Helen Barnard is Research Programme Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), the social research policy charity of Quaker origins.
The JRF conducts a range of research into welfare issues, and created the MIS, the Minimum Income Standard, estimating what is an adequate income based on what the public believe to be minimum living standards.
Sharing a room with her four year old disabled son, Brenda*, a single mother from Ladywood, is just one of the 37,000 households in Birmingham living in congested conditions, making the West Midlands responsible for almost half of families living in overcrowded accommodation across the country.
A decision to restrict eligibility to community care services on the Isle of Wight has been overturned by a high court judge and considered unlawful – a small victory to the disabled under the council’s care.
“Previously, the council had allocated care assistance to adults assessed to be at critical or substantial risk, the top two levels of a four-tier system. But in February the authority, facing a £33m funding gap after central government cuts, voted to restrict this to those at critical risk. The council argued that the high percentage of retired people on the Isle of Wight made it particularly vulnerable to social care costs.”
The legal action was brought on by the lawyers of two 32-year disabled men, both severely autistic and dependent on the council’s care services.
The council agreed to comply with the ruling and said they would not be appealing the court’s ruling.