CAMPAIGNERS TAKE ACTION AGAINST CRIMINAL LANDLORDS

Community activists in Edinburgh have launched a campaign to lobby the City of Edinburgh Council for the effective enforcement of legislation against criminal landlords.

Research by Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group (EPTAG) has found that no landlord has ever been struck off the landlord register, despite some landlords committing criminal offences against their tenants.

One Edinburgh based landlord, Mark Fortune, was recently convicted on October 12th for threatening his tenants with violence after they asked him to pay for repairs.

Fortune, 42, of Essex Brae Edinburgh has previously been banned from renting out HMO properties, amid allegations that he threatened council staff. Earlier this year was fined £1,000 for letting an HMO property without a licence. Fortune is still legally able to rent out properties in Edinburgh.

A spokesperson for EPTAG said: “Stricter enforcement of the law regarding criminal landlords is urgently needed to protect the rights and welfare of private tenants, many of whom are among the most vulnerable in our city. More resources needs to be put into stopping these unscrupulous landlords who abuse the rights of tenants, and break the law."

The formation of this group has coincided with the formation of a similar organisation in Glasgow, which also plans to campaign against criminal landlords.

Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group was started by tenants who have had experiences of bad landlords, some of whom have been involved in previous campaigns against bad landlords and is a member of the Edinburgh Tenants Federation and Scottish Tenants Organisation.

Follow EPTAG on facebook.

Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group http://eptag.org.uk/

ECAP supports the National Strike Day

On the massive 30 November Strike Day supporters of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty joined the Jobcentre workers picketline, protested at slave labour shysters A4e, then participated in the thousands-strong march to the Scottish Parliament.

At the main entrance of High Riggs Jobcentre, Edinburgh on 30 November

At the main entrance of High Riggs Jobcentre, Edinburgh on 30 November

 ECAP were warmly welcomed by the workers picketing the High Riggs Jobcentre, who reported 90% on strike, with a similar high strike rate at Leith Jobcentre.   ECAP members were able to display banners and leaflet claimants going in at the main public entrance where, the workers reported, they were not allowed to go. 

     Jobcentre workers and Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty together picketing High Riggs Jobcentre, Edinburgh on 30 November

THIS WED 30 NOVEMBER STRIKE DAY

 

THIS WED 30 NOVEMBER STRIKE DAY

EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY ACTIVITY

All welcome to join us...

 

8AM ONWARDS till 9.30/10ish....

JOINING JOBCENTRE WORKERS' PICKET AT HIGH RIGGS JOBCENTRE by Tollcross

 

9.30am/10ish till 11ish... 

MOVING ON TO LEAFLET AND DISPLAY BANNERS AT A4E OFFICES, 34 EARL GREY STREET (just 2-3 mins away, Earl Grey St is an extension of Lothian Rd, near Tollcross )

 

11.15AM/11.30ish...

JOINING DEMO ASSEMBLING AT USHER HALL/ JOHNSTON TERRACE,  MARCHING OFF AT 12 NOON TO PARLIAMENT

Victory for Edinburgh unemployed over A4e

 Tribunal overturns sanction and upholds right to representation

Claimants in Edinburgh have won a potentially crucial victory in the battle for the right of unemployed people to be represented at DWP provider A4e – thanks to the courageous stand taken by brave ex-miner Peter. An independent Tribunal has ruled that a claimant cannot have his benefits stopped because he “felt the need to have the representative of his choice.”

Peter has stood up to A4e for over two years, despite the multinational attempting to have his benefits stopped on over a dozen occasions. Now the Social Security Tribunal's decision of 31 August has overturned the last remaining sanction against him.

The infamous multinational A4e have been denying the unemployed who are forced to attend their compulsory workfare schemes the right to be accompanied by the representative of their choice (A4e make a fortune from the taxpayer by running these schemes on behalf of the DWP, the Department of Work and Pensions).

EDINBURGH DEMO AGAINST PRIVATISATION OF SERVICES

Demo against privatisation of Edinburgh Council Services
(with possible occupation)
At Council meeting this Thursday 27th, demo from 8.30am onwards, meeting
starts 10am
At Council Chambers, High St
Environmental Services, including refuse collection and street cleansing,
plus other services face privatisation.  This would mean redundancies,
attacks on wages and conditions plus worse services.
Demo called by UNISON but this affects all Edinburgh citizens and we hope
as many people as possible will be there and be prepared to take as strong
action as possible to stop this attack.
more info  http://edinburghmuckraker.org.uk/

Huge rise in JSA sanctions as government cranks up its attacks.

 A recent Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland briefing has reported a rise of 459% in sanctions against JSA claimants in a 2 year period. Between October 2008 and October 2010, the number of sanctions against JSA  claimants increased from 10,700 a month to almost 60,000 as a result of some Jobcentre Plus offices setting targets for sanction referrals for JCP staff to achieve. That's 60,000 of us stripped of all benefits in a squalid attempt to lessen a national deficit that none of us had any responsibility for creating.

