Changes in benefits for disabled people
It is good to see Damian Green discussing changes to disability benefits with those directly affected; thank you for covering this important issue (August 3).
Whilst aspects of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) may be better than Disability Living Allowance (DLA), it is far from perfect.
Is there really any logic in subjecting a blind or paraplegic person, who is probably quite rightly already in receipt of the highest level of benefit, to an interview every three years to see if their award should be reduced?
By the same token, if someone has a permanent award of the highest level of DLA from a tribunal consisting of highly qualified and experienced medical and legal assessors as well as lay people who act as a “jury”, what is the point of re-assessing every three years? It can only be to try and save money and meet arbitrary welfare savings targets.
There are mental health conditions such as psychosis and severe depression, with or without agitation, where it is not only cruel to subject sufferers to a stressful face to face interview but it is also dangerous for all concerned; in such circumstances, the person may well choose to forgo the benefit altogether rather than put themselves and others at risk of severe harm.
Alternatively, they might decide to increase their medication to cope with the stress in which case they may end up half-conscious and thus unable to talk or to move from one room to another at home let alone travel to and attend an interview some 20 miles away. In such cases, there are other ways that conditions and needs can be assessed and risks minimised, for example online interviews and/or using reports from carers, mental health professionals and/or GPs.
Partially thought through welfare reforms should not be allowed to precede on the premise that there will inevitably be an “acceptable” level of “co-lateral” damage with possible changes being made down the line after many lives have been lost or ruined. Jonathan Dance Northbrooke, Ashford I saw the pictures and comments relating to the hare sculpture on the roundabout (August 3).
In my opinion the hare is staring at the carrot wondering what the UK will do in relation to food trade under any Brexit arrangements. Bill Ben Ashford
Despite that, in my opinion, the so-called stench, since the introduction of flushing mechanism for the holding tanks has, if anything, diminished.
The very hot weather we have experienced this summer is likely to have caused a hard crust to form on any remaining sludge in large holding tanks, which will smell.
The annoying thing to me is that the council was warned that any housing development proposed for the Little Burton Farm orchards would be subject to odours from the waste water plant, and the factories in Willesborough Road, depending on which way the wind blew.
They were warned but they went ahead with the development regardless. Profit might have been an incentive.
I have worked on the said plant, plus others in England and Wales and abroad. It was a mistake to build homes in such circumstances and so near to the town centre. Ted Prangnell Kennington