Deaths 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions has finally[1] published the number of people who have died while claiming incapacity benefits since November 2011 – and has announced that the number who died between January that year and February 2014 is 91,740.

91,740 people.


The DWP statement “these isolated figures provide limited scope for analysis and nothing can be gained from this publication that would allow the reader to form any judgement as to the effects or impacts of the Work Capability Assessment”.

The work-related activity group is for people who are expected to recover from their illnesses and be well enough to return to work within a year. In that group, there should be ZERO deaths.

Instead we have 7,200 deaths in the work-related activity group.  7200 death which brings the known total to 8,500[2]. (Please note that figures are rounded to the nearest 10)

9,740 died whilst waiting to be assessed (a process that can take over a year)[3].

2,650 people died after being assessed as “Fit to Work” by DWP.

1,360 died after appealing their “Fit to Work” DWP sentence.

3,320 people died whilst not in receipt of any benefit payment.

This new data suggests that the average number of deaths per day between January 2011 and February 2014 was around 79.5 – 556 per week.

Initial Report Available at

“The increase in the frequency of these deaths is enough to raise questions about the way the incapacity benefit system is being run – questions that demand full, frank and immediate answers”


[1] DWP has delayed this for TWO YEARS. Despite being ordered to publish the figures by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)



Continue Reading

Argyll and Bute: Cutting the Most Vulnerable: Part 2


Argyll and Bute: Cutting the Most Vulnerable: Part 2

Argyll andBute: Cutting the Most Vulnerable: Part 2


Two Points that are New (new information to us) are:

  1. The proposals (as predicted in our last article) are now missing from where they were on Argyll and Bute Councils Websites. But don’t worry Argyll and Bute – We saved a copy for everyone. You can download them here Service Choices Report – Appendix 1-1
  2. The reason I couldn’t get the Minutes from the Proposals meeting was because there weren’t any. (Let that sink in – We’re meant to be a democratic country).

3.     These proposals were hatched in secret by 12 of the 36 councillors.

The group that they formed was NOT a committee of the council and no papers were published nor minutes produced. (Michael Breslin was one of the 24 councillors kept in the dark.  More detailed exploration into this story can be found on (This is Michael Breslin’s Website and actually gives you an insight into how underhanded this entire omnishambles has become)..

It should also be noted that SNP was in that room, part of that group (I wouldn’t be doing my duty to you if I didn’t tell you that – its not exactly making me sing inside but you guys need to know that I don’t mind being uncomfortable about this)… Iain MacLean, Sandy Taylor, Gordon Blair and Richard Trail.

And as for  6 others…..we’ll have you soon they were Dick Walsh (Independent), Gary Mulvaney (Conservative),  Roddy McCuish (Independent), Robin Currie (Liberal Democrats), Ellen Morton (Liberal Democrats) & Aileen Morton (Liberal Democrats). We’re missing 2 (should be noted that these names have came from 3 sources now…always missing the same two). It’ll be sorted soon. (Ammended Data: The missing names are from Trade Unions)

Action Points (Which I promised in the first article[1] are now ready):

  1. FIRST: There is an OPEN PUBLIC meeting about this on the 8th of October.

Anyone that can go – SHOULD GO. It is a meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee of Argyll and Bute Council on Thursday 8th of October. 

(Goodluck, btw, in trying to find Information to Attend. We had to seriously dig through and here is what we have)[2]


Thursday, 8 October 2015 10:30 am, Policy and Resources Committee


Ironically if you have one of the 100s of jobs they are proposing to cut – I doubt you’ll be able to attend at 10.30am on Thursday but try and find someone who can.

  1. You can’t attend – its NOT over. If you wish to Lobby (write, tell them you are not happy and demand they do something) your MP: These are the people you are looking for (don’t worry should that page go down – I’ll very helpfully re-upload it for them on my site)


If you are not from Argyll and Bute Council – you’re probably thinking “This doesn’t affect me”. Actually it does. If they pull this off and successfully cut these services in Argyll and Bute – it will set a precedence and what started off as a stand against one council will open out into every Council. Don’t make all of our lives a misery by NOT taking a stand. WRITE to your MSP, your Party, Make this an Issue – Let EVERYONE know what is happening here and why it matters.


[1] You will notice that this is the first time in our history that we have ever written a part two to an article (previous article detailing some of the proposals available here ) but THAT is how bad this story is becoming.

[2] (if this page goes missing – let us know and we’ll upload it here)

Continue Reading

Argyll & Bute Council: The Corruption

Argyll & Bute Council Proposes cutting the MOST Vulnerable

As Councils prepare proposals for Budget Cuts – You now no longer need to guess where Councils want the axe to fall.

Argyll & Bute Council (run by a coalition of Conservative, Lib Dem and Independent councillors.) have released their ‘Proposals’ (Amended Information:Proposals created during an unminuted meeting. held in secret, with only 12 of 36 councils. 10 we now know – 4 SNP, 1 Conservative, 2 Independents, 3 Lib Dems- 2 names MISSING) in which the Public can pick if they want to cut vulnerable people over children, various Jobs over Additional Support Needs, Charity Funding or BASIC general waste collection services…. It is a grim read.

