Initial details of the next GMWRAG meeting – in Bolton.

A date for your diaries.

GMWRAG is pleased to announce that (for once) we are wholly ahead of the game and can confirm that the next GMWRAG meeting will take place on Friday the 20th of April 2018 in the Hindleys Room at Bolton At Home. The full address is Valley House, 98 Waters Meeting Road, The Valley, Bolton BL1 8SW. This will be a full day meeting and as per the Salford meeting we are hoping to secure two excellent speakers.

The minutes of the Salford meeting and associated documents and videos have been available since the end of January 2018 and can still be downloaded from the initial post or their more permanent home. An agenda for the Bolton meeting will be available as soon as we have finalised speakers and at that point we’ll post up your full options for travel and food as well.

More information as we have it.

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Minutes of the Salford GMWRAG meeting.

The minutes of the recent GMWRAG meeting in Salford are now available for download. They will also be permanently available at our minutes of previous meetings page.

Please note that these minutes are very detailed as they contain comprehensive additional notes for each speaker as requested by a number of attendees and members who sent apologies. They’re not a quick read but they offer a detailed insight into the work of both speakers!

The minutes also contain a significant number of links to useful resources mentioned by both speakers on the day, which we agreed to include in the minutes. If you want to view those resources you will need to read the minutes on a screen and click the links first rather than just download and print, albeit that we’d ask you to print a copy off to take to our next meeting in April 2018!

The presentation from our first speaker will remain permanently available in our Presentations and Notes section. Salford’s “Tackling Poverty Strategy” remains available by clicking on the title in this sentence.

Our second speaker also brought a number of leaflets with him re: PLP work on sanctions and we agreed to distribute these with the minutes. You can download the PLP sanctions project leaflet from here.

GMWRAG members will be aware we streamed the second speaker via Persicope. That stream was eventually viewed by 128 people. These were largely GMWRAG or NAWRA members. The foregoing number does not count those very strange scantily clad people who urged “Boys, look at my profile pic! The more eagle-eyed members at the meeting may have noticed some frantic profile blocking going on during the broadcast! We’re fairly confident most GMWRAG members don’t usually dress like that!

The broadcast itself was available until midnight on the day of the meeting. Now it has been summarised within the minutes the broadcast has been deleted. We have been given permission to allow a short, non-controversial clip to be used for the site and you can see this below.

Again, the more eagle-eyed will note that in order to facilitate this GMWRAG now has a YouTube channel. You can find this by clicking the link in the previous sentence. If GMWRAG members have any good ideas for things we could live stream or record in future then we’ll be more than happy to listen. Feel free to contact GMWRAG via @GMWRAGTweets.

Maxine Peake supports Bolton Law Centre appeal.

After the successful launch of the Greater Manchester Law Centre in Moss Side two years ago, campaigners are now seeking to create a centre in Bolton, run by the community for the community.

With the massive reductions in Legal Aid, community access to justice was reignited by the founding of the Greater Manchester Law Centre Moss Side, which opened its doors in 2016. Since then, over £500,000 worth of benefits have been reclaimed from the DWP for Greater Manchester residents, while many others have received free advice on a number of issues.

On Friday February 2nd, there’s a public meeting to found another law centre, in Bolton, with speakers including Bolton South East MP, Yasmin Qureshi and Denise McDowell of the Greater Manchester Law Centre.

“More and more families and individuals are finding themselves in positions where access to the law is being denied them, at precisely the time when they are most in need of it” says Maxine Peake, who is supporting the Bolton appeal.

“Universal Credit, the denial of employment rights through zero hours contracts and minimum wage infringements and a hardening of the Government’s stance against refugees and asylum seekers all make the Law centre Bolton urgent and necessary” she explains “I welcome and support the initiative whole heartedly.”

While the Centre would be based in Bolton it would be open and accessible to Salford people and anyone in Greater Manchester.

“We are not just a campaign for access to advice, or even access to the law, we are a campaign for justice” states the Greater Manchester Law Centre “We call for full and equal legal advice and representation for the claimants, as the state awards (out of our taxation) to the police and other departments of the state. We want independent walk-in face-to-face advice for everyone in need in all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.”

“Bolton Needs A Law Centre”
Friday 2nd February 7pm-8pm
Bolton Central Library
Le Mans Crescent BL1 1SE

If anyone can’t make the meeting but wants to donate towards the centre the account details are Lloyds Bank Sort Code: 309192 Account Number: 55658268

Further details on the Bolton Needs A Law Centre Facebook event page.

NB: Maxine Peake was due to speak at this event but has had to cancel due to other commitments

 

Second presentation from the January 2018 GMWRAG meeting in Salford.

Matt Ahluwalia from PLPA quick update on the p.m. presentation from Matt Ahluwalia from the Public Law Project talking about RF. As you will be aware this was successfully streamed live from Periscope and by the end of the day of the meeting it had been viewed more than 120 times, which we consider excellent for a first go.

The broadcast itself was available for replay to midnight on the day of the meeting.Whilst we initially hoped to have this permanently available by via YouTube it was suggested that this may prejudice future legal action so we are sorry but we will not be posting a link to the full 1 hour 9 minute recording.  We have been able to post the accompanying screen shot and we will be able to give you a 1 minute taste of the presentation (again via YouTube) but the only permanent record will be the partial transcription/summary included as part of the minutes when we have finished them.

