UKIPs manifesto has significant policies on outo

first_imgUKIP’s manifesto has significant policies on out-of-work disability benefits and social care, but offers little to suggest that disability rights would be a priority if the party won power.The manifesto says UKIP would abolish the much-criticised and “unfair” work capability assessment, relying instead on GPs and consultants to assess disabled people’s eligibility for out-of-work disability benefits.This would mean an end to the “limbo” faced by disabled people placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA) after their assessment, says UKIP.The UKIP manifesto pledges to support disabled people who are unable to work through a “fair and fit-for-purpose welfare system”.The manifesto adds: “[UKIP would] remove ‘tick-box’ and quota arrangements from sickness and disability assessments, thereby streamlining and speeding up the assessment processes and continually respecting claimants throughout the process.”It would also abolish the coalition’s “bedroom tax”, known by the government as the spare room subsidy removal, which has hit many disabled people who claim housing benefit.UKIP says in its manifesto that it is “fully committed” to the rights described in article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which outlines the “equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others”.The manifesto says: “We wholly endorse the right of the disabled to access in-home, residential and community support services and we support their inclusion in our communities.”On social care funding, it promises an extra £1.2 billion a year by the end of the next parliament, which would “ease the path through a change” to the integration of health and social care “under the control of the NHS”.It also pledges to introduce a legally-binding “dignity code” to improve standards of professional care, and says it would “protect services such as day care, home care and Meals on Wheels”, and abolish 15-minute home care visits.It also says that, if shale and oil gas “fracking” proved possible and profitable, a UKIP government would spend any tax revenue on “looking after older people”.UKIP (led by Nigel Farage, pictured) also wants to abolish the Care Quality Commission – which inspects and regulates the health and social care sectors – and place its inspection functions in the hands of new “county health boards made up of health and social care professionals elected locally by their peers”.The other significant disability-related policy is a pledge similar to the controversial promise on inclusive education offered by the Conservatives at the 2010 election.The UKIP manifesto says: “The policy of closing special schools will be reversed. Every child is unique and the needs of each child should come first.“Those who learn better in a tailored, non-mainstream environment should have the opportunity to do so.”One disabled parliamentary candidate, Star Etheridge, UKIP’s disability spokeswoman, who is standing in Wolverhampton North East, said the party’s plans on disability benefits would mean “no more limbo in the WRAG group; a person is going to be ill or not ill based on the opinion of their GP or hospital specialists”.She said: “That’s quite a good point when you think of those on contribution-based ESA because they will not lose out and their contributions mean they won’t lose benefits, as so many do now. “There will be savings from the removal of the contracts from the private assessing companies.“There will be less spent on mandatory reconsiderations and then tribunals so these savings will be part of the overall headline £12 billion that needs to be saved [across government].”last_img read more

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Staffing cuts across the rail industry – forced on

