Two disabled peers have criticised ministers for refusing to collect figures that would demonstrate the impact of a key element of new benefit rules that will see tens of thousands of people losing their Motability vehicles.The Liberal Democrat peer Baroness [Celia] Thomas and the crossbench peer Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson spoke out after a Lords debate on the so-called “20-metre” rule, introduced by the government as part of its new personal independence payment (PIP).Under disability living allowance (DLA), someone is eligible for the higher mobility rate if they cannot walk more than 50 metres, but under the new rules for PIP – which is gradually replacing working-age DLA – this walking distance criterion has been set at just 20 metres.Those who are not eligible for the PIP mobility enhanced rate are not able to hire a vehicle through the Motability scheme.Last week, Baroness Thomas proposed a motion in the House of Lords in which she called on ministers to agree to an urgent meeting with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium over the unfairness of the 20-metre rule, which she described as “a real slap in the face for thousands of disabled people”.Government figures have predicted that, with the criteria set at 20 metres, the number of people receiving higher rates of mobility support – and therefore eligible for a Motability vehicle – will plunge from 1,030,000 (if DLA had not been replaced by PIP) to just 602,000 by 2018.Baroness Thomas (pictured during the debate) told fellow peers that between 400 and 500 Motability cars a week were being handed back by disabled people who had been reassessed for PIP and “whose condition may not have improved but who are losing not just their car but, in many cases, their independence”. She pointed out that when the government was forced to consult on the 20-metre rule, the overwhelmingly majority of the 1,000-plus responses said it was “manifestly unfair, not to say meaningless”.She said: “To be told that the bill for PIP is too high and must be cut by more than halving the walking distance test is a real slap in the face for thousands of disabled people, particularly those of working age with lifetime awards under DLA.”But Baroness Altmann, the pensions minister, claimed that PIP claimants who can walk more than 20 metres but less than 50 metres can still receive the enhanced mobility rate of PIP if they cannot walk the distance “safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner”.She said this meant that there was “not a strict 20-metre rule” but that 20 metres was “an indication”, and “if somebody can walk more than 20 metres, they can still get the enhanced rate component”, although she admitted that “it does depend on the assessment”.But when asked by Lord McKenzie, a Labour shadow work and pensions spokesman, how many people had qualified for the enhanced rate under the PIP “moving around” activity despite being able to walk more than 20 metres, she said: “Of course, I do not have those figures to hand and I do not know whether they are available.”When Disability News Service (DNS) asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after the debate whether it collected those figures, a DWP spokesman confirmed that it did not.He said: “We collect a wide range of information on PIP assessments and make a judgement on the level of detail to capture.“Every level of detail captured incurs costs and we have to take a judgement on whether these costs provide value for money for the taxpayer.”When told of this response, Baroness Thomas told DNS: “How can the DWP expect parliamentarians to scrutinise what they are doing when we aren’t given the full facts? “Ministers are often very good at picking and choosing statistics to suit their case, expecting the rest of us to swallow them whole. This isn’t good enough. “Both the department and parliament ought to have as full a picture as possible of the impact of the PIP changes on both new and reassessed claimants.”Baroness Grey-Thompson added: “I think it is hugely disappointing that they are not measuring this, not least because it might help Her Majesty’s Government work out how much they may be ‘saving’.“I would have thought the data would have helped them make informed decisions about any future potential changes.”Three other disabled peers had also raised concerns in the debate about the impact of the 20-metre rule.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, the disabled president of the Liberal Democrats, pointed to the case of Tom Carter, whose case was reported by DNS last year, and who was forced to return his Motability car after a PIP reassessment saw his mobility award reduced from enhanced to standard rate.Losing the car meant he was unable to travel to hospital for the vital x-rays he needed after losing a leg to bone cancer.Another disabled peer, Lord [Colin] Low, said the 20-metre threshold was “completely arbitrary”, whereas 50 metres was “a well-established and research-based measure of significant mobility impairment”. He said: “Making a change that means that people who need a Motability car to go to work lose their car flies in the face of the government’s welfare-to-work agenda and their aim to halve the disability employment gap.”Baroness Masham, another disabled peer, and a vice-president of Motability, said the loss of the enhanced rate of mobility was “a desperate situation for some disabled people living in rural districts who have no public transport”.She said: “If they have employment, they will lose it. They will also lose the independence needed for a social life and will have to use hospital transport for hospital visits, costing the NHS much-needed funds.?”Baroness Grey-Thompson, who receives the upper mobility rate of DLA, although she does not have a Motability vehicle, said she was waiting to be called for her PIP reassessment.She said: “I believe that the 20-metre guideline is an arbitrary number – where does 20 metres get you? It is barely the distance from one wall of the [Lords] chamber to the other.