Scottish fuel poverty increases

From today's Herald:

The Westminster Government’s annual fuel poverty statistics, unveiled yesterday, show more than a quarter of Scotland’s 2.5 million households living in fuel poverty. The pressure group Energy Action Scotland predicts that following the big rises in gas and electricity prices announced recently, well over a third of Scots households will be fuel poor (defined as spending more than 10% of their income keeping warm) this winter.

Each year Scotland has around 2000 excess winter deaths, the number that cannot be accounted for by normal seasonal fluctuations. In Scandinavia, the figure is close to zero, thanks largely to super-insulated homes. (A pensioner paying only £300 a year for energy is less vulnerable to a 20% price hike.) Yet in Scotland we continue to suffer from some of the worst insulated housing stock in Europe. A major factor is the third of homes that are not suitable for cavity wall insulation, including sandstone and granite tenement blocks.

Thanks to the Greens, the Scottish Government is distributing £48m a year in Energy Assistance Packages to vulnerable groups but the demand is so high that the scheme is not advertised.

Meanwhile the UK Government’s Warm Home Discount, which is replacing social tariffs, is restricted mainly to those on pension credit. Apart from the fact that it barely replaces the £100 cut in the winter fuel allowance, it is not available to other vulnerable groups, such as the low-paid, those on benefits and the disabled. Also, because it is a flat rate £120 throughout the country, it discriminates against Scotland. (The average annual bill is £120 higher in Greenock and £300 higher in Inverness than in Bristol.)

THE WORK PROGRAMME - PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA

Just because the Con-Dem government forced you onto The Work Programme, they cannot legally force you to give your personal information to providers like A4e. In 2010 an A4e laptop containing the personal details of 24,000 Community Legal Advice Centre clients in Hull and Leicester was stolen in a burglary. The personal details included names, addresses, and information about alleged criminal activity and whether the client had been a victim of violence.

During Work Programme induction, A4e will give you a Information Disclosure form to fill-in. This form should clearly state that your consent to giving them your personal information is voluntary - and you may withdraw that consent at any time. And, more importantly, refusal to fill in the form will NOT affect any benefits you are receiving.

June 30th – generalising the resistance

Unemployed and Job Centre workers came together on 30th June in Edinburgh
as part of the Britain-wide strike against pension cutbacks. Members of
Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty joined the picket line at High Riggs
Job Centre by Tollcross with placards reading UNEMPLOYED SUPPORT JOB
CENTRE WORKERS. The workers were very pleased with the support, and
discussions ensued about building longer term links.

ECAP members went on to leaflet claimants going in to sign on,
explaining “ We are claimants involved in Edinburgh Coalition Against
Poverty and we are taking action today too, because we think that to
beat the attacks the government are making on all of us, we all need to
start joining up our struggles. Today we are joining the Jobcentre
workers picket at High Riggs. The employed and unemployed have a common
enemy – the government and the rich. “

We aimed to both give solidarity to the struggle against cuts in
workers' pensions, and to generalise the resistance. So next stop was
Slave Labour Central – A4e's offices on nearby Earl Grey Street, where
unemployed people are sent by the Multinational Poverty Pimp to work for
their benefits at charity shops and supermarkets. ECAP members
leafleting the claimants and workers there were joined by students and
an NHS worker.
 

30 JUNE STRIKE DAY : EDINBURGH - GENERALISE THE RESISTANCE

 
THIS THURSDAY MORNING
 JOIN JOB CENTRE WORKERS PICKET LINE
-  PROTEST AT A4E AGAINST COMPULSORY WORK-FOR-BENEFITS
 Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty is participating in the strike day against cuts this coming Thursday June 30th
 Join us, come along any time for as long or short a time as you can manage. 
 We will be joining the Job Centre workers picket at the High Riggs Job Centre by Tollcross from approx 7.15am - 10am
 We will be leafleting and protesting at A4e, 34 Earl Grey Street approx 8.30am - 11am
(Earl Grey St is a continuation of Lothian Rd, near Tollcross)
 We also intend to leaflet the PCS Union workers strike rally at the Mound, advertised to start at 10.15am
 Exact times could change, depending on what happens, on the day you can call or text the ECAP mobile 0752 117 1148 -  the Job Centre and A4e are only 3-4 minutes walk from each other, so if we're not at one, you can easily check out the other.
 WHAT ARE THE 30 JUNE STRIKES ABOUT?
The government plans to force public sector workers to work longer and pay more for much less pension in retirement.  Workers employed by the government are going on strike against this; in Scotland this is mainly workers employed by the Scottish Government, the DWP, Revenue and Customs, also Chambers St museum, sheriff court, etc..  (In England teachers are going on strike as well.)
 WHY ARE EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY GETTING INVOLVED?

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