The Stockport GMWRAG meeting is here – Friday the 16th of June 2017. Speakers, public transport, presenting officers and biscuit details all below.

On the 10th of May 2017 GMWRAG quietly announced that the next meeting (indeed the first of 2017) would take place in Stockport. You can find that post here but we’re now in a position to provide you with full details and there are a lot of them. Please note that a number of key details have changed from that original post, not least the venue. Soooo…

The next GMWRAG meeting is a full day meeting and takes place in room 5 of Stockport Town Hall (NOT Fred Perry House as we originally suggested) on Friday the 16th of June 2017. Doors will open for refreshments, networking and those without any sense of direction at 9:30am for a 10:00am start.

The minutes of the last meeting can be downloaded from here and the full agenda can now be downloaded from here. Please print them off and bring them with you. GMWRAG hosts are no longer funded to provide copies on the day.

The meeting will have an update on the newly launched GM Strategic Casework Group. If you haven’t had a look at our pages then please do so. There will also be an opportunity to share experiences of the new tranche of Presenting Officers at First Tier Tribunals and both the morning and afternoon sessions will have speakers as detailed below.

GMWRAG was surprised to learn that in our near 4 decade existence we appear to have never had speakers talking about sensory impairment and benefits. Our friends at NAWRA have had workshop presentations from charities like RNIB (and even then maybe only the one) but our agendas and minutes suggest we have not. Hopefully the speakers at this meeting will whet the appetite for further work in this area.

Neither session will involve death by PowerPoint and there will be much in the way of handouts; quizzes; throwing things, er, discussion, interaction and some case law!

Stockport Town Hall, or the “spiritual home of GMWRAG” as it was recently described, is very easily accessed by rail and is a massive 4 minutes walk from Stockport railway station. GMWRAG recommends the train as absolutely the fastest way to get to (and from) Stockport from/to Manchester city centre. Journeys are between 7 and 14 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly station. Please note though that tickets on this route may only be valid for some trains e.g. Northern Trains tickets may not be valid on Virgin Trains and so on.

There are frequent buses and you can get full multi-modal travel information on this via the My TfGM journey planner but all will take considerably longer than the train. If you weren’t already aware, there is also an app available for your smartphone. Welfare rights advisers all have smart phones, don’t you!

If you’re driving in, there are several car parks nearby but you will pay a lot for a full day and the road system can be very confusing for anyone not familiar with the area. Don’t say we didn’t warn you 🙂

Oh, yeah, and the biscuits are on order.

NAWRA response to the “Quick consultation on the new General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR).”

Following on from the GMWRAG post on this at https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/quick-consultation-on-the-new-general-data-protection-regulationgdpr we were pleased to see our friends at NAWRA have submitted their response and we already know several GMWRAG members contributed to this.

You can read their response in full at NAWRA-response-ICO-March2017. Please note that the consultation, one of the shortest in memory, has now closed.

NAWRA annual report now available ahead of this Fridays NAWRA meeting.

GMWRAG has previously advised members of the next NAWRA meeting which takes place in Durham this Friday the 3rd of March 2017. Oh yes we did 😦 You can find the details here.

Ahead of the meeting you can now peruse (perhaps on a train) the 2016 annual report authored by Alan Markey. This is available for download from https://gmwrag.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/annual-report-2016.pdf otherwise known as here!

Enjoy the meeting.

Details of the next NAWRA meeting have been announced.

The next NAWRA meeting will take place from 10am to 4pm (with registration from 9.30am) on Friday the 3rd of March 2017 at Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham, DH1 3NE.

The agenda with rfull details of speakers will be published in due course.

You must be a member of NAWRA to attend the meeting. If you are not already a member, find out more about joining.

Please note that the next meeting after this will take place on Friday the 9th of June 2017 at Glyndwr University, Wrexham (hosted by Welfare Rights Cymru).

Would your organisation like to provide a venue to host a future NAWRA meeting? If so, please contact us. We can help with arranging guest speakers and workshops – you don’t have to do everything yourself!  Read NAWRAs short guide to hosting a NAWRA meeting. Please do this as GMWRAG would swear meetings are only taking place in Durham and Glasgow 🙂

Minutes, presentations and related documents from previous meetings can be found in the Members area.  Find out more about becoming a NAWRA member.

Details of the next meeting of NAWRA now available slightly quicker than we managed last time out!

