Your all in one GMWRAG post on GMWRAG in Trafford.

We’ve made our claims online. We’re in the middle of our assessment period and we’ll (perhaps) get the pay off in 2 weeks time only to watch it all subsequently fall apart 🙂 Yes, the Trafford GMWRAG approaches and it has correctly been pointed out that not all of the information about the meeting is contained in one place. So, here’s the one post where everything is collated (until the next time we need to add something).

The meeting is a full day meeting and takes place at the offices of Trafford Housing Trust, Sale Point, 126-150 Washway Road, Sale M33 6AG on Friday the 19th of October 2018. Doors will open at 9:30am for a 10am start and we aim to finish for 4ish.

The venue is (we are told) a very straight forward 14 minute walk from the Sale Metrolink stop (M33 2DG in case you were wondering) and is also on a main bus route. Drivers? You’ll figure it out 🙂. Parking? Use a a sat nav.

The minutes of the last meeting remain available here and the final agenda can be found over here. Please note that whilst the name of the latter includes the word “Draft” it is most definitely the final version of the agenda. A big thank you to all those people who threw stuff at us really quickly and in great detail by email when we asked for your top 5 issues to help shape the agenda. We’re (reasonably) confident that the final agenda reflects in general terms almost all of the issues raised but we’re also painfully aware that you can’t please all of the people all the time.

On that note we’re sure that attendees or potential attendees are aware that our key speaker is Neil Couling CBE, Director General of the Universal Credit Programme. and that the day is dedicated to looking at common UC issues in GM and putting together a plan to manage those going forward. This means we have rather more housekeeping rules than normal.

  • Anyone turning up spontaneously as per most GMWRAG meetings may find we cannot accommodate them. We appreciate this is unusual but the room holds a maximum of 50 people and we are reasonably confident we will fill it. It’s a way to travel only to find we don’t have room so please Contact GMWRAG.
  • This is a GM meeting. GMWRAG has always welcomed members from as far afield as Cumbria and North Wales but this one is a GM meeting about specific GM issues and solutions. Whilst we’re sure many members might want to turn up out of curiosity to see; listen to and debate with a national figure and three local partnership managers we have had to make the hard decision that our priority has to be to give space to active GM workers who are not only interested in devising processes to look at solutions but who will also be around to work on those in the immediate future. We are happy(ish) to apologise if this appears stern but we have a small waiting list for non-GM advice staff and if we do think there’s space then we will contact anyone on the list
  • Equally, please do not turn up just for our guest speaker. See the previous bullet point. This is a working day with very specific aims for the GM area and whilst we welcome all participants we need people to be there for the full day else it becomes a little pointless. If you wish to attend please contact GMWRAG via the usual routes.
  • The logistics of this meeting have taken considerable effort from a small group of people to whom GMWRAG would like to extend (pathetically) grateful thanks right now. However, our hosts organisational skills will be fully occupied on the day and so once again we really urge attendees to download and print both the agenda and minutes and bring them with you on the day. It will really aid the smooth running of the meeting.
  • For those who have not attended previously we provide tea, coffee, water and biscuits. No lunch is provided. Expect to go for a walk or by all means bring your own.

We’ll give you all maybe one more prod before the meeting but we look forward to seeing you on the day.

Minutes of the GMWRAG meeting in Bolton plus presentation.

The minutes of the last GMWRAG meeting, held at Bolton at Home, are now available for download. Additionally, you can view the presentation from Amanda Phillips, Priority Service Lead at United Utilities here and both items will be permanently available in their usual locations within the site.

The next GMWRAG meeting is scheduled for Manchester late on in sunny June but dates, venues and speakers have yet to be finalised so we’ll publicise that information as soon as we have it.

Agenda for this weeks GMWRAG meeting in Bolton.

The agenda for the next GMWRAG meeting this Friday in Bolton is now finally available for download.

The minutes of the last meeting remain available for download. Please print and bring your own copy as GMWRAG hosts have long ceased to have funding to cover the expense of printing copies and we can’t guarantee how many will be available on the day.

We are still awaiting confirmation of a p.m. speaker on Support for Mortgage Interest so we have kept a slot open for them. If this does not materialise then attendees may rest assured that the intention is that the meeting would finish earlier than usual. Anyone who attempts to fill any subsequent dead space with talking will of course be given a severe talking to (for a very short period obviously) :).

Please note that we have been advised by Bolton At Home that parking on site is severely restricted. Therefore members are asked to arrive as early as you can as you may need to secure parking elsewhere in the locality.

GMWRAG meeting in Bolton this Friday.

For those of you, like us, who are wondering what happened to the next GMWRAG meeting we can confirm it’s going ahead as planned this Friday and most of what you need to know can be found at

An agenda will be published in the next 24/48 hours. We’re sorry about the lateness of this but we’re waiting on a 2nd speaker to confirm their attendance. We are already in a position to confirm that our a.m. speaker will be Amanda Phillips who is Priority Services Lead for United Utilities and will be talking about

  • their Priority Services scheme.
  • who they can help, and,
  • details on our affordability tariffs.

