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WASPI unaffected by appeal’s failure

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A CAMPAIGN group for women born in the 1950s, whose state pension age has increased from 60-65, lost an appeal against a decision to deny them compensation for lost pension income.
Backto60 brought two test cases to the High Court last year when those cases were lost the group appealed. The Court of Appeal released its judgement rejecting the appeal on Monday, September 14.
The group’s campaign calls for a reinstatement of the age of 60 for women’s state pensions and compensation of the pension women have missed out on.
The Court found making the state pension age the same for men and women did not constitute unlawful discrimination.

WASPI CAMPAIGN UNCHANGED


The case’s failure will not affect the far better known and more widely-supported Women Against State Pensions Injustice (WASPI) campaign.
WASPI has long campaigned on the issues regarding the increase in the state pension age for women. They argue that setting aside any claim of discrimination, the UK Government failed in its duty to inform affected women adequately of the changes to the state pension age and the effect those changes would have on their pensions.
A statement issued by WASPI after the Backto60 legal challenge failed said: “Many women will be disappointed today at the judgement from the High Court.
“Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) will continue to campaign for what we believe is achievable and affordable. Compensation for women who have been unfairly disadvantaged with a rapid increase to their State Pension age (SPa). 
“WASPI is not opposed to the equalisation of the SPa with men but it was done without adequate notice, leaving no time to make alternative arrangements. Women were informed directly some 14 years after the SPa was first changed, many only given 18 months’ notice, of up to a six-year increase, many others were not informed at all. This left their retirement plans shattered.
“The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is currently considering six sample cases of maladministration out of the thousands of complaints made to the DWP by WASPI women.”
Former Conservative Pensions Minister, Baroness Roz Altmann, said: “When Pensions Minister, I saw copies of letters written by the Government to millions of these women in 2003 and 2004 about their State Pension, which failed to highlight that their pension would not be paid at age 60. These official letters failed to highlight that these women’s pension would not start being paid at age 60. It merely informed them what State Pension they might receive when they reached State Pension Age, but they did not tell them what that age would be! 
“Receiving a letter from the Pensions Department about their State Pension, which did not urge them to check what their State Pension Age would be, may have lulled them into a false sense of security that they would receive it from age 60.
“This looks like maladministration.”
During the election campaign last year, Boris Johnson pledged to place ‘fresh eyes’ on the issue and said he felt sympathetic to the WASPI campaigners. Asked on Tuesday about the progress of those promised considerations, he failed to answer.


THE APPEAL ISSUE

The main issue in the appeal was whether the changes to the state pension age brought in by Parliament from 1995 onwards, unlawfully discriminated against women. Backto60 argued, amongst other things, women born in the 1950s were less likely to have contributed to the state pension scheme or were disproportionately in lower-paid jobs than men.
The Pensions Act 1995 provided that a woman born before 6 April 1950 would still receive her state pension at age 60 but a woman born after that date would receive her pension on a specified date when she was aged between 60 and 65, depending on her date of birth. The Pensions Acts 2007, 2011 and 2014 then accelerated the move to age 65 as the state pension age for women and raised the state pension age for some men and women to 66, 67 or 68 depending on their date of birth. 
Successive UK Governments made changes to address the massively-rising cost of state pensions.
When the state pension age was originally set, both pension ages were fixed at 65. When revised in 1940, women’s pension age was dropped to 60. At the time those ages were fixed, life expectancy meant the state pension was likely to be paid out for only a few years after retirement age. The lower age was fixed at 60 for women to reflect their then-dependence on a single male breadwinner in the family and the prevailing age difference between married couples.
In the post-war period, life expectancy increased, first gradually and then with increasing speed. 
The boom in average life expectancy means the state pension is the largest single drain on the welfare budget – taking £111bn of it in the year 2018-19 (DWP figures). In comparison, payments for unemployment benefits totalled £2bn.
The UK Defence budget is around £28bn
In normal circumstances, the claims brought to the Court would have been barred due to the delay in bringing them. Time was extended to bring the claims. The question of the delay was, however, relevant only to the discretion whether to grant relief if unlawful discrimination was proved. 
The long delay in bringing the claims made it impossible to fashion any practical remedy. The Court noted unchallenged expert evidence that the cost of reinstating pensions would exceed £200bn – more than seven times the total defence budget and around the same as the whole of the health and education budgets combined (Figures Office of Budget Responsibility).

