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

 

Radical Readings

Radical Readings in  progressGMWRAG has generally been good over the past year publicising theatrical and cinematic events related to rights based advice work. We know many of you took the opportunity to attend events like Powerlines and Wish List. Indeed GMWRAG followers who have been paying attention will be aware that Cardboard Citizen’s “Cathy” is imminent. Welfare reform can at least take credit for some powerful art if nothing else especially positive.

Unfortunately, GMWRAG managed to attend one such event and forgot to tell members about it. We’re going to tell you about it now and hope that you’ll anticipate and book a place on the next one in 2017. The event in question was the second ever “Radical Readings” and it took place at the University of Salford as a fundraiser for the Working Class Movement Library in Salford on Sunday the 27th of November 2016.

Christopher Eccleston, Sheila Hancock, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Mike Joyce and Maxine Peake, who are all strong supporters of the Library, participated in an afternoon of prose, poetry and drama telling stories of radicalism and revolution.

Following on from 2014’s fantastically successful fundraiser for the Library  the audience were treated to old favourites, Ewan MacColl, Robert Roberts, Shelagh Delaney, Harold Brighouse and many more, as well as readings on such diverse subjects as Peterloo, the Spanish Civil War, Engels’s view of the Salford slums, and memories of Broad Street and Rat Week…

Maxine Peake, who is also a Trustee of the Library, said; ‘It is always a pleasure and an honour to take part in the Radical Reading and support the wonderful and invaluable resource that is the Working Class Movement Library. A building we should all be proud of’.

There is a comprehensive report of the event on the Salford Star web site. It’s hoped that the next event will include music as well as readings, prose and poetry.

If you would like to know more about the WCML please check out their web site or email them at trustees@wcml.org.uk. Indeed, if you’re really interested then this Saturday, the 3rd of December 2016, they are running a free event called Looking Back at the Grunwick Strike 1976-1978. Click on the lick for more information.

GMWRAG promises to try to stay more abreast of such things in 2017.  Why are we posting such stuff? How is it relevant to welfare rights advisers? Take you pick.

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” – Clive Barker, Days of Magic, Nights of War.

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” – Pablo Picasso.