But it does tell you one thing:- Argyll & Bute Council genuinely think that Children, Vulnerable AND Disabled people are fair game. These are some of their ideas for cuts:-

  • Reducing the budget for Disability Access

·         Cutting Additional Support Needs assistants across areas by 45%

·         Reduce Specialist equipment (Additional Support Needs) by 20%.

  • Reduce funding by 25% for domestic abuse outreach support.
  • Reduce funding for rent deposit scheme and service user involvement
  • Reduce home and hospital tuition by 25% (Additional Support Needs (SEN Asst; Pupil Support Teachers; Various Therapy Support; etc)
  • Withdraw services that the council is not required to provide for children under 5.
  • Withdraw Early Years third sector grants and services
  • Remove Early Years Change Fund used to support families
  • Remove School Librarians in all Secondary Schools
  • Remove NDR discretionary relief for charitable bodies
  • Removal of general budget for Local Development Plan consultation/events.
  • Removal of School Crossing Patrollers at all sites across Argyll and Bute.
  • Removal of food waste collection within Helensburgh area.

Do NOT think you can escape by dying either-

  • Increase Burial Charges by 20% over and above inflationary increase.
  • Increase Cremation Charges by 20% over and above inflationary increase.

Oh and Christmas?

  • Removal of Christmas lights installation, storage reducing resource hours relating to this activity.

There are a few other disgusting proposals as well-

  • Move to 3 weekly collection for general waste
  • Removal of food waste collection within Helensburgh area

Full Proposal[1] is (hidden quite and difficult to find – which is the reason we are writing about this) are on the Councils Website at (incase the link mysterious fails to work – you can also get it hosted on our site at Service Choices Report – Appendix 1-1)

Over on Michael Russell’s blog[2] (SNP), in a joint statement from himself, Brendan O’Hara and Mike McKenzie MSP, they described the proposals as:-

“a devastating and brutal set of proposals, which have been slipped out hidden away in a mass of other Council papers rather than openly presented to local people”

He is not wrong.

(his article on it is written far better than my own post. Check it out here – )

The proposals are a disgrace, deliberately targeting and discriminating against communities (disabled, mental health, hospitalised children etc.) that already struggle to be heard and have had to fight for decades to even be recognised/funded in the first place.

And for those who are not disabled, don’t have children, aren’t in hospital and feel ‘quite comfortable’ and safe – YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE. You may be fit, healthy and employed TODAY – but will you and your family ALWAYS be? Statistically – it’s not likely.

READ THE FULL PROPOSAL LIST – Even if you do have immunity from the aforementioned – does your Car, Your Bin, your local Swimming Pool, your Libraries…your best mate whose job is about to be cut?

You may also be thinking – “Well I don’t even LIVE in Argyll and Bute”.  No you don’t – but if Argyll and Bute Council get away with their cuts….do you REALLY believe that your own Council (under the same financial pressures) won’t try and sneak in a few of these options? If this is accepted that will ‘normalise’ yet another attack against our own people by the very people MEANT to protect them.

This is not an early stage Proposal. This is a STAGE THREE proposal. During which the first two stages involved ZERO consultation from the public. Even trying to find the minutes[3] from the meeting announcing these attacks on core services[4] are difficult.

Argyll & Bute Council have done this very very quietly, in the hopes of getting it passed all of us. They have not made this information easy to dig up and they have come up with these cuts without consultation. Behind Closed Doors.

Only NOW (after creating a list of cuts that will shut down charities, damage children’s education, turn off Christmas Lights, remove support for Disabled people, add extra charges to bereaved families & friends and attack the most vulnerable people in our communities) – have they bothered to ask.

But what they have presented is NOT a choice (asking the public which vital organ they want removed – is NOT A CHOICE).   #NoChoiceCouncil

What they have presented to the public is NOT good enough.

The people of Argyll and Bute deserve better than this atrocity.

It will cost 1000s jobs and devastate the entire area. It WILL leave scars that will remain for generations. And what’s worse – At Stage 3 – The Councillors of Argyll and Bute KNOW this.

By now they will have seen Impact Statements from EVERY department.

They KNOW what they are trying to do.

So before you leave this page/hop over to watch cat videos on Youtube and ignore the plight of other human beings –

You could try and HELP.

    1. Councillors and Councils do not like negative Exposure. So make sure you let them know on Social Media[5] what you think – twitter is @argyllandbute ( and facebook is
    2. This entire document is disgusting and we have not even shown you the full 10 pages of it. Share this article. Tweet this article – or even just tweet the actual Proposals List itself
    3. Should your tweets be erased – Let them know on their own website

There will be an update to this article with direct actions that you can take – Right now we’re talking to a few other people about this and seeking advice on the best way to take this forward.




[4] Core Services – in my opinion. Clearly not in Argyll and Bute Council’s opinion.

[5] Legally I should probably say that when you contact Arygll and Bute Council – Be polite, don’t swear etc. So here it the bottom of a page…difficult to find, in pale grey (just like Argyll and Butes own Proposal information & public awareness notices) – >> Be Polite <<

Continue Reading