Some of you may already be aware that United Utilities have already put something in place re: helping Universal Credit claimants. More of that on the day also.

We’re hoping that our second speaker will be talking about Support for Mortgage Interest but we’ll let you know as soon as we have anything positive to report.

A further chance to watch our GMSCG live stream of Kester Dean talking EA 10 damages from the county court.

Kester Dean from @kesterrights at the March 2018 GMSCG meeting.GMWRAG has been busy/otherwise engaged/pigging out on Easter eggs but now we’re back and you can expect lots of activity over the next few days leading up to our meeting next week in Bolton.

So, first of all a bit of housekeeping. Whilst the live stream of Lucy Cadd has long since been removed an edited version of the live stream of Kester Dean taking about the option of pursuing damages for EA 10 breaches in the county court remains available on YouTube. You can watch the full 30 minutes at

Please note that we haven’t forgotten there’s a GMWRAG meeting next week and we’ll publishing an agenda either at the end of this week or the start of the next. Minutes of the Salford meeting remain available in the usual place.

The minutes of the Bolton GMWRAG meeting are now available.

The minutes of the recent GMWRAG meeting in Bolton are now available for download. These include a brief summary of the key points of the presentation from Maximus.

Contrary to the statement in these minutes that the Salford minutes were not available and will be circulated with the Bolton minutes… yes they were and no they won’t be! Punishments will be administered in due course 🙂

Can we remind members that our next meeting is now scheduled for June 2016 and is a return to Manchester. More details have already been posted and we’d like to thank those members who have already emailed to confirm their attendance. We will try and acknowledge these in due course and will forward them to Manchester as well. We are waiting to hear from Manchester as to whether this level of advance notification is really necessary and will report back accordingly.



The next (and future) GMWRAG meeting(s).

Now, GMWRAG members, please pay attention and listen very carefully. We shall say zis only once! Possibly.

A few years back we had to rejig the organisation of GMWRAG meetings thanks to the reality of public sector cuts decimating services in Manchester, Rochdale and Bolton. A core group of Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford kindly agreed to rotate hosting meetings in order to ensure we could continue.

An unexpected but entirely welcome rejuvenated service in Oldham assisted with this aim but further service reviews and staffing changes in three of the first four above have meant that meetings over the past year have very much had to be organised “on the hoof” as services in the midst of being reviewed to death felt that hosting a meeting for a full day was a step to far in the midst of other stresses. We are very grateful to Stockport Advice, Salix Homes and Bolton at Home for stepping up at short notice to keep the show on the road.

GMWRAG fully appreciates this and so in a bid to provide some stability this year we are pleased to welcome an offer from Manchester to host our next meeting in June 2016. This pushes back meetings in Trafford and Tameside. It would be really helpful if all GMWRAG members could check out our meetings page and note these changes but if you can’t access the site in work then 2016 and 2017 currently look like this.

June 2016 – Manchester.

September 2016 – Trafford.

December 2016 – Tameside.

March 2017 – Oldham.

June 2017 – Stockport.

September 2017 – Salford.

December 2017 – Bolton.

All hosting members need to note these changes dates. There may yet be further date changes as none of us know what the remainder of 2016 will bring but we will try and avoid this if we possibly can. We will try and contact someone at each host in due course to firm all the above up but, if there are issues, it would help us if you “Contact GMWRAG” ASAP to let us know.

There will be a more specific post about the Manchester meeting imminently.

For those of you who periodically complain about the length of these posts, please remember not all members can access the site in their workplace, for a variety of reasons, so it is important that the posts contain what is elsewhere on the site.

Agenda for the Bolton GMWRAG meeting now available.

The agenda for the next GMWRAG meeting, which is being held in Bolton for the first time in 8 years, is now available for download. Our post on the 22nd of January 2016 gives you all the information you need to be able to attend the meeting.

We are very pleased to confirm that, as per our post on the 25th of February 2016 we have Mario Dunn as our speaker from Maximus. Fuller details are within the agenda.

We are aware some of you may be considering attending the NAWRA meeting on the same day in Derbyshire. What can we say? We’re easier to get to (probably even if you live in Derbyshire :)) and they don’t have a speaker from Maximus 🙂

We’ll see you there.

Speaker for the next GMWRAG meeting.

Following on from the announcement that GMWRAG will be returning to Bolton for the first time in 8 years we are pleased to announce that we have our 1st speaker. The full agenda will be sent out in due course, and there may yet be a 2nd speaker, but we wanted to give GMWRAG members as much advanced notice as possible as this is a new venue for the meeting.

At 10am we are pleased to announce we will be having a presentation from Mario Dunn, who is Director of Communications at the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, which is of course run by Maximus. Mario will be with us for an hour and as well as the presentation there will be time within that for questions. It’s hard to imagine GMWRAG members won’t have questions! However, we have asked for there to be a focus on

You’ve got to admit it makes a change from pictures of council buildings and city centres! 🙂

Thanks are due especially to Martin Forsythe,  Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations Manager at CHDA and our friends at Stockport Advice for making this happen.

We look forward to seeing you all there.