The government has yet to tell English local authorities how much money they will be given to deal with the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) – just five days before it shuts for good.The fund – which helps nearly 17 000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently – is due to close on Tuesday (30 June).The Department for Work and Pensions has promised to transfer one year’s worth of non-ring-fenced ILF funding to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.But the transition process has been studded by reports of delays and cuts to individual care packages, as councils prepare to take full responsibility for funding the social care needs of former ILF-recipients.And now a local authority has told Disability News Service that all councils in England are still waiting to hear how much money it will be given by the government to pay for the extra support costs of former ILF-users.A spokeswoman for Warwickshire County Council said: “All local authorities are awaiting notification in early July with regard to the amount of money that will be allocated. “During the transition period we will ensure that customers’ needs continue to be met from 1 July 2015 and a letter has been sent to all ILF customers in Warwickshire informing them of the current situation.” Linda Burnip, a member of the steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) – which carried out a high-profile direct action in parliament this week to protest about the closure (pictured) – said: “From contact we have with ILF recipients we know that the transfer of ILF funding to local authorities is in complete chaos and the whole process unfit for purpose, but even we are astonished to find that local authorities have still not been told how much money will be devolved to them yet, making it virtually impossible for them to plan the transition.”Brian Hilton, an ILF-user and campaigner fighting the closure, said the situation was a “poor reflection on both central and local government”.He said: “I would say that the current problems have been created by the government, firstly by closing the ILF and secondly by not ring-fencing the money when responsibility was transferred to local authorities.”But he said that local authorities were “not entirely blameless”, as they had still not assessed many ILF-recipients even though they had known since last year that ILF was closing on 30 June, while guidance had been issued last November on how to ensure a smooth transfer.The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services admitted to DNS last week that there were problems with the ILF transition process, but insisted that central government was to blame. It has not yet commented on Warwickshire county council’s statement.DNS has continued to receive reports of desperate ILF-users who have yet to be told by their own local authorities how much support they will receive once the fund closes.The Department of Health (DH) finally broke its silence on the ILF closure programme this week, after DNS passed on the Warwickshire statement.A DH spokesman said yesterday afternoon (Thursday): “The government is committed to ensuring that ILF-users will not have their care interrupted when responsibility [for] meeting all of their care needs transfer to their local authority on 30 June.“The Department of Health has also issued statutory guidance to support authorities in preparing for the transfer.” He said ILF had provided each council with an up-to-date list of how much funding each ILF-user currently receives.But he was unable to say whether local authorities had been told how much funding they would receive from the government, and referred DNS to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which will be receiving the funding from DWP.By noon today (Friday), DCLG had not commented on the council’s claims.Meanwhile, DPAC has published the results of freedom of information requests it sent out to 151 English local authorities about the ILF closure, with all but four responding.Among the findings, 31 councils said they would not be ring-fencing the funding they receive from the government at all, which means that some or all of it could be spent on other areas of local authority spending instead of social care.Only 28 local authorities said they would be ring-fencing the government funding to individual ILF-users until the end of March 2016, which should ensure that former ILF-recipients in these areas do not have their current social care packages cut until at least April 2016.And only 15 of the 147 councils that replied said they knew exactly how much extra funding they would be given by the government as a result of the ILF closure.The Scottish government announced last year that it was setting up its own ILF, for both existing and new users in Scotland, using the UK government’s funding and an additional £5.5 million of its own money.The Welsh government has opted to transfer the Westminster funding to its local authorities – with conditions attached – and will protect the budgets of existing ILF-users for the first nine months, with funding after that dependant on the UK government’s next spending round.
IT’S the first Good Friday derby at Langtree Park and your matchday programme is packed with news, views and features on the historic occasion.We have an interview with Paul Wellens, who ironically misses the game with through suspension. He talks about recent events at the Club and his hopes for the future.Elsewhere, Eamonn McManus writes about the current state of the game with particular reference to what is happening at Bradford. It is a column that shouldn’t be missed.We focus on Wigan and identify their main threats, Ste Prescott reveals his latest challenge, Danny Yates is profiled in ‘In the System’ and there’s a sneak preview of the new Saints App too.Your programme is only £3 and is available from sellers all around the ground, the club store (on matchday) and via the digital edition which is here.
HE’S big, he’s strong and he’s tough… welcome to Mose Masoe who can’t wait to pull on a Saints jersey and get started!Standing at 6ft 6 and weighing in at 20 stone 4 pounds, the man mountain says his plan is to run and tackle hard… and get the opposition before they get him.“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “Langtree Park is a great ground and everyone has been superb with me so far. I really can’t wait until the season starts.“We have got a good core of young boys here, those who are older, with experience and then a middle core as well. There is good variety in the club and it’s been good to jump on board with them and feed off their enthusiasm. We’ll do well this year I think.“Browny (Nathan Brown) has been good too. He is a hands on coach who shows you what you need to work on as a player and improve.“I’ve settled in well and I’m liking it a lot. I’m enjoying experiencing new parts of the town every day and it’s exciting for me and my family!”Mose played four times for Samoa in the World Cup and was one of the outstanding players in the tournament.That whetted the appetite for what is to come and although he will miss the opening couple of weeks with an ankle injury, fans won’t need to wait long.“It’s a long season and we want to play more than 30 games,” he continued. “I will be on the field soon. It’s not how you take off, it’s how you land so for the team it was better that I got it done early. It won’t be long before I’m getting stuck in though!”Masoe came to the Saints via Penrith and links up with Panther teammate Luke Walsh.He was attracted to the Super League not only because of its quality, but its competitive edge too.“Playing in Super League was something I have wanted to do since I was young,” he said. “I have played in the NRL, have got the opportunity and that’s why I am here.“I think the quality of the competition over here is similar to the NRL. I watched the Challenge Cup and Grand Final and the intensity is right up there.“I knew Sia Soliola from the Roosters and when I got the opportunity he contacted me and said it would suit my style. I signed straight away!”Saints will kick off their Super League season with a trip to Warrington on Thursday February 13 before the Langtree Park opener with Hull FC.Tickets for what will be an exciting season are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.
