The government appears to have committed to funding two new measures aimed at tackling the shortage of accessible housing for disabled and older people.Announcing the results of the spending review, which detail the government’s spending plans until the next general election in 2020, George Osborne told MPs that the government’s task was “to rebuild Britain, build our finances, build our defences, build our society”.His spending review document includes a pledge to build 8,000 “specialist” homes for older and disabled people, and also appears to offer substantial new funding for disabled facilities grants (DFGs).The document pledges “over £500 million by 2019-20 for the [DFG], which will fund around 85,000 home adaptations that year”.If that pledge represents annual funding, it will represent an increase of more than 170 per cent, compared with DFG spending of £185 million in 2014-15.But if it represents total funding in the four years to 2019-20, it would signify a steep cut in DFG funding.By 7pm today (26 November), the Department for Communities and Local Government had been unable to clarify the figures, or provide any more detail on the specialist housing announcement.Vicky McDermott (pictured), chief executive of the disability charity Papworth Trust, welcomed the announcement of 8,000 new specialist homes.She said: “We are pleased the chancellor has used the spending review to pledge further investment into homes for disabled and older people.“Papworth Trust has led calls for more investment to encourage developers to prioritise accessible homes in housing developments.“Demand currently outstrips supply for homes that work for disabled people, so with the chancellor’s announcement, developers are in a good position to take advantage of this business opportunity.“We look forward to hearing more details on these proposals and we will now be working very closely with developers to show there is a business case for building accessible and affordable housing in the UK.”Meanwhile, the Department for Transport has yet to clarify what impact its funding settlement will have on work to improve access to rail stations through the Access for All programme.Although the department’s day-to-day budget has been cut by 37 per cent, spending on transport infrastructure will increase by 50 per cent to £61 billion over the course of this parliament.A Department for Transport spokesman had failed to comment by 7pm this evening (Thursday).The spending review document also says the government is “investing in new school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities”, but provides no further details on whether this means it will be building new, segregated special schools.A Department for Education spokeswoman said there was no further information available about this investment.
SAINTS, alongside their travel partners Arriva and Hattons Travel, have revised the transport details for this Friday’s match with Harlequins RL at the Stobart Stadium.The trio have worked closely together to iron out the issues that arose at the first home game of the season last week, which were as a result of traffic congestion and problems parking and loading buses.The ARRIVA ‘SAINTS’ BUS will still depart at the same times, but will return slightly earlier following feedback from the Club’s supporters.It will run to Widnes from Hall St:17.00; 17.30; 18.00; 18.30; 19;00And return to St Helens from Caldwell Road:21.55, 22.10 22.25You can still buy Bus Season Tickets for £40 from the Saints Ticket Office in St Helens Town Centre.They entitle you to transport to and from the Stobart Stadium for ALL Saints first team home fixtures this season as well as transport to and from Hall St from within the borough.If you require a free junior bus season ticket then you must present your Season Ticket in the Town Centre store to claim your junior bus season ticket.The HATTONS TRANSPORT match by match service’s pick up times have also been altered.The number 300 Saints bus will pick up:The Griffin, Eccleston 17.30 / 18.15 / 18.45Birchley St, St Helens 17.45 / 18.30 / 19.00Lea Green, Sutton 18.00 / 18.45 / 19.15Return will be from Caldwell Road immediately after full-time.Fans will now also be able to buy the £4 return ticket from Hattons Transport’s office in Sutton Manor, The Griffin Pub in Eccleston and Saints Town Centre Store.Please confirm your pick-up point and time on purchase and tickets will remain on sale until 5pm on the Thursday before a match.Please note all services are subject to demand and traffic and no cash will be taken on the night. We will also be reviewing the procedures and timings on a regular basis.
TOMMY Makinson, Josh Jones and Jonny Lomax have been named in England Knight’s 19-man squad for the upcoming friendly against Samoa at Salford City Stadium on Saturday October 19 (2.00pm).The match is a curtain-raiser to the England v Italy (4.30pm) international at Salford City Stadium which will be the first chance for fans to see England’s NRL-based players, including the Burgess brothers Sam, Tom and George, in action.With Rugby League World Cup 2013 fast approaching, and the deadline for the final senior squad announcement not until England arrive back from their high-altitude training in South Africa, the match against Samoa represents the last chance for players to force themselves into Steve McNamara’s plans.“We’re all very pleased with the squad that we have selected, and it is a good opportunity for all the players, you never know who is watching,” said Knight’s Head Coach Keiron Purtill. “It was definitely a tough selection. The Knights started a couple of years ago and our aim was to produce and develop a talented young squad of players for English Rugby League. Now we’re starting to step it up towards the World Cup.“The tournament definitely serves as motivation for the players. There are still three weeks to go until Steve McNamara can change his squad, so we have told the players to prepare as if they were playing full internationals.”Samoa are preparing for World Cup group games against New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and France and Purtill believes that playing against full internationals will tell him a lot about his own players.“There has been a positive progression with the players and the game against Samoa is going to be their toughest test,” he said.“Samoa is a team full of NRL players preparing themselves for the World Cup, so it will be a good gauge of the players’ progression.“They will definitely be able to handle the test. You only get picked for the Knights if we think you can handle international Rugby League.”England Knights squad:Ben Cockayne, Dom Crosby, Kieran Dixon, Chris Green, Josh Hodgson, Josh Jones, Ben Jones-Bishop, Michael Lawrence, Jonathan Lomax, Tom Makinson, Richard Myler, Sam Powell, Stefan Ratchford, Dan Sarginson, Brad Singleton, Scott Taylor, Iain Thornley, Liam Watts, Elliott Whitehead.
All are welcome and we ask that attendees are in place by 6.45pm.The Memorial Service will include words from St.Helens R.F.C. Chairman Eamonn McManus and an eulogy from Ray French MBE.The Chalon Way Car Park will remain open until 9pm.