Just like buses, research projects are coming along in groups (possibly).

More University of Salford research into Universal Credit.

What is the research about?

This study aims to investigate the mental health experiences of people who are claiming Universal Credit. I want to hear from you if you: are currently claiming Universal Credit AND are currently living within Greater Manchester

They are looking for 30 people who are over the age of 18 to take part in a research interview. Results from the project will form the basis of a PhD thesis, and may be published in the future as a contribution to evidence around mental health and the benefits system.

Why is this research important?

Research into the way the UK’s welfare system has revealed some of the challenges associated with claiming Universal Credit, including how people may experience changes to their mental health while they are claiming. The aim of this study is to investigate how mental health is experienced by those claiming Universal Credit by inviting people to discuss their experiences.

Who is doing the research?

The research is being conducted by Joe Pardoe, an independent researcher from the University of Salford.

Will I be compensated?

They are happy to provide all participants with a £10 shopping voucher as a thank you for taking part in the study, and to compensate for any travel costs that may have been incurred.

How can I take part?

If you would like to take part, please contact me so that we can arrange a time, date and place of convenience to yourself, to conduct the interview. I will ask you questions about how you have experienced your mental health, including any changes you may have noticed, while you have been claiming Universal Credit. With your permission, I will record the interview with a digital voice recorder.

Interviews will last around one hour. You are free to choose not answer any question you feel uncomfortable with, and the interview can be ended at any time. Responses you give will be treated with the strictest confidence, and your anonymity will be protected, meaning that your name, address and any personal details will not be used in any published reports and I will not pass your details on to anybody else. They can also keep you informed about the research findings if you are interested.

How will they use the data generated?

Your data will be analysed as part of the write-up for a thesis. Data from the project may also be presented in a findings document, which may then be prepared for publication and/or included as part of a presentation at conferences.

It is important to bear in mind that your identity will be protected if you decide to take part; any responses given while you are being interviewed will not be identifiable to you and any personal details will be anonymised or removed so that you cannot be recognised.

There is an ethical duty to breach confidentiality if criminal activity is mentioned, or something that could place yourself or others at risk of harm; if this happens, they will contact the appropriate authorities to protect any individuals that may be at risk.

If you choose to withdraw your data from the study, any information you have provided will be deleted, and any record of your participation removed. Your data (the recorded responses from the interview) will be transcribed by the researcher, working alone, with any identifying detail removed. Your data will be kept for three years following the interview date, after which point it will be destroyed.

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions about the research or would like to take part, then please contact Joe Pardoe (researcher) via email at: j.pardoe@edu.salford.ac.uk

It’s Christmas. Don’t argue. It’s beyond October so therefore it’s definitely Christmas. GMWRAG is being invited to things. This may not be a party!

Disappointingly, Greater Manchester Law Centre is not inviting us to a Christmas party. They’re inviting GMWRAG members to

“Turned away: ‘Gateway’ or gatekeeping in homelessness services” on Monday the 18th of November 2019 between 10:00am and 1:30 pm.

They are hosting an event with Greater Manchester Housing Action and Garden Court Chambers and would like to invite you to join us.

Shu Shin Luh and Tessa Buchanan of Garden Court Chambers will be speaking about their case, ‘D’ v Essex County Council, challenging the local authority’s unlawful practice of turning homeless children away from care. (https://www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk/news/essex-county-council-admits-unlawful-practice-in-turning-away-homeless-children-from-care)

They will be discussing and inviting questions on the specific barriers faced by young people and homeless people in in Greater Manchester and the North West.

More information can be found on their Eventbrite page by clicking here .

Shu Shin Luh, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers (Year of Call: 2006)

Shu Shin is a leading public law practitioners whose practice focuses on human rights and equality law. She has substantive knowledge and expertise in advising on matters in all areas of social welfare law, including housing, mental health and mental capacity, health care and benefits. She aims to act for her clients in a comprehensive way, advising where possible on the full range of legal issues impacting on different aspects of their lives. She also acts for organisations as claimants and interveners on policy matters of public importance. She is particularly recognised for her legal work in the areas of children’s rights, victims of trafficking and migrants. Shu Shin won the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award in 2012 for her contribution to the advancement of children’s rights. She regularly advises NGOs and government organisations on legal policy development and draft legislation in the areas of children’s rights, trafficking, immigration and violence against women and has acted as a legal advisor to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Over the course of 2018 / 2019, Shu Shin led Tessa Buchanan of Garden Court in a series of strategic challenges to the unlawful practice of Essex County Council of diverting homeless teenage children away from accommodation and support under section 20 Children Act 1989, which consequence was to deprive these children from receiving the benefit of leaving care support in their transition to adulthood. The litigation culminated in a settlement in D v Essex, in which Essex County Council admitted that this practice was unlawful. Shu Shin has also successfully challenged other local authority practices including gatekeeping to disabled children’s services (AT and KT v LB of Haringey) and subsistence levels for migrant families supported under s. 17 Children Act 1989 (PO and Ors v Newham LBC). She has also acted in high-profile challenges in the context of welfare benefits and homelessness on behalf of Shelter as an intervener in Samuels v Birmingham CC [2019] UKSC 28 and DA and Ors v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] UKSC 21.

