunity to discuss it further with the Procurator Fiscal.”Police Scotland has previously said it would only look at the Ms D E case if Black Triangle or Disability News Service were able to pass on her personal details.But those details have never been made public, as her death was the subject of a report by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWCS), which treated her case anonymously and concluded that she killed herself after being told she was not eligible for ESA.The report linked her death to DWP’s failure to obtain medical evidence about her mental health from the professionals who had treated her, just as the coroner had done in the case of Stephen Carré.This week, MWCS declined to comment when asked if Police Scotland had requested Ms D E’s details, stating that it was “for Police Scotland to respond to your request related to any investigation”.Police Scotland and COPF had both refused by 11am today (Thursday) to say whether they had attempted to contact MWCS since receiving the Black Triangle dossier in March.McArdle said the Police Scotland and COPFS responses “beggar belief” and that an email to him from MWCS earlier this year “clearly shows that the ball was in Police Scotland’s court to contact the chief executive of MWCS”.He said: “In an open and democratic society operating under the constitutional principle of the ‘rule of law’, we are entitled to require the full facts and complete transparency from our police service and we will not desist until the full facts are revealed.”last_img read more

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NATHAN Brown and Mark Flanagan are interviewed on

first_imgNATHAN Brown and Mark Flanagan are interviewed on the latest edition of the In Touch Podcast.To download click here or search for St Helens RFC on iTunes.The Podcast, in partnership with 105.9 Citytalk, includes reaction from the recent win at Widnes and a feature on our club chaplain.Remember if you want a question answering on the Podcast drop us a line @saints1890 on twitter or email [email protected]last_img

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SAINTS have a superb record against the Red Devils

first_imgSAINTS have a superb record against the Red Devils in St Helens.Salford are seeking their first away win against St Helens for over 35 years – and their first in the summer era.They have previously lost all 15 matches at Knowsley Road since 1997, one game at Widnes’ Stobart Stadium in 2011 and three at Langtree Park.Saints last defeat on home soil was on January 12 1980 (18-17) and they have won 30 consecutive home meetings between the sides since then.2015 Meeting:Salford 6, St Helens 52 (SLR2, 12/2/15)Super League Summary:St Helens won 32Salford won 4Highs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 66-16 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 58-4, A, 2000)Salford highest score: 42-34 (H, 2010) (Widest margin: 39-26, H, 1997)Career Milestones:Jon Wilkin needs two tries to reach a career century of touchdowns.His total of 98 has been scored as follows: 8 for Hull KR (2000-2002), 89 for St Helens (2003-2015) and 1 for England (2004-2005, 2008-2009 & 2011-2012). Wilkin also made 6 non-scoring appearances for Great Britain (2006-2007).Consecutive Appearances:Mose Masoe has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 47.He made his Saints debut as a substitute in a 38-18 win against Hull KR at Langtree Park on March 7 2014 and has been an ever-present in the side since then.1 Mose Masoe (St Helens) 472 Danny Washbrook (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 393 Elliott Whitehead (Catalans Dragons) 354 Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 325 = Paul Aiton (Leeds Rhinos), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves) 31First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors) 162 = Tom Lineham (Hull FC), Dominic Manfredi (Wigan Warriors) 124 = Zeb Taia (Catalans Dragons), Tommy Makinson (St Helens), Jordan Turner (St Helens), Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings) 118 = Kieran Dixon (Hull Kingston Rovers), Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers), Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos) 10Goals:1 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 522 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 503 = Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 485 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 476 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 467 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 378 = Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings), Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 3210 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 29Goals Percentage:1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 87.03 (47/54)2 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 84.61 (11/13)3 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 80.00 (52/65)4 Tommy Makinson (St Helens) 76.47 (13/17)5 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 75.75 (50/66)6 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 74.19 (46/62)7 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 72.72 (32/44)8 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 72.50 (29/40)9 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 72.22 (26/36)10 Gareth O’Brien (Warrington Wolves) 71.42 (10/14)Points:1 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 1322 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 1133 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1106 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 1087 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 948 Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings) 849 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 7810 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 75last_img read more

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