“How can we reasonably expect people who can walk only 20 metres not to require some sort of assistance?”Baroness Altmann said the government was “happy to engage” with disability groups, but insisted that PIP was “performing well”.She said: “Under DLA, too many people were given lifetime awards – that is at the heart of some of the problems we have been hearing about this evening – whereas under PIP claimants have regular reviews to make sure that the support they get reflects their current circumstances.”And she said the PIP reforms were not about saving money, as the government was “spending more on PIP, and more people have Motability cars now than when PIP started”.But in a surprise move, Baroness Thomas had packed the chamber with fellow Liberal Democrats, who ensured that her motion was passed.The DWP spokesman later confirmed that the meeting with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium would take place.He said: “I can confirm that the arrangements are currently being finalised for the minister to meet disability charities next week to talk about the issues raised in the debate.”Disability Rights UK said after the debate that Motability and government figures suggest that about 1,500 disabled people a week who previously received the higher DLA mobility rate were not being awarded its PIP equivalent after being reassessed, a loss to each individual of about £1,800 per year.A DR UK spokesperson said: “The result is devastating on their independence and has resulted in loss of employment for some.”It called for all those claimants who cannot reliably walk up to 50 metres to be awarded the enhanced mobility rate of PIP.
The disabled activist who yesterday won a ground-breaking legal victory that protects the rights of wheelchair-users to travel on buses has said he does not regret the five years he has spent fighting the case through the courts.Doug Paulley (pictured), from Wetherby, near Leeds, said he hoped the victory over the public transport giant FirstGroup would be a “morale-booster” for disabled people across the country, who he said were living through “very dark and worrying” times.But he warned that the barriers facing wheelchair-users travelling on buses were “not going to change overnight”.He said the legal case had been “about achieving cultural change, which is never easy or quick, and it’s a struggle to make that happen, and hopefully what lots of people have achieved today is one step towards something approaching cultural change.“I think it’s worth it in terms of the pressure for change and the potential for change; it has got a lot of people thinking and taking about it, which can only improve awareness.”The Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday (Wednesday) that First Bus had breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act through its “first come, first served” policy on the use of wheelchair spaces.It was the first case of disability discrimination in service provision to be heard by the country’s highest court.Paulley had been planning to travel to Leeds to visit his parents in February 2012, but was prevented from entering a bus because the driver refused to insist that a mother with a sleeping child in a pushchair should move from the only wheelchair space.After he launched a legal case for discrimination, the county court ruled that wheelchair-users should have priority in the use of dedicated wheelchair spaces, and that First Bus’s policy breached the Equality Act.The court of appeal then over-turned that ruling and said instead that a bus driver needed only to request – and not demand – that a non-disabled passenger should vacate the space if it was needed by a wheelchair-user.But the Supreme Court yesterday ruled unanimously that disabled passengers have a right to priority access over the wheelchair space on a bus – although failing to award any damages to Paulley – and that a driver must do more than simply ask a non-disabled passenger to move.The ruling should mean that bus drivers are now “required” to ask passengers blocking the space to move, said Paulley, and are then “required to ask them if they have a genuine reason for not doing so if they refuse”, and “required” to take measures to pressure them into doing so if they will still not move.These measures should probably include refusing to drive off for several minutes, in order to shame the passenger blocking the space into moving, although the driver will not have the legal power to throw them off the bus.Paulley said: “I think the bus industry, the public transport industry and possibly other industries too will be going away and studying this in quite some detail.“I don’t think a lot of it is going to be overnight. I don’t think this is going to be a universal panacea.