Matt was anticipating a DWP appeal on his desk upon his return to London but obviously events have moved on apace and our notes will hopefully reflect this. Watch this space for the minutes.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those whose consent we required to make the live stream possible in the first place. We had a packed room morning and afternoon and, if nothing else, we have learned that live broadcast onto t’internet is definitely the way to get a GMWRAG meeting to behave! That one has definitely been noted for future reference 🙂

GMWRAG goes 21st century and live streams/records from our Salford meeting, or falls flat on our face trying.

Considerable interest has been shown in our speakers this Friday but we’re aware that, as ever, a number of people won’t be able to make the meeting because of other commitments. For this reason we’ve decided to take the plunge and see if we can either record our afternoon speaker and get the recording up onto YouTube and/or broadcast a live stream via Periscope.

Even GMWRAG is fairly confident on the YouTube front that most of you will figure out how to find us on there post meeting. If everything works as planned we’ll have a video to view sometime during the days after the meeting and we’ll obviously post a link to it from this site.

Less of you may be familiar with Periscope. If you are on their web site or download an app for your snartphone or tablet you’ll be able to watch our speaker, Matthew Ahluwalia, from the Public Law Project. talking about the role of PLP in RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; what the decision means and what happens or is likely to happen next, from approximately 2:30pm onwards on Friday.

If we get our Settings right the video will also be available for replay later the same day. However, during the live broadcast viewers can type questions for the speaker via the Periscope web site or apps and receive answers as fast as we can get the questions to the speaker via our chair, note taker, IT guru etc. A hopefully truly interactive experience. You can also send “hearts” to show your love for GMWRAG but we’ll not talk about that.

Find us on Periscope as @GMWRAGtweets and on YouTube as GMWRAG Manchester. Please create an account in good time for the broadcast on the former. You can use your existing social media accounts like Facebook to login.

So, this will either work beautifully, intermittently or not at all. We stress once again that, we cannot guarantee the broadcast will work so we’d rather you were at the meeting if you could be.

Accessing the meeting venue for the next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group.

Full details of the NWMHWRAG have been posted previously  but we now have the specific details for accessing Manchester Town Hall on Friday the 26th of January 2018. The meeting takes place from 1pm for 1.30pm start in the Town Hall Extension, St Peters Square/Lloyd Street.

We now know that the room is number 4003, also known as ‘Baguley’. Attendees should enter the Town Hall Extension through the sliding glass doors at the Cenotaph/St Peters Square end of Lloyd Street. Buzz the FM reception on intercom to open the glass sliding doors then turn to right and go into the FM office. They will issue a red visitor card.

Go through the swing barriers, using the card and take the stairs or lift to the 4th floor. Turn left from the lift and go through the double doors. Room 4003 is on the right hand side.

Please bring any hot drinks with you.

From previous experience GMWRAG suggests attendees pair up if you can as the building is easy to get lost in and one of you may have a card which fails leaving you otherwise dependent on the goodwill of strangers or people actually more lost than you!

A riddle wrapped up in an enigma – yes, the GMWRAG accounts are available.

Those of you who have been nagging for weeks and then sending your apologies asking politely about the agenda, minutes and other details of the forthcoming GMWRAG meeting this coming Friday will have hopefully noticed that the GMWRAG accounts have a brief slot in the afternoon ahead of our speaker.

Please note that the latest accounts have been uploaded and are available for viewing. We’re sure GMWRAG members are (largely) bright enough to figure out where we hide them on the site and that they are password protected should you wish to print off your own copy before Friday. A small number of paper copies for the elite will be available for perusal on the day but we’d much rather you brought your own.

If you can’t figure it out then the accounts are available from here.

GMWRAG did imply we would post separately about food in Swinton if you’re staying for the day. We were amused to learn that if we used TripAdvisor to give you a list of nice places to go in Swinton it largely sends you to Eccles or Manchester! Most local and nearby pubs no longer serve food. However, we’re going to suggest GMWRAG members have one of four realistic choices. The excellent but small Stupots on Partington Lane (a mere 7 minutes walk from the Civic Centre where we’ll be meeting) or the Asda and Morrisons cafes or dining al fresco at Greggs! Either that or bring your own. The committee room will be available throughout the lunch period.

Next NAWRA meeting.

The first NAWRA meeting of 2018 takes place from 10:00am to 4:00pm with registration from 9:30am) on Friday the 9th of March 2018 at The Tab, The Square, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1TE.

The NAWRA web site provides a link for the above venue but it appears dead to us and a quick search didn’t reveal a web site so at present you’ll be navigating by post code. Agenda, minutes etc. will be on their meetings page as soon as they’re available.

NAWRA quarterly meetings are held around the country and include keynote speakers, workshops and a range of networking and professional development opportunities. You must be a member to attend. Details of how to become a member are available on their web site.

In the meantime, there’s a GMWRAG meeting taking place…

 

Agenda for the forthcoming GMWRAG meeting in Salford.

The next full day GMWRAG meeting takes place in Salford on Friday the 19th of January 2018. Full details of the meeting and options for travel have already been posted. We may even post options for food at lunch time in the next week if you’re planning on coming for the day.

Minutes of the last meeting can be downloaded from our minutes page and the full agenda is now available for download.

We have a packed agenda including two excellent speakers:

We look forward to seeing you there.