About Sam Ashton

Sam is the Campaigns Officer at Z2K. He is a politics graduate from the LSE and used to work at the Greater London Authority.

Z2K board appoints new Chief Executive

Raji Hunjan has been appointed by Z2K’s board of trustees as the Trust’s new Chief Executive. Raji brings with her extensive experience of combining services with policy and campaigning to bring about greater changes in systems to improve the lives of communities. She is looking forward to bringing this expertise to bear at a time when the need for Z2K’s services is greater than ever before. She comes to Z2K from Inquest, where she served as Operations Director. Prior to this she was the Director of North Kensington Law Centre.

Raji said: Continue reading

Government withdraws proposal for single member tribunal panels

In September last year the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) published a seemingly innocuous consultation entitled Transforming Our Justice System. Contained within it was a proposal to abolish the existing requirements for tribunal panel composition and make panels consisting of just a judge the default position for all tribunals. This would have meant that for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals it would no longer be mandatory for the appeal panel to have a medical expert, or a medical and disability expert in the case of PIP. We were highly concerned by these proposals as, in our experience representing appellants, the non-legal experts often play a key role in ensuring the tribunal reaches a correct decision. Continue reading

Council Tax Support changes in 2017/18

As the 30th January deadline for amending Council Tax Support (CTS) Schemes for 2017/18 draws near a number of London councils are still going through the process of deciding whether to change their schemes for the new financial year. As we have previously outlined the changes being proposed in London range from the restoration of 100% support in Camden to Redbridge increasing it’s minimum payment up to 20%. But the best news is that two boroughs which previously announced proposals to cut support have significantly reduced their planned cuts.

In Tower Hamlets the Mayor initially consulted residents on abolishing the boroughs 100% support scheme and introducing a 20% minimum payment. However, following a petition against the changes from over 500 residents and representations from a number of charities, including Z2K, the Child Poverty Action Group and Toynbee Hall, he has announced he is ‘minded to retain the 100% support for working age households’. While this is undoubtedly a huge win for Tower Hamlets’ poorest residents there are still a number of proposed cuts on the table that could amount to significant losses of support for some claimants. Continue reading

Z2K over Christmas

The Z2K offices will close for the Christmas break at 1pm on Friday 23rd December. We will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January.

The first drop-in sessions of 2017 will take place on Monday 9th at both St Gabriel’s and the Beethoven Centre as usual.