Tessa Buchanan, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers (Year of Call: 2012)

Tessa Buchanan is a busy and widely respected barrister with an impressive track record representing clients across a broad range of social welfare cases, with particular expertise in the fields of community care, homelessness, housing and Gypsy and Traveller Law. Her practice is primarily publicly funded and she is often instructed in cases involving challenges to failures to provide support or accommodation under the Children Act 1989; cases involving children who are leaving or who have left care; and challenges to age assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Tessa is regularly instructed in appeals and applications for judicial review and represents clients in a wide range of hearings in the County Court and High Court.

This year, with Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court, she represented a 16 year old homeless child, D, in D v Essex, instructed by Kelly Everett of Coram Children’s Legal Centre, in which Essex County Council admitted unlawful practice in turning away homeless children from care in breach of section 20 of the Children Act 1989. She has also appeared in several cases in the Court of Appeal, including the leading case of Panayiotou v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2017] EWCA Civ 1624.

Tessa is the vice-chair of the Housing Law Practitioners Association, a co-author of the fifth edition of Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice (Jordans, August 2018), and a contributing author to several other forthcoming works.

They look forward to seeing you there. Greater Manchester Law Centre, 669 Stockport Road, Longsight, Manchester, M12 4QE. 0161 769 2244

Europia presentation on the EU Settlement Scheme is now available for download.

Apparently some of you didn’t make the recent GMWRAG meeting in Salford. We can’t imagine how this sorry state of affairs came to be but we do need you to know that we’re not very forgiving. This won’t be forgotten.

In the meantime, the minutes of said meeting rather gnomically stated “Copy of presentation for GMWRAG site? Norman has provided the presentation but is in the process of getting clearance for us to publish.”.

We are pleased to confirm that, yes, we have been allowed to publish the presentation – CLEARANCE HAS BEEN GRANTED – and you can now download it from our most excellent Presentations and notes page. Alternatively, you could just click on the link below.

EU Settlement Scheme presentation from Bolton and Bury Citizens Advice/Europia

We’ve even managed (we think) to be clever enough to ensure it opens as an actual slideshow rather than just another PowerPoint presentation that you then have to start off as a slideshow. If it doesn’t work then, erm, it doesn’t work. We’re confident (ish) that it will.

CPAG looking for payment on account test cases.

Apologies if you’ve already had an email from CPAG on this but these things need the highest possible profile (and besides our posts are better because they include actual links :)).

CPAG is looking for cases where a claimant was awarded a payment on account at the start of their claim, which is now being recovered at more than 15% of their standard allowance.

The DWP have said that they do not believe that reg 11(2) of the Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 2013, which sets the maximum rate of deduction at 15%, applies to payments on account of benefit.

CPAG is looking for a suitable case to challenge this, as they are aware that a number of claimants are affected by high deductions. Please submit a referral form or email: testcases@cpag.org.uk

GMLCAGM – oh come on. It’s not that hard to figure out!

GMWRAG members should already be aware Greater Manchester Law Centre has moved to 669 Stockport Road, Longsight, Manchester M12 4QE (next to the Jain Centre). Why should you be aware? Well, because we told you.

GMLC want to work closely with local community organisations.

They have a new director, Jason Tetley, starting work middle of November. The first opportunity to meet Jason will be at their Annual General Meeting, to be held in our new premises on Thursday the 28th of November 2019 at 6pm. Presumably tea will be on offer?

GMLC would be pleased if members of your organisation could attend. You will hear about their progress so far, get a chance to meet the law centre workers and volunteers and contribute to developing our future plans.

GMWRAG thinks this is like one of those Facebook parties where a well meaning 16 year old throws a party and then an entire neighbourhood turns up. Go on. Make their day 🙂

GMWRAG swallows humble pie. Minutes of the GMWRAG GM UC Forum are now available.

Aye, that will no doubt teach us (nothing). No sooner had we pressed the “Magick into the binary ether” button on our last post telling you that you definitely can’t have the notes/minutes (whatevs we think they should be called this week) of the GMWRAG GM UC Forum yet than… you can!