The next NAWRA meeting will take place from 10am-4pm (registration from 9.30am) on Friday the 3rd of March 2017 at Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham, DH1 3NE

Agenda to follow. GMWRAG will post it as soon as we notice it’s out.

You must be a member of NAWRA to attend the meeting. If you are not already a member, find out more about joining.

Future meetings

  • Friday the 3rd of March 2017 – Durham (hosted by Durham County Council Welfare Rights Service).
  • Friday the 9th of June 2017 – Glyndwr University, Wrexham (hosted by Welfare Rights Cymru).

Would your organisation like to provide a venue to host a future NAWRA meeting? If so, please contact NAWRA. They can help with arranging guest speakers and workshops – you don’t have to do everything yourself!  Read their short guide to hosting a NAWRA meeting.

Previous meetings

Minutes, presentations and related documents from previous meetings can be found in the Members area.  Find out more about becoming a NAWRA member.

And in keeping with the theme of lateness… there’s a NAWRA meeting tomorrow.

The next NAWRA meeting takes place on Friday the 2nd of December 2016 at Staffordshire University in Stoke on Trent.

Agenda

Film screening

There will be a special, free screening of The Divide at 7.15pm on Thursday the 1st of December 2016 (yes, that’s tonight). The screening is in room R001 in the Science Centre on Leek Road:

The Divide tells the story of 7 individuals striving for a better life in the modern day US and UK – where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. By plotting these tales together, the film uncovers how virtually every aspect of our lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor.

If you would like to attend the screening please email Richard Machin before 6pm on the 30th of November 2016 so that he can reserve you a space. We know this is too late but equally we’re sure it’s worth a go even at this late stage.

You must be a member of NAWRA to attend the meeting. If you are not already a member, find out more about joining.

NAWRA submission re: the abolition of Attendance Allowance.

NAWRA has submitted a response to the “Self-sufficient local government: 100% business rates retention consultation” voicing their concern at the proposal that Attendance Allowance will no longer be a cash benefit in England and Wales when responsibility for it transfers from the DWP to each local authority’s social care budget.

If you didn’t realise that the abolition of AA was a real thing then please refer back to our previous items on this

One of the biggest reallocations of public resources in 25 years, and

More information on the abolition of Attendance Allowance as we know it.

Always keep in mind some people said Universal Credit would never start!!!

The submission is available on the NAWRA website. The deadline for submissions has now passed.

Thanks very much to Julie Henry (Durham County Council) for drafting it.

New PIP tool for advisers from LASA.

Lasa has just launched a new web tool designed to help advisers find details of regulations and case law relating to Personal Independence Payment.

The new web tool is available at http://pipinfo.net

Any help you can provide in sharing a link to pipinfo would be very much appreciated. Like what we have done here 🙂

There’s also have a widget if you’d like to add pipinfo search to your site for your visitors to use. You can find this at http://pipinfo.net/about/widget. GMWRAG likes widgets and we use lots of them. Sadly our web site platform doesn’t accept this kind of tool else we’d be widegting away with the rest of you. .

Information on Lasa’s range of web tools is available @ http://www.lasa.org.uk/webtools

Now, if someone could just explain what’s wrong with a capital letter at the start of a web site name!

Blooming NAWRA!

You have no idea how much we wanted to make that more sweary 🙂

NAWRA quarterly meetings are held around the UK (Royston Vasey and Scarfolk being particularly popular) and include keynote speakers, workshops and a range of networking and professional development opportunities. They may involve alcohol beforehand (allegedly, we have been told). They do not involve whippets (to the best of our knowledge).

Please note: Some of the above may not have been sent to us by NAWRA. We reserve our right to wing it and make it up as we go along.

Here are details of the next NAWRA meeting (this bit is true, we think):

Date: Friday the 2nd of September 2016
Time: 10am – 4pm (registration from 9.30am)
Location: The Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4JP

The meeting is kindly hosted by Glasgow City Council’s Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service.

Our guest speakers will be Malcolm Torry from the Citizen’s Income Trust and Paul Spicker, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at Robert Gordon University. There will be small group workshops on basic income, advice needs for pensioners, occupational charities, and lone parents. The full agenda contains information on all of the above, along with information about transport, accommodation and our social evening.

NAWRA meetings are free to attend but are open to members only. There is no need to book a place.

Please get in touch if you have any disability access requirements.