Public Law Project Wales Conference 2019.

GMWRAG is well aware that Wales is not a part of the North West of England or indeed Greater Manchester (albeit that we’re not convinced some in the North West are aware of this).

However, GMWRAG also has a long history of welcoming members from Chester and North East Wales to our meetings and we’ve repeatedly been made aware that advisers in those areas are aware of and do use the site. We’re not about to embark on a round of publicising every event which could be relevant to our North Walian friends but as we have a good relationship with PLP AND we’re also in the throes of organising a half day meeting ourselves focused on Brexit and Benefits so publicising PLP Wales conference seems not unreasonable for all concerned. Numerous of our members have also had nothing but positive things to say about PLP North too.

We could at this point make the argument that much of the agenda below will apply to England but that sounds suspiciously like the reverse argument that Wales is just like England and our Welsh administrator (yes, how did THAT happen?) has banned such talk.

GMWRAG would also like to apologise for the weird set up with links in this post. Normally if we link to a person we link using their name as their link. However, this post decided part way through it wasn’t going to co-operate so we’ve tried to insert long links after their names. After a while, we simply gave up. With apologies to all those who do not have a link the ends didn’t justify the means. In our defence, PLP didn’t provide any links at all 🙂

Anyway… the Public Law Project Wales Conference 2019 is here.

Brexit, access to justice, legal aid, migration and settled status, online courts, strategic legal work.

Cardiff University Glamorgan Building, Thursday the 25th of April 2019.

10.00 Introduction
Jo Hickman, Director, Public Law Project – https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jo-hickman-756b5553

10.10 Opening address
Jane Hutt AM

10.30 Replacing EU law in Wales post-Brexit: Devolution vs delegation
With swathes of EU law being replaced in a post-Brexit UK this session looks at the impact in Wales, across environment, food and agriculture, and issues arising with devolved governance.

Chair: Alison Pickup, Public Law project
Jeremy Miles AM, Counsel General for Wales – http://www.assembly.wales/en/memhome/Pages/MemberProfile.aspx?mid=5021
Alexandra Sinclair, Public Law Project (SIFT project lead) – https://publiclawproject.org.uk/latest/plp-launches-its-latest-project-in-response-to-brexit-the-sift-project/

More speakers TBC

11.30 break (with snacks!)

11.45 Digitalisation and online courts – Threats and opportunities for Wales
With the Government in Westminster already committed to digitalisation, this session looks at the challenges for Wales, including those posed by digital access and literacy, and the opportunities given differences in scale, potential ambitions and devolved tribunals.
Dr Huw Pritchard, Cardiff University – http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/478900-pritchard-huw
Dr Joe Tomlinson, Public Law Project and Kings College London – https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/joseph.tomlinson.html

12.30 Brexit and Immigration: The EU Settlement Scheme and Vulnerable Communities in Wales

There are around 80 000 EU citizens living in Wales as a function of the free movement rules. These people will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to secure a new immigration status in the UK before the rights of residence under the free movement framework are extinguished. The EU Settlement Scheme is a challenging administrative undertaking for the UK Government. It requires the processing of millions of applications within a relatively short period of time and relies on individuals making applications to the Scheme. This session will look at the issues being faced by individuals applying to the Scheme from communities in Wales, especially by those likely to face difficulties in making successful applications.

Chair: Byron Karemba, Public Law Project – https://publiclawproject.org.uk/resources/4254/
Hayley Morgan, Travelling Ahead: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Advice & Advocacy Service
Wiard Sterk, The 3Million – https://uk.linkedin.com/in/wiardsterk
Bethan Bateman, Head of Migration within the Welsh Government EU Transition Team

13.30 Law Commission consultation paper on the Simplification of the Immigration Rules
Lisa Smith and Stephanie Theophanidou Law Commission Public Law Team – https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/about/who-we-are/

13.40 Lunch

14.30 Afternoon session

Access to justice in Wales
Do people in Wales have adequate access to representation and the courts to vindicate their rights and ensure public bodies behave lawfully?  This session will look at access to legal aid, representation and judicial review.
Chair: Polly Brendon, Public Law Project – https://uk.linkedin.com/in/polly-brendon-713bb491
Salli Edwards, Chief Executive, Flintshire Citizen’s Advice – http://flintshirecab.org.uk/team/salli-edwards/
Michael Imperato, Watkins and Gunn – https://www.watkinsandgunn.co.uk/team/michael-imperato/
Jess Mant, Cardiff University – https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/1223110-mant-jess
Dr Sarah Nason, Bangor University – https://www.bangor.ac.uk/law/staff/sarah-nason/en

15.30 break

15.50 afternoon breakouts – please choose one of three

Legal aid
This will be a workshop for practitioners to discuss the shape of legal aid following the MOJs Post Implementation Review (PIR) of LASPO, and the publication of the MoJ’s “Legal Support Action Plan.” We will particularly be seeking the views and contribution of current legal aid providers in Wales.  Areas to discuss will include:
The accessibility and use of the Exceptional Case Funding scheme
The removal of the mandatory telephone gateway for Discrimination, Education and Debt cases
The promised review of the financial eligibility criteria for legal aid
Polly Brendon, Public Law Project
Carol Storer, Interim Director, Legal Action Group
Joanna Gregson, Equalities and Human Rights Commission