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Welcome to Serene Baby Sleep

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JULIA is a qualified Sleep Consultant experienced in supporting you to maximise your family and child’s sleep potential. She is calm, caring and empathetic to your individual needs. Julia is also a qualified NNEB Nursery Nurse and non medical Maternity Nurse with over 25 years experience in dealing with newborns & children up to the age of 12 years.

Whilst working with you, Julia will tailor a bespoke programme for your baby or child. This will be balanced with your family’s needs, taking into account your personal wishes. Coupled with her own experience and intuition she will endeavour to find a solution that supports your child in learning to enjoy sleep.

Julia has a wide range of packages available including; Telephone/Skype Consultations, Home Visits, Welcome Home Packages, Sleep Plans, Maternity Nursing and Night Nannying. 

As a sleep consultant Julia advises on the various methods of sleep training available. As every family is different she encourage parents/carers to go with a plan that is ultimately going to have the best outcome for them. After an initial phone call to gather all of the facts an explanation is given on the various services she offers.

Typical problems and situations Julia might assist with as a non medical maternity nurse include feeding issues, tongue tie, low milk supply, mastitis, routine and sleeping habits. 

Julia will encourage and support exhausted parents to get more rest through effective time management and prioritisation. She can advise parents on how to support their older children’s emotions once the new addition to the family has arrived ensuring a highly enjoyable experience for all.

Julia provides a high quality and confidential service and can provide extensive evidence of recommendations by previous clients who often invite her back to the family home for subsequent bookings for additional children.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, in need of some sleep, support and advice please call Julia Maher on 07722071420 or email me at jkmaher@live.com

For more information visit: https://serenebabysleep.uk/

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Cavity Wall Insulation Removal – Everything you Need to Know

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OVER the years many people have been a victim of poorly installed cavity wall insulation. In contrast to what you were promised, the insulation is failing to keep your home warm.

When the correct material is installed to a home that is in good condition, cavity wall insulation is an energy efficient way to keep your home warm. However over recent years cavity wall insulation has been known to be installed incorrectly. This has caused problems such as penetrating damp, condensation, mould and deterioration of existing
render/masonry.

If you’ve experienced any of the above lately, then it is time to consider extracting your cavity wall insulation.

Unsure whether you need cavity wall insulation removal? Speak to one of our friendly specialists for a free consultation.

Why has my cavity wall insulation failed?

Many homeowners can be completely unaware if their cavity walls have been installed correctly. It is impossible to know if it is under-filled, over-packed, where it has slumped, where areas have been missed, blockage to vents and other internal obstructions. From our experience the blame can normally be placed on one of the following pointers;

  • The cavity has not been appropriately cleared prior to the install.
  • How prone the property’s location is to wind and rain exposure.
  • Damage to external walls such as cracks within render/ pointing of brickwork.
  • The cavity width is too small.
  • Property structure is not appropriate for cavity insulation.
  • Insulation has not been installed properly.
  • Debris in the cavity wall which causes a thermal bridge.
  • Poor materials have been installed such as mineral wool, formaldehyde foam.
  • No bonding agent installed with carbon carbon, diamond bead or expanded polystyrene beads.
  • Leaking roof and damage to soffit.
  • Insulation becoming wet through flooding or fire damage.

Are there grants available for cavity extraction?
At this moment in time, cavity extraction grants are not available. However, for those who still have access to their guarantees, there is a possibility that you could claim off the guarantee provider. This process can be tedious however our specialists are there to help you.

Is it possible to remove cavity wall insulation?
Failed cavity wall insulation will not get better over time, it will get worse. The good news is that it is possible to extract the current insulation and remove any debris.
Our team of technicians are able to remove insulation and rubble from within your cavity using an extraction machine. In addition to this, air bricks are installed to the external wall of the property to allow cross flow ventilation. This is crucial and will allow the cavity to breathe and the internal skin to dry out.

What is cavity wall extraction?
Cavity wall extraction is the process of removing defective wall insulation. As a result of poorly insulated cavities there is a growing demand for cavity extraction across the UK. Particularly in areas of high wind and rain exposure. There are many cavity wall extraction companies offering their service. However, be sure to check that they hold an oscar onsite certification and trustmark approval. This will ensure a high standard of workmanship.