David Donovan, a head PGA Professional, says he enjoys seeing all the competitors happy to be on the course.“Just the pride the players in Wilmington have playing in this event, and they’re just happy to be here so that’s kind of the best thing about it,” said Donovan.“They like to compete, they’re competitive golfers and it just kind of feeds on itself and builds itself.” WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The annual Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament was held at the Municipal Golf Course in Wilmington this weekend, and 126 players competed for the title of champion.Nick Adams, of Goldsboro, took home the gold this year with a score of 2 under par 140. He received a $400 gift card and a crystal trophy. The annual tournament has taken place for more than 50 years, and has always been a popular event in New Hanover County.- Advertisement –
BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A $40,000 boat stolen more than a month ago from a boat dealership in Wilmington has been found in Bladen County.The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office received a tip and responded to a wooded area off of Woodyard Road in East Arcadia.- Advertisement – Investigators with Bladen, Columbus and New Hanover Counties located the boat on Tuesday using the Bladen Air 1 Helicopter.The Sheriff’s Office says the boat was reported stolen from Market 17 Marine in Wilmington on May 11.The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said cooperation is key to solving cases.
Related Article: Pender County lifts Hurricane Florence state of emergency You can register until 5 p.m. Monday.To find out how and where click here. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In the wake of Hurricane Florence lawmakers in North Carolina extended the deadline for voter registration.It affects the 28 counties most affected by Florence. It includes Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender.- Advertisement –
Brunswick Community College (Photo: Kylie Jones WWAY) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — And then there were three. Brunswick Community College has narrowed the search for their next president.The BCC Board of Trustees announced Gene Smith, Thomas Gould and Joel Welch as the finalists to take over for President Susanne Adams.- Advertisement – Adams is retiring in January.Each candidate will spend a separate day on campus next week and meet with the public.Q&A forums are being held in the LaDane Williamson Student Center game room from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Fire responded to a house fire in Landfall Friday afternoon.A WFD spokeswoman said firefighters arrived at 848 Arboretum Drive around 3:15 p.m and a fire was located in the crawl space, possible HVAC related.- Advertisement – Crews from Wilmington Fire and New Hanover County Fire are on the scene.WFD says no one was inside the home.As of 6:15 p.m., crews were still working to put out of the fire.Related Article: 2 arrested after drug bust at Wilmington home with infant insideNo injures have been reported.
Paws on Parade is a doggy-fun day in the park, complete with a 5k, 1 mile fun walk, a canine court pageant, a puppy kissing booth, and more.It will be at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater on March 23.Registration starts at 9 a.m. Tickets are $10, children 10 and under are free.Related Article: New service dogs celebrated at paws4people graduation ceremonyPortions of the proceeds will benefit paws4people. Paws4People brings in assistance dogs to help welcome veteran students WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Azalea Festival will be partnering with paws4people for a new festival event – Paws on Parade. It’s the official dog party of the Azalea Festival.Guests can expect lots of tricks, treats and sloppy kisses.- Advertisement –
According to Wilmington Police, this comes after months of discussion and an evaluation of the labs functions. The lab has provided quick turn-around blood alcohol testing for DWI cases and drug testing which in turn helps to alleviate over-crowding in the county’s jail and helps to manage and stream-line packed court dockets.That’s why WPD says the appropriate place for the lab to reside is with the County.Police say they are still in the early phases of working out the final details which includes the handling of existing cases and the timeline when official testing under the county will begin. This action will require approval of both City and County governing boards.Related Article: Police: Business owner, 3 employees killed in North DakotaIn 2008, the Wilmington Police Department opened the crime lab as a model in hopes of creating a regional lab that would soon find an appropriate home – and says now they have.Police say the lab has proven to be a huge success among more than 30 agencies in the region, but throughout the years they have always faced funding challenges for the lab with limited funding from across the region and the state.The City of Wilmington has subsidized the majority of the labs annual budget for the past 11 years.Police say in January of this year they addressed a critical personnel issue which led us to closely review the labs operations, protocols and procedures and the possibility of moving the lab.The county will now oversee the daily operations of the lab and provide 60% of the funding. The city will provide 40% of the funding.The lab will remain in its current location.The move will become official July 1. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Eleven years after the Wilmington Police Department opened the crime lab, it’s now being transferred to New Hanover County.The announcement came during a joint news conference with Wilmington Police and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.- Advertisement –