Strategic legal work in Wales
This session looks at strategic use of the law through both casework and campaigning. Case studies will include the criminalisation of women who are council tax debtors and the bedroom tax case.
Chair: Owain Rhys James, Civitas Chambers
Carla Clarke, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)
Sara Lomri, Public Law Project
Naima Sakande, Centre for Criminal Appeal

Public law decision making in Wales
An increasing number of duties on public bodies in Wales require them to ‘take into account’, to ‘have due regard’ to or to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to protect various rights and interests. However, few, if any, of these duties give rise to specific rights of redress for individuals. Our panel discusses whether these duties can really lead to better decision-making in the absence of such individual rights, and how this relates to access to justice in Welsh public law.

Sarah Nason, Bangor University
Rhodri Williams QC, 30 Park Place and Linenhall Chambers
Katrin Shaw, Public Sector Ombudsman for Wales
Emyr Lewis, Blake Morgan

16.50 Update from the Commission on Justice in Wales
Following their consultation on the future of justice in Wales, a Commissioner gives an update prior to their forthcoming report in 2019.

Professor Elwen Evans QC, Swansea University and Commission on Justice in Wales

17.10 finish

Delegate fees:
Standard 120 + VAT
Discounted 80 + VAT
Advisers 60.00 + VAT
Student fee 10 + VAT

Follow this link to select breakout session here.

Download the flyer here.

Big booking form at the bottom of this page here.

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Next meeting of the Discrimination Law Association in Manchester.

GMWRAG members who attended and networked at our recent Everyday Equality event will have noticed representation there from the Discrimination Law Association and GMWRAG made a point of encouraging them to attend the next meeting of the GMSCG.

It has since been brought to our attention that their next Manchester meeting is on Monday the 18th March 2019, and is open to all. Registration starts at 5:30pm with the meeting starting at 6pm.The meeting has two main agenda items.

Heather Williams (Senior Associate in Research at the Equality and Human Rights Commission). She will be discussing the Commission’s 2018 report “Is Britain Fairer?”, a comprehensive review of how Britain is performing on equality and human rights.
Michelle Gyimah is the Director of Equality Pays. She will be talking about Gender pay gap reporting – The good, the bad and the ugly.  A discussion about good and bad examples of reporting in terms of data and reputational risk.

Register for the event via Eventbrite here. The venue is Slater and Gordon.

Salford City Mayor welcomes ‘national heroes’.

Sa;fprd City Mayor tweetA significant number of GMWRAG members enjoyed a fantastic day out in Greater Manchester on Friday the 1st of March 2019 at the 1st ever Salford NAWRA meeting hosted by Salford Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Service. at Swinton Civic Centre.

GMWRAG is hoping to provide a fuller report in due course but in the meantime we’d urge you to check out the great article about the forceful and passionate opening message from City Mayor Paul Dennett.

GMWRAG was unable to live stream any part of the event but we were pleased to see that social media was alive with great comments and uninspiring photography (we’re excepting the photo to our left and referring to the ones below). We’ve been assured that better images are on the way but then we’ve also been assured austerity is at an end!

GM Food Poverty Alliance launches Action Plan and issues latest newsletter.

Today is the launch of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance Action Plan. GMWRAG would have liked to have told you about the event itself well in advance but it was only brought to our attention on the 27th of February 2019 and unfortunately the opportunity to post did not arise until today.

We have at least now managed to get our act together and post up the new Greater Manchester Poverty Action newsletter, which you can download by clicking on the word “newsletter” (we’re quite good at this stuff).

Also in the newsletter is information about a forthcoming joint IGAU and GMPA Conference “From Poverty to Prosperity” in April 2019 and an update on their Poverty Strategies map. The newsletter is also available on their website.

GMWRAG was a little concerned to note that we’d not really clocked the work of the IGAU. We’ve added a link to their work to the many other links on our site.

It’s just one thing after another – NAWRA in Salford – yet another big GM event.

The next NAWRA meeting is that rarity of a thing – a NAWRA meeting in Greater Manchester i.e. Salford. The agenda of the meeting is now available for download from the NAWRA web site as well as from here and Salford Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Service looks forward to seeing you on the day; the night before and the evening after too. Full details of the event; social events and travel options are contained within the agenda document.

“The day” incidentally is Friday the 1st of March 2019. Full details are, guess, in the agenda.

Please note that this event, as per all other NAWRA meetings, is members only.

NAWRA is a membership based organisation for advisers and organisations across the UK. Membership of NAWRA is available to any group or individual working in the welfare rights field and/or who supports theiraims and objectives.

Find out more about joining NAWRA.

Speakers include

City Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett

Paul was elected Councillor for Langworthy in 2012 and held the Strategic Assistant Mayor position until 2016 focusing on equalities, cohesion, technology, change, urban transformation, innovation, prosperity, growth and workforce.

