Cardinal Cormac to address 'fighting economic injustice' conference

 Cleaners from Canary Wharf, single mothers from Southwark and Islington, destitute women asylum seekers will join pensioners right campaigners, community leaders and politicians at a major conference being launched by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor in Westminster on Wednesday 19 November. "Economic injustice disfigures society," Cardinal Cormac will warn, in his opening address to the 'Fight Economic Injustice' conference in Westminster Cathedral Hall. Organised by the Vincentian Millennium Partnership and Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, the conference will explore the impact locally, nationally and globally of the division between rich and poor. Poverty and homelessness in London, and low pay in Brighton will all be addressed. Martin Barnes, Director of CPAG and Rodney Bickerstaffe, President of The National Pensioners Convention will examine the needs of impoverished children and pensioners in the UK. Maurice Peston, Chairman of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will discuss their report on Globalisation. In the afternoon the conference will discuss the Christian principles of fighting economic and justice and the work of the Vincentian Millennium Partnership and the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust. The conference is being chaired by Sue Middleton, Director of the Centre for Social Policy Research at Loughborough University. Her task is to identify the common ground for the common good for people of all faiths and of none. "By coincidence we will be discussing the injustices of free market globalisation on the day George Bush arrives in London" said Paul Nicolson. To book call: 0207 535 5824 or e-mail: -- Speakers will be: Sue Middleton - Director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy Loughborough University. Sue has over twenty five years experience of social policy research in a range of settings, including national and local government. She has also worked in the voluntary sector. Her particular interest is in poverty and social exclusion, most recently co-authoring Britain's Poorest Children: Severe & Persistent Poverty and Social Exclusion with Laura Adelman and Karl Ashworth, commissioned by Save the Children, UK. Catherine Howarth - an organiser with The East London Communities Organisation, a citizens' alliance made up of faith congregations, trade union branches, schools, student unions and community associations. She has particular responsibility for TELCO's Living Wage Campaign, which has fought to raise pay and benefits of contracted out cleaners, catering staff and security guards working in East London's NHS sites and at the major corporations in Canary Wharf and The City. Prior to working for TELCO, Catherine was a senior researcher at the New Policy Institute. She co-wrote 'Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion' in 1999 which has since become an annual publication from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation aimed at tracking change across a wide range of social indicators. She was also co-author in 2001 of 'Responsibility for All: A National Strategy for Social Inclusion', a joint publication with the Fabian Society. Professor Peter Ambrose - Visiting Professor in Housing Studies, Health and Social Policy Research Centre at the University of Brighton. He was Director of the 'Health Gain' project on the Ocean and Limehouse Fields estates in Stepney, part of the Tower Hamlets SRB Programme of the Stepney Household Costs Project funded by the Housing Corporation, of the Allocations and Tenure Diversification Projects for the East Brighton New Deal for Communities Programme funded by the NDC and a member of the National Evaluation team for the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme funded by ODPM. This year he was the Director of the Living Wage Project in Brighton and Hove funded by UNISON. Martin Barnes - the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). Before becoming Director he was head of CPAG's Citizens Rights Office, which provides a specialist advice, training and information service for advisers on all aspects of social security benefits and tax credits. Before joining CPAG Martin worked as a welfare benefits adviser with a Citizens Advice Bureau. Rodney Bickerstaffe - retired as General Secretary of UNISON, in 2001 and succeeded Jack Jones as President of the National Pensioners Convention. He had a long career in the trade union movement. At the creation of UNISON in July 1993 he became Associate General Secretary and was elected General Secretary in November 1995. He chaired the TUC General Council Economic Committee for nine years. He is world Vice-President of the 20 million strong Public Services International. At the Labour Party Conference in 2000 he moved the successful resolution to fix Labour Party Conference policy behind raising pensions by the link to average earnings or price inflation whichever the higher. Lord Peston - Chairman, House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee and as such Chaired the House of Lords enquiry into Globalisation. He is Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of London, 1988. The government advisory posts he has held include Economic Adviser to HM Treasury and Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Defense. He has also been Chairman of the Pools Panel and Chairman of the Office of Health Economics. Nicholas Sagovsky - Liverpool Professor of Theology and Public Life at Liverpool Hope University College, is shortly to take up the post of Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey. As a Christian theologian, he has research interests in social justice and ecumenism. He is currently working on a study of Christian Tradition and the practice of Justice. Sister Ellen Flynn - a Daughter of Charity of St Vincent DePaul, she is currently the Director of The Passage, helping homeless people in Central London. She has a background in education and management, initially working with disadvantaged young people, and later in group facilitation and management with the Christian church. In her role at the Passage she has been instrumental in promoting work experience and employment opportunities for homeless people as well as other activities aimed at assisting people to move on in their lives. She is committed to providing resources that encourage and inspire homeless people along their journey. Sr Maureen Tinkler - joined the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in 1970. Took a B.Ed (Hons) and trained as a secondary teacher in Liverpool. Later took a further training in Oxford as a teacher of deaf children and, until the mid-eighties, taught in St John's School for Deaf Children, Boston Spa. Since then she has been novice mistress for her congregation, ran a youth and pastoral centre outside Greenock and has lived and worked in social priority areas in Birmingham and Sunderland. She is currently a Provincial Councillor for her Congregation and works in the Vincentian Millennium Partnership (VMP) Office as coordinator for the different groups and organisations within the Vincentian Family in matters concerning justice, spirituality and practical projects with marginalised individuals and groups. Paul Nicolson - chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust. The trust was founded in 1997 to provide a volunteer McKenzie Friend service for the poorest facing threats of prison for council tax and eviction for rent arrears. Since 1998 the trust has had a contract with the Wycombe Magistrates Court to provide volunteers to help defaulters to prepare their means statements at the fines enforcement courts. With VMP it is organising courses for volunteers in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Cardiff and is actively involved lobbying Parliament in the interests of the poor with the Zacchaeus 2000 coalition of 66 NGOs calling for governmental research into minimum income standards. He was ordained in 1968 after working as a director of a company importing, marketing and distributing champagne. After ordination he took a Diploma in Personnel Management and worked in industrial relations for 16 years first in ICI and then as a Trade Union Official before entering the parochial ministry in 1982, retiring to concentrate on his present work in 1999. He is a Trustee of the Family Budget Unit, London Citizens and the Christians in Secular Employment Trust.

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