On Monday 16th May a team of 26 Z2K staff, volunteers and former clients descended on the 2016 London Legal Walk. The Z2K team was just one of hundreds of teams from all across the legal and advice sector.
The walk stretches 10km around London, starting off at the Royal Courts of Justice, ambling along the embankment, through St James Park and Hyde Park before looping around the serpentine and heading back to the start. It was a lovely sunny day and all in the all the walk took us around three hours, but this included toilet and ice cream breaks! Continue reading
Mick McAteer has been elected by Z2K’s board of trustees as the Trust’s new Chair. Mick is a seasoned financial campaigner and he is looking forward to bringing his expertise to bear at a time when the need for Z2K’s services is greater than ever. He is the founder and Director of The Financial Inclusion Centre, a UK based not-for-profit think tank that promotes fair, inclusive, efficient and accountable financial markets.
Mick is also Chairman of the European Commission’s Financial Services User Group (FSUG), a board member of the CARITAS (Westminster) Advisory Board, and member of the Registry Trust Consumer Panel. Continue reading
With so many cuts to Social Security benefits happening at a national and local level, it can be difficult for us to stay on top of wider social policy issues. However, we are always mindful that many of the problems of homelessness, overcrowding and rent arrears our clients face spring directly from the chronic shortage of decent, secure and affordable housing. And so we always try to make time to contribute to the public debate on this vital issue for Londoners. That’s why we were so pleased to see the influential IPPR think tank establish the London Housing Commission to investigate what needs to be done to boost the supply of new homes in the Capital.
With the exception of a few well-heeled and well-housed media commentators, most people today agree there is a significant under-supply of housing in London. The Greater London Authority’s own analysis shows that there is a need for between 49,000 and 62,000 new homes in London every year for at least the next decade. By contrast, only between 15,000 and 30,000 a year have usually been built. The Mayor of London’s latest Housing Strategy does recognise this shortfall and promises to boost housebuilding to 42,000 a year. Z2K’s concern is that the strategy reduces both the proportion of “affordable” homes and their actual affordability. Continue reading
The day started off wet and cold. I really had my doubts about the promised sunshine by the weather forecasters. All I could rely on was my memory of our previous Walks, it always turned out lovely somehow. And this year was no different as the sun broke through mid-afternoon. It’s funny how some things never change.
The 10km Walk started off at Carey Street, down to the Victoria Embankment through Green Park, around Hyde Park, through Trafalgar Square and back to Carey Street where a Street party awaits. Continue reading
Ben had a road traffic accident 9 years ago, causing a serious back problem. Before the accident he was working as a builder, but because of his drastically reduced mobility and the intense pain he is no longer able to work. He now uses two crutches, and a mobility scooter to get about. He also suffers from depression.
In 2013 he was found to be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance. However, just over a year later, he was asked to attend another Work Capability Assessment. However, this time he was denied ESA on the grounds that his condition was unlikely to cause significant functional impairment. The decision maker from the Department of Work and Pensions also claimed that he was unlikely to experience significant problems mobilising. Continue reading