first_imgStaffing cuts across the rail industry – forced on train companies by the government – are damaging the rights of disabled passengers to catch trains without having to book assistance in advance, according to campaigners.The user-led accessible transport charity Transport for All (TfA) said the Department for Transport (DfT) was embedding such cuts in rail franchise agreements with train companies, making it even harder for disabled and older people who need assistance to board and disembark trains to travel “spontaneously”.Two representatives of the rail industry appeared to agree that the government was to blame and had forced the staffing cuts on train-operating companies – affecting station and on-board staff – although one of them later appeared to backtrack on that claim.Faryal Velmi, TfA’s director, told Tuesday’s Pan London Mobility Forum: “‘Turn up and go’ is not rocket science.“We are living in one of the richest cities, in one of the richest countries in the world.”She said that train operating companies were “making very handsome profits for their shareholders”, while the government was failing to answer questions “straightforwardly” about the need for “turn up and go”.She said the train industry needed to “stop treating disabled passengers as second-class citizens”, while transport ministers “really need to stop being so intransigent and face reality”.Alan Benson (pictured, left), TFA’s chair, said the government was driving staff cuts at companies like Southern Railway by embedding such reductions in franchise agreements.He said: “It is a really big problem that we need to raise the awareness of and tackle.”Michael Adlington, customer experience manager for accessibility and inclusion for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) – whose members run the rail industry – said it was DfT that decided how many staff train operating companies could employ.When asked after the meeting to confirm that the government set staffing levels through the franchising process, Adlington told Disability News Service (DNS): “That’s what I believe, but the DfT would need to confirm it.”He then added: “I perhaps said too much, if I am honest, because I don’t know.”Veronika Krcalova, stakeholder support manager for South West Trains, also appeared to suggest that it was the government that decided how many staff a train operating company could employ.She told the forum: “At the moment, we have a guard on every one of our trains.“We want to keep them, but that is not up to us to decide.”After the forum meeting, DfT denied that it specified staffing levels in franchise agreements, and said instead that it was “a matter for the train operator to ensure that services operate safely and in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements”, while all train companies have to comply with the Equality Act.The forum heard that London’s Euston station has already warned disabled people that if they want assistance to board trains over Christmas it is “highly recommended” to book it in advance, said Benson.He told the forum that this was “shocking” for a station the size of Euston.TfA activist Gina Vettese (pictured, centre), a scooter-user, told the forum: “We have to keep guards on these trains, otherwise there will be no-one to help us on and off.“It is a total lack of common sense.”Hannah Barham-Brown (pictured, right), a junior doctor, blogger and wheelchair-user, from south London, told the forum about the ordeal she had repeatedly faced as she tried to travel to work at Kingston Hospital by train.She was unable to book assistance home because she could not predict what time she would finish her shift every day.She experienced so many “horrific journeys” caused by the failure of assistance to help her on and off trains that she admitted defeat and paid for a car instead.She said: “I would like to know that I am valued as much as any other customer, but I don’t think that is [true] most of the time.”Much of the discussion about “turn up and go” at the forum involved Southern, which is embroiled in a long-running industrial dispute over plans that will see more of its trains driver-only operated (DOO), with no other member of staff on board.Emily Yates, co-founder of the Association of British Commuters (ABC), said her organisation had been told by lawyers that DOO trains that visited unstaffed stations would breach the Equality Act if a disabled passenger was unable to secure assistance at those stations.She said it was not clear whether train operating companies or DfT would decide to prevent this happening.She said: “Will there be a call made on that decision or will it take us crowdfunding [to pay for a court case] to make it happen?”Adlington told her: “I honestly don’t know. It is horrible to think that a customer or group of customers like yourselves would have to club together to do something.“We have been talking to DfT. It is very much in their domain as to what happens.”He said the rail industry was only able to work within “parameters” set by the government, although “we can fight against it if we think it is wrong”.But Yates said: “In 2016, are we [really] having this discussion about whether disabled people have the right to turn up and travel?“The government are clearly saying, no, they don’t.”She said that attempts by Southern to “normalise” the inability of disabled passengers to “turn up and go” rather than trying to address the problem were “unlawful and immoral and unacceptable”.Charles King, chair of Croydon Mobility Forum, said the staffing situation on the railways was “absolutely appalling”, with DfT deciding how many staff train operating companies employ, leading to trains regularly skipping station stops because there were not enough staff on duty.When this happens, disabled people are “120th in the queue” for a taxi to get back to their home station, he said, and then “120th in the next queue” because the first taxi was not accessible.Adlington also told the meeting that RDG was now at the “early stages” of working with DfT to “put in some minimum standards of rail accessibility”.He said later that this work, which aims to produce common minimum standards on accessibility, was “at the very, very early stages”, although the department had been “receptive” to the idea.DfT told DNS after the forum that there already were minimum standards of accessibility, which it expected the industry to meet when designing and building stations and trains.But the department said that RSSB, the industry-owned safety and standards body, was developing accessibility guidance for train operators, and that this “may inform on future DfT franchise specification”.DfT said that DOO had been “operating safely for more than 30 years on a third of the UK rail network”, but it has yet to explain how increasing the use of DOO would not make it harder for disabled people to travel independently, particularly to and from unstaffed stations.Meanwhile, Transport for All is planning to launch a campaign in the new year, with a series of demands around access to rail travel for disabled people.It will demand that “disabled and older people have the same right to travel as any other member of the public”, and it will push for “proper turn up and go”, and for action on rail staffing levels.Among other demands, it will call on the government to reject recommendations from the chair of Network Rail to delay nearly £50 million already allocated to the Access for All rail station access improvement scheme.last_img read more

