A day in the death of Lambeth County Court: How austerity is eroding access to justice

In September 2017 Lambeth County Court will close its doors forever. It is one of 86 courts and tribunals across England and Wales – 10 in London alone – that the Ministry of Justice is shutting as part of the Government’s programme of austerity. I wanted to understand what Lambeth was losing, so I spent … Continue reading A day in the death of Lambeth County Court: How austerity is eroding access to justice

My Life in South London – an experiment in collaborative storytelling

This week is Refugee Week. Over the last few months, I’ve been working with South London Refugee Association to produce a photography project with their clients – which we launched yesterday. While the project itself is not about austerity, it enabled me to explore ethical issues that have been troubling me since I first embarked … Continue reading My Life in South London – an experiment in collaborative storytelling

Homelessness and the housing crisis in Lambeth

People in Lambeth, and in boroughs across the capital, are being made homeless through a combination of changes to the benefits system, delays caused by staff shortages and a housing loophole which means that people judged to have made themselves “intentionally homeless” are no longer the responsibility of the overstretched local authority…. There are currently … Continue reading Homelessness and the housing crisis in Lambeth

Rue’s story: Jobseeker’s Allowance and a bureaucratic black hole

Jobseeker’s Allowance is supposed to help people on low incomes survive gaps in their employment as they seek new work. One construction worker explains how a glitch in the benefits system left him unable to work, unable to claim JSA and unable to attend his own mother’s funeral… Rue was born on the Portuguese island … Continue reading Rue’s story: Jobseeker’s Allowance and a bureaucratic black hole

P’s story: Battling the Department for Work and Pensions

A cancer survivor shares his experience of the benefits system and reveals how the Department for Work and Pensions’ medical assessors have repeatedly judged him fit for work – contradicting evidence from his GP and hospital doctors, and contravening a ruling by an independent tribunal… I was introduced to “P” by Nathan at Brixton Advice … Continue reading P’s story: Battling the Department for Work and Pensions

Toni’s story: Chaos and cruelty at the Department for Work and Pensions

A few weeks ago, I met Toni. She contacted me after reading one of my posts on the Brixton Advice Centre blog because she’s angry about the way people claiming disability benefits are perceived and treated, and wanted to share some of her own experiences of the system. Toni has a complex medical history that … Continue reading Toni’s story: Chaos and cruelty at the Department for Work and Pensions