“It would be nice if it was, but it’s a step towards it. We must keep banging the drum.”He said he hoped the government would now make changes to clarify and strengthen the rights of wheelchair-users through the government’s bus services bill, which has just started its progress through the Commons.Penny Mordaunt, the minister for disabled people, said on Twitter immediately after the ruling that she would now be speaking to the Department for Transport “re clarity, good practice & powers a transport operator has to ensure this ruling become a reality”.Alan Benson, chair of London’s user-led accessible transport charity Transport for All (TfA), welcomed the judgment, although he said TfA “would have liked to see it go further and make it a requirement of the driver to get people to move or a requirement that people move when asked”.He said he was frustrated at the lack of clarity in the judgment – which had different judgments delivered by six of the seven justices – but he said it was still “a day for celebration”.He said: “Today it’s about the victory; tomorrow we need to look at what the next steps are.“I think there are a lot of conversations going on this afternoon about just what it means.”He added: “It is an incredibly difficult climate, where disabled people’s rights and freedoms are being chipped away at every day, where disabled people in society are increasingly the victims of hate crime, verbal and physical abuse.“I think they are looking for every morale boost they can find and I think this has got to be one of them.”Chris Fry, from Unity Law, who has represented Paulley throughout his legal battle, said the decision establishes what he called the “Paulley Principle”: that bus companies have to give priority use of the wheelchair space to disabled customers.He said immediate changes needed to be made by First Group and other transport companies.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, the disabled Liberal Democrat peer and party president, and herself a wheelchair-user, said: “I am delighted that Doug Paulley has won this important Supreme Court case.“The Paulley Principle is vital to make sure that disabled travellers are not treated as second-class citizens.“In the detail of the judgement, the Supreme Court judges say that there need to be legislative changes to make this happen, not least to give bus drivers the power to require a passenger to move. “Following the minister’s comments on my amendments in the bus service bill, saying he was waiting for the outcome of this case, I will now be asking him to ensure that the legislation is enacted as swiftly as possible.”David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which funded Paulley’s appeal, said: “Public transport is essential for disabled people to live independently, yet bus companies have not made it easy for this to happen.“This is a victory for disabled people’s rights. The success of this case means bus companies will have to end ‘first come, first served’ polices, increasing peace of mind for disabled people.”Paulley paid tribute to the years of support he has received that have made the victory possible from disabled people’s organisations and individual disabled people and their allies, including Unity Law, Transport for All and the website Mumsnet, all of which had “gone out of their way to support this and make this change”.Paulley said he did not know when he would attempt his next bus journey, following the Supreme Court ruling.He said the incident with First Bus in 2012 had seriously knocked his confidence about travelling on buses as a wheelchair-user, and the incident still affected him.He said: “I have various mental health issues… and that fear of confrontation does genuinely cause an issue for me, so I don’t know.”Pictured: Doug Paulley (left) and Chris Fry in front of the Supreme Court yesterday after the ruling, surrounded by supporters from Transport for All
Momentum, the network of activists that grew out of Jeremy Corbyn’s first leadership campaign, has launched a drive for open parliamentary selections to take place across the country, which would enable Labour members to oust their local sitting MP.The campaign will encourage party members to initiate a full selection process in their local parties through the ‘trigger ballot’ mechanism. This is the tool that allows members to have a say over whether their MP faces a full selection contest or is automatically reselected as the Labour candidate for the constituency they already represent.Following a rule change at Labour conference last year, the threshold has been lowered so that: “If either one third or more of party branches, or one third or more of affiliated branches, indicate that they wish a selection to take place, a selection shall proceed.” Sitting MPs must secure the support of more than two thirds of both party and affiliated branches in order to avoid the risk of deselection.Pointing to its endorsement of already-selected parliamentary candidates such as Ali Milani and Faiza Shaheen, Momentum explains that it welcomes Labour’s initiation of an early reselection process because the party needs its “rising stars” to “look and sound very different” to the “privately educated millionaires” running for the Tory leadership.“People feel deeply alienated by our broken political system, and campaigning for open selections across the country will help surface a new generation of young, BAME, working class leaders who will take on the political establishment and provide a genuine alternative,” the Momentum statement released today reads.Corbynites are hoping to make Labour’s parliamentary party more representative of party supporters, but also to reshape the political outlook of MPs. The PLP is currently considered to be overwhelmingly Corbynsceptic, which makes deselecting sitting MPs an opportunity for the Labour left.However, if a snap election is called in the autumn as a result of the next Prime Minister not being able to implement his Brexit plan, sitting MPs will likely be automatically reselected. In seats where no candidate has been selected already, the ruling body may impose candidates, as happened in 2017.There has been some controversy over the process for pregnant Labour MPs. LabourList exclusively revealed that the national executive committee (NEC) addressed such concerns at its last meeting and decided that trigger ballots will only be held at least one year after a sitting MP’s return from maternity leave.Tags:Labour /Parliamentary Selections /Open selections /Momentum /Trigger ballot /Full selections /
