Initial details of the first meeting of the GMWRAG Greater Manchester Universal Credit Forum.

Somewhat pre-empting the issuing of the minutes of the last meeting GMWRAG is pleased to be able to confirm that the first GMWRAG led Greater Manchester Universal Credit Forum (we’re open to negotiations on the name) has been scheduled to take place  between 12:30pm and 5pm on Friday the 25th of January 2019 in the Crompton Suite at Oldham Council, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham OL1 1NL.

For SatNav use OL1 1NL as the post code. The Metrolink stop is King Street (2-3 mins walk) away.

The intention is that a a minimum of 3 DWP partnership managers will be at each meeting along with a similar number of work coach team leaders and (hopefully) the Preston Service Centre manager (but longer term staff on the front line at the SC).

The agenda for the first meeting will broadly be around

  • introductions and sorting how the group should administer itself; who it should report to etc.
  • limited capability for work and complex needs.
  • deductions from UC.

As agreed at the meeting, this post is going out her in order to generate GM interest beyond those who attended the October GMWRAG meeting and a number of people who attended that meeting will also be invited through various routes.

Our target audience here is advisers whose welfare rights work is in the GM area and we’re looking for people with a long term interest in participating in the forum to drive consistency of approach across the Greater Manchester area. One off attendees will always be welcome but the focus is initially on establishing a core group who will be able to attend quarterly meetings.

Initially if you could email gmwrag at hotmail dot co dot uk and let us know of your interest we’ll liaise with Oldham.

Please note that it was agreed that after January 2019 (when we already have a full day GMWRAG meeting scheduled for the week before the first UC forum) whoever hosts GMWRAG will be hosting a half day UC forum meeting and a half day GMWRAG meeting.

If you’re not sure when you’re hosting GMWRAG then full details can be found on our meetings page. How this works with Oldham being scheduled to host GMWRAG in June 2019 we have yet to figure out but rest assured we’re working on it.

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First GMWRAG meeting of 2018.

We confirmed back in October 2017 that the next GMWRAG meeting would take place in Salford and we anticipated this would take place on Friday the 19th of January 2018. We can now confirm this as a definite date. The meeting will take place in committee room 3 of the old town hall in Swinton (M27 5 FJ). It will be a full day meeting and we are just waiting for two of three potential speakers to confirm. Minutes of the last meeting are awaited from Oldham and we’ll distribute those and a full agenda as soon as they’re finalised.

Many of you will have been to Swinton before and recognise there are considerable difficulties in securing parking, especially if needed for the day. For this reason GMWRAG urges attendees to either car share or use public transport. There is public transport information available at https://www.salford.gov.uk/council-buildings-and-venues/how-to-find-us but we have alerted Salford to the fact much of this out of date. Some options have improved (electric car charging) and some have not (parking generally).

We can tell you at this stage that Salford is well served by public transport with a train station less than 10 minutes walk from the civic centre and buses coming past the civic centre on Chorley Road and Partington Lane on a regular basis. Guided busway and other buses also go down the East Lancs. Road and drop off less than 10 minutes walk from the civic centre.

We’ll post more about your transport options when we post up the full meeting details with agenda, speakers and minutes of the last meeting.

Agenda and speakers for next weeks GMWRAG meeting in Oldham.

The agenda for next weeks GMWRAG meeting in Oldham is now available and can be downloaded by clicking on this link. Everything else you need can be found in our previous posts yesterday and back in July 2017.

Well, yeah, okay. You will need a coat, possibly a scarf. Almost certainly gloves and maybe even a hat and an umbrella. Apart from that, everything you need to know is in those posts 🙂

Er, okay, you might also want to know how to get there. We sort of covered that in the July post when we mischievously described transport to Oldham as “straightforward nowadays”. If you don’t believe us then please check out MyTfGM for journey planning.

We are pleased to confirm that we have two speakers for the day covering innovation and Universal Credit. If you want to know more please download the agenda from the link above.

New job vacancy on the GMWRAG web site.

Hello GMWRAG persons. It’s been a while. So, a quick Autumnal reboot and a wind of the clockwork mechanism and away we go. First of several posts coming your way is this new job vacancy from our friends in Oldham. Apologies for the short notice on this one but our aching bones are moving as fast as they can. The post should already be up on our Job Vacancies page by the time you’ve read this.

Corporate and Commercial Services

Finance, Customer and Business Support Services,

Welfare Rights Service

Welfare Rights Officer

Ref: COM16/66842

Salary: £24,717- £29,033 p.a. Grade 6

Please see additional Terms and Conditions here.

We welcome applications from residents of Oldham as part of our campaign to Get Oldham Working. For more information please visit http://www.oldham.gov.uk/get_oldham_working

Hours: 36.40 per week

Based: Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham. OL1 1XJ

Closing date: 26th of September 2016

Shortlisting & Interview Date: TBC

Role overview

Working within the council’s Welfare Rights Service, you will be a committed team player and a capable individual, dedicated to providing excellent standards of service and accurate information to increase the knowledge of Welfare Rights and uptake of Benefits by providing information, advice and advocacy on Welfare and other Rights to the residents of Oldham through local advice sessions and referrals from others.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide support, negotiation, advocacy and specialist level representation in relation to benefits and welfare rights, including the preparation of comprehensive benefit appeals and representation at tribunals.
  • Ensure clients’ incomes are maximised via the take up of appropriate DWP and Council benefits and take full advantage of local/national grant assistance.
  • Provide face to face advice/deliver outreach sessions at locations across the borough, developing new benefit surgeries as required.
  • Interpret and explain legislation/case law, to ensure clients understand the options and implications of letters and other official documents, making recommendations on best course of action.
  • Develop resources and deliver information on benefits, welfare rights, welfare reform and associated issues to internal and external services and user groups.

Key Requirements

To succeed in this role you will need as a minimum:

  • The ability and experience to analyse and interpret information and present it effectively to various audiences to inform decision-making.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required to effectively engage, advise and support residents with confidence to challenge where appropriate, based upon evidence.
  • Excellent organisational skills will be needed to agree, develop and manage duty cover and casework provision ensuring residents, Senior Officers and the Tribunal service have access to appropriate and timely information regarding casework, challenges and appeals.

Please visit www.yourcounciljobs.co.uk to apply for this vacancy.

Our Values

Oldham Council is a leading Local Authority; shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle Council of the Year 2014 and described as “an ambitious and effective Council” by the Local Government Association. We want people who share our values and can deliver for the Borough of Oldham. To find out more about who we are, what we do and why you should join us please visit our dedicated careers pages where you will also find useful guidance on how best to complete the application form:   www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200270/working_at_the_council