Benefit Sanctions: What’s Next? A PLP event in York.

We’re well aware of GMWRAG members disappointment that we’re not sending you to Siberia Oldham in January but we’re pleased to publicise the next best thing.

Matt Ahluwalia from the Public Law Project, whom some of you may remember as a mere stripling at a GMWRAG meeting back in January 2018 (see below), has asked us to do some last minute publicity for PLPs event in York titled “Benefit Sanctions: What’s next?”.

This takes place on Monday the 27th of January 2020 between 10am and 5pm at the National Railway Museum in York. The full address is Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ. GMWRAG is well aware this is an excellent (but damn cold) venue. However, as it’s at a train museum we’d actively encourage people to go by train just so you can travel over the newly re-activated Ordsall Chord and then talk about it.

GMWRAG is well aware that a number of our members have booked already but we’d like to encourage more as this is an extremely important topic and it’s very easy to take your eye off the ball having been preoccupied with the B word and a general election.

Full details for booking can be found at PLPs web site.

If you have already booked a place (and equally so if you’re about to) please note the travel information on the PLP web site if you’re travelling from outside the GM area.

“Much is known about the effects and impact of benefit sanctions. Shortcomings in standards, both across the application of sanctions and processes for appealing them, are well documented and it is recognised that the injustices of this system are visited upon some of the most vulnerable in society. This event is designed to bring together civil society, advisers, researchers and lawyers to help formulate a common strategy to help those affected, and consider what’s next for public law in this space.”

Couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Tidying up October. The housekeeping email and a short notice invite from PLP.

GMWRAG would like to thank all those involved in the organisation of the recent meeting in Trafford which can officially be designated the best attended in our history. On that basis we’d also like to thank those who attended and participated for the whole day. The minutes of the meeting have already been received and, as anyone who attended could imagine, there is a lot of detail to take in. GMWRAG is conscious that we may have missed some questions to Neil Couling and some answers so before publication of the final minutes we’re asking members to send in any notes you took on the day. So this doesn’t run on for too long please email us at GMWRAG at Hotmail dot co dot UK no later than Friday the 9th of November 2018.

Preparations for the January 2019 meeting in Tameside/central Manchester are at an advanced stage and we’ll publicise those as soon as we can. Rumours that Esther McVey will be in attendance can (largely) be discounted. We’re saving her for Stockport 🙂

In the meantime, could any GMWRAG members who attended the recent Manchester Tribunal User Group meeting please email any notes taken as regards who attended from HMCTS and details of any questions and answers.

This leads us on neatly to a short notice but really important invitation from the Public Law Project.

Previous GMWRAG speaker (and the first person to be streamed live from a GMWRAG meeting) Matthew Ahluwalia would like to invite a GMWRAG member to a presentation, debate and discussion on online courts and tribunals and HMCTS’ digitalisation programme. PLP is organising the event.

PLP will provide some reading material in advance and make a presentation to start the discussion. They will then invite questions, comments and concerns inviting those present to share their views, and discuss their own work that may involve or be affected by the digitalisation programme.

If there are particular issues about online courts and the reform programme you would like discussed, please let them know and we will try to allocate some time on the agenda.

Time, date and location: 2.30pm to 4.30pm, Friday 9th November, at Herbert Smith Freehills, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EG.

This event will be free of charge. Please note however that there is the offer of just the one place for one GMWRAG member.

Please could you RSVP by 2nd November so that we can confirm numbers with the venue. In order to keep this manageable we suggest you email GMWRAG or DM us via @GMWRAGTweets and we’ll pass on the details of the first contact we have to Matt.