How long does it take to extract cavity wall insulation?
The average cavity wall extraction takes roughly 2 days, however this figure varies from property to property. Some insulative materials can become rigid or rubble can collect at the bottom of the cavity from previous work. Both of which can slow down the process drastically. Nevertheless, it’s crucially important to remember that the cavity space has been cleared and nothing can act as a thermal bridge.

Will cavity extraction cure my penetrating damp?
Essentially, when the defective cavity wall insulation has been successfully extracted moisture will be unable to pass from the external brick to the internal brick. With time and the correct ventilation the damp will dry out and there will no longer be a problem. However depending on the damage that has been done already for example, blown plaster or render this would have to be rectified by a specialist.

How do our technicians detect failed cavity wall insulation?
The survey process is straightforward and allows our technicians to gauge the severity of the problem and which method is best suited to extract the insulation.

  • A general inspection can be carried out; cracks within brickwork, damp spots/patches on render and vents which aren’t sleeved.
  • A borescope inspection allows our technician to look inside the cavity which is aquick and easy way to determine the state of the insulation.
  • Thermal imaging is another way to diagnose areas of the property that may be actingas a thermal bridge.

Who are we?
At First Choice Energy, our mission is to create a more sustainable world to live in. To do this, we need to reduce our energy usage by creating energy-efficient homes. That’s why we work with homeowners across the UK, helping with increasing heating and insulation efficiency throughout their homes. Check our website to see how we can help you today.

Email:- firstchoiceenergylimited@gmail.com

Contact Number:- 07884 004516

For more information visit our website https://firstchoiceenergy.co.uk/

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Glimpse of exciting leisure centre planned for Llanelli

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A GLIMPSE of the exciting new leisure centre planned for Llanelli has been released following Carmarthenshire County Council’s commitment of funding in its ambitious capital investment programme.

Designs for the £27million leisure centre, which will form part of the multi-million Pentre Awel health and wellbeing development in Machynys, include a 25-metre eight-lane swimming pool, an eight-court sports hall and an adventure play area for young children.

As well as offering traditional lane swimming and learn to swim classes, the pool hall will include innovative water-based slides, inflatables and wet assault courses to provide fun and stimulating activities for people of all ages and abilities.

The sports hall will provide top-class facilities for a range of indoor sports, including netball competition standard courts, alongside a cutting-edge gym.

There will also be a dedicated adventure play area with ‘soft play’ equipment for younger children including slides and climbing frames.

The specification for the designs for the wet and dry leisure areas follows extensive community engagement, including the thoughts and wishes of local school children following a public exhibition.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “We are excited and absolutely committed to providing a brand new leisure centre for Llanelli as part of the landmark Pentre Awel development which will provide social, economic and health benefits for the whole of Carmarthenshire. This forms an exciting element of our overall investment in capital projects to improve and raise the aspirations of the county.

“Whilst Pentre Awel is primarily a development to support the health and wellbeing of our communities, we of course want to ensure people can visit and enjoy this fantastic location for leisure too.

“Taking feedback and inspiration from local people, our designs include an exciting and flexible range of activity facilities suitable for all ages and abilities.

“We’ve no doubt that this new development will make a huge difference to the lives future generations in Llanelli and the surrounding area, and we look forward to seeing things progress in the near future.”

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We have promised a new leisure centre for Llanelli and we’re looking forward to delivering on that. We’ve got exciting plans for a facility that will suit people of all ages and abilities.”

The Pentre Awel scheme proposed for an 83-acre site on Llanelli’s coastline will be the first development of its scope and size in Wales.

It is due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal, with a total of £40million being sought for the project.

Already approved by the City Deal’s Joint Committee and Carmarthenshire County Council, the business case is now with Welsh and UK Governments with a decision expected imminently.

The scheme will provide public, academic, business and health facilities all on one site to boost employment, education, leisure provision, health research and delivery, and skills and training.

The project is planned to include integrated care and physical rehabilitation facilities to enable the testing and piloting of life science technologies aimed at enhancing independent and assisted living.

A skills centre will focus on health and care training, along with a clinical delivery centre to deliver multi-disciplinary care closer to home.

Assisted living accommodation will also feature, along with a nursing home, a hotel, expansion space for businesses, and elements of both open market and social and affordable housing.

Worth millions of pounds to the local economy, Pentre Awel will also create a wide range of employment opportunities across the Swansea Bay City Region as whole.

Pentre Awel is being delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board, Universities and Colleges.

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