Scottish Social Security Bill

We are very lucky to have Jeane Freeman, Minister for Social Security coming along to talk about the new Scottish Social Security Bill and what it means for us on Tuesday 15 May 10.00am at the Muirhouse Millennium Centre, 7 Muirhouse Medway, EH4 4RW

The Minister will talk about the new Scottish Social Security Bill and answer our questions.

She will be with us from 10.00 – 11.00am

Following this you can join a number of workshops including LIFT, CRISIS and LIVING RENT.

More details on workshops to follow! The event ends at 2.00pm

Everyone is welcome, so do come along if you can.

kind regards,

Pat Smith, on behalf of “We are all Daniel Blake”37667399276_913fb404b9_zSc

VICTORY

From ECAP

COUNCIL PAY HOUSING BENEFIT AND DROP COURT ACTION AGAINST HOMELESS LONE PARENT

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are very pleased to report that Edinburgh Council are dropping the court action against lone parent D for supposed “rent arrears” and are paying D Housing Benefit to cover the back rent.  This means we no longer need to go ahead with the planned action at the Council Leader’s surgery on Wednesday 21 March – this action is cancelled.  It seems the threat of action was enough to pressure the Council to do the right thing.

D and her young son were recently evicted from a Private Sector Leasing flat run by Link group under contract to the Council. The CEC refused to pay Housing Benefit to D despite the fact that she had no income apart from paltry benefits, and had no significant savings. Not content with making D and her child homeless the Council then started persecuting her via lawyers and the courts, demanding 4,100 pounds false “rent arrears”.

ECAP have been battling this injustice for over a month, but it is only when we made public our intention to demonstrate at Council leader Adam McVey’s surgery that the Council attitude mysteriously changed overnight!  The Council have now put in writing that Housing Benefit is being paid and the court action stopped.  Direct Action gets the goods!  The Council well know from the courageous actions of the North Edinburgh mums in All About Me and their supporters that more and more people in Edinburgh are willing to take action to resist homelessness and injustice.

The Council have also written that the Council Tax warrant against D has been withdrawn and full back-dated Council Tax reduction applied.  Now ECAP will be battling alongside D to make sure that she and her son are allocated safe secure good housing on a permanent basis.

We can build on victories like this, let’s step up our actions and through creating a counter power from below,  we can win HOMES FOR ALL!

HOMES FOR EVERYONE 

Solidarity protest with homeless people. End the Horror of SLUM HOSTELS IN EDINBURGH

17 January  10am – 11.30

Abbots House, 10 Links Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EZ (By Leith Links. 12 bus – or 16 to Constitution Street, then walk along Queen Charlotte Street)

Abbot house is dubbed “the worst hostel in Scotland”, but its business is flourishing and its owner is getting richer every day.  Its clients are neither tourists or travelers, the owners of Abbots House are making a fortune from exploiting the homeless and they get secure revenues from Edinburgh City Council.  Instead of building homes to solve the housing crisis once and for all the Council persists in a mischievous plan funding private profit through public money against public interest. In the capital alone the housing crisis has seen Edinburgh City Council paying out £120,000 a week to hostels and B&Bs. While the numbers of homeless continue to grow, Edinburgh Council has been using rotten hostels and B&B as temporary accommodation. Whole families are being put in one room. Dirty and dilapidated rooms, filthy mattresses, shared toilets with no locks. The shocking conditions in Abbots House and Almond House B&B’s were exposed in the Daily Record in August 2017 – with some of the residents describing them as more similar to prisons than homes – but things are now worse than ever. We say to City of Edinburgh Council:

  • Stop putting families in homeless bed and breakfasts
  • Take immediate action to drastically improve the appalling conditions in Abbots House and other homeless B&B’s like Almond House
  • Provide more genuine social housing for rent so no-one has to stay in homeless B&B’s

There are more than enough resources to build good homes for all. But profit is being put before people’s needs. Developers make more money from luxury hotels, shopping centres, and expensive private homes – the number of council houses in Edinburgh has fallen from 58,000 in the late 1970’s to under 20,000. In the meantime the pressure over the growing cost of rents in Edinburgh keep growing, with entire neighborhood been made unaffordable for working people to make space to luxurious hotels and private homes for the few often remaining underused for years.

After years of succumbing to the logic of social cleansing of the city, finally last summer a group led by mothers from North Edinburgh have been taking inspiring action to resist homelessness. The group named “All About Me” contest the benefits cap as the reason why so many family are getting evicted and finding nowhere else to go. After a summer of protest the groups has gained the small victory of the abolition of charges for homeless people taking their possessions out of council storage. This should be considered only the beginning of this campaign that aim to put an end to the system of profit over homelessness put in practice by Edinburgh City council and its courts of private profiteers.

Together we can confront the housing crisis and fight back against austerity and the cuts, we need to make these brutal policies unworkable.

Abbots House, 10 Links Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EZ (By Leith Links. 12 bus – or 16 to Constitution Street, then walk along Queen Charlotte Street)

Family crippled by Tory benefits cap housed in ‘filthy’ B&B hotel https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/family-crippled-tory-benefits-cap-11078347

Campaign demands and reports earlier actions http://www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/?p=82 http://www.nehag.org.uk/index.php/blog/

North Edinburgh Action Group, All About Me, Power to the People group, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. Contact via ecap@lists.riseup.net

 

RESISTING THE VIOLENCE OF AUSTERITY

AN EVENING OF POLITICS, MUSIC AND CONVERSATION – organised by We are all Daniel Blake

Friday 6th October, 7pm – 10pm at Out of the Blue, 36 Dalmeny Street, EH6 8RG

Speakers include the authors of the Violence of Austerity, Vickie Cooper and David Whyte. The book demonstrates the shocking impact of cuts and austerity. There will be copies of the book available. Also on the platform will be Sue Caro from Justice4Grenfell. In addition we will have short films from North Edinburgh Action Group, music  and time set aside to visit the stalls, chat and mingle. The Cafe/ Bar will be open for drinks and snacks.

Report from March 11 organising meeting

The organising meeting on Saturday 11th March discussed the next steps in our campaigning.

Advocacy Training

The plan is to launch the training with a Saturday event in the UNITE offices in York Place with 4 or 5 trainers leading workshop groups. The proposed day is Saturday 29 April. More local training days are also being planned. Local groups can coordinate support and more easily organise rotas etc. One local group is already discussing trying to get a drop in centre.

UNITE Day of Action against Benefit Sanctions, Thursday 30 March.

We decided to holda protest outside High Riggs Jobs Centre over Government changes to Personal Independence Payments.  UNITE the Union may have other events in the course of the day.

ECAP Stall

ECAP (Edinburgh Campaign Against Poverty) will have a stall outside the High Riggs Job Centre from 10.30 – 12noon on Friday 17 March. You are welcome to come along if you can.