Welcome to Bennett's World: a collection of articles and references covering a wide variety of topics in which I am involved. I am a very political person but I have no allegiance to any political party. Follow me on twitter @colinhove

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Progress: Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill 2006-07

What is happening with the Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill ? This Parliamentary initiative is one that I take a strong interest in. The Bill has been introduced into the House of Lords by Lord Dubs as a Private Members Bill. He was briefed by Landmine Action. Readers can follow the progress of this Bill on the special Parliament website, using the link here. Australian Senate By the way there is also a similar Bill that was introduced into the Australian Senate by Senator Lyn Allison (Australian Democrat/Victoria) in 2006. Details are here. In writing this post, it has come to my attention that the Australian Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade is inquiring into the Bill. It is due to report by 29 March 2007 and written submissions close in mid February 2007. Details are here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

DAAG Meeting of 30 January 2007

I am pleased to report that todays meeting of Brighton & Hove's Disability Access Advisory Group (DAAG) discussed in a cordial way our Council's recent decision to end its arrangement with DisabledGo. A motion was carried with only one vote against, informing the Council that it should rescind its decision to stop its funding for DisabledGo. Further it asked the Council to pay all outstanding sums to DisabledGo and to be more open with everyone about what it does in relation to other bodies. We also asked the Council to co-operate with Brighton & Hove Federation of Disabled People and to keep DAAG informed. There have been some comments on this blog concerning the DisabledGo issue. I welcome comments and encourage readers to participate. Please click the word comments below the relevant posting. You will then be able to see any previous comments and add your own. You may well find that I respond too.

Monday, January 29, 2007

DisabledGo Comments

Below the post Disabledgo Disappears is the word comments. Please click on this to see and join in the conversation about this topic. I welcome all contributions.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Disabledgo Disappears

To start the year I wrote a letter to my local paper the Brighton Argus about blind people and pedestrian crossings. I was glad to see it published as a lead letter on 12 January 2007. This is part of my never-ending campaign to improve access in all areas of life. Also published on that day was an alarming letter about the difficulty disabled people had trying to arrange a visit to Brighton. In particular they highlighted the disappearance of any reference to Brighton & Hove on the DisabledGo website. This is the first I heard about this omission. This stirred me into action within DAAG (Disabled Access Advisory Group) and led to an article published on Monday 22 January 2007. DisabledGo is a national charity whose main function is to encourage better access to places in the public and private domain such as Council offices, Transport facilities, shops, restaurants and hotels. The main mechanism for achieving this is the gathering of information about accessibility in various UK cities and putting all of this on the DisabledGo website. I was involved at an early stage in the creation of DisabledGo and attended its national launch at the Marks & Spencers branch in Oxford Street, London. I am personally well acquainted with DisabledGo's founder Dr Gregory Burke. Further, I attended the launch of DisbledGo's work in Brighton at the Marks & Spencers branch in Western Road, Brighton (M&S have given great support to DisabledGo). This launch was of course supported by Brighton & Hove City Council. We were all please about that. Thus it is sad the Council has seen fit to end the DisabledGo relationship. I am seeking to have this decision rescinded and to find out exactly what the Council is doing. We have to ferret out this information ! Luckily I am not alone so I am glad to see Councillor Roy Pennington's comments on the Council website. Cllr Pennington and I are raising the matter at the 5 February 2007 meeting of the Council's Equalities and Social Justice Forum. Tim Williamson, who is an active member of DAAG and also a Trustee of the Brighton and Hove Federation of Disabled People, is also assisting in finding out exactly what has been going on.

Monday, January 22, 2007

DDA Claim Against Old Market Arts Centre, Hove

After years of warning the Old Market Arts Centre, Hove that I would issue a summons against them under the DDA if they did not pull their socks up, I finally did so on 10 January 2007. The reason for my action was that OMAC showed no sign of obeying the DDA in respect of provision for hearing-impaired people. You can see below the documents so far in this case. It may well be that OMAC decides to settle the matter without a Court hearing. Sadly, the letter from OMAC dated 16 January 2007 gives no sign that they will come to their senses without such a hearing. You can see my OMAC dossier here.