The 17th and Folsom development will house 16- to 24-year-olds transitioning from state or foster care and low-income families. It will look over a park that has been years in the making.Construction is expected to begin in 2017, and Feng hopes to have residents start moving in by late 2018 or early 2019. City officials said construction on the park next door would begin earlier and likely be completed by next summer.The youth tenants transitioning will have rents 30 percent of the area median income of $71,400, while the low-income family tenants will pay up to 60 percent. One-fifth of the 101 units will be one-bedroom studios for the youth, while the rest are mostly two- and three-bedrooms. “Our concept for this was three-fold: To take the transitional age youth and help them to really establish a community in a neighborhood with a lot of resources, like the Mission; to be a symbiotic development with the park next door; and to ensure that resources that are at risk of displacement stay in the neighborhood,” Feng said. To that end, Feng said the ground floor of the development will house local non-profits like PODER and Jamestown Community Center. The Mission Neighborhood Resource Center and the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center will also provide childcare in the building, Feng said, and Larkin Street Youth Services will give job training to youth residents.“We’ll also have entry-level employment for the youth at a cafe, which will also be connected to the park,” Feng said. A walkway between the park and the housing development will connect Shotwell and Folsom, and the adjacent cafe will have restrooms open to park-goers. “We’re really enlivening and enriching the neighborhood’s resources,” Feng said, adding they had even considered the area’s long history of flooding and raised the building by two feet to avoid maintenance issues.A decision on at least another 50 units of affordable housing at Shotwell and Cesar Chavez is expected before October, and along with the 1950 Mission Street development and the 490 South Van Ness development that was made fully affordable in July, the Mission is slated to receive some 400 new affordable units in the next few years. The affordable housing approved in the last two months is the Mission’s first such housing since Valencia Gardens in 2006 and follows a city-wide debate on affordability in the neighborhood. In May, activists stormed city hall to support a 45-day moratorium on market-rate development in the Mission, and on the ballot this November is Proposition I, a similar moratorium that would last 18 months. Mayor Ed Lee has a stated goal of creating 30,000 new housing units by 2020 — one third of which would be affordable — and has supported Proposition A, the $310 million dollar affordable housing bond on November’s ballot. But San Francisco’s chief economist said last year it would take 100,000 new units of market-rate housing to make a dent in the city’s affordability crisis, and since January 2014 only 5,600 units have been constructed city-wide, 1,400 of which are affordable. Still, the development is the latest to come to the Mission and the first large-scale project for MEDA. It establishes a foundation on which the non-profit may base plans to build affordable housing in the neighborhood. Just five weeks after 1950 Mission Street was approved for 165 units of affordable housing, 101 new affordable units will be coming to the former parking lot at 2070 Folsom St. They will be built via a joint partnership between the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and the Chinatown Community Development Center (CDC). This brings the number of affordable housing units approved for the Mission this summer to 266.“This is a huge deal, and we feel like it’s bringing our brand of affordable housing to the Mission,” said Karoleen Feng, the Director of Community Real Estate at MEDA. This is the first housing construction project for the non-profit, which has recently made strides in the affordable housing game with its purchase of six small sites earlier last month and the transfer of some 400 units of public housing to its care. 0% Tags: Affordable Housing • meda • Mission Economic Development Agency • parks Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Tags: health care • protests • SF General Hospital • unions Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The protesters claim current staffing levels put patients at risk of receiving inadequate care and can force individual nurses to work long hours to help out when patient volumes are too high for the scheduled workers to handle.Nurse Jason Negron-Gonzales, 39, who has worked in the hospital’s emergency department for five years, recalled a grim shift back in 2014. As the sun was about to come up and he prepared to clock out, two ambulances rolled in at the same time bearing patients who had attempted suicide. One man had cut his own throat, and the other had tried to drown himself by jumping off a pier.There were four nurses available at the time. They wheeled the men into different rooms and split into pairs to tend to them. Negron-Gonzalez said 10 patients would have been left unattended if he and a handful of other nurses hadn’t decided to stay on the clock.