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Four people have been jailed for their part in a c

first_imgFour people have been jailed for their part in a criminal operation set up by a furniture company to target disabled and older people, many of whom were pressured for hours into buying substandard chairs and beds they did not want and did not need.Life Comfort Products Ltd in Peterborough employed “very aggressive and misleading practices” to secure sales of rise-and-recline chairs and electric adjustable beds, said trading standards.The company targeted parts of the country with higher proportions of disabled residents, and homes where their canvassing staff saw ramps and grab rails outside the property.Sales representatives then subjected individuals to high-pressure demonstrations lasting up to three hours.Seven directors and staff of the company were sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to breaches of consumer protection laws, while the company itself also pleaded guilty through its lawyer, with a sentence to be imposed later this year.The sentences followed an 18-month investigation by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards, with support from the National Trading Standards Tri Region investigation team.Peterborough Crown Court had heard from the council’s lawyer at an earlier hearing how Life Comfort Products “knowingly adopted criminally high-pressure sales techniques as a core business strategy for their own financial gain”.The company pretended that its products were “bespoke” pieces of furniture that had been manufactured at its factory in Peterborough, when in fact they had been made by another company.The chairs and beds were sold with a considerable mark-up, with customers misled about the true price of the products and then refused requests for refunds, while the company dealt with complaints “aggressively”.The aim, the court had heard, was “to maximise profits at all costs and with little or no regard to the feelings, circumstances and rights” of the people targeted.The court had heard how the company used “aggressive and overly persistent” canvassing techniques, with its staff often ignoring clear requests to leave or stop.Independent reports showed some of the chairs were not fit for purpose, had not been made to the individual’s measurements, and had manufacturing defects.The chairs had been purchased for £550 and then offered at a price of £3,500.One woman described how her 92-year-old grandmother, who has dementia, repeatedly told a telephone canvasser that she did not want a reclining chair, but the canvasser continued with the call until her granddaughter intervened.Despite her intervention, a member of the company’s staff still visited her grandmother two days later to provide a demonstration.Another customer, a woman with arthritis, tried to complain about the bed she had been sold, but was warned that “things could get very unpleasant” for her if she refused to pay for it.A third customer, who had bought a bed that was supposedly “made to measure”, was left unable to walk around her bedroom and open a chest of drawers because the bed was too big for the room. When she tried to complain, she was threatened with legal action.Citizens Advice received hundreds of complaints about the “aggressive and misleading” behaviour of the company’s staff on the doorsteps of homes across England.Victims later described how the incidents had left them “shocked and distressed”, questioning their ability to live independently, and feeling “embarrassed, ashamed and humiliated”.Peter Gell, head of regulatory services for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards, said: “These sentences reflect the seriousness of the offence and that this company was using very aggressive sales techniques against victims, many of whom were targeted because they were vulnerable.”Lord [Toby] Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, said: “These criminals deliberately targeted neighbourhoods in ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ so they could prey on homeowners in more vulnerable situations, such as people with a disability or older people.“They were aggressive on the doorstep and pressurised victims to buy products they did not want or need.”Among those sentenced were company directors Geoffrey Bernard Turner, 64, and Jacqueline Turner, 60, both of Hall Lane, Werrington, Peterborough, who were sentenced to 12 months and nine months in prison respectively.Sales manager David Turner, 62, of Swan Close, Spalding, was jailed for nine months, while national marketing manager Tim Clark, 43, of High Road, Wisbech, was sentenced to six months in prison.Three sales demonstrators – Joel Henry, 54, of Furniss Close, Daventry; Ben Donohoe, 59, of Cogging Close, Newark; and David Perrow, 62, of Newick Road, Westvale, Liverpool – received suspended sentences, and were ordered to carry out rehabilitation activity, while Henry and Donohoe will each have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.All seven were given five-year criminal behaviour orders.A number of other canvassers and product demonstrators working for Life Comfort Products had earlier accepted cautions.last_img read more

