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.

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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.

GMWRAG Greater Manchester Universal Credit Forum in Oldham – a quick reminder.

GMWRAG looked out of the window and there was fog and frost. “It’s January” we thought. Then we thought “Oldham. Somehow we always end up in Oldham in January”. We never quite manage to identify the culprit!

Oh yeah. “Happy New Year GMWRAG members!”

All this is a roundabout way of reminding you lovely people that the first ever GM UC Forum takes place in Oldham on the 25th of this month. We’re already aware that at least 6 DWP staff involved with UC locally or regionally will be in attendance and numbers of confirmed attendees are already above 20. The agenda has been confined to two items plus AOB so GM related UC issues can be addressed in depth.

Full details of the meeting (location, timings, agenda etc.) can be found at https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/initial-details-of-the-first-meeting-of-the-gmwrag-greater-manchester-universal-credit-forum/ and we would ask you to pay particular note to the request that people email GMWRAG to let us know that you are attending.

If you have already done this PLEASE don’t do it again as it makes life far more complex than is needed.

GMWRAG would like to remind members to remember that this is Oldham in January. Layers will be required. Good advice can be found here. Treating it as a day out doing “sedentary ice fishing” will give you a good idea of what’s required.

On a more serious note, Oldham is well served by roads and trams so it’s, er, easy to escape from 🙂

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.

Her Mightily Confused Tribunals Service. What could possibly be going wrong?

Which address?Here’s a quick follow up from our post announcing the redacted minutes of the first Manchester Tribunal User Group in 18 months. GMWRAG is relieved but utterly bewildered to discover our observation that HMCTS have not sent out minutes to anyone not in attendance may not be accurate. One of our member organisations has now received no less than three copies of said redacted minutes.

So, instead of receiving 7 pages they have received 21. Our member has only ever signed up using individual names and yet all 3 addresses are no longer addressed to those individuals. The 1st and 3rd of the 3 addresses above haven’t existed for 3.5 years. The 2nd is the same address but apparently in Manchester. GMWRAG probably doesn’t need to tell our members the perils of suggesting that any part of Salford is either “in Manchester”; “just Manchester” or “Manchester really”.

More to the point, staff at said service (long located within the Civic Centre in Salford) to the best of our knowledge continue to represent appellants and receive correctly addressed papers from Liverpool on a daily basis.

HMCTS and liaison. What could possibly be going wrong?!

GMWRAG would be very interested to know whether any other members have had similar issues. No TUG minutes at all or an excess? Please let us know.

Minutes of the last NWMHWRAG meeting are now available for download.

The minutes of the last (November 2018) meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group (NWMHWRAG) are now available for download from here.

The minutes are all available in posts like this but the minutes page itself hasn’t been updated since July 2018. GMWRAG apologises for their being a bit of a lag getting these up on the NWMHWRAG pages but we’ll be fixing this asap.

In the meantime NWMHWRAG members should watch their Inbox for news about the next GMWRAG meeting. We’re hoping to have full details with you before the end of the week.

The Christmas 2018 meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group is here.

The next meeting of the North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group will be on Friday the 30th of November 2018.

We meet at 9.30 for a 10am start.

Jane Hobson from Trafford Welfare Rights will be leading off a discussion on Universal Credit under full service fresh from talking to the Money Advice Group in Manchester on the same subject and refereeing a room full of GMWRAG members v Neil Couling.

The meeting is held in in the Community Room at Central Manchester Fire Station, Cassidy Close off Thompson Street, Manchester M4 5FP. It’s a short walk from Piccadilly and there is a car park on Thompson Street.

The Community room has its own entrance.  Please don’t enter the Fire Station by any other entrance.

From Cassidy Close you take the first left. Walk towards the building and then turn left again. You should now be at the back of the building. Walk towards a set of double doors under an overhang. The entrance to the Community Room is on the right just before you reach the double doors.

If you have any problems finding the room, you can call Helen Rogers on 07800 617 866.

As this will be our last meeting before Christmas, we’ll be going for lunch afterwards.

All are welcome to join us.

NB: The minutes of the last GMWRAG meeting remain in draft form as a number of very kind people have emailed in their own notes/recollections of the day (and indeed dodgy photographs) and we’re trying to incorporate these into the excellent minutes received from Trafford so we ensure we have covered all the bases. If anyone else has notes from the day which they’re happy to email in to gmwrag at Hotmail dot co dot uk this would be much appreciated.

Initial details of the first meeting of the GMWRAG Greater Manchester Universal Credit Forum.

Somewhat pre-empting the issuing of the minutes of the last meeting GMWRAG is pleased to be able to confirm that the first GMWRAG led Greater Manchester Universal Credit Forum (we’re open to negotiations on the name) has been scheduled to take place  between 12:30pm and 5pm on Friday the 25th of January 2019 in the Crompton Suite at Oldham Council, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham OL1 1NL.

For SatNav use OL1 1NL as the post code. The Metrolink stop is King Street (2-3 mins walk) away.

The intention is that a a minimum of 3 DWP partnership managers will be at each meeting along with a similar number of work coach team leaders and (hopefully) the Preston Service Centre manager (but longer term staff on the front line at the SC).

The agenda for the first meeting will broadly be around

  • introductions and sorting how the group should administer itself; who it should report to etc.
  • limited capability for work and complex needs.
  • deductions from UC.
  • any other business.

As agreed at the meeting, this post is going out her in order to generate GM interest beyond those who attended the October GMWRAG meeting and a number of people who attended that meeting will also be invited through various routes.

Our target audience here is advisers whose welfare rights work is in the GM area and we’re looking for people with a long term interest in participating in the forum to drive consistency of approach across the Greater Manchester area. One off attendees will always be welcome but the focus is initially on establishing a core group who will be able to attend quarterly meetings.

Initially if you could email gmwrag at hotmail dot co dot uk and let us know of your interest we’ll liaise with Oldham.

Please note that it was agreed that after January 2019 (when we already have a full day GMWRAG meeting scheduled for the week before the first UC forum) whoever hosts GMWRAG will be hosting a half day UC forum meeting and a half day GMWRAG meeting.

If you’re not sure when you’re hosting GMWRAG then full details can be found on our meetings page. How this works with Oldham being scheduled to host GMWRAG in June 2019 we have yet to figure out but rest assured we’re working on it.