“This happens day to day,” Negron-Gonzales said. “You can get more than one sick patient at any time, and then you need the staff there and ready.”David Canham, who will soon negotiate to expand nurse staffing on behalf of Local 1021, said that multiple departments throughout San Francisco General are out of compliance with Title 22 California Code of Regulations, which specifies how many nurses hospitals must keep on staff. The state law requires hospitals to keep enough nurses so that each has no more than a set maximum of patients at any given moment, and those thresholds vary based on the setting, the patients’ conditions and other factors.Department of Public Health spokesperson Rachel Kagan would not comment about whether the hospital was violating Title 22, though she said the department and union representatives will get a chance to talk about this soon. A hospital spokesperson also declined to comment in response to the claim. The hospital’s website shows job openings for nurses, but it’s unclear how many will be hired, and in what time frame.Canham said that Mayor Ed Lee could fix the problem by increasing the hospital’s budget. “The buck stops with the mayor,” he said.Negron-Gonzales said that in 2014, the hospital’s emergency department was violating state staffing regulations multiple times every day. Since then, more nurses have joined the staff and now he only occasionally has more patients than he’s supposed to. But he said he worries that when the new facility opens, the hospital will merely transfer its current nurses into it instead of training new ones, causing the problem to return.“We look forward to discussing this topic with the nurses at the bargaining table,” Kagan said. 0% Union staff and hospital workers on Thursday revived a long-standing dispute over staffing levels at San Francisco General Hospital.About 200 workers and members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021 picketed outside the hospital’s entrance at noon, calling for administrators to end a nurse shortage that has persisted for about 10 years, they said. The hospital will soon open its new facilities, named after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but protesters said that existing departments are already in a dire state and need attention now.“We don’t want to take a decade-long problem and move it into this brand new facility,” said Larry Bradshaw, vice president of Local 1021 in San Francisco.During the protest, the churning crowd of picketers chanted, “What do we want?” “Safe Staffing!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”
STOBART Group, the UK leader in transport and distribution, has partnered with Super League in a cross-marketing deal to secure title naming rights to Rugby League’s elite club competition.The new agreement, which will run until the end of the 2014 season, will see the competition become the Stobart Super League with the Stobart brand featuring prominently across all 14 clubs.In a pioneering new partnership focusing on exposure and promoting greater awareness of the game, the newly-designed Stobart Super League artwork will adorn 100 trailers of the company’s famous red and green trucks, with an Eddie Stobart vehicle passed, on average, every 4.5 minutes when driving on the UK’s major roads.Each of the 14 clubs will have trailers branded with images of their players and team colours.Commenting on the new partnership, Super League Chairman Richard Lewis said: “The deal with Stobart is excellent for the Super League clubs and the competition as a whole.“The Super League clubs turned down other offers and took a strategic view that the brand values of Stobart are closely matched to those of Rugby League.“The Super League clubs are excited by the multi-layered sponsorship that services the game and the competition on a number of levels in a way never seen before.”Stobart Chief Executive Andrew Tinkler said: “Eddie Stobart has become a Superbrand due to the public exposure of our 2,250 trucks, driving millions of miles each week.“Now we can help build the Super League brand and promote Rugby League and its brilliant clubs through the exposure our fleet and Superbrand status offers.”He added: “We have a successful history with the game through our relationship with Widnes Vikings, and believe there is a strong affiliation between the Stobart brand and the army of Rugby League fans. We can’t wait for the Stobart Super League to get started and for our new branded trailers to hit the road.”The partnership will dovetail alongside a new five-year television contract with leading broadcaster Sky Sports, which will see up to 70 televised games each season, starting with Widnes Vikings versus Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Friday February 3 2012.Rugby League continues to be a major feature in the Sky Sports portfolio as the most watched domestic league outside of football, and the fourth most popular televised sport in Britain.