Paul has a long history of campaigning on social issues and since becoming the elected City Mayor has campaigned for equality, financial inclusion, the living wage, social value, to tackle poverty and critically providing the public/private environment to tackle the housing crisis.

In July 2016 Paul was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Low Carbon, Waste and Environment. In May 2017 Paul was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Housing, Homelessness and Infrastructure.

Professor Lisa Scullion – Professor of Social Policy, School of Health and Society, University of Salford

Social (in)security? Learning lessons from lived experiences of the benefits system across the UK.

Catherine Connors – Principal Officer, Salford Welfare Right and Debt Advice Service, and CPAG trainer

Welfare reform – the vital role of advice services in safeguarding vulnerable adults and children.

Workshops can be chosen from

Right to reside and universal creditGlenys Harriman (Housing Systems)

Workshop Level: – Intermediate

Universal credit and mental healthTom Messere (Big Book of Benefits & Mental Health)

Workshop level: Intermediate

Human rights and universal creditRyan Bradshaw (Leigh Day Solicitors)

Workshop level: Strategic

Dealing with deficit budgets: practical tips for welfare rights advisers – Anne Whittle and Sean Finnegan – (Salford Debt Advice Service)

URGENT NOTICE RE: Everyday Equality Event – a ghost in the machine.

A quick notice for those of you attending the joint GWMRAG, NWMHWRAG, GMSCG, EHRC event tomorrow.

It has been brought to our attention that those of you who reserved places for tomorrow via Eventbrite will have received a reminder email which contains inaccurate information about the date and start time of the event. Just to confirm that the event is NOT the 10th of January nor the 17th. It is tomorrow, the 18th, and it most definitely isn’t starting at 4pm. Accurate information can be found (hopefully) in your original tickets attached to your original confirmation email and on this site.

Further information for Everyday Equality event this Friday.

GMWRAG has now received version 7 of the agenda for Friday which can be downloaded from this link. We fully anticipate working our way to version 10 before Friday but we thought we’d put this out there to give attendees a flavour of the day in advance.

Please note the following details for accessing the building.

The external door is on Richmond Street. Delegates need to press the buzzer and say they are there for the event in order to be let in. There is then a lift immediately in front which takes you to the 3rd floor.

If there is anyone that prefers three flights of stairs, they will need to buzz and ask to be let in at a different external door which is to the left of the main door.

We have a full list of attendees and basically, if you’re not on that list then you do not have a place. Please remember to bring your confirmation email or Eventbrite ticket. It will avoid our bouncer – yes, we have a bouncer – (who is very mean looking and comes from Stockport apparently) having to escort you some of the way back to from whence you came.

The event is at full capacity and all who have tickets will have food provided at lunch time and refreshments throughout the day.

Please remember that this is a building in which other work is taking place. Delegates must not enter the adjacent Wellbeing Suite under any circumstances.

Last 5 tickets for “Everyday Equality: challenging discrimination in the welfare benefits system.

Thank you all for your interest in the above event. We’re pleased to announce a further and final 5 tickets are available on Eventbrite. When those tickets have gone the event will be full and no more tickets will be available.

Please note that all ticket holders have been asked to alert us to any dietary requirements/allergies.

For a reminder of the details of the event please see our previous post. That post also contains details of how to notify GMWRAG of any dietary requirements.

We especially wish to draw members attention to the fact this is a wholly ticketed event with an upper limit on places. It is not an ordinary GMWRAG meeting to which you can spontaneously turn up.

  • If you reserved a ticket on Eventbrite then you need to bring that ticket with you. The paper version or the app version will be fine.
  • If you’re one of the 20 NWMHWRAG members with a place you’ll need to bring a print off of your confirmation email.

As food is being provided free to GMWRAG members we are keen that everyone who booked a place does not have their food taken by anyone who did not!

GMWRAG members who attend without a ticket or email will not be given entry and will have wasted a journey.

Full details of the January 2019 GMWRAG Everyday Equalities event are now available.

We’re going to keep this as simple as we can.

The full details of the next GMWRAG meeting are now available and they are pretty much as per our September 2018 post. This is a unique opportunity for GMWRAG members so book quickly to avoid disappointment.

There are three additional pieces of information you need to know:

  • A buffet lunch will be provided courtesy of our friends at the EHRC. However, anyone coming to the meeting will need to let us know their dietary requirement else there may be nothing available to meet your needs.
  • This is a ticket only event. Tickets are only available from Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/everyday-equality-challenging-discrimination-in-the-welfare-benefits-system-tickets-50261737209. Anyone attending without a ticket won’t be getting past reception at the venue (unless you’re a speaker at the event :))
  • Registration is for 1 person only. There are no group bookings. If you want to attend then you need to register personally.
  • NWMHWRAG members. The lucky 20 of you who have already reserved a place will need to bring your confirmation email with you else you also won’t get past reception.

The full agenda for the day can be viewed when you register for a place. It can also be downloaded from here. The minutes of the last meeting can be downloaded from https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/our-meetings/minutes-of-previous-meetings but there is currently no intention to go through normal GMWRAG business at this event.