Some peoples children have obviously become so annoying that reading our draft notes suddenly became a very attractive feeling. Well, indeed.

Anyway, you can now peruse said notes within our GMWRAG GM UC Forum pages (no, even we can’t be bothered typing that out in full!).

Please note that these notes are, as ever, password protected and if you don’t know the password then… you’re probably not meant to be reading them.

Those magic words you’ve not heard in so long. The minutes of the last GMWRAG meeting are now available for download. Something to do with Trainspotting. Blah Blah.

Blame Universal Credit. Blame Neil Couling. Blame Jo Chimes. Blame the Equality Act 2010. Blame Brexit. Yeah definitely blame Brexit.  Blame PLP. Blame the University of York. Blame Your Parents. No, er, hang on…

Anyway, it’s been over a year since we had such a plain old, vanilla, boring afternoon GMWRAG meeting with just the one speaker and with it the requirement to take actual notes like. All of the above are most definitely to blame for that but only in a good way. GMWRAG has had a great 12 months of unusual and interesting events with huge turnouts and even proper refreshments.

Finally then, here we are. Just a very straightforward GMWRAG meeting with some hopefully very straightforward notes. Yes, we are aware there are 5 sides of them. We’ll have none of that TL:DR nonsense thank you very much.  Kindly remember that this is because this is what accessible large print looks like; Norman waffled on quite a lot and the attendance list was quite big too.

Anyway, our delightful Our Meetings section has been updated with something that looks very much like actual minutes and if you lack even the basic energy to get that far then yes, you can download them from here. 

Please note that we are well aware that the above meeting was indeed preceded by a GMWRAG GM UC Forum meeting and that therefore you might be expecting notes from that too. Fear not. They have been circulated for approval and will be circulated for real as soon as we have that. However, this week does involve some ancient concept called “half-term” so a number of those charged with moaning about the inaccuracies have possibly been put nominally in charge of small people for the week. As soon as they’re back doing proper jobs you can have your UC Forum notes too.

University of Salford and Salford City Council research into the experience of Universal Credit.

So this is one for those of our advisers who live or work in the Salford area of Greater Manchester. Nevertheless we think it will be of wider interest to the rest of you. The University of Salford and Salford City Council are doing research into the experience of Universal Credit.

How has Universal Credit impacted you, and what can we do about it?

We know that Universal Credit is having a huge impact on Salford’s Residents and family, friends and organisations that support them, but what exactly does that look like? What can we do about it? The University of Salford and Salford City Council are working together to answer those questions and you can help!

Can I take part?

Are you a Salford resident in receipt of Universal Credit? The answer is yes!

How do I take part?

Contact us and we will arrange a time and date for the interview at the place of your choice. We want to know how people’s experience with Universal Credit are changing over time, so we would like you to undertake two interviews, the first one now, and the second one in 6-8 months. We would like to ask you about your experiences with Universal Credit, its impact on your life and finances and what you think about it as well as what kind of support you have found useful.

In recognition of your time and knowledge, you will receive £10 for undertaking each interview.

Interviews will last about an hour. You do not have to talk about anything you don’t want to discuss and you can withdraw from the research at any time. We will record the interview with your permission, but will take notes if you prefer. Everything you say will be treated in confidence. Your name will not be used in any published reports and we will not pass your details on to anybody else. We will also keep you informed about the research findings.

Want more information?

If you want to ask any questions about the research or want to know more about taking part, then please text, call or email Andrea Gibbons at 07773 948 841 or

a

dot

r

dot

gibbons

1

at

salford

dot

ac

dot

uk

This sounds like the plot of a potential EastEnders episode but sadly it isn’t.

NAWRA has been contacted by a BBC journalist looking at options for pieces relating to young people

  • being asked to leave their parent’s home
  • (or experiencing conflict or becoming homeless)

because of parents losing benefits, particularly where the young person has disengaged from the social security system. This illustrates problems with the cliff edge around the loss of familial benefits such as Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits/Universal Credit for children and then a potential double whammy of the non-dependant deduction being applied to HB or UC housing costs.

The journalist is looking for young people (ideally aged 18 and under) and parents in this position. He may also want to speak with experts and is looking for people who would be happy to discuss the issues faced by young people and their low income parents that you and your team encounter on a day to day basis.

If you would like to get involved please email

kelly

at

nawra

dot

org

dot

uk

and she will pass your details on.

First dumbass to point out that the email is formatted oddly will win no prize. This is a means of avoiding spam bots etc. picking up email addresses and deluging them with spam.