SAINTS displayed real mettle and courage as they toughed it out to beat Castleford Tigers 18-12 at the Probiz Coliseum.Defensively they were outstanding, withstanding repeat set after set on their own line and battling the loss of three key players.Ade Gardner (knee), Tony Puletua (shoulder) and Gary Wheeler (hamstring) all left the field leaving Saints short on numbers and interchanges.But their teammates showed real pride to batten down the hatches, stave off five repeat sets in the last three minutes, and secure two points.Up until then, the conditions hardly encouraged free flowing rugby – and that was reflected in the number of knock ons and handling errors.Saints forged ahead when Ade Gardner clocked his 168th in the Red Vee and a typical bulldozing run from Sia Soliola sandwiched Brett Ferris’ reply.The second half didn’t fare much better in terms of entertainment but Saints stuck at it and Francis Meli intercepted to go 90 yards and stretch the lead.James Roby the unlikeliest ‘converter’ to take it to 18-6 before Ferris grabbed his second.Saints then produced that wonderful never say die defence to grab the win.After losing the derby on Good Friday Saints needed the experience of Paul Wellens and Anthony Laffranchi in the squad and the direction of Gary Wheeler to try and overcome a tricky Castleford.The Tigers were down on numbers but with Josh Atkinson on debut and a buoyant home crowd it was never going to be easy.Roby kicked a 40/20 on Saints first set and from the scrum Lance Hohaia was just caught right on the try-line.Castleford shored up the defence and then probed into their opponent’s 20; but Saints D was on top once again.On 12 minutes, Hohaia blasted down the field and both Sia Soliola and Ade Gardner had good chances to get Saints on the board.But as the half wore on, the first score was always going to be pretty crucial – and it came from Saints.Roby and Hohaia put their charges in great field position and when Wheeler poked his head through, Ade Gardner went over.Wheeler’s conversion off target.Tigers replied with a great line ball that was finished off by Brett Ferris – and goal by Kirk Dixon to put them two to the good.The lead was short-lived though as on Saints’ next set Sia Soliola ploughed over after great work from James Roby.Wheeler again wide with the conversion attempt.Saints then should have increased their lead further. Wheeler broke the Cas line with great footwork and found Hohaia on his inside.He then took it on, got it to Michael Shenton but the Tigers’ defence had scrambled and the chance was gone.Cas then almost turned that defence into attack. On the back of three penalties they were camped on Saints line, but once again the ‘Red Vee’ rearguard was too strong.The second half began with a Castleford knock on, a Gary Wheeler chip to the corner and a take in goal from Josh Atkinson.But Ade Gardner came off worse as he jumped for the ball and was stretchered off to join TP on the sidelines.Another error then led to Saints next try. Castleford lost the ball in their own zone, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook scooped it up, fed Shenton and he did the business.Wheeler again missing with the extras.The excellent Josh Jones produced a fine chase to stop a hacked ahead ball as the game approached the final quarter.Once again though Saints made it difficult for themselves with a number of penalties as they began to tire.And it took a herculean effort from Francis Meli to pluck a Cas pass out of mid-air and race 90 yards; Roby tagging on the extras.Straightaway Saints were on the back foot again as the Tigers forced three repeat sets on their line.The pressure told too, Brett Ferris grabbing his second – again thanks to a fine ‘line’ ball.Dixon tagging on the two.Cas forced a double drop out in the final stages as Saints tired even further and were handed another one with a penalty. The ball then went into touch and the Tigers were given another set – somewhat bizarrely after the ball came off a home player.That was their fifth set in a row but Saints defended it to come away from their line and seal the win.Match Summary:Tigers:Tries: Ferris (2)Goals: Dixon (2 from 2)Saints:Tries: Gardner, Soliola, Shenton, MeliGoals: Wheeler (0 from 3). Roby (1 from 1)Penalties:Tigers: 11Saints: 6HT: 8-6FT: 18-12REF: Richard SilverwoodATT: 6492Teams:Tigers:4. Kirk Dixon; 29. Ben Johnson, 11. Brett Ferres, 25. Jordan Thompson, 5. Josh Griffin; 23. Ryan McGoldrick, 15. Adam Milner; 12. Jonathan Walker, 16. Ryan Hudson, 24. Steve Nash, 17. Lee Mitchell, 21. Oliver Holmes, 27. John Davies.Subs: 8. Jake Emmitt, 13. Steve Snitch, 14. Stuart Jones, 28. James Grehan.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 17. Gary Wheeler, 6. Lance Hohaia; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 11. Tony Puletua, 4. Sia Soliola, 13. Chris Flannery.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 18. Shaun Magennis.
WITH the World Cup less than a year away, legend Darren Lockyer visited Langtree Park to host a special forum.In front of 300 Rugby League fans he spoke about the importance of the tournament and entertained with several amusing stories.Lance Hohaia, Paul Wellens, Paul Loughlin and Ade Gardner were also on the panel.Our next forum is on November 29 – click here for more details.
