Merton CIL News

Here at Merton CIL we welcome the confirmation from Merton Council that a Changing Places facility will be included in the new Morden Leisure Centre, due to open this Autumn.

This year sees Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) celebrate its 10th birthday! Over the past 10 years, Merton CIL has grown into a vibrant local organisation, promoting the inclusion and independence of local Deaf and Disabled People.

Merton CIL’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated at their annual My Voice Matters event. It will be held on 5th July 2018 at The Everyday Church in Wimbledon from 11am to 1.30pm. Everyone is welcome and it is all free. There will be fun activities, lunch and an exclusive screening of Merton CIL’s new film.

Merton CIL are surprised and disappointed to discover that Merton Council have removed the planned ‘Changing Places’ accessible facility from the new-build Morden Leisure Centre.

We are pleased to announce that Merton CIL was recently re-awarded the Advice Quality Standard (AQS)

We are pleased to have the opportunity to respond to the National Planning Policy Framework consultation[1]. We are an organisation run and controlled by Deaf and Disabled people, delivering services within The London Borough of Merton. We are a pan-Disability organisation championing the rights of people across the full spectrum of disabilities. We take the view that that society creates barriers that ‘disable’ people with impairments from participating fully and on an equal basis with others, for example, by creating and perpetuating physical, information and attitudinal barriers. These barriers must be removed in order to support the independence and inclusion of Deaf and Disabled people, and the National Planning Policy Framework has a role to play in that.

Merton CIL welcomes the findings of the Compact Board which has upheld our right to raise issues at Scrutiny. This outcome reaffirms the independent position of Merton CIL, and of our colleagues in the wider voluntary sector. It reinforces our right to raise issues of concern with Merton Council, regardless of any funding arrangements in place.

Merton CIL recently submitted evidence to the Long term funding of adult social care inquiry by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee. The inquiry is being held ahead of a planned green paper on social care. We have made similar submissions to Government inquiries before, and here at Merton CIL we felt a bit frustrated to be responding to the same questions over and over again. So this time round, we told the inquiry that they were asking the wrong questions. We said that there needed to be a better understanding of Disabled people using social care, as well as older people. We said that the inquiry should look more broadly about how to support people to live independently, rather than focusing just on social care.

Welcome to the 'Access and Inclusion Issue' of CIL Matters. We are so proud to present this newsletter which has a record number of contributions from you, our members and supporters, thank you! The theme for this edition is “Access and Inclusion” and it is jam-packed with news and views, and we could have said so much more. We’ve covered access to elections, access to information, access to justice, health, benefits and decision-making. And of course access to travel and getting out and about and using local services.

As Merton Council prepares to set their budget for the year, local Deaf and Disabled people are angry at not being consulted on plans to cut another £2.2 million from the adult social care budget. This includes cuts to support to live independently, and changes to support to get out and about. Worryingly, the budget also includes plans to increase Council income through charges for social care for Disabled people and older people.

Take the lead on influencing policy-makers through user voice, to improve the lives of Deaf and Disabled people in Merton

Exciting new role managing our pan-London Deaf and Disabled People's Hate Crime Prevention Partnership and leading on peer evaluation.

As part of our work with local partners to raise awareness of Hate Crime and increasing support to address hate crime, our staff and volunteers took part in Hate Crime Awareness Week in October. We travelled around the borough with the police Reassurance Bus and some of their Safer Neighbourhood teams. We hung out with Victim Support and our CEO spoke at the launch of the week (you can read the full speech below). Thank you to everyone who took leaflets, stopped and talked to us, and to everyone who filled in our survey about how to support people to report hate crime.

Merton CIL want people to come forward and report hate crime. However, hate crimes against disabled people are almost all under the radar. We are supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week to help make more people aware of hate crime and hate incidents, and find out how to report it and stop it.

We will shut from 3pm on Friday 22nd December 2017 and re open at 9am on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

Merton CIL would like to thank all our members and supporters who came to our AGM on 30th October 2017. A total of 60 people came along to show their support. We also launched our brand new stratergy which was developed with the help of our members, volunteers, service users trustees and staff 

Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) are doing some work with Clarion Housing Group (formerly Circle Housing) to support their disabled residents to speak up throughout the regeneration process of the Eastfields, High Path and Ravensbury Estates. Merton CIL are supporting Clarion to hear from and consider the needs of disabled residents throughout the process. This includes people from across the full spectrum of Disability and includes disabled community language speakers and Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users. 

We have had loads of contributions from our members and supporters this month talking about what independence means to them, and there are more opportunities for you to get involved too. We would also like to personally invite our supporters and members to our next Annual General Meeting on 30th October from 11am to 1pm at Vestry Hall. We are really looking forward to presenting our new 2018-23 strategy to you all, which has been developed with our members and supporters over the past year.

Merton Centre for Independent Living research has shown that over 2500 Disabled People have already been denied PIP or had their benefit reduced, and thousands more are at risk. 

Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) is looking for an experienced Adviser to join our Advice and Advocacy Team. You will primarily be providing Benefits and Money Advice and Casework, but there will also be opportunities in Housing and Community Care.

Merton CIL's members group met recently to discuss plans to close Wimbledon Police Station. The group were not happy with the proposals and felt that the Mitcham Police Station was not as accessible as Wimbledon for disabled people. The group also raised concerns about some of the proposals to move more services online, as this can also be less accessible to disabled people. Our members also raised concerns about the nature of the consultation, whether it was genuine consultation, and the fact that some of the questions seemed somewhat leading. Have your say here!

Be part of our great team enabling Deaf and Disabled people to take control over their lives, be independent and challenge discrimination

This is a great opportunity to join our dynamic user-led Deaf and Disabled people's organisation in Merton and to support our continued growth, strategic direction and governance on the trustee board.

Some of our members have been telling us what life is like for disabled people in Merton. You can read more about what people said in our short report