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A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A minister has been asked why the benefits of hundreds of sick and disabled claimants are apparently being sanctioned, even though they should not have to meet any of the strict conditions imposed by the government’s new universal credit system.Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show that more than 1,100 claimants of universal credit were being sanctioned in February this year (1,108), even though they had been moved into the “working enough” or “no work-related requirement” group.They have usually been moved into these groups because they have been found not “fit for work” or are not expected to look for jobs.The figures also show a striking increase in the number of claimants in these two groups who were being sanctioned from January 2017 (649) to February 2017 (1,109).The concerns have been raised by the Commons work and pensions committee, after it was sent the figures by employment minister Alok Sharma.In a letter to Sharma, the committee’s chair, Frank Field, says: “What is the point of applying sanctions to people who cannot work and are not expected to look for jobs?“The DWP have yet to make the case that benefit sanctions work to get people into employment and it’s difficult to see how they can have that affect for people who are ‘working enough’ or cannot work.“Benefit sanctions are the only major welfare reform this decade to have never been evaluated, and the picture DWP paints of the policy doesn’t match the troubling stories we’ve heard.”The committee also raised concerns with Sharma that DWP’s figures “consistently understate” the number of benefit claimants being sanctioned, particularly those on the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA), where there is a high rate of successful appeals.In Field’s letter, he says that DWP removes a sanction decision from its statistics if it is overturned at an appeal.This had been pointed out by Dr David Webster, a leading researcher on unemployment and sanctions at the University of Glasgow, when he gave evidence in May to the committee’s inquiry into the benefit sanctions regime.Webster had told the committee (pictured) that the only reason DWP had not abandoned ESA sanctions when the National Audit Office reported in November 2016 that their use led to a fall in the time claimants spent in work was because of “embarrassment”.Field asks Sharma in his letter to publish pre-appeal sanction figures so that “the true picture can be understood”.In one month, in December 2016, the pre-appeal figures would have been 57 per cent higher (1,173) than the figures published by DWP (749).By January 2018, the pre-appeal figures were still 30 per cent higher (544 rather than 420).Asked to respond to the points raised by Field in his letter to Sharma, a DWP spokeswoman declined to explain why disabled people were apparently being sanctioned when there were no conditions attached to their universal credit.She did not dispute the universal credit sanction figures but said that “where someone’s situation changes and they have different conditionality, we can adjust an ongoing sanction amount”.And she claimed that “only a small proportion of sanction decisions are appealed and in the cases where they are overturned, the claimant’s payments are backdated”.last_img read more

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Roosevelt Tamale Parlor in SF Mission Closing Down