SAINTS travel to the DW Stadium to take on Wigan Warriors tonight looking to avenge the Good Friday loss at Langtree Park.They have won 28 games in the Super League era over their nearest rivals.Last Ten Meetings:St Helens 14, Wigan 33 (SLR9, 18/4/14)St Helens 22, Wigan 16 (SLR22, 22/7/13)Wigan 28, St Helens 16 (SLR9, 29/3/13)Wigan 18, St Helens 26 (SLR27, 7/9/12)St Helens 16, Wigan 42 (SLR15, 27/5/12) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Wigan 18, St Helens 4 (CCQF, 12/5/12)St Helens 10, Wigan 28 (SLR10, 6/4/12)St Helens 26, Wigan 18 (SLQSF, 1/10/11)Wigan 18, St Helens 26 (SLQPO, 18/9/11)St Helens 12, Wigan 18 (CCSF, 6/8/11) (at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)Super League Summary:Wigan won 31 (includes win in 2010 Grand Final & wins in 2001, 2003 and 2004 play-offs)St Helens won 28 (includes win in 2000 Grand Final & wins in 2000, 2002, 2009 and 2011 play-offs)4 drawsHighs and Lows:Wigan highest score: 65-12 (A, 1997) (also widest margin)St Helens highest score: 57-16 (MM, 2008) (also widest margin)First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 = Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons), Tom Makinson (St Helens), Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves) 154 = Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 136 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Michael Oldfield (Catalan Dragons), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors) 12Goals:1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 742 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 663 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 614 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 595 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 576 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 557 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 488 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 469 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 4310 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 41Goals Percentage:1 Jamie Ellis (Castleford Tigers) 100.00 (10/10)2 Luke Gale (Bradford Bulls) 93.75 (15/16)3 Jordan Rankin (Hull FC) 88.88 (16/18)4 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 82.00 (41/50)5 Jacob Miller (Hull FC) 81.81 (9/11)6 Jamie Foster (Bradford Bulls) 78.78 (26/33)7 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 78.72 (74/94)8 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 78.57 (66/84)9 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 78.18 (43/55)10 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.46 (55/71)Points:1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 1622 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1533 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 1444 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 1345 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1256 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 1247 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 1228 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 1069 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 10010 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 97
SAINTS get their Super 8s campaign underway this Thursday when they make the short trip to Warrington Wolves.Games between the two are tied this season, with Keiron Cunningham’s men recording a 25-22 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in April.In fact, the Wolves’ patch has been a happy hunting ground for Saints over the Super League era, with 22 wins and a draw coming from 26 matches.“There’s no pressure then!” Cunningham quipped when asked about that record this week. “Why is it that way? I’m not sure but atmosphere probably goes a long way towards it. It is a good venue to play at, our fans enjoy going across there and we’ve had a fair bit of success there too.“The boot is on the other foot at Langtree Park – they have done well here. Whatever the form, I’m sure Tony (Smith) will have his team ready to go on Thursday.“They say every cloud has a silver lining and it’s true we’ve been able to freshen things up over the week off. We’ve had some good results and found a bit of form recently but we’d rather be in Tony’s position.“We can’t change what has happened but we do have players available who wouldn’t have been able to play had we had a game at the weekend.“We have been able to put some conditioning work into them and I brought them in on Sunday. I don’t think I was the most popular bloke for doing that, but that’s what you have to do with playing on Thursday.“We have belief in what we are doing and it will be a good round one for us.”He continued: “Warrington are a good side and are where they are on the league table and in the Challenge Cup because of that. Saints v Warrington matches are always feisty and good games. Tony took his halves off in the second half of the semi-final and rested other players with this game in the back of his mind.“He knows the importance of it to his troops like it does to ours.“But, we have got into the top four and the challenge now is to take each round as it comes and maintain the levels we have got to.”Saints expect Dominique Peyroux will be in contention for a return to the squad this Thursday whilst Theo Fages is a couple of weeks off.Tommy Makinson is progressing from his knee injury too but won’t be available this season.“We will be as fit as we are going to be this year in the next couple of weeks,” Cunningham added. “We have found some form, have bodies coming back, and that does help. It will give me a headache for sure.”Finally, KC once again paid tribute to the fans who have played “a large role” in the club’s recent form.“They have been fantastic. At Wigan they were in full roar and it’s probably one of the only times I have wanted to pull on a shirt again and be a part of it.“They will play a big part going forward. We are in the best spot we could be from where we were. We now have four home games and our fans will play a massive part in what we could do. Hopefully, we will reward them for that.”Tickets for Thursday’s game are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.You can also secure your spec for all our Super 8s games, with the exception of our trip to Widnes.