Royal Birkdale Senior Open Golf Championship

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Sefton welcomes the Senior Open Golf Championship

Presented by Rolex, at Royal Birkdale Golf Course.

More than £7m is expected to boost the local Sefton economy and an estimated crowd of 40,000 is forecast at the famous golf course during the prestigious event which runs from July 25-28.

Visitors to the Championships are being asked to use public transport,

especially Hillside train station, and cars should use the free parking at Birkdale Common by the course. Please allow plenty of travel time to get to the event. A temporary taxi rank will also be in place on Greenbank Drive, opposite the entrance to the course, during the tournament.

Combining accommodation bookings, food and drink, leisure facilities and transport links, millions of pounds will be spent in the local economy in the run up to and during the tournament.

The influx of more than 300 players

expected to take part in the Monday qualifying event (July 22), held at Formby, Hillside and Southport & Ainsdale, and 144 competitors taking part in the 72-hole Championship, will provide a further financial injection

Councillor Ian Maher the Cabinet Member for  Regeneration and Tourism, said:

“The countdown is well and truly on for another fantastic golf tournament being held in Sefton. Golf fans from the region will get the chance to see some legends including the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Bernard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman and many more of the game’s all-time greats in the fabulous setting of Royal Birkdale. “The Senior Open Championship is very much a family event and we are expecting thousands of people of all ages to enjoy the tournament and all the excellent facilities Southport and Sefton have to offer. If you haven’t got a ticket now is your chance to do so and support a great sporting showcase right on our doorstep.”

Season tickets can now be purchased for just £80 while one day tickets cost £30. Practice day tickets are also available at £15. Under16s are admitted for free when accompanied by an adult and parking is also free.

Tickets can be bought online via the

 Senior Open Golf website 

or by calling 0800 0232557, with details of hospitality packages also available.

Royal Birkdale, which last hosted The Open Championship in 2008 when Padraig Harrington claimed his second consecutive Claret Jug, will become the 11th different course to host The Senior Open Championship. It will be only the second venue in the north west of England to host the Championship, following Royal Lytham & St Annes (1991-1994).

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RNIB slam”Ridiculous” Work Capability Assessment for the Blind

RNIBLogoThe RNIB are campaigning to have the Work Capability Assessment(WCA) changed to reflect the reality of everyday living for blind and partially sighted people. They say the current questions are “Ridiculous”. The WCA is meant to help the Government decide if a disabled person is “fit for work” or not. Depending on the result, a blind or partially sighted person can be given support to remain out of work, the support to get back into work, or no specialist support at all. Here are details about the assessment.

WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR Blind and partially sighted people

  • The ability of a blind or partially sighted person to read braille is likely to restrict them to a time limited benefit or even receive no benefit at allExplanation: The assessment covers communication and no points will be given if the person can use Braille to understand a basic message. However, this fails to acknowledge that considerable barriers to using Braille at work remain. For example, most employers are unable to communicate in Braille with their blind employees, and even where they can Braille is not always an effective means of interacting with a sighted person who is unaware of the visually impaired persons needs.
  • Blind and partially sighted people cannot score points towards being eligible for the benefit for not being aware of hazards
  • Explanation: The ‘awareness of hazard’ activity should be important for blind or partially sighted people. However, it is contained within the ‘mental function assessment’ and makes no reference to sight loss. The Guidance illustrates examples of understanding the danger of hazards. It should be of equal importance if a person is simply unaware of the hazard because of vision loss, and not exclusively because they do not understand the danger of the hazard.
  • The assessment does not take into account whether claimants have any qualifications and whether there are any available or suitable jobs 
  • Explanation: The assessment was initially supplemented by the Work Focused Health Related Assessment (WFHRA) that assessed the likelihood of someone working once found fit for work. This has been suspended since July 2010
  • Being unable to navigate or having difficulty with navigation due to sight loss is not enough to avoid your benefit being time limited 
  • Explanation: Blind and partially sighted claimants cannot be assessed as having “Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity” solely on the basis of difficulties with navigation, however severe. This has important financial implications because people in the Work Related Activity Group lose their entitlement to contributory ESA after just one year, whereas those in the support group do not.
  • The assessment does not take into account that Blind and partially sighted people face multiple barriers to entering the labour market 
  • Explanation: Probably the biggest evidence of the weakness of the WCA is the fact it is biased towards the idea that disabled people have one barrier that can be measured by one adjustment. Blind and partially sighted people can face problems with travel, communication, use of equipment, awareness of the environment, locating and finding objects and so on. It is not appropriate to measure this simply by way of whether a blind or partially sighted person can navigate their way to a building.
  • The assessment only looks at the ability of a person with sight loss to reach and leave a building – it does not assess them against any work based tasks  
  • Explanation: The guidance used by assessors states, “within the workplace the key issue is the individual’s ability to navigate and maintain safety in their environment.” There is no actual assessment of their ability to work such as an assessment of their ability to use accessible software.
  • Taking your coat off when you arrive at the assessment can count towards you being found fit for work
  • Explanation: The assessment is in three parts. Part 1 is observed behaviour of the applicant. It includes whether they can “manipulate belt or buttons.”
  • The assessment for judging someone’s work capability asks blind and partially sighted people whether they can read newspapers, drive a car and get into or out of a bath
  • Explanation: Part 2 of the assessment is called “activities of daily living” test and includes these activities.