first_img 0% The Roosevelt Tamale Parlor on 24th Street near York posted a sign outside its door that said it would be shutting down by the end of this coming Sunday, December 6.The owners cited “personal health issues” and the “shrinking restaurant labor pool” for the closure, saying the low supply of workers has “fueled unsustainable wage expectations,” a problem Mission Local has written about before for storefronts on Valencia and Mission.“We are losing a large part of our kitchen staff, and replacing them is too expensive,” said Aaron Presbrey, one of the restaurant’s owners. “We can’t sustain the place with the current wage expectations.”Presbrey said that although “business has been steady,” an exodus of restaurant workers who are no longer able to afford the city’s high rents has made it difficult to run a full service restaurant that is profitable. As a result of the growing wealth gap, he believes that minimum wage jobs have been stigmatized. “People don’t want to work for for minimum wage anymore, even though that amount has been raised,” he said. “But if you pay more than that, how is a small business supposed to sustain itself? There’s only so much you can charge for tamales.”The Roosevelt Tamale Parlor has changed ownership several times since it first opened on 24th Street nearly 93 years ago, and has been in the hands of current owners Aaron Presbrey and Barry Moore for the past three years. Though the restaurant could qualify for financial assistance under Proposition J, the legacy business historic preservation fund that San Francisco voters approved last month, Presbrey said “it’s not enough.”Under Proposition J, appointed legacy businesses who have existed for 30 or more years qualify to receive $500 per full-time employee from an allocated city fund. But with a lack of employees, Presbrey said that the legislation will not benefit his business.“As great as Prop. J is, it will not make it viable for us to stay here,” he said. “It’s a sad thing to see happen, but it’s a result of the current economy of this city.”The store owners said the decision had nothing to do with their landlord, who they said has been “nothing but reasonable and fair.” The owners also hope to bring their gravy and salsa to retail in the future, and thanked their customers for years of support.The full letter is below:Due to a combination of factors including personal health issues and a shrinking restaurant labor pool which has fueled unsustainable wage expectations, we have been forced to close the brick and mortar location of the Roosevelt Tamale Parlor. This decision was in NO way influenced by our landlord who has been nothing but reasonable and fair with us.Although this may seem sudden to you, that is only because we have had to keep this agonizing decision making process private in order to ensure that we didn’t prematurely eliminate any options.For those of you who crave the house gravy or the table salsa, we do hope and plan to bring you many of the flavors you have come to love in jars at retail in the near future.We would like to thank all of you who supported us and communed with us as we steered this Grande Dame through her golden years. We would also like to think she was as great at her passing as at any other point in her illustrious, long and full lifetime.To keep up with future developments: facebook.com/EatAtTheRooseveltTo contact us: EatAtTheRoosevelt@gmail.comWith sincerest gratitude,Aaron and BarryThis story has been updated. center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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The U18s lost their first game of the season at a

first_imgThe U18s lost their first game of the season at a rain sodden Orrell on Friday – Wigan emerging 32-6 winners.Despite competing for long periods of the game the Saints just couldn’t stay composed long enough to put their hosts under pressure.A good first defensive set was followed by a silly error and the first score to the home side which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the evening.Alex Clare got the Saints only try in the half and as half time approached Coach Derek Traynor was reasonably happy for the Saints to be only four behind having not played well.Unfortunately another error let the home side in just before the whistle to stretch the lead.The Saints came out with more intent in the second period and kept the scores as they were for the third quarter but as the time ticked on the Saints couldn’t crack the home side and paid for it later on.Best for the Saints were the second row pairing of Alex Clare and Luke Thompson and Brad Ashurst off the bench but James Tilley was much missed after leaving the field early on with a bad mouth injury.Match Summary: Wigan U18s:Tries: TBCGoals: TBCSaints U18s:Tries: Alex Clare.Goals: Lewis Charnock.Half Time: 6-16Full Time: 6-32Teams:Wigan:TBCSaints:1. Lewis Charnock; 2. Ben Parry, 3. Lewis Galbraith, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Greg Wilde; 6. Jordan Heaton, 7. Lewis Sheridan; 8. James Tilley, 9. Lewis Foster, 16. Adam Hesketh, 11. Luke Thompson, 12. Alex Clare, 13. Andrè Savelio. Subs: 10. Brad Ashurst, 14. Tom Roughley, 15. Matty Fozard, 17. Greg Richards.last_img read more

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LOUIE McCarthyScarsbrook is once again looking fo

first_imgLOUIE McCarthy-Scarsbrook is once again looking forward to locking horns with Wigan Warriors.The prop forward was Saints’ stand out performer last time the two sides met but the result was anything but.“We’re going into this game in good form, we’ve had a good couple of wins and are fired up,” he said. “We were in a similar position last season; we couldn’t beat Wigan but went into the playoffs and won twice. We want to finish on a high and put a damper on their final game.“We know if we don’t win then we will have to go back there a week later – but in any case we’d face Warrington away. Both tasks aren’t easy. This is more about us finishing as high as we can.“These games are usually played in electric atmospheres and big crowds and we’re looking forward to that. Both sides will want to win. They don’t want to lose at home and I don’t see any side wanting to rest any players.”Last time out Louie locked horns with Gareth Hock and the two had an ‘altercation’ in the scrum.“We had a cuddle that’s all,” Louie laughed, “we were tired and he wanted one so I obliged. From there it was handbags really. Looking back at the video the three sending offs were harsh, but that’s what it was and it was dealt with. I didn’t do anything really; I was tying up my shoelaces at the time. Gareth’s a good bloke.”In the second half of the season Louie has become an impact player off the bench and has produced the sort of form that led him to join the club in the first place.“Think I have done well and improved,” he said. “It’s difficult not to do that at a great club when you have TP, Sia, Boof and Perry alongside you. I have been picking up little bits from them and then you have Roby who just puts you in a hole and says go on, run.“Coming off the bench has been good for me too. I’m getting the same game time as if I was starting.”He continues: “We’re under the radar at the moment and sneaking around. We need to go about our business on and off the field and we know what we need to do to get to the Grand Final. I think we will be there and know what we have to do.“We were lying in tenth at one point and now we are third, which is a great achievement. It shows the character of the squad and how we come through that adversity. We know when we lose those performances will not get us to a Grand Final. We want to set the record straight there. To show so much character to keep going back is amazing really, but we have to make one count.”Tickets for the game are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park until 12pm today. Limited tickets will be on sale at Wigan tonight with cash turnstiles on the North Stand.last_img read more

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THERES a whole host of festive ideas at the Saint

first_imgTHERE’S a whole host of festive ideas at the Saints Superstore.2014 Replica Home and Away shirts, a brand new range of 2014 ISC Trainingwear, fresh Leisurewear and plenty of gifts – there’s no reason not to kit out the Saints fan in your life.New lines are arriving every day too so why not pop into the Superstore or point your browser to www.saintssuperstore.comYou can also see some of the gift ideas by taking a look at our festive brochure.Saints Superstore is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.There is also late night shopping on Thursday evenings in the run up to Christmas.last_img

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Justin Holbrook took his charges to within seconds

first_imgJustin Holbrook took his charges to within seconds of a Grand Final and marquee player and Dally M Winner, Ben Barba, showed fans what an acquisition he will be in 2018.Alongside some of the best young talent in the country – Super League Young Player of the Year nominated Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles for example – it is sure to be a season to remember, and to anticipate.Now it’s time for you to join us and either renew your Membership or sign on the dotted lineWe’ve simplified our range of prices and introduced a new Youth price to make it more affordable for 17–18-year-olds in full time education to back the club.And, our Direct Debit options make it simpler and easier to be a Saint.We have a 10 month ‘DD’ available now… with an eight or six package available later in the off-season.For a full breakdown of monthly payments for each Membership please click hereA Hattons Solicitors West Terrace Adult Renewal is just over £24 per month with an Adult and Junior just over £26! Great value and no upfront cost!Check out our Membership Section to find out more.We are Saints and Proud.last_img read more

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This is compatible with apple iCal Google and Mic

first_imgThis is compatible with apple iCal, Google and Microsoft Outlook.If you subscribed last year then your calandar should automatically update – but feel free to click the link below! Please note: fixtures are subject to change and where possible the calendar will be updated automatically, however the Club takes no responsibility for incorrect fixtures being displayed at any time.Memberships for the 2019 are now on sale. Click here to find out more and how to buy.last_img

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